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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATED PICS! I have been using greenhouse lights on my tanks for years, because that is what I have available. But I wish for Kessils. So I took the TaoTronics red/blue spectrum spot lights and taped some crystal chandelier cups over the lenses. I added three 3000K 75watt equivalent- 15 actual watts - warm white LED floods. All of these fit standard clip on desk lamps. The spot lights were way to strong over my tanks last year and burned up plants, so I put them back in the greenhouse, or used them for effects in my home and on my tanks. I am hoping the crystal cups will disperse the light enough to keep from burning plants. There is a lot of shimmer, and I am covering the most important parts of usable spectrum for the plants. It doesn't look exactly like a kessil, but with a little more white LED I may be able to duplicate the look. I have too much red still. I have 7 LED lights on the 55, and 5 on the 29g. Some closer to the surface, and the floods a little further from the surface. Each bulb cost me about 10 - 15 dollars last year. The floods I took off of the barn. The horses don't read at night any more. And nobody cares about the chandelier in the dining room.

Tanks look crappy since I have been messing with them today. UPDATED PICS: much better!




 

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How are these working out for you @AWolf? How much do you think you have invested per tank? I admire your outside the box thinking for sure. Push that envelope!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How are these working out for you @AWolf? How much do you think you have invested per tank? I admire your outside the box thinking for sure. Push that envelope!!
Thanks. I'm loving the look. Plants are growing well, along with my diy dry ferts. There is probably 120 dollars in lights over the 55g. It's a ridiculous amount of lights, 7 total in clip ons. The crystal cups make the spots work well so far by spreading the otherwise blinding plant killing intensity. Not seeing any more algae than usual. I still want more 'white' light for aesthetics. I'm thinking a cool white outdoor led rope light wrapped under the rim somehow. Because I can't get the same even spread of light like a single fixture, I'm considering putting some clear crystal plates over the top of the tank somehow. The Rockafellers don't come to dinner anymore. Those plates just sit around looking pretty, why not put them to good use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
June 8, 2016

My attempt at a ‘Poor Man’s Kessil’ has begun to burn plants. So I put four LED bulbs on my 55, 2 white and 2 red/blue, covered them all with glass ‘saucers’ and four layers of wax paper. I did the same on the 29g with 1 whte and two red/blue. I am amazed at how the LED’s shine even more brightly (it seems) with all the covering I have on them. I hope they stop burning my plants now.





https://aquariumexperiments.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/20160608-wax-paper-over-leds-004.jpg[img/]
[img]https://aquariumexperiments.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/20160608-wax-paper-over-leds-006.jpg



































 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah, to the devil with it all. I just pulled all that crap off the lights and put them 2.5 feet off the surface. I hate having light that far off of the tank because it washes out everything around it, and the tank isn't as 'striking' to the eye. But I don't care anymore. I just want to make these LED's do the job of growing plants.

I wish I could go back to the CFL's. But I am determined to make LED's (the 15 dollar bulb type) work for my tanks.
 
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