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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been lurking for a while. New tank is going to be a stag peacock tank with some plants. Time to ask some questions
I just got a used 115 48x18x31. I already removed and replaced the silicone tested and all good well still sitting full on my front porch. Will start building my new stand tomorrow. I have been looking at a DIY 24 CREE XP LED set 12 white 12 blue with dual drivers. My concern is if it will be enough light with the depth of the tank. I have used VHO and PC's. This LED stuff is all new to me. Any thoughts welcome.
 

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I don't know that we have any regulars on here that have done a deep tank DIY Cree LED setup as of yet. Your best bet would be to peruse some of the saltwater forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I have been looking all over the place. I really would love not having to replace bulbs every 6 months and saving all that money for better gear. I know some have 24" deep tanks. I figured someone had used LED lights on one and could give me some tips. I may have to be the guinea pig on this one.

Anyone else? Oh well back to building my stand.
 

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here is my thought, and its only a very newb thought as I am looking into doing something with LED. Being from an automotive background and having Showcars, neon, and LED lights really made for good displays at indoor and nighttime shows...I am scouring craigslist for a cheap used led undercar kit, or other led or possibly neon lights, and will use a couple of old cell phone chargers, and cut off the end, and solder on to the lights. this is only for a 65 gallon tall though for our tank, and if it works, we will use it for a couple others possibly.
 

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The highest tank i have lit with led has been 20" tall but the led penetrates to the substrate. I see no reason not to use them on your tank. Are you attempting live plants or a planted tank? Your comment about 6 months makes me say planted tank. FWIW, you dont have to change t5ho every 6 months. Even the planted tank guys say a year but really, there areways to use them till they burn out as well. If you are just attempting a few plants you could think about some higher powered led spotlights...
 

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If you are going to use Cree xp-e or -g lights you will be fine. Spend the money on good drivers and Heat sinks, ensure there is proper air movement abd you will get long life and the most efficient.

I am running AI sols on a 100 gal 60x18x24...more than enough light at the substrate for even a heavily planted tank even at 40 percent for 8 hours like I am running. Granted they are 72 watt 30 led fixtures, but you can broswe reef central for some par readings..Some guys are getting 200 at the substrate under 24 inches of water with fixtures hung at 12"...

Things to remember...even without optics, a "flood" setup, they still are rather spotlight-ish...optics will help to give a more uniform spread and allow you to keep most of the light in the tank. The good cree units will provide plenty of light, sp you can use the height over the water to adjust the light coverage.

Also I don't think 24 LEDs will give you very good coverage, it will light the tank just not evenly. That's the biggest drawback to led tech is you may have more than enough wattage, and possibly coverage, but it gets uneven and appears spotty easily. There ar some charts on some of the sw forums showing how coverage works. I would do two rows of 16, 10 or 12 each row white, the rest blue. 12 and 12 will be very blue. My tank is 18" deep and I just have the one row of fixtures and with optics I get perfect coverage front to back. But each fixture is two rows of pucks.

I also highly recommend dimmable drivers. Led with that sort of setup provides a lot more light than you realize and can grow algae quick and your fish may not like it. Also remember the color rendition as it appears in photos will be different, very different to your eye. A lot of guys change their color settings to suit the camera for pictures then switch back after because of that. So don't "judge a book by it's cover" as it's often hard to see on camera.

If you can try to see a setup in person at a saltwater store just so you can get idea. Also peruse the hundreds of DIY threads on reefcentral for lots of help and good tips and pictures.

My ai sol build thread is in the equipment and supplies section--"bringing high tech led lighting to the freshwater world"...sorry I don't have any links a lotta work to do on an iPhone
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all. I didn't get to look back yesterday. I was setting things up, 115 gals. is a lot of RO water. I will be running a line to the tank LOL! Yes I will be planting the tank like the look and free filter. Whats not to like? My real concerns are will I have enough light and don't want it to have a spot light effect.
 

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The best way to avoid the spotlighting effect is just to buy good fixtures, or do a lot of research. If you "overlight" as far as coverage goes and then dim down as far as lumen/par goes, it will work out. It's easily possible.
 

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edited...apologies...subscribed to see what you come up with though :thumb:
 
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