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Thread: Information Overload... help!

  1. #1
    DIYFK member Cliff's Avatar


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    Information Overload... help!

    So many DIY lighting options that I'm just confused about which route to take and would love some advice. I do not know what amount of light I'll need and what would be overkill. Also trying to keep this as cheap as possible.

    Tank specifics are:
    -60x12x12
    -Lots of low-medium light plants. Would love a monte carlo carpet (I know it would take a long time with no C02).
    -No CO2
    -Very low clearance for height; maybe 6".

    First, I was thinking of making a CFL spiral setup in a eave. Simple, cheap and lots of light. Bulbs are cheap to buy/replace and can be bought anywhere. Now I see everyone is going to LEDs. Love the possibilities of the moonlight effects. Would 2-3 strips of RioRand 16.4FT SMD 5050 Waterproof 300LEDs RGB (I'm not allowed to post links yet, but it is on amazon) be enough? Other suggestions?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    The cheapest way is a 4' dual bulb shop light, about $12 out the door, use 6500K tubes, if you need more light you can also 'overdrive' the shop fixture, some brands of shop lights are easy to overdrive then others... Or just hang two...

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lights-of...White/19759624

    This page gives a little overview of overdriving... http://www.oocities.org/teeley2/overdrv1.html

    Those little SMD 5050 LEDS generally will not produce enough light and penetration for plant growth unless you use a ton of them, you generally need more focused and powerful LEDs...

    There are some new 110v LED modules that I have been experimenting with but have yet to impliment fully, they produce a boat load of light and are simple to setup, with the one negative that they get very hot, so they need to be heat sinked, for my test I have been using computer CPU heatsinks and cooling fans but I'm working on a more streamlined and better looking option... You can see them in this thread http://diyfishkeepers.com/forum/show...-Getting-Going

    If nothing else get the shop lights to start, and then work on alternatives, it buys you time and allows you to at least get the tank up and running while you tinker...

  3. #3
    DIYFK member Cliff's Avatar


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    Thanks for the info!

    I'm still a couple months out from needing it. In the midst of building the entertainment unit that the tank will be going into. I have zero concern for aesthetics as it will all be covered.

    2x 4' 6500k wouldn't be too much light with the shallow tank?

  4. #4
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Cliff Click here to enlarge
    2x 4' 6500k wouldn't be too much light with the shallow tank?
    Start with one, if the plants are not thriving using an 8 on 16 off cycle, then add a second light and tweak the hours while balancing algae growth with plant growth...

    There is really no single right or wrong lighting system, you are going to have to tweak everything to your specific plants and setup...

  5. #5
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    i agree with Meep. Start with shop lights and adjust the time.

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