What type of light for 75g? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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What type of light for 75g?

My new tank has the stock dual 3í T8 fluorescent bulbs. I would like to have a fully planted tank with pressurized co2 this time around and just wondering what I should be looking at for lighting upgrades. My husband is an electronics tech so basically whatever I want in ledís, he can source and diy. Would it make sense to convert to the led tubes to replace the fluorescents and then add some strip leds also? Or I can just take out the tubes and do all strips? If so what level of wattage should I be looking at in total? Any other tips (does color temp make much difference other than aesthetic value)? The tank is 18Ē deep.

I was also thinking, maybe get dimmable lighting so I can tweak down later on if need be?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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I should also mention, I am not looking for high light. Low/moderate is sufficient because I know there will be times of neglect.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 06:04 PM
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Maybe some more info on what you have and what you might like to see versus how much to spend will get the ideas rolling along?
We all have different priorities and part of that is almost always price and appearance.
I like to go low price and stay flexible as I never know for sure what is going to be needed and that all fits very well for me as I'm a primary DIY guy who would rather built it than buy it.
Part of that is okay on appearance since I hide it all under wooden canopies which are built to match the lighting I use. Some of it's pretty ugly but not bad if folks don't see it!
Three foot long on a standard 75 seems pretty short and might leave large dark areas at the ends, or is it shaped like I'm thinking?
For simple figures on color, I find 6500 Kelvin works for me. Wattage depends on how high off the water and several other things like type of plants and how that light is spread out. Some of my tanks have glass covers and some not but I often lay single horizontal bulbs in holders on the glass to add higher light in special spots for some plants.
I look at lighting as somewhat the same as room lighting where I want lots in some spots but less in others. But that is also part of what "requires" me to use flexible lighting rather than a stand alone fixture which I could not change.
More info to discuss it better, please?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome info! Yes the tank is 48Ē so there is a 6Ē gap at either end of the existing fluorescents. It does make sense to me to have a couple of spots of higher light, maybe have a few plants that need the greater intensity and lower light plants throughout the rest. The existing hood would work to add in some led strips and power supply could be housed where the existing ballasts are now, once removed, or the power supplies could go behind/under the tank. The hood is right over the top of the tank and I would like to keep that hood housing if possible, even if I modify it to add different lighting. For price - the cheaper the better. I can source led lights from China pretty cheap, I would sooner go that route than spend money on aquarium specific lighting. Since I was last active in the hobby 10 years ago led technology has come a long way, back then it wasnít even an option, at least not a cost effective one. I guess Iím not really sure of the intensity I need now as the old wpg formulas for fluorescent donít really apply to leds Iím sure.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 11:50 PM
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It's fairly easy to build/retrofit a top..
Thanks to tiny-ness of LED's..

The normal 120 degree spread means lights don't need to be too far off the water line..
aesthetics are 1/2 of the equation afaic.....

You could start w 1WPG if you so choose. CRUDE but turns out to be fairly effective till you get a better handle on things.
errors on the high side usually..

biggest problem (and actually larger than the "old" tube wpg rule) is lumens/watt output of LEd's can be sig. different from one diode to another
Sometimes 3x different.. ie. really cheap Chinese vs premium CREE's
Added point is if the light is 3x less it may not actually be cheaper.. on an output basis. Now how much output one needs or wants is ???

Sort of a "standard" light..
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LFF07XS...ing=UTF8&psc=1

roughly 100Lumens/watt about the same as your t8's ..slightly stronger.. better delivery..
Delivery accounts for an almost 2x increase in effective output..though a narrower field.. which can be mildly problematic for wider tanks >16" ish


48 par 5200 lumens.. 60 theoretical watts..
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Great info. Iím thinking I will go with a couple of strips of leds to replace the t8s bring me up to 1w/gallon roughly (keeping in mind what the lumens:watt ratio should be) and maybe diy two or three spot lights in some way, affixed with Velcro so I can move them if needed. And probably make it all dimmable, so if I find there is too much intensity for my needs I can dial it back. I think what I need is flexibility just starting off until I find what works for me.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarissaT View Post
Great info. I’m thinking I will go with a couple of strips of leds to replace the t8s bring me up to 1w/gallon roughly (keeping in mind what the lumens:watt ratio should be) and maybe diy two or three spot lights in some way, affixed with Velcro so I can move them if needed. And probably make it all dimmable, so if I find there is too much intensity for my needs I can dial it back. I think what I need is flexibility just starting off until I find what works for me.


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Bridgelux EB strips are quite efficient. K temps don't go very high normally but that is more a personal look choice.
Little bit harder to deal w/ as they require constant current drivers..
CRI is lower than "I" like ..
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-08-2019 at 01:23 AM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 03:12 AM
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One thing to make things "flexible is something that I like as a side effect of having more than one fixture. With glass lids to set them on, I have set several single bulbs of different sorts just in small boxes. At first it was 6500K CFL bulbs but they gradually became harder to find and got more expensive and that finally drove me to use LED of different types as they have worked their way into something I liked. I'm not a big fan of moonlights or very special stuff but I do like the idea of lighting going down in phases as I like to watch how the fish react. I find it pretty simple to just add a second timer and let one or more of the lights stay on as the others work around to going dark. I'm a fish watcher and it interests me to see how each type of fish begins to get ready for dark. As long as we can find a way to hide the wires and clutter, there really is no limit to how many different strings one adds as the only expense is the cheap timers at less than five dollars.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 05:01 AM
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Not trying to upstage you or anything. Just happened to be re-programming my 40b.
Fast forward mode.. Needs work..
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Great ideas! Now I have to think about adding strips of different color temps... maybe a warmer one to simulate sunrise and sunset...then adding in a cool white for daytime...then I was thinking blue as thatís the typical moon lighting, but maybe red instead?


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 03:51 PM
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Well, I don't use moonlight but on a personal note, if I did use moonlight.. cyan or very low 6500k.
But to each their own...

3000k/5550k is a good simple combination.
Keep in mind a good ratio is 1:2 as to wattage or greater..
Most don't like the look of 3000k-ish as a stand alone so no need to waste too many photons on it..
Does add a good deal of red though..

good thing is 74's are usually 48" so things "fit"..(industry you know 2', 4' replacements)

Sadly.. seems to be a shortage of a lot of my "preferred stuff" ..or cheap.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:03 PM
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It's often the ideas that are easy to find but harder to put into motion as we debate what we want. One thing that I have found out about myself is that I am not a person who benefits from trying too hard to form the "perfect" plan. We each think differently, so I never try to match what others do but often just start with what seems right and let the fish and plants tell/show me what is working. One thing I do find is that even my best laid out tanks will change if the plants are growing, so that leaves me to not worry too much about the future plans in any definite way but I'm more of a type to simply enjoy growing and heading off trouble when it shows! Same goes in the yard but it sure is easier to move plants in the tank than to dig them up in the yard!
Some swords get kind of big root wads but I've never had to get the pick out to move them!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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So think I'm going with two 1m strips of 5630 Epistar LED's... 45-50 lumens per LED and 180 LED's per m - 180 x 45 x 2 strips = 16,200 lm (6000k). I will get a dimmable power supply as this is probably overkill for my purposes at least at present on a 75g tank. Also going to add 1 strip of the same in 3500k to use for sunrise/sunset and maybe to mix in with the 6000k. For moonlighting etc. since I can't decide what color I will get 1 strip of rgb led and then can pick my color and experiment.
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