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Advice needed for Buildmyled DIY spectrum for planted tank with fish

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by oliverpool, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. oliverpool

    oliverpool Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am looking into getting 1 or 2 units of the above for my 3 feet x 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet rimless tank planted tank with fishes. I was hoping some lighting experts could advice me on the following.


    1. I know they have shown a number of models with different spectrums. However since there is a DIY option, could anyone advice what type of spectrum, combination of colours and temperature of the lights should I go for?


    2. Can I get away with 1 unit of I should go with 2 units for a even spread of lights.


    3. I have a dog who loves to seat/sleep under the tank cabinet. Are there any reports or dangers of the Red/UV red/Blue LEDs to cause eyes issues with humans of animals? I will assume since fishes do not go blind with the lights that they should be ok for humans and dogs? I mean my dog does not stare at the tanks. just basically seat or sleep under the tank sometimes.


    4. I have a TV about 1 meter beside the tank. I am hoping for as little light spill on the sides and obviously the front where my dog likes to be. Any advice how to achieve this? I am thinking going with say a 45 degree lens for the front LED tilting it towards the back and say a 60 degrees lens for the back model where most of my light intensive plants reside? I could also ask them to leave 2/3 LEDS blanks on each ends? I do have a DIY par meter so I can still probably average out the PAR over the whole tank through trial and error dimming of each lights and playing with the angles of the lights.


    Appreciate any thoughts on this.
     
  2. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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    I built a DIY LED (36 cree's cool white, natural white and royal blue with variable drivers and controlled by Apex).


    It took forever, was a real pain, looked pretty homemade and the colors were not what I expected-its in a box in the garage and I consider it $400 garbage.


    I then went with two E-series Ecoxotic-I think these are the best for the buck. The radions look good, but they cost more and Tom mentioned he didn't like one of the spectrums (missing 690nm red?).


    But, around December I spoke with a tech guy at Build My LED and he said they were coming out with a full spectrum (5 channels?) soon-I would call them before buying anything.


    FYI, even though they don't look quite as good as T-5HO's, the plants seem to do a lot better.


    FYI#2, the BML website pictures don't look as good as the pictures for other lights, but for some reason LED's photograph a lot better than they look in real life-the BML pictures are probably accurate. I wish the greens looked as good as this picture (I know, plants look bad-this was a rehab stage). see how the red's look!




    IMAG0144_zpsjdajtfqz.jpg
     
  3. oliverpool

    oliverpool Lifetime Charter Member
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    I been having issues getting a quick response from BML on my questions. I know their support is good though and they are usualyl swamped by orders and such. I also have a LED unit i did for myself and agree that the pain is not worth the effort. Mainly due to the fact that you cannot actually play with the colours to get it right. At least from ready made one with more channels or folks like BML will tell u a little what to expect. I do not envy mixing LEDs combinations on a DIY fixture. I will probably try giving a call to BML to see if they can better help me.


    I agree that LED still seems to be missing that little x factor. I am not sure what the reason is. IF you get red looking very good like you have now, you end up with drabby greens. Even the ones with peaks in RED/BLUE/GREEN with red and blue and cool white LED, something still seems missing. Radions Freshwater are a little expensive and the tank hanging mechanisum is rather limited and short. I will check out Ecoxotic as well. It looks good but unfortunately I guess cannot be controlled by the Apex. How is the light spill for your unit one the sides as well as the front of the tank?
     
  4. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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    I have my two Ecoxotic lights about 15" above water and the spill is negligible. shimmer is good too. No, you can't control them with Apex, but they do have a 15 ramp up and down (no big deal). I am getting 120par a the brightest spots.


    You can control white, blue red and green, but it only looks best (in my opinion) with white-100%, blue-0%, Red-100% and Green-100%.


    I bought some cree green, violet and 690nm reds and attached an 80degree lens. and tried to supplement the Ecoxotic to improve-nothing really helped that I could do (but then I know very little in this area--this is just my trial and error for about a $1,000 worth).


    The violet is really black light, good only for moonlight. The green was no improvement over Ecoxotic. The 690nm red really made the reds pop, but unfortunately it also made everything else red and ruined the green.


    This shouldn't be this hard-what the hell is the problem? Is this a lousy technology or a good technology.


    The main reason I stuck with the LED's is I didn't like replacing bulbs every 6 months.


    Also, the Ecoxotic's on a hanging kit look really high-tech good
     
    #4 gsjmia, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I may have a look at the ecoxotic.


    I called BML last night and we'll see what my next round of questions yields. However with a 90 degree spread at 12" above the tank I was told a single bar of their XB should put about 50 Par on the substrate of a 24" deep tank. So that should be plenty without needing a second unit. Plus the dimming option. I'm looking at their 6300 or 6500 spectrum. The 6300 has nice red but almost looks like it swamps the green on some of the photos so I may go for the 6500.


    I figure if I'm missing any pop I can probably add that in with some low powered SMD Reds and blues. Nothing high powered and nothing you would see as a blue or red light going into the tank but just a little extra to supplement without swamping the green.
     
  6. SouthFL

    SouthFL Junior Poster

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    Anyone know if you double up on LED lights will it double up on PAR values also?
     
  7. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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    I just checked:


    I have 2 E-Series Ecoxotic's both are 24" above substrate. Water is 15" high and light is 9" above water.


    With one Ecoxotic, I got a PAR reading of 30 directly under the front light.


    With both lights on (without moving the Appogee sensor) it is 60 PAR.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. oliverpool

    oliverpool Lifetime Charter Member
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    I would have thought it would not double at that depth.


    I proceeded with ordering one unit of the MC for my 3 feet tank. Since the MC allows for modifying the spectrurm, I went with the Dutch 6300K. Using the tank mount 2-3 inch above water and around 18-20" to the substrate, I do not believe I will ever need more light even allowing for dimming some lights to get the correct spectrum.
     
  9. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    That's what I'm running on my 52"x18"x20". It's plenty of light even at 65% power.
     
  10. Monk

    Monk Junior Poster

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    I think one BML is more than enough for lighting your whole tank. You might even need to hang it to play with the PAR. Would def recommend getting the dimmer, if you don't want to hang the light. Attached is my custom that I've recently received.
     
  11. DaculaWeather

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    Yes, it will double.


    I just purchased the Current-usa.com LED +Pro for my 29 gallon and couldn't be happier. Great PAR specs. I actually had to reduce my intensity to 80% to prevent algae. And to top it off, a great timer system as well. Copied and pasted to save time. http://current-usa.com/aquarium-led-lights/satellite-led-fixtures/satellite-led-pro/


    I think I paid about $150 for the system.

    • 24 hour on/off time with a 15 minute ramp up (sunrise) and dim down (sunset)
    • Adjustable day and moonlight color spectrum and intensity
    • Six dynamic effects and presets including cloud cover, fading lunar, storm and lightning
    • Easy programming via wireless IR remote or touch key pad
    • Four freshwater optimized preset colors
    • Two memory locations for custom color spectrums
     
    2 people like this.
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