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help wiring aquarium lights

hi, i'm building a steampunk style ornamental hood for my 20 gallon aquarium, i will be using the florescent lights from two old store bought aquarium hoods and two cpu fans; all to be installed in this new hood. i don't have much experience wiring, i can splice wires with caps and electrical tape. it would be really convientent if i could wire the two lights and two cpu fans to the same power cord and on/off switch. i know there will have to be some kind of converter between the cpu fans and the lights because of the voltage, but what kind and how exactly i dont know. also each the the florescent lights have there own powercords and on/off switches. it would be easy enough splice both light to one power cord but how do i wire them to a single on/off switch? i'd greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions. thankyou.

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lemonie6 years ago

Why with fans?
I've not seen aquaria with force-ventilated hoods before.

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nitelyechos (author)  lemonie6 years ago
i'm turning my aquarium into a vivarium with aquatic and terrestrial areas with lots of tropical plants so i want to provid air circulation this helps to regulate temperature and keeps down mold. i want it to look like a steampunk victorian warden case or miniature conservatory style of thing. below is a picture of the basic concept. i'll build a box shaped lid out of plywood and the piece you see on top of the aquarium will be the front. i'll install flourescent lights in the ceiling of the hood and cut out two sqaure holes in the back for the cpu fans. the problem i'm having is how to wire the cpu fans and the lights to the same power cord so i wont have a bunch of wires going everywhere. the only thing i can come up with is to use a junction box, wire the two light fixtures and an outlet, that will also be installed in the junction box, to the same power cord. then i could wire the cpu fans to an old cell phone charger, which converts the voltage good enough for me, and plug the cell phone charger into the plug in the junction box. that way all the wiring will be hidden in the lid and only one power cord will be coming off the hood and i'll only have to plug in that one cord to make the whole thing work.
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Well, that explains it, but why did you not say "vivarium"?

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nitelyechos (author)  lemonie6 years ago
its still an aquarium

No, it was an aquarium, without the water it's (as you said) going to be a vivarium. Force-ventillating warm water tanks causes the water to evaporate, if your vivarium is to be humid you probably shouldn't run the fans.

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nitelyechos (author)  lemonie6 years ago
the physical structure itself; composed on five pannels of glass joined together to form a waterproof and box shaped enclosure for small animals and plants is what i would call an aquarium. i'm talking about the thing itself. vivarium only refers to one of the uses of the thing. an aquarium can be a vivarium, not all vivariums are aquariums, but neither are all vivariums, aquariums.

Aquarium derives from the Latin aquaruis meaning "of water" (aqua), whereas vivarium derives from vivus meaning "living". So you are correct that an aquarium can also be a vivarium, but with an aquarium being specifically aquatic, the question was inappropriately-worded for your specific needs.

L
. It would be a lot easier, and possibly cheaper, to just buy a small fan that runs on mains voltage. Then just parallel your power inputs.
nitelyechos (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
i think your right, i just have a strong habit of trying to recycle the things i already have laying around. i've already rendered one of the fans useless so i think i'll take your advice instead of buying a replacement cpu fan. thanks!
> i just have a strong habit of trying to recycle the things i already have laying around
. Nothing at all wrong with that. We need more ppl who think that way.
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