LED mix ratio for more natural look? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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LED mix ratio for more natural look?

I want to know the best DIY LED mix ratio for planted tank .
Do colored LEDs like deep red and royal/true blue are needed ?
2:1 cool white to warm white isn't enough ?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 01:28 PM
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You need to narrow this down a bit.
"Natural look" can go anywhere from dark tannin stained to gin clear for one thing.
This is a high CRI 3000k COB w/ turface substrate.
Many wouldn't consider this "natural" for what ever reason.. OR.,. maybe "too natural"..
To be honest it is a bit too natural for me..


My usual advice is pick 2 whites that add and divide to a temp that ,at both full, you want.
Less light "waste"..

Say you want a "noon" or main viewing time to have a 6500k "look" then you need say 1:1 4000k/8000K =6000k

A 3000k/6500k 1:2 ratio = 5333 Nice neutral white..

Quote:
5500 is typical daylight...the longest part of the day where it stays the same. but daylight ranges from 2000-3000 at sunrise through to 6500-7000 for an overcast day.
Colored LED's can add or fill in where most LED's are short.
i.e Cyan, "violet" far red (haven't got a handle on any part. need of this) , UV and to a certain extent deep red (660nm).

Just for fun.. a snippet of a Marineland "puck". Probably north of 10000k low output.
note the dull fish but "snapping green" plants..

MCSLABS, MCSLABS, Arun. and 1 others like this.

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-30-2016 at 01:40 PM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arun. View Post
I want to know the best DIY LED mix ratio for planted tank .
Do colored LEDs like deep red and royal/true blue are needed ?
2:1 cool white to warm white isn't enough ?
Hi Arun.,

Welcome to TPT!

Last October GSAS invited Cara Wade from Build My LED (BML) to Seattle for two talks (before BML discontinued making aquarium lights). She did two excellent presentations dealing with lighting, spectrum, PAR, PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density), and how to 'adjust' LEDs to accent reds, greens, etc.

Basically I gleaned the following from the talks: photosynthesis is at maximum at about 430 nanometers (blue/violet) and 675 nanometers (orange/red) for a planted tank it makes sense to insure we emphasize those ranges and still provide an enjoyable visual experience. there are no 'white' LEDs, just blue LED's with a phosphor coatings and depending upon the coatings they can be 'cool white' or 'warm white'; 'cool white' LEDs have a stronger peak in the 430 nanometer range while 'warm white' LEDs have a stronger peak in the 650 nanometer range; since we do not see "blues and "reds" as efficiently as 'greens' more royal blue and red LEDs are needed in an array and only a few green LEDs; if I want my 'reds' to pop (i.e. plants) I need more red LEDs, if I want blues to pop (i.e. Cardinal Tetras) I need more blue LEDs; since we (the hobbyist') see greens better only a few are needed to make the greens 'pop'. Most of all our visual enjoyment of our tanks is a matter of personal taste and each of us has our own idea of what 'looks right'.

I learned a lot about LED's, the various aspects of the how an LED array is assembled and how to avoid a 'rainbow effect', various lenses for LEDs and their effect on dispersion of light, and the importance of cooling.

It is a shame that BML is no longer doing aquarium lights, they put a lot of thought and effort into their designs.


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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 04:36 PM
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What looks 'natural' can be wildly divergent if you look at different real biotypical water environments.

For instance this Blackwater stream in Singkep island..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjUvQPejJi4

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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