Lighting suggestions

Lunar Jetman

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23 Jul 2012
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After an accident where the filter on my current tank leaked and damaged the cabinet, I’ve decided to replace the setup with something new.

I’m getting a 48”x18”x24” tank but the tank doesn’t come with any lights. I’m contemplating putting the current lights into it, if only temporarily, they’re 39w 42” T8s.

I just wondered what my options are and whether you friendly folk have any suggestions?

Most likely it would be a low tech tank although I have dabbled in co2 in the past so I’m contemplating looking for some lights that would improve my plant growth.

It’s been a while since I looked at lighting so any assistance would be appreciated.
 

Onoma1

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I started with the Chihiros A Series.
Its an affordable white LED strip and the light works fine for growing plants. I then moved to the WRGB which allows me to programme colours and ramp up and down via the app. It depends what you want from the light. There are lots of threads on the forum discussing alternatives.
 

Zeus.

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I’m getting a 48”x18”x24” tank but the tank doesn’t come with any lights. I’m contemplating putting the current lights into it, if only temporarily, they’re 39w 42” T8s.

I just wondered what my options are and whether you friendly folk have any suggestions
Quite a big tank, open top or braced and hooded? Also have you a budget ? going down a dimable light can make life much easyier.
 

Lunar Jetman

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Quite a big tank, open top or braced and hooded? Also have you a budget ? going down a dimable light can make life much easyier.
Hi, thanks for the reply. Its got a hood and has what is effectively a glass shelf 5 inches below. Budget wise, I didn't want to go mad but haven't really set myself a budget as I don't really know what my choices are.
 

Lunar Jetman

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I should add, I've looked at the lighting options from iquatics.co.uk and the Fluval LEDs but not sure which if either is best.
 

Zeus.

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Budget wise, I didn't want to go mad but haven't really set myself a budget as I don't really know what my choices are
Well depends on what route you plan to take as to how much it can be used, Staying low tech you would need much Par wise and your plants will be healthy. Go for a ADA SOLAR RGB LED great light but with low tech tank your plants will be melted in no time, esp since its not dimable except for raising the light fitting, I spend over £1000 on lights for my 500l but dimable.

A Twinstar LED Aquarium Light 900SP Pendent Light might be great with the intensity turned down a bit but at 65w a TC420 wouldn't be suitable but a LED Controller/Dimmer for Twinstar Lights would do the job nicely - done for under £400 fully diamable and timer- good for low tech also ready if you add CO2

Dimable T5 also great but ballast not cheap, Non dimable T5 Ballast the cheapest to buy, LED cheaper to run
 

rubadudbdub

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Is your tank 18" deep or 24"?

I have plenty of crypts, anubias, java fern, java moss and limnophila sessiliflora growing in a juwel rio 125 on T8 tubes with faded reflectors. Rio 125 is 50 tall so about 45cm/18" water depth at the deepest point.

Vallis will probably be OK too.

If you just want low tech easy plants you may be OK with T8s if the tanks 18" deep. Light penetration with t8s on a two foot deep tank won't be great. I've not done it so hopefully someone who's tried can advise whether it would work.
 

Lunar Jetman

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Well depends on what route you plan to take as to how much it can be used, Staying low tech you would need much Par wise and your plants will be healthy. Go for a ADA SOLAR RGB LED great light but with low tech tank your plants will be melted in no time, esp since its not dimable except for raising the light fitting, I spend over £1000 on lights for my 500l but dimable.

A Twinstar LED Aquarium Light 900SP Pendent Light might be great with the intensity turned down a bit but at 65w a TC420 wouldn't be suitable but a LED Controller/Dimmer for Twinstar Lights would do the job nicely - done for under £400 fully diamable and timer- good for low tech also ready if you add CO2

Dimable T5 also great but ballast not cheap, Non dimable T5 Ballast the cheapest to buy, LED cheaper to run
Thanks for the reply. Anything hanging over is out as it needs to go inside the hood.

I also think from those options you've put then I do need to set a budget as I'll be in trouble for spending that much! I think i'm looking for something much cheaper, maybe £150-200 tops. Not sure how much this limits me but would like to consider options in this budget and see what they're like.
 

Lunar Jetman

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Is your tank 18" deep or 24"?

I have plenty of crypts, anubias, java fern, java moss and limnophila sessiliflora growing in a juwel rio 125 on T8 tubes with faded reflectors. Rio 125 is 50 tall so about 45cm/18" water depth at the deepest point.

Vallis will probably be OK too.

If you just want low tech easy plants you may be OK with T8s if the tanks 18" deep. Light penetration with t8s on a two foot deep tank won't be great. I've not done it so hopefully someone who's tried can advise whether it would work.
The depth is 24" although I think its probably closer to 22" from the water level under the hood.
 

zozo

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The question is always easier and much shorter than the answer. And the answer always comes with a lot of additional questions. For a start.. If you want to go cheap and sufficient you need some DIY skills and basic knowledge in electricity. Having this and depending on it you have a pretty wide range of different options to go with from advanced High performing low voltage RGB setups on a programable controller to straight forward AC powered setups. My advice in this very fast evolving led era keep it simple, pragmatic and low budget as possible.

I made quite a few diy light setups for open top tanks till know, but i have little experience with DIY light setups for hooded tanks. The first thing that comes to mind is in what design and from what material is the hood constructed, how much space (height) do you have available between hood and glass cover panel?

For the people with the least skills and DIY inventivity i would advice the easiest straigh foreward AC powered r7s replacement dimmable cob led units.
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/new-flood-light-project-commin-up.57756/

This is the most straigh forward and simple you can make today with led units. Its the same as connecting any other AC light bulb or T5 instalation connected with a Live and a Nutral wire pluged into an ordenary household manual dimmer and timer switch on the power socket.

If you don't have space enough available to mount such a complete flood light under the hood.. Than you need to come up with a safe diy construction yourself to mount the r7s lamp base in it with a splash water tight cover.. This i can not advice on, beause i would need to see the hood myself in person.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/R7S-78-118...hash=item1efdecf4b4:m:m7orCexRs9RubTdgn9l2JSg

In the thread above a i elaborate a bit on a programable controller on these units making it look advanced, but that's not a nessecity but more a luxury expence you can skipp.

They come in different models, size and wattage, than with the use of a dimmer go high end on the wattage/output and you can always make it less as you wish. Always beter than starting out with not enough. The strongest i could find are 50 watt, i guess that's about the limit they will have for now higher output probably will run to hot. Currently i'm running the 25 watt versions myself and it performs pretty good and stays pretty cool to the touch.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-6X-Dimma...var=591961524051&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-shipp...hash=item4b465c0d08:m:mnEBD5q8_l21i7HgImq5dGA

www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20190807011003&SearchText=Dimmable+LED+R7S+&switch_new_app=y

The good thing is, along the way led technology still evolves rather fast into beter performing units and designs. With this you can always replace the bulbs in the future without the need of a total rebuild.
 

Lunar Jetman

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23 Jul 2012
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Thanks for the info Zozo. Working through it now and definitely some food for thought.
 

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