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This DIY LED Bucket Light was inspired by a similar build by The King of DIY on Youtube. It only cost about $15 to make, and the entire project took less than an hour.

This light hangs above my 40 gallon Lake Tanganyika shell-dweller aquarium. It uses a single LED bulb, which puts out plenty of light for a shallow 40 breeder layout with no plants.

LED Bucket Light
LED Bucket Light

Materials

All materials needed for this build are listed below, with links to buy them on Amazon.

  1.  1 x two gallon bucket (any color or style)- link
  2.  1 x clamp light (with 5.5 inch reflector) - link
  3.  1 x LED bulb - link
  4.  2 x eye bolts - link
  5.  1 x chain - link
  6.  1 x shelf bracket - link

I had all of the hanging hardware and the LED bulb laying around already. Most of these materials can be swapped out for something similar. For example, you could replace the bucket with a plastic pot.

How to Build a DIY Bucket Light

clamp light

1. Take apart the clamp light:

First remove the clamp. They are usually held on to the base by a thumb screw and come apart easily. Unscrew the metal reflector from the light as well, so that you have just the light socket base and the power cord.

2. Drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket

just large enough for the light socket to pass through, but not as large as the black plastic base. Insert the light socket into the hole as show below. Screw eye bolts into the base of the bucket.

Bucket Base

3. Assemble the light:

Insert the metal reflector into the bucket and screw it onto the plastic base. Install an LED bulb appropriate for the wattage and size of the light socket. The light is now complete.

Inside of Bucket Light
Inside of Bucket Light

4. Hang the light.

This step is pretty straight forward. Attach the chain to the eye bolts and hang it from your ceiling or wall.

DIY Bucket Light in use
DIY Bucket Light in use

Amazon Prime Day 2019

Amazon Prime Day is Amazon's annual "holiday" that’s exclusive to Prime subscribers. Historically, Prime Day has launched in mid-July, and Prime Day 2019 is actually two days long - July 15th and 16th. Deals begin at 12 AM PT on July 15th! If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can sign up for a free trial just to take advantage of the deals. You may not find absolutely everything on your wish list during the Prime Day discounts, but it’s the best opportunity to stock up on gifts during the summer.

Best Amazon Prime Day Deals for Aquarium Enthusiasts

The best aquarium and fish related deals will be listed here and this post will be updated during the sale as new deals go live.

See the full list of Aquarium related Prime Day deals here

Smart Plugs - Control your Aquarium Equipment Remotely

Shop Smart plug deals on Amazon

Smart plugs that are wifi controlled are a good way to control your lights, circulation pumps, or any gear you want to be able to switch on and off easily.

Kasa Smart WiFi Plug by TP-Link – Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa and Google (HS100)

Kasa Smart WiFi Plug by TP-Link: $11.68 on sale

Amazon Smart Plug, works with Alexa

Aquarium Lighting Deals

NICREW ClassicLED Plus LED Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light for Freshwater

Nicrew Aquarium Lights are on sale on Amazon for Prime Day!

I wrote this review on the Nicrew LED lights - these are an awesome deal on sale. Now is a good time to upgrade your old florescent lighting and get some LEDs on your setup.

NICREW Submersible LED Aquarium Light, Hidden White with Blue LED Light Stick for Fish Tank

NICREW Submersible LED Aquarium Light: $10.39 on sale

Aquarium Air Pumps - Always have a Backup!

Its critical to have a backup air pump in case your existing pump fails. Even better is to have one of these small USB air pumps that can be powered by a portable power bank.

I use one of these little gadgets on my outdoor guppy pond, and they produce a lot more air flow than you might expect.

Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump Ultra Silent High Energy Saving Oxygen Air Pump Aquarium for Fish Tank with Air Stone and Silicone Tube

USB Air Pump: $10.39 on sale

See all "Aquarium" Prime Day Deals 

This Link will take you to the full list of Aquarium Prime Day Deals

Many people know of pothos as a hardy houseplant, but its also popular among fishkeepers for use in sumps, overflows, hang on back filters, refugiums, and aquariums. Adding a pothos plant to your aquarium is a good way to reduce nitrates and give it a more natural look.

Buy Pothos on Amazon

Fish waste (ammonia) is transformed into nitrates by the bacteria in your filter. Nitrates are harmful to fish and need to be removed from the aquarium, typically through water changes. In nature, plants perform this function by absorbing nitrates. While a single pothos plant will not absorb enough waste for you to skip any water changes, it will help to reduce these excess nutrients.

Pothos Growing up PVC
Pothos vine Growing up PVC

How to add Pothos to Your Aquarium

You can find pothos (in the US) for sale at most local garden centers, any store that carries houseplants, or on Amazon. Once you've purchased a plant, you can either add the whole plant to your aquarium - after removing it from the soil - or take cuttings from it. One healthy mother plant can produce dozens of cuttings. I have been taking cuttings from the plant shown below for several years. The vines eventually grow back after being cut.

Pothos Plant
Pothos Plant

Pothos is also known as devil's ivy because it is so difficult to kill. The stem can be cut and inserted directly into water. After a few days, white roots will sprout from the stem and grow down into the water. This works even in a glass of tap water, but pothos plants grow much quicker in an aquarium where they have access to lots of nutrients.

Pothos does not require much light to grow, so you don't need to have a light shining directly on it unless you have it under a cabinet or in some other very dark location. The leaves will turn to face any nearby light sources as the plant gets established.

Pothos growing behind matten filter
Pothos growing behind matten filter

I secured the plant pictured above using a suction cup with a clip for airline tubing. This is a good way to hold the vine in place inside your aquarium. You can also insert a stem into a hang on back filter, an overflow or breeder box, or build your own DIY container to hold pothos plants.

Pothos roots in overflow box
Pothos roots in overflow box
Pothos roots in overflow box
Pothos roots in overflow box

More Info on Pothos in Aquariums

There are lots of examples on YouTube of how people are using Pothos in their aquariums. I recommend starting with the one below from Aquarium Co-op.

Odin Aquatics isn't affiliated with any YouTube channels