Custom LED Rig - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Custom LED Rig

I am always playing with trying to get the perfect lighting, and a while ago I got frustrated with how my emerged plants grow along the back of my tanks; growing forward and not straight up. I started experimenting with staggered lighting and I am very happy with the growth patterns I get from this method. This is a 15 gallon with a completely custom built light rig (that needs to be cleaned up a lot; paint, wiring, hardware, etc) right now I have three 15W LED bulbs in the front for the tank, they penetrate to the bottom much better than the LED floodlights I was running. Then I basically moved the 10W LED floodlights I was using to the back, for a total power consumption of 65W (with chinese electronics likely less than a 60W lightbulb). The front and rear rows on are on separate timers, the rear lights are on from 8am-10pm. The front tank lights are on from 8am-noon then again from 4pm-8pm, leaving a 2 hour sunset from 8pm-10pm. When the front lights are off and the rears are on it creates a shimmering effect across the bottom of the tank which is pretty cool because of the angle of the light. The photo you see here is with the front lights off in the afternoon and the rear lights on, the floodlights in the back are much softer than the front 3.

I have done the same with my 5 gallon tall, I have a little lemon button fern in the rear I want to grow straight. This light runs 24/7 since the tank is next to my bed and I really like the shimmering effect. It is only like 1W or something so I am not concerned about the constant running of it, it came out of a 1 gallon Betta tank.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 04:03 AM
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That's a great idea, well thought of. Good work. Would you mind giving some more details on the 15 gallon rig. I am thinking of a drip wall above a 75 gallon and was thinking of using track lights with lamps on gimbals. But I can probably do something like this instead for cheaper. Cheers..
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Sure the 15 gallon is still a project in the works. It has no fish, not aquascaped, and half of the plants along the back have been removed in the process of running down a toxin in my system. I think I have found the source of the toxin in the form of the brass fittings I used in the filtration loop, I have already replaced them with plastic and shrimp and snails seem to be living in it now. I have bought a bag of ADA Aquasoil ready to use on this tank as soon as I gather my hardscape. I plan to stock it with Tetra and a Dwarf Gourami.

As for the filtration loop under the tank...took a lot of saving, gathering and patience over the last year. It starts out with a SunSun 603 canister filter > I upgraded the pump to an Eco 396 > Goes into a CO2 reactor I made from a house water filter canister > Passes through a UV > Through a water change valve > Through a Hydor 200W heater > Back into the tank. I have an auto-topoff system running off a 5 gallon PetCo bucket, I am using a Hydor ATO. The CO2 tank is an aluminum tank with an electric solenoid which runs on one of my light timers.

I am very excited to begin this tank finally, but I am undecided on an aquascape...I need to pillar the center with something to break up the line of sight hoping to encourage tighter schooling.

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