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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to do an LED system on my 72" 110 gal. It's acrylic so it has a top which the lights would sit on and have to penetrate through. I also have a good sized canopy to hide everything. The aquascape is a beach theme so I'd like to get it sunshine bright in there. I will also have a few live plants so I'd need plant appropriate LEDs. I would also like to be able to set up a sunshine - moonlight - off cycle on a timer... or maybe even add a sunrise & sunset scene to that (if possible).

What makes an LED ok or not ok for plants?

Can an LED system that's too bright cause algae probs?

Is there a good box system that handles all this or would this post be more appropriate for the DIY section? ... I'm handy with a soldering iron as long as I have a plan or detailed schematic.
 

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I know from experience that LED's can provide enough light for algae. Particularly if you want them to provide for plants.

We'll see what you get in the way of responses, and I'll move the thread, if need be.
 

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WaWaZat
decide whether you want spotlights or a fully lit tank, order the appropriate sized kits from someone like rapidled.com, get started... it's a very simple project. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Number6 said:
WaWaZat
decide whether you want spotlights or a fully lit tank, order the appropriate sized kits from someone like rapidled.com, get started... it's a very simple project. :thumb:
I didn't realize there were kits! I'll take a look at that site... any other good sources? I suppose spotlights would give me shadowing and fully lit might be more of the beach scene I'm after. Does the same decision have to made separately for moonlights?

Is there a certain type of LED that should be used for plants or is it all about the lumens or brightness? How much is too much in the interest of controlling algae?
 

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There are several out of the box solutions that will fit your need, but all are expensive. Not sure what you are looking to spend.

AI Sol, Vertix, pac-sun, the new Key K3 dimmables, maxxspect, etc. but they all cost

Timing control with DIY kits is relatively easy, dimming not so much. Dimming even on the nicer fixtures adds a large part of the cost.

LEDs can quite easily grow plants and provide enough output--you just need to look for the best spectrum coverage (a lot of the Cree xp white LEDs are slightly lacking in the red/amber realm that helps freshwater plants) or offset it if you DIY by ensuring you have a mix of White red/amber and yellow to suit your tastes and good spectral coverage. There are some very nice DIY kits out there, they still aren't cheap...but on my next tank (probably salt) I will be doing DIY to experiment

the Key K3 dimmable has a "color strip" that allows you to choose from the RGBVY range to augment the white lighting and can also be ordered in a custom "freshwater" 6-8500K range. I was told abotu a 7-10 day wait to have one made at no extra cost

the Maxxspect seem to be a bit better of a fixture when it comes to lighting, but are not dimmable and cost a bit more. However they have customizable LED "pucks" os you can change the colors out as you please
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
paradigmsk8er said:
There are several out of the box solutions that will fit your need, but all are expensive. Not sure what you are looking to spend.

AI Sol, Vertix, pac-sun, the new Key K3 dimmables, maxxspect, etc. but they all cost

Timing control with DIY kits is relatively easy, dimming not so much. Dimming even on the nicer fixtures adds a large part of the cost.

LEDs can quite easily grow plants and provide enough output--you just need to look for the best spectrum coverage (a lot of the Cree xp white LEDs are slightly lacking in the red/amber realm that helps freshwater plants) or offset it if you DIY by ensuring you have a mix of White red/amber and yellow to suit your tastes and good spectral coverage. There are some very nice DIY kits out there, they still aren't cheap...but on my next tank (probably salt) I will be doing DIY to experiment

the Key K3 dimmable has a "color strip" that allows you to choose from the RGBVY range to augment the white lighting and can also be ordered in a custom "freshwater" 6-8500K range. I was told abotu a 7-10 day wait to have one made at no extra cost

the Maxxspect seem to be a bit better of a fixture when it comes to lighting, but are not dimmable and cost a bit more. However they have customizable LED "pucks" os you can change the colors out as you please
These ARE some pricey systems. And I see a lot of them look bluish or very white. I am hoping to achieve a natural sunny day look. How is this done with LEDs?

Can a reliable system be built for much less cost than these systems? Where can I get info?
 

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WaWaZat
LED is going to be expensive, but yes... a rapidled kit is cheaper than a purchased 'complete' unit.

For freshwater, you can use a small number of blues, a small numbr of reds and the rest, nice bright white. Freshwater plants grow like crazy... without the reds, plants get tall and 'leggy' as the plants think they need to grow towards the blue light!

For 24 3W LEDs and two seperate drivers, I've just spent under $300... a bunch of locals ordered directly from china and bought the FEDY stuff and spent less... I'm not technical enough to go from scratch so I stuck with
diy kits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Number6 said:
WaWaZat
LED is going to be expensive, but yes... a rapidled kit is cheaper than a purchased 'complete' unit.

For freshwater, you can use a small number of blues, a small numbr of reds and the rest, nice bright white. Freshwater plants grow like crazy... without the reds, plants get tall and 'leggy' as the plants think they need to grow towards the blue light!

For 24 3W LEDs and two seperate drivers, I've just spent under $300... a bunch of locals ordered directly from china and bought the FEDY stuff and spent less... I'm not technical enough to go from scratch so I stuck with
diy kits.
I didn't see an aquarium specific kit on the RapidLED site... can you point me to how you've configured & mounted, etc, this?

Are there threads, info and instructs somewhere that have this info you're talking about for growing plants and the "FEDY" stuff? I'd also like to see some pix or video of what these combinations of LEDs look like... again, I'm looking for a natural sunny day type lighting.
 

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I think FEDY is the name of the company that makes the drivers.
WaWaZat
I'll get you some photos tonight. No pics handy at the moment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just to give a visual of what I am doing, here's a pic. No plants yet but there will probably be some tall, woodsy type plants in the left back corner (opposite side of surf board) and a few others in the left half that will emulate switch grass and other types of beach type plants. Again, I am looking for natural sunlight lighting for a sunny day look with a moonlight option. A sunrise & sunset option would be a bonus. And since, I've found out that Oscars don't like full sunlight, so maybe I might have to have a cloudy day option too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, busy summer and back to the aquarium project! I've really gotta get some lights on my tank. Hoping to get some advice on lighting my tank to look like a sunny day at the beach then into a nice moonlit night.

#6, any pix handy on your rig yet?

Hoping to do nice but keep it cost effective. Would love to have the above info given on RapidLED, "Fedy stuff", etc, elaborated on plus any other suggestions to help with my goals.
 

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Have you looked at the marineland led lights? they seem a decent price.
 

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skurj said:
Have you looked at marineland led lights? they seem a decent price.
My tank is the same size as the OP's (72" 110G). I use two 36-48" Marineland Doublebright LEDs. I have some low light plants (anubias) and algae growing nicely BUT the tank is not "sunshine bright." Also, the moonlight effect cannot be controlled separately without a mod (it's also way too dim on it's own and isn't worth the bother IMO).

I don't like the tank too bright so the system suits me. It might not be what you want.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thx for posting that pic Zimmy!

I did look at the Double Bright prices last night after making this post and they DID come down in price! Do the have the reds like Number6 mentioned above? Doesn't Marineland make an LED set that's brighter than the DBs?

My 12 year old daughter... and partner in this project... just brought up a point after looking at your pic Zimmy.... our tank back is blue so which would absorb less light than your black BG. I wonder how much brighter our tank would be with the DB set??
 

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A black background definitely makes it darker so yours will look brighter.

The new Marineland LED light is the Reef Bright unit. It is much brighter but also pretty expensive (more than double the price of the double bright from what I've seen).

The unit I have just has white and blue bulbs (no red). I think the Reef Bright is the same but not 100% certain about that.
 

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WaWaZat
hey, sorry I never got around to posting pics. I have them, but they wouldn't show you anything different than you saw on the other thread with the rapidled kit.
\basically, you want a regular blue and white kit with a few of these thrown in there
http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-172 ... Red/Detail

I ended up taking my white and blue rapidleds over to my reef tank and couldn't have been happier.

My latest planted tank project uses ecoxotic stunner strips for the blues and a DIY LED job for the reds and yellow leds. I found 3w run very hot... too hot for smaller tanks. My reef tank is a 110g and so the 3W are perfect on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Number6 said:
WaWaZat
hey, sorry I never got around to posting pics. I have them, but they wouldn't show you anything different than you saw on the other thread with the rapidled kit.
\basically, you want a regular blue and white kit with a few of these thrown in there
http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-172 ... Red/Detail

I ended up taking my white and blue rapidleds over to my reef tank and couldn't have been happier.

My latest planted tank project uses ecoxotic stunner strips for the blues and a DIY LED job for the reds and yellow leds. I found 3w run very hot... too hot for smaller tanks. My reef tank is a 110g and so the 3W are perfect on there.
Which other thread?

Are these white LEDs stark white or do they have a more yellowish, natural light effect? I am going for a sunny day at the beach as opposed to the brightly lit, white effect I see in a lot of saltwater setups. Or would the red/yellow help this effect?? If so, I would like to get suggestions on how many and how to configure them for this type of look.
 

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If the price doesnt scare you off I can recommend the TMC Aquaray GroBeams. They are a high quality, modular LED light that is manufactured for planted tanks. You can add the optional controller that will handle the sunrise/sunset features you are looking for. I have a pair of them over my 75G and they are very nice. They come in strips and tiles and many mounting options.
 

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I would think two of these 42 watt 36 inch units would work to grow plants (not super light intensive plants, but swords, java fern, crypts etc.) pretty well. Your 110 that is 6' long is fairly shallow so these should be fine. Another option (just for $40 more) is to buy two 48 inch units and put more light intensive plants in the middle two feet where both fixtures overlap.

I have the freshwater bright 48" version, a nice light, but at 11 watts it really is for fish viewing only. Even LEDs are not going to make 11 watts over 48" intense enough to grow much of anything.
 
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