DIY cherry cabinet, LEDs, etc. for 57g rimless (Many pictures) - Page 2
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:02 AM   #16
Hoppy
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That looks very good, with the fins protruding that way - the best of both worlds. I'm going to be starting on a LED light for someone else, which won't be visible, or I would want to try this design.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:04 AM   #17
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Here's the finished product for the light fixture. (There's some artifacts in the photo that make the finish look worse than it is for some reason.)

I switched out the blue XP-Es I had been using. Now I'm using 2 dimmable Meanwell drivers to run:
10 cool white Cree XP-Gs
8 warm white Cree XP-Gs
and 9 neutral whte Cree XP-Gs.

I may put the blues back on at some later date, wired separately with their own driver.

I have the drivers set to deliver about 1300 mA at max, but with both strings running at that power it's just ridiculously bright. That just has to be way too much light, even with the fixture 9" from the top of the tank. Fortunately it is easy to dim.

The overall color balance looks good to me, and with so much headroom in the overall output, it should be easy to tweak one string or the other to get it exactly the way I like it.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:48 AM   #18
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You could put 60 degree lenses on the LEDs, and raise the light higher. That would give you much more even light intensity top to bottom in the tank. In any case, this is one of the best looking DIY stand and light combinations I have seen here.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:16 AM   #19
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Wow!! Very nice woodworking and DIY skills you have. I love seeing when people put as much thought into the cabinet for fishtanks, after all you see the stand the aquarium sits on just as much as you see the tank.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:39 AM   #20
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As said above, that tank is brilliant, your DIY skills are awesome!
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You could put 60 degree lenses on the LEDs, and raise the light higher. That would give you much more even light intensity top to bottom in the tank.
I do have 60 degree optics, but haven't decided yet whether to use them. I don't want to raise the light fixture much higher than it is right now. From a design viewpoint (as opposed to a plant happiness viewpoint), 9" above the tank is about right. Most importantly, at this height the wood frame blocks the direct glare from the LEDs unless you bend down and look up. If I were to move it higher, the light would be distracting. And the fixture is already high enough that it doesn't obscure one's view of the entire open top of the tank--that was a major design criterion.

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In any case, this is one of the best looking DIY stand and light combinations I have seen here.
Thanks (and thanks to all others who posted nice words). It's been a lot of work, and I didn't have the skills to do it before I started. This is my first cabinet of any kind.

I'm now sort of terrified to actually plant this tank and get it going. I am good with a table saw, but still learning how to use fertilizers, CO2 and so on. Fortunately, there's still some DIY bits to procrastinate on--I need to enclose my driver/dimmer/wiring rat's nest, and put some finishing touches on the stand interior.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:47 PM   #22
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Great job on the stand and LED fixture!
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sns26 View Post
I do have 60 degree optics, but haven't decided yet whether to use them. I don't want to raise the light fixture much higher than it is right now. From a design viewpoint (as opposed to a plant happiness viewpoint), 9" above the tank is about right. Most importantly, at this height the wood frame blocks the direct glare from the LEDs unless you bend down and look up. If I were to move it higher, the light would be distracting. And the fixture is already high enough that it doesn't obscure one's view of the entire open top of the tank--that was a major design criterion.
You have obviously done a thorough job thinking out the design tradeoffs you faced. With the 60 degree optics, at 30 inches from the LEDs the light cone would be about 30 inches in diameter, but the cone of maximum intensity would be about 15 inches in diameter, just about perfect for that tank. There would be about 6 inches of the cone that would be reflected back into the tank from the front and back glass, helping to equalize the PAR across the substrate. At the point where the cone intersects the waterline, the diameter would be about 9 inches, which shouldn't be distracting to viewers. Without the optics I think quite a bit of light will spillover the front and back of the tank. The best way to decide, as you have realized, is to try it without the optics to see what it does, than add the optics if they seem to be needed.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #24
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As a fellow woodworker and aquarist, I love the functionality and the design elements of your stand. I like your use of the CM - cherry and curley maple go together so well!

-Tony
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:14 PM   #25
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Love the maple trim. I'm jealous.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:59 AM   #26
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Very nicely done!

The only part I question is choking the FX5 down to 5/8" tubing to go through the heater. This seems like a waste of the cleaning power of the FX5.

You might consider building a bypass of 1" pipe/hose around the heater but still keeping the heater in a straight line with the pipe. This way the water will want to continue in a straight path through the heater but the water that is choked by the 5/8" orifice will be routed through 2 X 1" T's and 2 x 1" 90 degree elbows around the heater. Should provide plenty of circulation through the heater while not crippling the flow of the FX5.

Your cherry is very beautiful... and it will get prettier as it ages!
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:12 AM   #27
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Quote:
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You might consider building a bypass of 1" pipe/hose around the heater but still keeping the heater in a straight line with the pipe. This way the water will want to continue in a straight path through the heater but the water that is choked by the 5/8" orifice will be routed through 2 X 1" T's and 2 x 1" 90 degree elbows around the heater.
I scratched my head about that one for a while. I hadn't thought of your idea, and will certainly give it a go if I'm not getting the circulation I want. For what it's worth, here are updated pictures of the plumbing and stand interior.

One picture below shows the whole works, the other shows the plumbing without the filter so you can see what I did to plumb in the water supply.
I modified a PVC reactor so that I could use it as an "input" for water into the tank from the faucet shown in the picture. The faucet allows easy top-offs and water changes, but I'll still use the old hose-to-toilet/lawn approach to drain. (There wasn't any good way to plumb in a waste line, or I'd have done that in a second...) There's a ball valve on the reactor that I can use to isolate the water input. The gray tee on the inlet side is just a bit of future-proofing. It lets me attach anything I want to that 3/4" threaded port. The most obvious use I can think of now is a dedicated drain hose, but for right now I think I'll just go over the tank rim for my water changes.

I've also included a shot of the bizarro reflections that the array generates--at least when there's nothing in the tank to absorb or diffuse any light.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:22 PM   #28
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Beautiful work!

Curious to hear how you like that Fluval once everything is set up and stable. I had to replace a dead Rena XP3 and considered the Fluval FX5 but ended up going modular instead.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:25 AM   #29
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very very nice setup

only problem I see is, how will you tell water level when filling when youre in your cabinet turning knobs?
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #30
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It's really no trouble. The fill rate isn't that fast, after all. And I don't have to hold the faucets open--I just open them up and then close them off when the water is about right.

Um, not that I've actually gotten this tank going yet. It's still dry. I gotta summon up the energy for that soon.

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only problem I see is, how will you tell water level when filling when youre in your cabinet turning knobs?
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