Fitting the condensation tray and hood

Installing - the condensation tray may need trimming to size   Installing - fit the light tube inside the hood

A selection of condensation trays available from Aquatic Fanatic The condensation tray has three uses: it prevents fish from jumping out of the aquarium, it reduces water loss by decreasing evaporation and it acts as a barrier to shield the electrical fittings of the lighting controller. Condensation trays are typically made out of plastic, you may buy an aquarium that comes complete with cover-glasses that are set into a track for easy access. Condensation trays are made from clear materials to allow the light maximum penetration into the aquarium. Algae will bloom on the condensation tray as it needs light to grow every bit as much as your plants do, so try to keep the tray clean at all times otherwise your plants will suffer. When you fit your condensation tray you may find that it needs slight trimming to size and you will need to cut across the back corners so that the filter and heater wires can pass through. Some condensation trays have pre-cut holes towards the front to allow access for feeding, if your tray does not have these holes you will need to cut a diagonal across one of the front corners. Before you make your first cut place the tray over the aquarium and check that any holes you plan to make aren't impeded by strengtheners.

A selection of aquarium hoods available from Aquatic Fanatic

Fluorescent tubes and accessories available from Aquatic FanaticThe hood not only finishes off the appearance of the aquarium but also houses the aquarium lighting that is absolutely essential for the promotion of plant growth.  Aquarium lighting is achieved with a fluorescent lamp run by a light control unit. Buy the lamp size which fits inside your aquarium hood. The tube is normally 6" shorter than the tank i.e. a 3 ft. tank takes a 30" tube. You will need to select the correct lighting control unit to match the wattage of your lamp. The type of fluorescent lamp you need depends on whether you want to grow live plants or use plastic ones. Live plants require light with the right intensity and spectrum of light. If you aren't growing plants choose a lamp which has a spectrum designed to enhance the fish colours and hopefully minimise algae growth. It is a good idea to fit a timer to your light control unit so that the lamp comes on and goes off automatically, thus mimicking the natural daylight/nightime cycle. If your aquarium isn't planted try not to have the lamp on for more than 8 hours at a time as this will help reduce the growth of algae. If you do have a planted aquarium you may find that your lamp needs to be on for longer for optimal plant growth, but don't have it on for longer that 12 hours.

Installing - fit the hood   Installing - the finished aquarium   

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