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New lights for planted discus tank

paleo

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26 Jan 2015
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Hi, I have a planted discus tank which is 150cm x 50cm deep x 45 cm. It was lit by 3 80W T5 tubes with reflectors. It also has CO2 injection controlled by a pH probe. The plants are giant vallis and amazon swords. The vallis is doing fine, the amazon swords are OK. I have some algae problems. The tank is covered by a hood make of MDF which accomodates the lights.

The Giesemann Razor unit holding 2 of the 3 tubes stopped working, and presently, is rather hard to have repaired. This gives me an opportunity to re-think the lighting situation. Are 3 big T5 tubes too much? Would it be better to just have 2 tubes? How about 2 tubes and some LED lighting? One 80W T5 produces about 6,000 lumen. I have not as yet seen an LED unit that can fit in the hood with that kind of light output. I quite like what the Fluval Aquasky (Aquasky 2.0 - Fluval UK) can do, so my best idea at the moment is have 2 80W T5s with reflectors and one 33W Aquasky.

I would be grateful for any advice and ideas.
 

oreo57

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19 Jun 2020
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In old speek you are running like .70w/ liter.
Or 3wpg- ish.
For a full blown high $ led replacement you are looking at 4 ai prime freshwater units @about $200us each. Plus mounts if necessary.
A catch is how tall is the hood.
W/ the lensing height would be an issue.

.59w/liter. Due to better delivery probably easily equiv. to your 3 tube set up.
Same delivery will change the look as well from a more flat to 3d ( shadows) appearrence.
Since I don' t know which tubes you gave no idea of a color difference.
Going w/ your err hybrid approach is fine though ideally one would want a 150cm (60") led unit.



.
 

Driftless

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4 Jul 2020
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150 cm is an odd length, have you considered removing the hood and suspending lights above the tank? I use either two Fluval 3.0's or two Twinstar S Series.
 

paleo

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You should be able to grow virtually any plant with two tubes, if you can get the C02 and flow just right you might only need one tube on for 10 hours and two tubes for 5-6 hours.
Thanks, that's reassuring. The tank has been running with just the one tube for a few days now. I did notice that the CO2 does not switch itself on very often, so I assume the plants are less "active".
 

paleo

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In old speek you are running like .70w/ liter.
Or 3wpg- ish.
For a full blown high $ led replacement you are looking at 4 ai prime freshwater units @about $200us each. Plus mounts if necessary.
A catch is how tall is the hood.
W/ the lensing height would be an issue.

.59w/liter. Due to better delivery probably easily equiv. to your 3 tube set up.
Same delivery will change the look as well from a more flat to 3d ( shadows) appearrence.
Since I don' t know which tubes you gave no idea of a color difference.
Going w/ your err hybrid approach is fine though ideally one would want a 150cm (60") led unit.



.
The usable height between the sliding glass above the tank and the top of the hood is only about 10cm. It would be possible to put three tubes in there, as well as the Fluvl LED device. Bit worried about too much light and algae though.
 

Driftless

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The usable height between the sliding glass above the tank and the top of the hood is only about 10cm. It would be possible to put three tubes in there, as well as the Fluvl LED device. Bit worried about too much light and algae though.
Once you have the lights you will be able to tweak your tank, you can adjust the amount of light, dosing, etc. All of my tanks that are bright do not have algae problems. Good Luck!
 

paleo

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150 cm is an odd length, have you considered removing the hood and suspending lights above the tank? I use either two Fluval 3.0's or two Twinstar S Series.
Well, it's 60" which is close to 150cm. I think I would prefer to keep the hood at the moment. I assume there would be quite a lot of light spilling into the room without a hood?
 

Driftless

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Well, it's 60" which is close to 150cm. I think I would prefer to keep the hood at the moment. I assume there would be quite a lot of light spilling into the room without a hood?
No, most aquarium lights direct the light not to spillover from the aquarium, limited coverage is why I often use two lights so that all of the aquarium is covered.
 

oreo57

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The usable height between the sliding glass above the tank and the top of the hood is only about 10cm. It would be possible to put three tubes in there, as well as the Fluvl LED device. Bit worried about too much light and algae though.
Well too low for lensed leds like the ai prime.
Your entry circle would be like 8"
Getting dimmable leds is your best " insurance"

Since you seem to have success w/ the 3 x80 array staying close to that is probably wise.
Simple rule of thumb is 1w t5 = .5-.75w led.
Question is what do you want out of all this?
Simple on / off to full color and intensity control.
Next is cost and availability.
Point is you need to better define goals and budget.
There are literally dozens of led strip lights that can work though suze and availability to you is an issue.
Chinese brands seem to appear every day, like this "folding" model
Amazon product
Best guess as to power for each 60" unit
  • Lumen : 2040
  • Power: 40W
Sadly would need at least 3.

Odd I can find 72" lights easier than 60" ones.

$850us will get you a reef light that looks to be adaptable to freshwater.
Need a bit more info on channel breakdown and inside your hood is probably not the best place for it.
 
Last edited:

paleo

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So i assume you are using a PH controller?
If so...most people feel you will get much better and constant results by using a timer.
Hi, indeed I am. It keeps the pH within specified limits, providing I keep the KH constant and calibrate the probe at regular intervals. If I inject CO2 into the tank while the lights are on, will the pH not fall too much?
 

paleo

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No, most aquarium lights direct the light not to spillover from the aquarium, limited coverage is why I often use two lights so that all of the aquarium is covered.
Thanks, that's interesting. Might be something to consider for the future when tradesmen move more freely.
 

paleo

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Well too low for lensed leds like the ai prime.
Your entry circle would be like 8"
Getting dimmable leds is your best " insurance"

Since you seem to have success w/ the 3 x80 array staying close to that is probably wise.
Simple rule of thumb is 1w t5 = .5-.75w led.
Question is what do you want out of all this?
Simple on / off to full color and intensity control.
Next is cost and availability.
Point is you need to better define goals and budget.
There are literally dozens of led strip lights that can work though suze and availability to you is an issue.
Chinese brands seem to appear every day, like this "folding" model
Amazon product
Best guess as to power for each 60" unit

Sadly would need at least 3.

Odd I can find 72" lights easier than 60" ones.

$850us will get you a reef light that looks to be adaptable to freshwater.
Need a bit more info on channel breakdown and inside your hood is probably not the best place for it.
I have found a rather useful T5 lighting possibility here in the UK (iQuatics Aqualumi T5 Controller – 2 x 80w T5 – iQuatics) which i could install by myself. Once I can get help lifting off the hood, I could install the Fluval LED, which would give me fancy stuff like sunrises and moonlight. Getting more light into the tank is my immediate priority.
 

foxfish

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Hi, indeed I am. It keeps the pH within specified limits, providing I keep the KH constant and calibrate the probe at regular intervals. If I inject CO2 into the tank while the lights are on, will the pH not fall too much?
Well if you ever start getting algae or poor plant growth then you can revert to a timer method :)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The Giesemann Razor unit holding 2 of the 3 tubes stopped working, and presently, is rather hard to have repaired.
I'm not familiar with these units, but it is almost certainly the electronic ballast that has failed and you should be able to get a replacement ballast (<"Tridonic or similar">) for less than £30 and replace it yourself.

cheers Darrel
 

paleo

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Hi all,

I'm not familiar with these units, but it is almost certainly the electronic ballast that has failed and you should be able to get a replacement ballast (<"Tridonic or similar">) for less than £30 and replace it yourself.

cheers Darrel
Thanks. When I removed the unit from the hood, I found it impossible to open. I also noticed it is a DD light fitting, and not a Giesemann. They look very similar. As it was getting quite old anyway, and the plastic end bits that form a water tight fitting at the end of the tubes were beginning to perish, I replaced all the lights with the Iquatics T5 tubes. So far so good.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I found it impossible to open. I also noticed it is a DD light fitting, and not a Giesemann.
I've had one or two I've bought pre-owned where the unit has been sealed. Best of luck with the Iquatics unit.

cheers Darrel
 

Tropicaltanklover

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I have found a rather useful T5 lighting possibility here in the UK (iQuatics Aqualumi T5 Controller – 2 x 80w T5 – iQuatics) which i could install by myself. ...
I recently installed the Aqualumi 4 X 54W controller for my hood lighting. They power 4 T5 1200mm 19W LED tubes by Aquarium Systems which are fixed in iQuatics reflectors.
Lights the tank brilliantly and plants are thriving and growing. No algae issues either but I only run 6 hours of light per day.
 

paleo

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I recently installed the Aqualumi 4 X 54W controller for my hood lighting. They power 4 T5 1200mm 19W LED tubes by Aquarium Systems which are fixed in iQuatics reflectors.
Lights the tank brilliantly and plants are thriving and growing. No algae issues either but I only run 6 hours of light per day.
Hi, interesting, thanks. I now have 3 80W T5s from Aqualumi and 1 Fluval aquasky. The T5s are on 9 hours a day and the aquasky a bit longer. The amazon swords have really perked up and started growing like crazy things. I'm keeping an eye on the BBA; may have to reduce the lighting period.
 

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