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07-10-2013, 01:57 AM #1
Super-easy DIY lighting for FW planted tanks?
I'm hoping to do as much DIY on my newly-purchased 6 and 29 gal tanks as I possibly can (or at least use items from the store that are cheaper alternatives to what's in the pet stores in the case of the stand lol). Not having what many assume are basic building tools and knowledge does put a bit of a damper on how much DIY I can actually do...
Right now I'm trying to think and plan out lighting systems. I prefer planted tanks, low-maintenance with med-low light levels.
The 6gal came with a lid, though no room for lighting. There's a clear plastic strip down the center of the lid that can allow lighting through. The 29 gal currently has no lid, so there's more room to figure things out at this point.
I've started with CLF, but I'm also starting to look into LED fixtures that are already set up to be used in the same bases as old incandescent lighting (since that would be the easiest for me to set up without any electrical knowledge or tools). One that caught my eye is a Cree 9-watt Daylight (5000K) bulb. 5000K is as close as I could find to 6500K in the LEDs, and it says it's comparable to a 60 watt bulb, though they don't say if they mean 60 watt incandescent, or 60 watt CFL. They are also described as being omni-directional, and I'm not sure how much that would counter the "spotlight" effect that is a common criticism of LEDs.
Of course, if I go with CFL, I can get bulbs that are at the right temp for plants. They don't fit in the hood for my currently-set-up 5 gal tank (they're curved to mimic an incandescent bulb, while I need straight and narrow to fit the hood), but they're about 1/4 of the price of the bulb I purchased for my 5gal, and with the other tanks I'd be making the space they go in myself.
Thoughts? Tips? Suggestions?
So, ideas? Other places to look? Thanks! :D
07-10-2013, 02:01 PM #2
Im just going to throw this out there - but what kind of diy are you talking? I understand being on a budget but often times DIY means you are building from the ground up... If I was you and have the same goals, I would go get a T5ho light from home depot for cheap ($15-$20) and then get a glass top for the 29gal.FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's
07-10-2013, 11:52 PM #3
I guess what I'm aiming for is more semi-DIY. Keeping budget in mind, but I also enjoy customizing what I do. I may not have the tools to do many projects as completely DIY, but I like the satisfaction of taking a somewhat cheap foundation piece that would be difficult for me to produce on my own, and then changing it to suit my purposes.
As a baking analogy, it's kind of like the concept of the show "Semi-Homemade" on Food Network. Take a cake mix, but then change the liquids and add-ins involved to create a cake that isn't the same as what you'd get straight out of a box.
And I might just end up getting a basic shop/grow light from home depot and a basic glass top for the 29 gal. Doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't toss around and play with other ideas. :) I'm still at the beginning of the planning stages. I don't have space cleared out for my eventual stand, or even the stand itself.
07-11-2013, 04:12 AM #4
I also like the idea of LED lighting because it's supposed to last for years, while CFLs need to be replaced after a single year.
I still may end up going the easy route, but I like the creativity of DIY projects and designing them, even if I don't end up using them.
07-11-2013, 04:37 AM #5
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are you good at soldering? if you are i can easily walk you threw a step by step on leds.KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
gotta love them bunnies!
I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!
07-11-2013, 05:43 AM #6
I have no soldering tools or experience. That's part of why I'm looking at the bulbs... They sell sockets that are already pre-wired and you just have to plug them in, and from there it's just managing cords.
07-11-2013, 02:59 PM #7
Search youtube for "cheap aquairum lighting" and you'll find plenty of DIY videos, some good and not so good.
LEDs, no soldering.
Last edited by Taurus; 07-11-2013 at 03:01 PM.When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
07-11-2013, 03:03 PM #8
07-11-2013, 03:04 PM #9
check this out, this is what I did
07-13-2013, 01:07 AM #10