Krisbow Led Strip used in hurried conversion; or Tell me how I screwed this up... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Krisbow Led Strip used in hurried conversion; or Tell me how I screwed this up...

Hello.
By way of introduction, I am an American expat living in Indonesia.

Getting fish and plants are relatively easy here, but the equipment is a bit different that what I was used to in the States.

I have a ~66 gallon (1 m x .5 m X.5 m) tank that I use for plants and fish. I got at at Ace hardware, with is like the "Mall" version of Home Depo here.

Instead of "hang on tank" or "hang on back" overflow filters, most aquarium designs here use a "hang in/above" design with a drain emptying into the tank. Inflow on right, drain on left; powerhead in tank pumps water up a pipe or tube into the filter. The filter and it's supports sit on a plastic shelf built into the hood. This takes up the back 1/3 of the tank. There is a flat tilt-back panel covering this, but I often leave it open and grow philodendrons and avocado seedlings out of the filter.

The front 1/3 of the hood is the tilt-up access panel.

The middle 1/3 is where the lights are hung. This tank originally had 2 florescent tubes.

I didn't use this tank for a couple of years because the water supply ate the house we were using had a major sulfur bacteria problem.

We recently moved, and my wife demanded that I use the holiday to set up "the pretty aquarium" again.

So I cleaned the tank, and got some plants and kitty litter (dried clay) and a handful of "starter" guppies, a pair the clown loaches that were in the plant tank (I didn't want to make another trip ).

Then I found out the hard way that rats had chewed the cord to the lights.... I'd had always had trouble finding the right bulbs anyway... and there had been a heat problem with people insisting on turing off the AC when we weren't home or just using fans in the living room (Tropical country)... so I decided just the rip out the electronics and balast cover and mount an off the shelf led light ... but it turns out he screw heads are an odd shape that doesn't fit my screw driver...

So anyway...Other than removing the power cord, I ended up leaving the original lighting fixture in place, and mounted a "tape" of led strip on and around it. 5 meters of LED strip under the hood of a 1 meter long tank.

I lost a few inches on each "turn around" and left some give for opening the tilt up in the front. The hood is about 2.5 inches 'deep' and the balast cover is about 2 inches closer to the water than the ceiling. I got one strip between the ballast and the filter at the back, 2 across the ballast, one in front of the ballast, and 2 under the tilt up in the front. The strip is literally a 1 cm wide self adhesive tape of 60 Led bulbs per meter. I tacked down the turnarounds with electrical tape, but was careful not to cover any of the leds, so some of the bulbs point in odd directions, but can't be seen as long a as the lid is closed. Some light comes out the back of the tank, but I don't mind that. It happened with the old bulbs anyway.

So, here are the specifications. If the wording sounds odd, this is marketed in Indonesia.

Krisbow Led Strip.

LED SMD5050 Strips Flexible Light

Operating Voltage: 12v Dc
Input Voltage: 100 - 240 V
LED Qty (1 meter): 60 pcs LED per meter
Power Consumption : 14.4 W per meter
Cutting unit: 3 pcs led ( I didn't cut any and put tape over the gold leads at the end of the tape)

IP Class: IP65
5 meters per roll
Adaptor 5A AC Adaptor

Other than the claim of the 50000 hour lifespan, this is all the documentation.

I got the RGB instead of the white because the RGB came with a remote with with 16 color settings, and dimmer settings. (It also have "Strobe" settings that i won't be using.) The 'white' setting looked 'warm" to me at the store, but seems "blue-white" when used over water; now that I can see the reflection on the water's surface, I can see that the white is the red, blue, and green elements (?)all lit together. It is too bright to look at directly.

From the packaging, it seems that the intended use is mood lighting in bars. The main reason I went with the strips (other than ease of installation) was that the off the self led aquarium lamps all seemed to have either a mix of about 8 blue and white leds, or just a strip of white, and for the same price I could get 300 RGB bulbs in a 5 m strip. None of the clerks could tell me if the off the shelf units were good for plants (language barrier ). I figured at least 1 of the 16 color settings would be what I really needed.

Right now the water is rather cloudy. Turns out the local sand has a lot of pumice (floating volcanic pebbles) and does not do a good job of holding down kitty litter dust. I'm used to my tanks being clouding for the first couple of days anyway. I mention this to say that the cloudy water is diffusing the light, so the plants don't have any shadows at all at the moment. I do think the lighting is pretty saturated though. I'm getting a little "disco effect" out of the back of the tank, but that is form the few bulbs on the turnarounds that are facing backwards.

The lights are cool to the touch, so much so that I had to visually check that I was actually touching them. This is after 5 hours of continuous operation on the highest "white" setting. So heat does not seem to be a problem.

So. It looks nice at the moment, but I'll see if it looks odd when the water clears....

Questions:

1) Is this enough light for plants? What light category: low, mid, high? Too much: should I dim it? Should I run another 5 meters of "warm white" and just use the rgb as a toy? (see below)?


2) plants like red and blue, but don't 'look' good without green.
Does this mean that I should use "white" for display, and purple for day to day growth? Or is that too simplistic? There are purple color settings. I figure I can use the red for viewing nocturnal fish and the blue settings if I want a moonlight effect. The tank is going to be the nightlight between the kids room and the bathroom anyway.

3) Feel free to laugh and use this as a teaching case for what not to do if i have done completely the wrong thing for a diy led conversion.

I'll post pictures later.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 11:22 PM
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I did a lot of experimenting with those LED strips, so you may be able to guess how much PAR you have from the data in https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ant-light.html

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordryg View Post
Hello.

I have a ~66 gallon (1 m x .5 m X.5 m) tank that I use for plants and fish.
So, here are the specifications. If the wording sounds odd, this is marketed in Indonesia.

Krisbow Led Strip.

LED SMD5050 Strips Flexible Light

Operating Voltage: 12v Dc
Input Voltage: 100 - 240 V
LED Qty (1 meter): 60 pcs LED per meter
Power Consumption : 14.4 W per meter
Cutting unit: 3 pcs led ( I didn't cut any and put tape over the gold leads at the end of the tape)

IP Class: IP65
5 meters per roll
Adaptor 5A AC Adaptor



I'll post pictures later.
you used all 5 meters right..
5 =3ft strips at 14.4w/ 3ft (appprox 1M)

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I used all 5 meters. The tape actually came on a spool that looks like an old projector reel.

The hood itself is the heat sink. I can feel some heat if I touch the top of the hood.

The water is starting to clear now and the tank looks well lit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I did a lot of experimenting with those LED strips, so you may be able to guess how much PAR you have from the data in https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ant-light.html
I've read the first 4 pages of that thread.

The tape I have looks similar, but each "bulb" has tiny red, blue, and green led in it. There are 300 "bulbs" in total.

How many par should I want?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-03-2016 at 02:40 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 08:01 PM
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If you want fast plant growth, red plants where the color is intense, and the ability to grow whatever plants interest you, you want high light. You could aim for about 60-70 PAR at the substrate and it would probably meet all of your needs. If you want low maintenance, no requirement to do weekly pruning, and enjoy slow plant growth with minimal algae, you want low light. You could do that with 30-40 PAR at the substrate. Between those limits you could get faster plant growth, etc.

I don't know if the RGB LEDs produce comparable PAR to what the white ones do, so you will be doing some guessing. I would start by assuming the PAR would be close enough to the same and use my data to guess at what I would need.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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I'd like to have enough light for fairly robust growth, and (I know, odd) enough algae to support a few SAE's and a few other "algae eaters". I like the "jungle" look and having to look for camouflaged, less mobile fish. "Hill stream" loaches are easy to get here, and plecos, including bulldogs, are feral here and are commonly caught by kids fishing in the local creek, so sooner or later I'll probably rescue an odd-ball "wild" pleco or two from the local kids, who usually just throw them away. So, I'm expecting to be heavy on algae dependent fish.

The "main show" of the tank will be the plants and a mix of mid-sized tetras, rasboras, and rainbowfish. I won't be aiming for a low ph as rainbows prefer slightly alkaline, but I expect to drift into acid ph on occasion just from the effects of plants and driftwood.

I also tend to like "bottom feeding" fish like gudgeons and corys.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordryg View Post
I'd like to have enough light for fairly robust growth, and (I know, odd) enough algae to support a few SAE's and a few other "algae eaters"
first off, I'm no fan of rgb LED's for planted tanks. Those sub .2w diodes do not seem effcient enough to push photons deep.

secondly running one continuous strip has the electrical problem of high resistance, further degrading the output.
Your better off cutting and wiring each meter separately. And even better tapping both ends (see Hoppys design).

Getting 5m of 5630 LEDs (.5w max per diode) preferably in a warmish color temp and adding them to the array.
Use the RGB to "accent' the color tones you want and to boost PAR as necessary..
Ultra Bright 5M 60W 300 x SMD 5630 Flexible Strip Light 2700 - 3000K Christmas Decor-10.03 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com
Pick a color. you may prefer the cool white if you add driftwood nad have naturally yellow water. warm for a deeper "dark water" tank

W/ the controllers you can adj to whatever you want..
now one last possible "tweak" Those strips are designed (generally speaking) to handle a range of voltages between 12-14V soooo if you want you can boost the output BUT at the cost of 1)added heat and 2)possibly shortening the diodes lifespan..

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not going to be doing any wiring or soldiering. I'm not mechanically inclined. I'll either be adding an off the shelf unit or sticking in more prewired led tape.

The question is, how much is needed?

Maybe I can borrow a par meter from the school photobug?
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conversion, diy, indonesia, led, lighting

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