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220 Stand canopy and Custom LED lighting build.

Postby mattwhoo » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:37 pm

Hello boys and girls. I am building a new stand and canopy for a 220 gallon tank I purchased from Craigslist. The tank has dual corner overflows. It was a saltwater tank at one one point but I'm turning it back into an cichlid tank for now. I may possibly convert it back to saltwater once i feel like spending a ton more money. I also wanted to build my own LED Lighting so I borrowed a lot of ideas from the reef central boards as well as used there stand calculator. I have no clue what I'm putting in it yet. I'm open for suggestions. Right now I have a 125 that had about 30 ps. saulosi. Over the past 6 years or so they have dwindled down to about 8. I was a slacker and did not take any real pictures of the assembly. Enough yapping here are some pictures.

Here is the original Sketchup I did of the stand
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Here is the stand I went with an eggshell black.
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Another
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Here is one of the doors. I got them from rawdoors .com I don't really have the tools to build them. Everything else was done with a drill screws and a compound miter saw.
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Here are the custom LED lights. Way overkill for a cichlid tank but my wife like then to be nice and bright. They are 3 Watt Cree LED's 24 Cool White and 24 Royal Blue. Each Channel is on a separate dimmer and can be dialed in that what ever i want.
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Here is the top of the lights with the LED drivers and my wiring that need to be cleaned up before I install them in the canopy.
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The lights and pumps heaters are all going to be controlled by a arduino micro controller. Again way overkill but I'm a geek and i like stuff like that.

Here is a pic of the canopy its sitting on top of the tank but its on backwards.
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The top swings open and the lights will be mounted to the top of the canopy. The holes are for some cooling fans for the LED's. I have 2 50Lb Gas assist springs that will be mounted to make the canopy easy to open and close for cleaning and water changes.
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Here is a side view of the canopy you can see how it opens.
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Here is the stand with the doors and hardware attached
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I still have some work to do and need to track down some help to move this sucker into the house. I also have to paint the room it's going into before moving it. I will update with some more pictures when i am done. Let me know what you think.

Matt
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Postby ChadRamsey » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:41 pm

wow. very impressive. great work
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Postby Bradyk » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:52 pm

Very nice! That design looks very fimilar to another one I've seen on here. Looks great and man that canopy must be heavy. Did you frame it up using 2x4's?
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Postby PfunMo » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:06 pm

Very nice work. I like the dark painted style.

Two small things to consider if they are worth it to you or not. I found opening the lid to feed twice every day was irritating. I have since added a small open port to the top of my canopy to drop food into the tank. Lazy, maybe, but I like it. Second thought depends on where the tank might be. I found light leaking through the joint where top and bottom close was not what I liked so I added a small strip of lattice inside to overlap the joint. It keeps most of the light from shining into the room so that everybody saw the joint first thing.

If you do put a feeding port in, try to not get it too close to the tank edge as I did. The food tends to wind up on top of the tank edge until I open the top and it falls in the floor. I learned a lesson but not big enough to want to change it.

Good luck with the rest of the project. Looking good so far. :thumb:
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Postby The King Crabb » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:12 am

Loving it so far, excellent work =D>
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Postby mattwhoo » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 am

Bradyk wrote:Very nice! That design looks very fimilar to another one I've seen on here. Looks great and man that canopy must be heavy. Did you frame it up using 2x4's?


I stole the molding design from a stand build I found here I think. The stand is 2x4 with a 2x8 for the top beam. Skinned in 3/4 !@#$ plywood from lowes. I used the stand calculator from here

Here is a shot of the back to get an idea.
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Two small things to consider if they are worth it to you or not. I found opening the lid to feed twice every day was irritating. I have since added a small open port to the top of my canopy to drop food into the tank. Lazy, maybe, but I like it. Second thought depends on where the tank might be. I found light leaking through the joint where top and bottom close was not what I liked so I added a small strip of lattice inside to overlap the joint. It keeps most of the light from shining into the room so that everybody saw the joint first thing.


I have Gas assist springs in the lid so it can easily open it one handed and it stays opened. Just like the things they use on the trunk of a car. Also the LED's have 60 deg lenses on them so they don't leak out to much from the top or side but i will have to wait for the final assembly to tell for sure.
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Postby dark SSide » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:46 am

How difficult was the led fixture to make. Any chance there is a write up coming? I would love to make or buy (hint hint, lol) a fixture like that.

Stand and canopy look great, can't wait to see the finished product.

Thanks in advance,
Josh
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Postby WaWaZat » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:43 pm

Yes, tell us about the lighting construction. I am looking to buy or build a LED daylight/moonlight system for my 110, 72" Oscar tank. Do you have any light output specs on the light design you've built? Will this lighting system be appropriate for growing plants?
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Postby Vadimshevchuk » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:22 pm

Beautiful build so far. Love the deep thought on the quality of lights and stand. :thumb:
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Postby DrgRcr » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:04 am

Looking very nice! :thumb:
125g Mbuna-Labs,Rusties,Acei,Afra,Fuelleborni, Syno Multi
72g All Male Peacock/Hap
55g-WC Metriaclima Elongatus Chailosi
20g Tang.- L. Multifasciatus
40br,20g,10g,5.5g-Various fry/growouts
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Postby stevenp » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:29 pm

ya tell us bout the lite system, nice job on the tank :thumb:
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Postby mattwhoo » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:35 pm

For the lighting I wanted something that was nice an bright and more of the color of the saltwater tanks. I did most of my research on reef central. This is the kit i ended up going with. The LED's are 3 watt Cree LED's and are very bright. I would think you could grow plants but i have no idea on the number you would need. I know the saltwater guys are growing photosynthetic corals and stuff under them however they seem to usually have more lights. I don't have any type of meter but I did try them out over my 125 when I was done building them and they looked killer. The fish really pop with the addition of the blue LED's .This is the framing / heatsink I used for the LED's. They sell all kinds of brackets to hook it together as well. the other nice thing is that it gave me a place to tuck in the wiring into the grove in the framing. They don't produce much heat but they do get hot and have to be mounted to some type of heatsink or they will burn out. With out any fans I was easily able to hold the aluminum support with no problem. Again these are over kill for this tank but i wanted something that was dim-able and able to use a micro controller with. I have it setup with a slow ramp up and ramp down to simulate sunrise and sunset. The blues come on about 15 minutes before the whites and over the course of an hour go to 100%. I don't have any moon lights but I will probably add some in the future. I can also add another row or two of lights if i wanted with out to much issue. As far a construction goes just need some basic soldering skills and a multimeter. The LED drivers(power supply) are able to light 12-14 LED's each. I didn't take any pictures of putting it together but I can answer any questions you may have. I will be mounting them back into the canopy after dinner and will put up some pics of them all lit up.

Matt
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Postby vann59 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:53 pm

PfunMo wrote:Very nice work. I like the dark painted style.

If you do put a feeding port in, try to not get it too close to the tank edge as I did. The food tends to wind up on top of the tank edge until I open the top and it falls in the floor. I learned a lesson but not big enough to want to change it.


That sounds like it would be easy to fix with a little wedge shaped 'ramp' or a chute to direct the food.
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Postby mattwhoo » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:59 pm

Here are some pictures of the lights mounted in the canopy

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Here is a picture of the Gas assist springs for opening the top. there is one on each side. also shows how the lights are mounted to the top with some u bolts. you can see my 10 different mounting positions for the springs. Once I actually looked at the mounting instructions from where I got them from, they work like a champ.
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here are the LED's lit up. The picture does them no justice on how darn bright they are.
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This is the canopy open for feeding / cleaning with everything installed. The gas springs hold it open at 90 degrees. With out them the top is very heavy and unruly.
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Here is a shot from the side with it open.
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Postby The King Crabb » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:23 am

Very nice work! =D> Can't wait to see pictures of that thing with water in it! :popcorn:
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