Advice please - LED lighting for 10 g
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
dyskrasia
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Advice please - LED lighting for 10 g


I'm new to the forum - this is my first post, hopefully it's in the right spot.

I've kept fish-only tanks for years but I'd really love to switch my tanks from plastic plants to real plants.

Specifically, I have a 10-gallon in mind for my first planted tank. I'd like to do a DIY LED lighting set-up. Luckily, my boyfriend has experience playing with LEDs so all I really need to do is figure out what parts I need, and he can help me with the rest.

This is what I'm thinking of:



I'd like it to have moonlighting, and rapidLED sells a 2-LED moonlighting kit that I think might work here. The main tank lighting (XP-Gs and XP-Es) would be dimmable, since I want to keep this to the low-light/low-tech side of things, and I think the 3W Crees (from what I've read) are too bright if run to their full power. But I'm wondering, would 6 LEDs for the main light provide fairly even lighting, or should I add more to the array so that I don't have really dim spots in the tank?

Also, from what I've read, I don't think I need optics since this is just a 10-gallon tank. As for drivers, the kits I've seen seem to either use the Mean well ELN-60-48D or the ELN-60-48P so I think I'll go with that, but I'm not sure what the difference between them is.

I think I also read somewhere in this forum, that someone had the idea of hooking up the cool whites and royal blues to 2 different drivers, so that the lighting temperature can be fine-tuned to get the nicest colour display from the fish. Am I remembering that correctly? Would that be a good idea here, or is a 50-50 split between cool whites and royal blues already pretty decent for display lighting?

That's all I can think of to ask now, but if it seems like I might have overlooked something, please feel free to tell me that too!
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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At full power, you are going to grow algae not plants without CO2 in this arrangement.

Your array will have enough spread, no need to add any more LEDs unless for the purpose fuller spectrum.

The color combo you will have is closer to reef settings than planted tank, are you sure you want that. Too much blue makes your planted tank looks weird.

I can hook you up with dimmable drivers for this kind of pico setups which I know, for fact, you will have a hard time finding them in the net yourself.

Parts you will need for something like what you want and I think will be more proper are as follows:

1 3x3W dimmable driver for 3 cool white
1 dimmer
1 3x3W dimmable driver for 3 royal blue
1 dimmer
1 power for both driver on a timer
(you can get one more timer to separate the blue and white turning on/off time)
2 moonlight modules
1 power supply for the moonlight on a timer

2 RS Bar fixture heatsink with splash guard
or
1 large DIY type heatsink at 4.25 inch depth, and length across your tank(you will have to device a splash guard yourself)

I can hook you up with all the parts if you cannot find them on your own.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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I would also suggest less blue. Your tank is going to look like the deep ocean with that much blue, replace all the royal blues with cool white IMO. Keep the two center blue LEDs for moonlight and a little extra blue tint on the daylight cycle.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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Hmm, I guess the kits I looked at were meant for reef tanks then. Good to know.

So samamorgan, with your suggestion, I'd have the two center blue LEDs on all the time and the cool whites on just for a few hours per day?

Wingo, I think I'll PM you about drivers once I've finalized what I want to do with the lighting.

Also, since I won't be running these at full power, what do people suggest? 1/3 of the full power? Obviously I want to grow plants and not algae...
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyskrasia View Post
Hmm, I guess the kits I looked at were meant for reef tanks then. Good to know.

So samamorgan, with your suggestion, I'd have the two center blue LEDs on all the time and the cool whites on just for a few hours per day?

Wingo, I think I'll PM you about drivers once I've finalized what I want to do with the lighting.

Also, since I won't be running these at full power, what do people suggest? 1/3 of the full power? Obviously I want to grow plants and not algae...
It's hard to know at what power you would want them. When doing DIY the best we can give you is rough estimations. I would recommend just getting the LEDs, hanging the above the tank at a height that doesnt spill light over it's edge, and just play with the dimmer level over a period of time until you get the results you're looking for.

As for the moonlight/sunlight hours, keep the whites on with the blues for 8-12 hours, blue only on at night. You can keep the blue on all night if you want, or turn them off after a couple hours, up to you.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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also, if you are putting in RB LEDs, use neutral white not cool.
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