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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I've been planning a new tank as part of a remodelling project for a couple of years and am finally about ready to pull the trigger.

I'd been planning to use two BuildMyLED fixtures (plus something as yet undefined for moon light), but just found out that they have moved on from the aquarium market, so am obviously having to come up with Plan B!

I really want something dimmable (color change would be nice, but not essential) and preferably controllable from one of the various aquarium micro-controllers (or even something custom). I'd prefer dim white for moonlight to the (to my eyes) somewhat unrealistic blue. It will have to be bright, as the tank is going to be around 32" deep. The tank will be built in to custom cabinetry, so the lights will need to be suspended (or at least mounted from above).

It looks like custom lighting is out with BuildMyLED gone, so I'm entirely open to suggestions as to viable alternatives.

I've seen the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 and the Current-USA Satellite LED Plus Pro, and they both look like they might do the job, at least mostly, but with needing 2 or 3 fixtures for this tank, I'd prefer something I can control from a single source.

Any thoughts / experience with something roughly similar?

Thanks very much,

Paul
 

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You can chain together Kessils lights and controller them with their own controller, I control mine with an Apex. The 160 and 360 Tuna Sun you can adjust the intensity and color either with a controller, or with the knobs on top. You can make your own controller since they are controlled with 0-10 volt. I would recommend the 360 just because of the depth of the tank. How long is the tank? Take a look at my journal in my signature and feel free to ask any questions.

Here is an album of the colors and intensities. Pictures really don't show the true color/intensity, but it's better than nothing I guess.

Kessil Adjustments
 

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Go for DIY. RapidLED has everything, including a controller that costs only $65 that does way more than you will ever use. Super easy setup. There are at least 3 builds with pictures on APC.
For $200 you can have enough light to grow anything in a 6 ft long 2 ft tall tank - PAR 160 on the bottom if you want (you will find that is an overkill, but very nice for a mid-day burst for an hour or so).
 

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Aquatic Life Halos or Radion XR15FW would meet your needs. Might take a look at reefbreeders as well; they can have the adjustability and brightness that you want. Reefbreeders are very reef centric, but in the past, they have customize freshwater spectrum fixtures for people around here, not sure if they can still do that with the Photon V2 or not . . .

I went DIY with a bluefish controlling the whole thing - it is a lot more work than off the shelf, but cost less than all of the options listed (similar cost to a Reefbreeders Photon 24), and gives me exactly the options I wanted (none of the others quite did that). I can get 130 PAR at the substrate with the light 5" above the water in my 18" deep tank (90P), run a warm, reddish sunset, a bright white (any color temp I want) noon, and a dim blue-white moonlight.

-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions, some great looking options there that I hadn't found!

The tank is a bit of a weird shape (it fits diagonally in a corner of the room):

From the discussion so far, it looks like if I went with the Kessil A360WE (for example) I'd probably want 6 or 7 (I'm thinking two rows, one at the front, one towards the back, probably 4 in the front row, 3 in the back, or something along those lines). If I did that, what would I do for moonlight, perhaps 2 A160WEs?

Thanks again guys, this has already been incredibly helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
consider the AP 700 (about 2) instead of any of the above..
next gen full spectrum
Kessil AP700 LED Aquarium Light
I looked at the AP 700, the only thing that makes me nervous is it is only programmable via their own app, I think I like the idea of the lighting being locally programmable with a separate controller so that I can always upgrade in the future, should somebody's cloud service go away. I'd prefer totally locally controlled, but some of the features of the cloud controllers are of interest too.
 

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Funny, I have the same "problem" w/ the Bluefish mini... Cloud only service..
Might want to check in w/ Kessil though:
I contacted Kessil, and they say Apex integration is on the way, but not for a while. They are busy working on getting their iPhone and andriod apps right now. They didn't give any indication of when Apex integration would be ready.
Being Apex ready wouldn't be exactly "universal" though..
Few "boxed units" are universal w/ out a lot of futzing....

you might want to check out the Radion xr-15fw..
5 units w/ the wide angle option may do it as well..

DSunY panels come to mind as well..

Or Halo's
One "master" and a few slave units..dual lenses to choose from come standard:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+10704+32268&pcatid=32268

sorry no matter how I try I can not "recommend" "Normal Freshwater Kessils".. Too "color restrictive".. Just me though..;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Funny, I have the same "problem" w/ the Bluefish mini... Cloud only service.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm still leaning towards my original plan of a totally locally controlled system, using a local Apex controller. If they added that to the AP700 that might work, I'll get in touch and see what they are up to.

Lots of nice lights (thanks for the additional suggestions), just seems local control of intensity / color isn't the current fashion...
 

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The 0-10V dimming "standard" is a huge constraint on the LED builds for our purposes..
The conflict between DIY using LDD's and many Aduino based controllers (native PWM outputs) and "industry standard" (and restrictive as to no "dim to zero") is quite annoying..
It is like VHS is winning again.. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 0-10V dimming "standard" is a huge constraint on the LED builds for our purposes..
The conflict between DIY using LDD's and many Aduino based controllers (native PWM outputs) and "industry standard" (and restrictive as to no "dim to zero") is quite annoying..
It is like VHS is winning again.. ;)
Yeah, I know what you mean, and the preponderance of (high end) lighting fixtures having no external means of control certainly doesn't help!

You take your VHS, I'm going Laser Disk. Oh, wait...
 

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Well smaller lights (constant voltage arrays) can be "Apexed" pretty easily
One of these will "apex" a Beamswork/Finnex ect but restricted to 1 channel.. w/ out more work..
Apparently the Fluval 2.0 can be easily split.. and not have to cut the internal circuit.. ;)
Problem is propitiatory(or hard to find) plug..

Where there is a will there is a way.......... ;)

Radion is "apex ready" so they say.........
EcoTech Marine Radion XR15w Pro LED Light Fixture

Just an FYI.. Simple circuit to convert the Apex 0-10V to 5V PWM dim signal
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2233963
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Radion is "apex ready" so they say.........
The Radion XR15FW looks interesting, but again, as far as I can see, only cloud controllable, not locally (i.e. connected to an Apex), or am I missing something (which is entirely possible!)?

Bump:
The Radion XR15FW looks interesting, but again, as far as I can see, only cloud controllable, not locally (i.e. connected to an Apex), or am I missing something (which is entirely possible!)?
Yup, I'm missing something lol: http://www.neptunesystems.com/vortech-wireless-module-wxm/
 

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I love my radion on are salt tank. Have never tried on planted tank. Was going to but wife decided didn't want a planted cube.

But being able to adjust each individual light color is nice and they cover a nice area for a small light.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm missing something lol:
Me too, thought Ecoxotic was going out of the aquarium business..
anyways their "Cannons" are "Apex compatible"

Cannon Pro LED pendants which feature a dimmable LED driver accept the following type of
control signals; 1-10V dc, 10V PWM signal and Resistance. Please refer to the Meanwell HBG160
specification sheet for more information on 10V PWM and resistance signals
8000K/R/G/B
Cannon PRO 120 LED Pendant

You can check Orphek as well..
 

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