tank lighting failure...

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Light showed up today but I'll probably wait until tomorrow to mount. Now I just have to decide what colors to use. There white, red, green and blue. I've always had full spectrum florescent in the past so really don't know the best color combination for LEDs.

It is really rather a little confusing. The link at the bottom is where I'm reading the following info.

Red lights: Better for nocturnal fish and are good for plants but will tend to promote algae.

Blue lights: Has a calming effect on fish and with blue, green, and, red fish, blue light helps accentuate their color. Also blue brings out more color with red plants.

White lights: This will be the dominant but many say isn't enough for healthy plants. White is also supposed to bring out more color with blue fish.

Green lights: The article doesn't really talk about green but my understanding is that it is good for plants so mayhaps I could go without the blue.

My initial thomught, as the blue lights are on a different intensity control, is to use the white, red and green lights at a higher intensity and blue at a low intensity.
Typical sales information. Many people today like color changing LED light strips so you can adjust the color what you want. However these lights typically produce red green and blue light, not the entire color spectrum plants need. White LED are blue LEDs covered with a phosphor that converts much of the blue to a wide array of colors which mimics natural light better. So for your light use mostly white with some red You don't need to add additional blue or green unless you like the results.

All you need a a light with 90 CRI rating or higher ( Color Rendering Index) and a dimmer and possibly supplemental red light. Natural light has a CRI rating of 100. Plants can use all colors of light to grow. However plants absorb Blue and red light most efficiently. But some plants don't do well with just red nd blue.

As to the fish they don't like light to come on suddenly at full brightness. When you wake up in the middle of the night nnd turn on hhe light you know it is uncomfortable ntil your eyes adjust. It is the same way for fish. Preferably you want a light to come on at minimum brightness and then to slowly brighten up. My light is attached to Current Ramp timer The link shows the dual channel one but they also have a simpler single channel ramp time without any color controls. it turns on at minimum brightness and then slowly brightens and takes 30 minutes to reach the set brightness level. it also slowly turns off the light.

i attache the timer to 12 LED light strip with +90 CRI rating and a 3000K rating. Plant don't car about the kelvin rating and fish and plants only care about the brightness. This worked well but after a period of time I noticed that one plant that should have a max height of 2" were growing up to to 3 times taller. This is common symptom of not enough light or insufficient red light. So I added some 660nm red white LEDs generally don't produce a lot of red light and I only added a small amount of red had small amount of red to resolve the issue.

I went to tap plastic and found a 1/4 thick acrylic sheet on there leftower shelf (They make custom cut sheets and they then sell the leftovers). I cut it myself using a jig saw with a fine tooth blade and used a sander to to smother and trim the piece to fit in the recessed opening of my 5 gallon tank. Other than a small opening for feeding the rest of the top of the acrylic is cover with 1/16 inch thick sheet of aluminum(purchased at a local ACE hardware store. I covered one side with clear plastic tape and then mounted the lEDlight strips to that side and solder them them togetherI then mounted my ramp timer to the top dry side of the aluminum plate I thenscrewed the aluminum to the top of the acrylic lidwht a foam gasket ashes and hard spacer (to prevent crossing the LEDs) between the aluminum and acrylic to prevent water from getting in.

I built it for high light EI levels in case I wanted to go that route in the future. I don't remember the lumen rating of the LEDs but it is very bright at full power. there is about 3.75 square inches of aluminum per watt of LED power. That is enough to avoid using cooling fans. but if I make another in the future I will aid for 6 square inches of aluminum per watt. it is a little hotter then i like at full power. 90% of the time it is running at 40% brightness.

The Floexfire LED product lineup has changed since I did this but this is the closest they have now to what I purchaged.

I cannot find a link to the red LEDs I purchased.

Note the kelvin rating refers to the shad of white you want. do you want reddish white or a blue white. I prefer pure white which is about 3000K. As I stated earlier fish and plants don't care about the kelvin rating.
 
Typical sales information. Many people today like color changing LED light strips so you can adjust the color what you want. However these lights typically produce red green and blue light, not the entire color spectrum plants need. White LED are blue LEDs covered with a phosphor that converts much of the blue to a wide array of colors which mimics natural light better. So for your light use mostly white with some red You don't need to add additional blue or green unless you like the results.

All you need a a light with 90 CRI rating or higher ( Color Rendering Index) and a dimmer and possibly supplemental red light. Natural light has a CRI rating of 100. Plants can use all colors of light to grow. However plants absorb Blue and red light most efficiently. But some plants don't do well with just red nd blue.

As to the fish they don't like light to come on suddenly at full brightness. When you wake up in the middle of the night nnd turn on hhe light you know it is uncomfortable ntil your eyes adjust. It is the same way for fish. Preferably you want a light to come on at minimum brightness and then to slowly brighten up. My light is attached to Current Ramp timer The link shows the dual channel one but they also have a simpler single channel ramp time without any color controls. it turns on at minimum brightness and then slowly brightens and takes 30 minutes to reach the set brightness level. it also slowly turns off the light.

i attache the timer to 12 LED light strip with +90 CRI rating and a 3000K rating. Plant don't car about the kelvin rating and fish and plants only care about the brightness. This worked well but after a period of time I noticed that one plant that should have a max height of 2" were growing up to to 3 times taller. This is common symptom of not enough light or insufficient red light. So I added some 660nm red white LEDs generally don't produce a lot of red light and I only added a small amount of red had small amount of red to resolve the issue.

I went to tap plastic and found a 1/4 thick acrylic sheet on there leftower shelf (They make custom cut sheets and they then sell the leftovers). I cut it myself using a jig saw with a fine tooth blade and used a sander to to smother and trim the piece to fit in the recessed opening of my 5 gallon tank. Other than a small opening for feeding the rest of the top of the acrylic is cover with 1/16 inch thick sheet of aluminum(purchased at a local ACE hardware store. I covered one side with clear plastic tape and then mounted the lEDlight strips to that side and solder them them togetherI then mounted my ramp timer to the top dry side of the aluminum plate I thenscrewed the aluminum to the top of the acrylic lidwht a foam gasket ashes and hard spacer (to prevent crossing the LEDs) between the aluminum and acrylic to prevent water from getting in.

I built it for high light EI levels in case I wanted to go that route in the future. I don't remember the lumen rating of the LEDs but it is very bright at full power. there is about 3.75 square inches of aluminum per watt of LED power. That is enough to avoid using cooling fans. but if I make another in the future I will aid for 6 square inches of aluminum per watt. it is a little hotter then i like at full power. 90% of the time it is running at 40% brightness.

The Floexfire LED product lineup has changed since I did this but this is the closest they have now to what I purchaged.

I cannot find a link to the red LEDs I purchased.

Note the kelvin rating refers to the shad of white you want. do you want reddish white or a blue white. I prefer pure white which is about 3000K. As I stated earlier fish and plants don't care about the kelvin rating.
Thanks. :) Since the new light already has white, red, green and blue I don't need any supplemental lights. When on it's timer the new light also starts dim and takes 15 minutes to reach the preset settings. It does the reverse when shutting off.

I've decided to not go with building a new hood and am just going to mount the new light on the existing hood.
 
YEA!! I figured out my mounting for the new light. :mrgreen:

This afternoon I tried using silicone to mount under the hood but it just takes too long for the silicone to set enough to hold the light without it falling off. I'm sure that I could have come up with something to hold the light in place until the silicone set enough but came up with a better way using the suction cup mounts. Ya, as expected, the suction cups won't hold but there is more than one way to skin a cat. ;) Rotate the cup 90 degrees and you can pop out the cup. In the following image note the round part of the mount with the holes. Put the mounts, without the cups, on the light strip and a few drops of Super Glue on the raised round parts and stick it on the under side of the hood. Hold it for a few seconds and job done.

Here is what is in the works. LOL! Do what I said above. ;) The only thing is that I'm going to have to do a little cutting in the hood to fit through the light controller. On the back top of the hood there are vents that I will snip out a few pieces to be able to fit through the controller. I could just cut out more area in the back of the hood where the wires and air tubes go but I have a rope fish and they are escape artists; I don't want larger openings where he can reach. ;)

Here is what I'm talking about in relation the the suction cup mounts.
cups.jpg
 
These are the mounts that came with the strip ?!? Now I'm not sure what kind of light you have... Loll.
When I open your link to your light, It goes to a product listing page.
 
These are the mounts that came with the strip ?!? Now I'm not sure what kind of light you have... Loll.
When I open your link to your light, It goes to a product listing page.
You may be getting a listing instead of the actual product due to you being in Canada and I'm in the U.S..

Here is the whole setup. Kind of looks like a tank heater. The tube shape and suction cups are probably due to it's being fully submersible.

light.jpg
 
Ok, now it makes sense.

Seems like you could use the holes in the clips to hang the light with 2 small round metal rods going across. There are some with galvanized or electro-zink finish. This way you could also add small cable ties to both clips to secure everything in place.
 
Ok, now it makes sense.

Seems like you could use the holes in the clips to hang the light with 2 small round metal rods going across. There are some with galvanized or electro-zink finish. This way you could also add small cable ties to both clips to secure everything in place.
That is actually a really good idea. :)

Since I have yet to glue the thing, as I never do anything without thinking all the possibilities through... ;) There just happens to be a couple of small holes in the underside of the hood. I could just use screws to mount the clips using the holes in the clips where the suction cups attached. I'd have to hunt but I'm pretty sure that I have some brass screws that would work well. The light would be at an angle across the tank top but that is the plan anyway. Why at an angle? There is an 'easy chair' next to the tank and I want to aim the light away from the chair a bit so it isn't an issue when the chair is used.
 
Just thought that I'd mention that the new light is mounted and working fine. It's actually kind of cool how, when on the timer, it does not immediately go on or off. It takes 15 minutes to fully turn on or off. Much easier on my fish. :)

It is kind of dim at the bottom of the tank but that will end with the next water change when I re-plant and mow some greenery that my cichlids keep digging up. Right now the surface is mostly covered by floating plants that shouldn't be floating. This time I'm going to weigh down the plants more than actually planting. Let the cichlids dig if they want. The weights will hold down the plants anyway. I already have the weights so I might as well use them.

<edit to add info>
Actually the biggest issue was not mounting the new light but rather running the power cord as the controller wouldn't fit through any existing holes. Dawned on me that the controller would easily fit through the flip-up feeding flap so I used a pair of dykes to snip off a corner of the feeding flap for the wire and ran it through. Worked fine but now I have the power cord hanging across the tank and it looks sloppy. The hood has a little recess around the top edge so I'll just silicone or super glue the wire to the recess and, if even noticed, it will just look like a bead along the top edge. I'll post pictures when I'm done fixing my plants and have the wire glued down. Once I have the plants back in place I think I'm really going to like this light. With gradually going on/off and being on a timer it makes things better for my fish and gives me one less thing to remember. ;)

The original light was plugged in a wall outlet that connects to a wall switch. That outlet is now connected to my bird cage light. I was plugging in and out the A/C adapter for the bird cage as, while I DO have a timer for it I can't remember how to use it. ;) So anyway now I just flip a wall switch for the bird cage and the tank lights will be coming on at the same time. Both cage and tank lights go on at 10:00 AM when I uncover the cage. Tank lights go off at 8:00 PM and at the same time I close the bird cage. The cage light goes off at 9:00 PM when I cover the cage. Wish I didn't have to cover the bird cage but need to do so for a couple of reasons.

1) I'm often up late watching movies or whatever and the light from the screens would bother his sleeping cycle. LOL! I even turn down the TV volume or use my headset after I cover the cage so as to not bother him. Sometimes I'm not sure who is the pet and who is the boss. ;)

2) My bird suffers from 'night frights' if not having the cage covered. Think of you having nightmares, same type of thing. This is pretty common with cockatiels and he will end up flopping around on the bottom of the cage as if he had epilepsy. During these 'fits' he could easily injure himself including breaking a wing.
 
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I have to laugh at myself! :) I know how it works and everything yet I find myself totally fascinated with the new light slowly brightening and dimming as it turns on and off. :) Hey, what can I say? This is the first tank I've ever had with LED lighting and the original light didn't do this.
 

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