Will's First Tank - Modded Fluval Edge - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Will's First Tank - Modded Fluval Edge

I thought I'd share the progress of my cycling Fluval Edge while I plan out my plants and arrangement.

Got my LEDs and housings in yesterday, and had a chance to wire everything up this evening. "Waterproofed" the connections with hot glue after crimping and sealing everything back up - no wires!

I specifically wanted to keep the Halogen lights that came with the aquarium for a few reasons. I checked out the 27W fluorescent mod that is going around with a Home Depot lamp, and decided the light was too cold and flat. Probably great for growing, but back when I was working in a gallery in NYC we used to use a combination of warm / cool lights to draw attention to certain works of art - the eyes naturally goes towards warmth.

Using LEDs allows me to "flood" the tank with light, and get a more even coverage across the bottom, but the halogens really draw your eyes - I'll plan my focal points around their beams. If things still seem too cold I'll switch to warm white LEDs. Right now I'm calculating total lumens at around 464 - between 30-40 Lux/sq in (watts are useless when calculating LEDs). Should be able to grow high light level plants, I think.

Right now I'm thinking glosso for carpeting, possibly adding HC, xmas moss or pygmy sword. Glosso seems to grow real fast and is so seductive! Perhaps some hairgrass around the rocks.

Any recommendations out there for a high growing grass for the back?

One thing that nobody seems to mention - the Halogen lights seem designed for dual purpose, both as light and heat source. When they're on my tank climbs a good 5 deg F. I get to keep that heat this way and not add another wire to my kit. Though I'm considering the custom Fluval Edge 25W heater, 78 is warmer than most plants like, right? Any thoughts out there?

Finally, I notice a sort of "fogginess" to my water - my tank is still cycling, and NO3 is just beginning to rise. Anyone guess what's causing it? I'm barely 10 days in to my cycle.

Here are some pics of the guppies and tetras, hard to photograph! Also, my custom lighting solution. Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Oops - forgot to attach picture of the mod. Here it is! Let me know what you think.

Also, I realize that there are exposed electrical circuits on the LED bulbs. I would not recommend using this style of unshielded bulb. I have shielded bulbs coming in the mail in the next few days, so I'll swap these out then.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:31 PM
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Nice work, post more pics of the DIY if you have them.

In terms of higher grasses, the Edge is such a short tank, that the taller forms of DHG (like E. Acicularis) could work in the back. Mine is still growing in but looks like it will eventually cover 1/2 - 2/3 of the height of the tank.

In terms of HC, I'm not sure you have enough light. The popular light mod for the Edge (LEDs + a 10W CFL) is probably pushing around 700-800 lumens (160 x 2 for each LED bulb and 500ish for the 10W CFL; I'm making an arbitrary adjustment for reflector losses given the CFL emits light 360 degrees around the bulb).

The cloudy water is probably just a bacterial bloom related to the new tank cycle and should pass relatively quickly.

Welcome to the Edge community and keep us posted on your progress.


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45g ADA 90p (early days)
2g Do!Aqua cube (unplanted for now)

Edge Tuning: 26W lighting conversion -
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- lunar lights
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 04:02 PM
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Great ideas for your edge. I second you posting some more info and pics on your DIY setup with the two LEDs you added. What kind of substrate do you have? You may be getting that cloudiness from your substrate not being thoroughly rinsed enough before you put it in the tank. It'll eventually clear up. I had that issue with gravel I used for a substrate a long time ago on my 38g. You can also play around with sloping your substrate a little or smoothing it out when you start to aquascape. I have probably 2 to 3 times the amount of substrate in mine.

As for the temperature. Those lights do heat up the water. They get crazy hot. You can stick a heater in your HOB to keep the water temp consistent if you decide to add a heater instead of relying on the heat from the lights. I run the smaller hydor in my HOB and my temp is usually around 72 to 74 degrees. Great for the moss I grow. And best of all I don't have to see the heater. I also keep a floating thermometer in the HOB. Best of luck to you.

-el g

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AQUATIC GAZETTE FEATURE

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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As requested, here are two shots of the lighting mod I was working on. For some reason, the images loaded upside down!

I managed to crack open the lighting housing by removing the 4 screws in the halogen light fixtures, and then prop open the housing enough to pull out the stock wiring. After removing the crimped connector (the clear one poking out of the housing on the lower left) I crimped the wires along with my additions and hot glued the ends to increase their "waterproofiness" (blue crimped connecter on the lower right) The new wires were pulled through some holes I had predrilled and hot glued in place to new M11 sockets. After some struggle, I was able to tuck all the new wires back into the housing and screw the halogen sockets back down.

Thanks, Tonar and El G, for the advice on the cloudiness. Once I get plants in there, I'll stick with 50% water changes weekly and hopefully that will clear things up. I agree that it was probably due to not washing the substrate well enough. I have a 10 more pounds of river pebbles coming from petco soon, so this time I'll was it up.

I realize that I'm doing this all bass-akwards, adding substrate after the fish, but thats the jow of being a newbie!

I'm thinking the tank may be a little low light for the glosso I ordered, too, so I'm planning to ziptie a fluorescent 7w to the front of the fixture.

Any fertilizer recommendations out there for glosso?



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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 06:46 PM
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Fantastic descriptions of your upgrades. I'm working out how I want to go about my upgrades as well but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to tackle my own electrical work so I'm limited in my abilities. Looking forward to seeing your progress
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