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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a light project in mind for the new year and I have a question or two.

I would like to make a 4' light for my 90 gallon, which as of now is fish only. In the future I would hope to switch that tank into a medium to heavy planted so I need to build the light strong enough for any upgrades I may do later on.

I'm going to use heavy gague sheet metal and have the whole thing copper plated once its all done for a nice classy look. I was hoping to use LED's but im not exactly electronically inclined when it comes to building and LED setup from scratch. I planned on going and easier route and build a fixture to house 2 or these (http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-...=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/t8tubes.htm#photos) bulbs, along with some midnight glow leds down the center.

Would bulbs like that be sufficient for a medium-large planted tank? They are quite low wattage, that was my main concern.
 

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Honestly, it's going to be hard too do a DIY light fixture too beat some of the reasonably priced brands. Also if you aren't that electronically inclined even with those fixtures you will still have too do some wiring and what not. Somebody with LED experience will be able to chime in, but I don't think those are the same "type" of LED's as you are looking for for your fish tank use, they seem more decorative by the looks of the gallery.

You can pick up a 4' t5ho light fixture for 89.99 at fishneedit or a 4' 4 light fixture which will definitely give you high tech for 149.99
 

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I can help you decide how many LEDs you will need. One easy way is that you tell me how much T5 wattage you think would be good for your tank and I can reply you back with the anmount of LEDs that will yield equivalent amount of useful light for you tank.

We already have some parameters here:
1)You want to keep fish only in the mean time
2)You will want to keep plants in the future, so it's best the light system can dim and adjust color tone
3)Your tank is a 90G 4' tank, so is it 48x18x24(H) or 48x24x18(H), there may be commercial products that are available for that and thus you don't have to DIY.
4)You are not electrically inclined, but can you solder wires at all? Do you have bad eyes, not function tactile fingers, shaky hands? If you can solder, the wiring is not an issue as long as you can read instructions. I can get you pretty detail instructions to DIY and a parts list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scratch the "fish only" first off. I gave it some though, and there wouldnt be much point in starting a fish only setup for the time being, only having to tear down and restart. More thought will be put prior, so it will start lightly/medium planted, in short time going to medium/heavily planted. Pressurized Co2 is also in the tanks future.

Secondly, I am quite mechanically and electronically inclined. BUT, I haven't the slightest idea where to being when it comes to LED fixtures. I was hoping to go the LED route for efficiency, low power consumption, and eliminating the need for bulb changes.

The project started with looking for a new fixture, but finding nothing that had the look that I wanted. So I thought, maybe a DIY is in order. Would it better for me to possibly take a T5 fixture and change the workings over into my own housing?


then again, I do love to DIY...
 
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