Upgraded My Fluval Chi 5G Lighting! Heyooo!

ech0o

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So I was talking about it the other day, and ordered some of the SMD5050 LED light modules, and although they are no where near the high powered LED lights, they are a good DIY light that seem to run at fairly low heat, will grow low light plants very easily, and are great mostly for aesthetics.    I installed 6 modules onto the underside of the Fluval Chi lid I purchased through Fluval, as seen in picture.
 

 
With the LED modules ($1 per 4-bulb module), I also was able to grab the LED driver with IR remote control.  That plus a 12v 2a power cord was another $10 for a grand total of $16 worth of lighting.   The colors work great, there is 20 preset colors on the remote, along with 6 DIY programmable buttons that can be adjusted through individual adjustments of red/green/blue.  There are strobe and fade effects as well, with adjustable speeds, VERY COOL.   I'm impressed with my 16 dollar investment, the white looks great, the colors look great, with slight off white adjustments you can really make the color of your fish pop!!
 



 
I am well pleased for my first DIY fish tank project and think I will continue to learn and build more advanced lighting systems in the future!  I am not good with making it all look pretty, but it works!!!
 

Ninjouzata

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That looks gorgeous! I think I'd be having too much fun switching the colors.. :p
 
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ech0o

ech0o

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Ninjouzata said:
That looks gorgeous! I think I'd be having too much fun switching the colors..
 
Waaaay too much truth to that, my poor little fishies lolol
 

PaulHimself

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Dude this looks awesome! Where did you buy these lights? I was not going to get a fluval chi due to the poor lighting, because i did want to put live plants in it. You sir have changed my mind entirely. I would love a link to the website or the name of the place to where you got the lights! Also, are they waterproof??
 
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ech0o

ech0o

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I have done so much to my chi since, It does not resemble a chi anymore, adios to the central filter box (which the LED's burnt out on within 2 months), and now i have build a full lid that houses 14 of those modules instead of just the 6 shown in the pictures.  Also, since then, I have found that the changeable red/green/blue LED's are actually algae magnets when used for plant light, and will seriously cause some trouble with hair algae.   That being said I currently have a few lots of brighter, pure white LED's on the way to me to replace all my color LEDs (i am going to leave a couple in there just so i can play with the color still without feeding the algae).  
 
The modules I use are IP67, which is more or less waterproof although I certainly would not submerge them unless you are planning to encase all the wire joints with silicone.  I buy them off of ebay, http://www.ebay.com/itm/20PCS-white-Waterproof-7512-5630-3LEDS-Module-Light-12V-DC-3-Years-Warranty-/321180652223?pt=US_Light_Bulbs&hash=item4ac7dbd2bf , as you can see they are extremely cheap, you will of course need a dimmer and a 12v power supply with enough amps to run however many lights you need.  The dimmers come as little knob attachments along the wire, remote control units, even mountable wall units.
 
Again the LED's in the picture are 5050 LED's, not the 5630's I just linked.  The 5630's are pure white and about twice the light ouput!



 

PaulHimself

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Oh wow, I just bought one today, and i appreciate the advice! It looks like you have an external canister filter? What else do you have in the tank??? Im sorry for so many questions, its just i love your set up. Also how did you make the lid?
 
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ech0o

ech0o

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That bottle is not a canister filter, that is a DIY co2 reactor pumping co2 into my outflow on an internal filter.   I run 2 filters, a hang on back, and that internal, and the internal has a place for my co2 line.  The lid was built with an 8" x 10" piece of acrylic from home depot, and some clear plastic corner guards used to make a rim on the bottom of the lid that sit within the rim of the tank, so it does not slide around.  The tank houses 2 dwarf puffer fish, and a ghost shrimp, and LOTS of plants!
 

PaulHimself

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alright awesome! i have a hang on back filter on it right now. where did you find an internal filter so small? is there a brand or model number?
 

PaulHimself

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you my friend are an awesome person. thank you for all the help! i have ordered the last of my purchases (filter included). Thank you so much for your help!
 

Applecart

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Only just seen this ..... WOW !! seriously nice 
 
I've got a Fluval Chi 19 litre sat empty. I never did get on with it's poor filter and lighting, but now I've seen your beautiful setup I think I will get it back into action.

Please tell me, what do you do about the insane evaporation problem? Mine was losing around a litre a day, sometime nearly a litre and a half. That was heated at 26*C and in the UK temperate climate. I think if I'm being honest with myself, that is the main issue stopped using the chi, but I could easily go cold water this time providing I can find some brightly coloured nano sized fish. 
 
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ech0o

ech0o

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Once I made the lid, the evap. issue was far less.  I think the filter box that came with tank spread the water over too much surface area and is what caused the horrible evaporation problems.
 
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