Do It Yourself (DIY) with a project of any kind is not for everybody. However, there are large numbers of people who do complete various projects successfully, and there is a lot of satisfaction to be had never mind the financial saving. Often the only requirement to start a project is a guide or laid out plan of action.
Marine aquarists have a lot of scope to demonstrate their skills with DIY. For example, some construct their own filters, protein skimmers, lighting hoods and aquarium stands etc. Some make the aquarium itself.
The lighting for a reef aquarium is very important for the health of the corals. Failure to provide proper lighting, both intensity and spectrum, is the road to failure. Different coral groups require different intensities of light. Where the aquarist requires intense light then metal halide systems are often chosen.
The aquarist could consider DIY for the metal halide system. There isn’t a requirement to be a qualified tradesman, just a need for a basic capability and the care to complete the job. With electrical items of course the aquarist needs to be aware that electricity and misuse are dangerous. Having said that, there isn’t any reason why a DIY project cannot be completed in this area also. However, if there is doubt, don’t attempt it. If the job is in progress and there is doubt, obtain qualified advice.
As already said, all the DIY aquarist really needs is the guideline and advice to follow. So below is a link which provides that. Using a search engine on the internet will no doubt find more sources.
There is another way for a DIY project to commence, though this one is even easier because the parts don’t have to be searched for. This method is called ‘retrofit’ and there are kits available that provide all the parts and the instructions for construction. They are very straightforward.
Before the aquarist starts it is necessary to research the intensity of lighting that is required, that is the power (watts shown by a ‘W’) of the bulb(s). This intensity depends on the type of corals to be kept and also the depth of the aquarium. This applies whether the lighting is a DIY project, a ‘retrofit’ kit, or ‘off the shelf.’