Please help picking LED fixture for 180 gal
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
coonass
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Please help picking LED fixture for 180 gal


Hi everybody! I've been lurking here for a while, reading everything I can in preparation to make the jump from PCs to LEDs. I have a 180 gallon (72x24x24) all native Florida tank that I'm pretty sure is under-lit for the plants I want to grow. I once had six 96 watt power compacts from AHSupply that did the job. I'm now down to two and my wife will no longer allow me to purchase bulbs. I want enough light to keep Micrantheum on the bottom and keep Ludwigia and Cabomba red. I was recommended this kit: http://shop.stevesleds.com/SPS-Grade...-Kit-64-84.htm, which comes with 84 Luxeon ES 3 Watt LEDs. I plan to install the LEDs in a canopy 6 inches above the surface.

Is this overkill? Could I get by with fewer LEDs? My tank is low tech right now, but I may consider injecting CO2 in the future.

Also, could I get some recommendations on what LED colors and ratios to use?

Please help me out here. I'm so tired of watching my stem plants shoot to the surface.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
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That kit may be a bit overkill for you right now, but with added CO2 you'll be able to grow anything you want. Just make sure to replace the royal blue leds with more white and you should be set. I've got more leds than that on my 225, but with plenty of CO2, algae growth has never been an issue.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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Thanks O2surplus. I like the idea of being able to crank up the light when I decide to add CO2. Do you run all the same color LEDs or a mix?
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coonass View Post
Hi everybody! I've been lurking here for a while, reading everything I can in preparation to make the jump from PCs to LEDs. I have a 180 gallon (72x24x24) all native Florida tank that I'm pretty sure is under-lit for the plants I want to grow. I once had six 96 watt power compacts from AHSupply that did the job. I'm now down to two and my wife will no longer allow me to purchase bulbs. I want enough light to keep Micrantheum on the bottom and keep Ludwigia and Cabomba red. I was recommended this kit: http://shop.stevesleds.com/SPS-Grade...-Kit-64-84.htm, which comes with 84 Luxeon ES 3 Watt LEDs. I plan to install the LEDs in a canopy 6 inches above the surface.

Is this overkill? Could I get by with fewer LEDs? My tank is low tech right now, but I may consider injecting CO2 in the future.

Also, could I get some recommendations on what LED colors and ratios to use?

Please help me out here. I'm so tired of watching my stem plants shoot to the surface.
Hi coonass,

Since you are familiar with the AH Supply PC kits did you check out their new LED lamp arrays?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:55 AM   #5
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^^Very cool. Too bad they don't have a 36" array to replace the 96 watt bulbs. I wonder how the 26 watt unit compares to a 96 watt PC?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:23 AM   #6
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Hi coonass,

The 96 watt PC is typically about 36". You could use 2X15 watt LED lamp arrays @17" to accomplish the 36" coverage. Give Kim a call, he can probably make some suggestions.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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Take a look at lights from buildmyled. I loved my first sets of "freshwater planted show lights" on the 150g planted tank. loved them so much I just purchased another.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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If I may suggest you take a look at my new thread I have going in regards to AJM LEDs.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions, but both the buildmyled.com and AJM fixtures are a bit too finished for what I want to do. I can save a little bit of money by doing the assembly myself.

I'm leaning towards the steve's leds kits because I can space out the leds more by getting an additional heat sink and I have the flexibility to control the drivers with a sunrise/sunset simulation. I'm also biased because they are in my home state. I'm going to go with 56 leds spread over three 60" tubular heat sinks in an enclosed canopy (don't like fish jerky on the floor ).

Right now I'm researching other builds on here to try to pick the correct ratio of colors to suit my taste. I want the warmth of natural sunlight in shallow water but I also want the blue iridescence of my fish to pop. It gets confusing when people start mixing every color in the spectrum.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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Well, I purchased my lights from Steve's LEDs. I'm getting 28 2700K warm white, 14 cool white, and 14 royal blue Luxon ES 3W LEDs with 40 degree optics to go on three 60" heat sinks. I hope I have the color ratios right. I will build a new 12" tall canopy to house these about 30" off of the substrate. Maybe I'll get my wife to take some tank shots with her macro and start a journal thread to document the transition to high tech.
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