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During lockdown I had to tear down all my aquariums in order to pay for the bills after I lost my job. I live in Australia and now have the time and money to get back into the hobby. I'm going to set up a 75g planted aquarium. As of now I have everything other than lights, fish, and plants ready for the set up. Aquarium lights for planted aquariums are expensive and are way over my budget. So, I intend to make a diy aquarium light using led strips that my local aquarium sells. They sell red, green, and blue led strips for $11 per foot. I intend to do 50% red, 35% green, and 15% blue. My only question is, is any led strip okay for a planted aquarium? I'm pretty sure that its okay but this aquarium mostly sell saltwater equipment and fish.

Anyway, any answers to my question or any further advice on lighting would be highly appreciated.
 

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Hi i've been using led strip lights for my planted tanks for awhile now to very good success .
I use 6500k (daylight spectrum cool)
5730 leds are the most light efficient smd leds right now.
these LEDs have the potential to put out 50 lm at .5 W. However because of the heat on strips they get run at lower current levels so they stay much cooler. So instead they pack more of them in.

Every 14 inches was 5.6 watts.
I did 3 over my 18 high 10G shrimp tank. Even with no co2 my plants are very well with lots of reds.

i bought a 5 m reel from amazon for 18$.cad
some blues and reds would be good in there but so far it hasn't needed it.









 
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Thanks Botta. I checked my local fish shop and the strips they were selling were 5730 leds and 3528 led strips. I think I'll get the 5730 strips. Thanks a lot man. I think I would get some blue, red, and green leds. Is it true that if you mix these colours the light will be white? Because if so, I won't be getting any of the white lights they sell there. my last question is, since the led strips are not water proof or condensation proof, how should I protect it? @BOTIA how did you make ur cover for ur light?
 

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Just use LED tube lights. You can remove the white diffuser. This works out to be the best source of light if you are on a budget. You can zip-tie them together so you have one big flat light panel. If you use individual plugs and switches you can have some control on the intensity by turning individual tube lights off. 4 tube lights on a 75 gallon tank should be enough. Check the color temperature and lumens to ensure you have got the right ones.
 

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Thanks Botta. I checked my local fish shop and the strips they were selling were 5730 leds and 3528 led strips. I think I'll get the 5730 strips. Thanks a lot man. I think I would get some blue, red, and green leds. Is it true that if you mix these colours the light will be white? Because if so, I won't be getting any of the white lights they sell there. my last question is, since the led strips are not water proof or condensation proof, how should I protect it? @BOTIA how did you make ur cover for ur light?

If you mix individual red green and blue it will look not look white. it will look weird.
Better to go with white and then an rgb strip to Supplement.
what what I do which is much harder I de solder some of the chips and replace them with other colours.
in this pic you can see the orange LEDs I replaced white ones with.
They are grow spectrum blue/red (pink) leds I bought 2 dzn 5730 bare smd chips to mod and diy strips.




The hood for this aquarium already had the clear plastic cover that was removable. It was a very easy hood to retrofit.
I measured the lumen output I'm getting 3200 lumens approx .
That works out to 94 lm per liter. Which is fairly highlight. I may end up dimming them a bit Through the nicrew ramp timer.

I may replace some white ones with a few green ones to get the greens to pop a little bit more and pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Botia. I will get white strips and get red, blue, and green leds as Supplements
 
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