Aquarium Forum
 


Menu
  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Buy & Sell
· Calculators
· Equipment reviews
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Link to us
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

_________________
 
      
        Via paypal

  AC news is a part of
      Nature Blog Network

      Reef Aquarium Blog

Privacy & Ad Policy

Articles
  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Default DIY Reef Lighting (adaptable to FW)


    0 Not allowed!
    After sizing up the prices of the various pre-fab LED fixtures available on the market, and comparing the specs of each, I came the conclusion that DIY was the way to go. The following will give you plenty of light for a 210/180gal reef capable of supporting SPS. You can alter the ratio of colors. My original project was supposed to be 12x cool whites and 12x warm whites, but an error in shipping resulted in 20x cool whites and 4x warm whites. I have laid this out according to my final product.

    List of Materials:

    1/8" 1"x1" Aluminum L Brace (24 feet)
    1/16" 1" Aluminum U Channel (18 feet)
    36x Royal Blue 3w Cree Diodes
    12x Blue 3w Cree Diodes
    20x Cool Whilte 3w Diodes
    4x Warm White 3w Diodes
    72x 60 degree optics
    6x ELN-60-48P drivers (Use D series if you plan to use an Apex or Reef Keeper Controller)
    2x Power Chords
    25' of each color or 20 or 22 gauge wire (Blue, Black, Red, Green)
    small wire nuts
    1 Roll of Rosin Core Solder
    6x quick connects
    1x 9v battery
    1x 9v battery connecter.
    1x multimeter
    Building The Heatsinks:
    I began by cutting all my aluminum to length. For me, this meant 6 pieces each of L brace 12" and 18" long, 12 pieces of U Channel 18" long. These pieces were drilled a bolted together in the following configuration:


    Adding The Diodes:

    CAUTION:
    Before you take all your diodes out and lay them out, be sure to label each diode in order to prevent any mix-ups in colors. There is a way to tell each apart by looking at them, however it is somewhat difficult, and easy to get mixed up.

    Before you even get to this stage, you should already have a diagram of the configuration for your diodes. Remember, LED lighting is extremely directional lighting, so the goal is to spread your colors as evenly as possible to avoid any "spotlighting" effects in your tank.

    For this project, I my colors are configured like this:
    3 Pods numbered left to right

    Pod #1
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB
    WW--RB--CW--WW--RB--CW
    CW--RB--CW--CW--RB--CW
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB

    Pod #2
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB
    WW--RB--CW--CW--RB--CW
    CW--RB--CW--CW--RB--WW
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB

    Pod #3
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB
    CW--RB--CW--CW--RB--CW
    CW--RB--CW--CW--RB--WW
    RB---B---RB---RB---B---RB

    First you must decide how you want to attach your diodes. You can drill and tap your heatsinks if you wish to attach your diodes with screws, however I opted for the Thermal Adhesive available from RapidLED.com. The adhesive will come in 2 small syringes of Part A and Part B of the epoxy. You will only need a very very small amount to do the job, and only mix as much as you can use in ~3min. For me, this was ~.2ml of each part, and this allowed me to attach 24 diodes.

    The end result will look like this:


    Wiring The Diodes:
    To make things simple, and easy to follow, use a different color wire for each color diode. The maximum number of diodes you can put in each string on a ELN-60-48P/D driver is 12. You can run 24, 36, and even 48 in parallel if you wish, but it becomes more of a headache as you then have to add resisters to balance each string. In my case, I wired 6 strings of 12 diodes each. Since each pod has 12x Royal Blue diodes, they were all wired to one driver. If you have no experience with soldering electronics, this is not the project to practice on. lol The last thing you want to do is ruin a $5-6 diode. Get an old motherboard from a computer and practice on that first. I personally had someone help me with this part as I had never soldered before but learned quickly how to do it. Remember, in order for these to work right, they have to be wired right, so, starting from the lead from your driver, your wire "comes in" on a + contact and "leaves" on a - contact.

    DO ONLY ONE COLOR AT A TIME!


    First, cut your pieces of wire to length, be sure to give yourself a little extra so you can arch the wire out of the way of the diodes. Then, strip just a small amount of the coating off the end of each wire, you only need to strip a piece the width of the contacts. Next, you want to get a small bead of solder on each contact you will be using. Each "star" has 2x + contacts and 2x - contacts, it does not matter which ones you use as long as you use one of each. Once your contacts are all "beaded" you can then start attaching wires. Your soldering iron should be good and hot, and you should only make contact with the bead for 2 seconds at the most. Applying heat for too long can ruin the diode. Remember, start with the lead from your driver on a + contact, and the lead running back to your driver should be on a - contact. Repeat this for all your colors using a different color wire for each color diode.

    The end result for 1 pod looks like this:


    Because this project spans 3 pods, and you have 4x blues on each pod (if you go with my original ratios you will also have 4x CW and 4x WW on each as well) and these will all need to be connected to make a complete string of 12 diodes. To make it easier in the future should you need to take your fixture down and repair something, use quick connects between each pod for ease of removal. When you are finished with all your soldering, you can connect your quick connects

    Testing The Strings:
    Before hanging the fixtures above your tank, you will want to test your strings to be sure they work. First, double check all your wiring to be sure you have it wired correctly, making sure that on each diode you "enter" on a + and "leave" on a -. Next, take one of your drivers and remove the 4 screws at each corner and remove the cover. You will need to adjust your output voltage to minimum. Using a small flathead or phillips screwdriver, turn the SVR1 dial counter clockwise as far as it will go. DO THIS GENTLY as it can strip out easily. Once you have done this, attach your power chord to the appropriate end. Then, you will need to attach the diodes and the 9v connector to the output end of the driver. Plug the 9v battery in and then plug in the driver. At this point, all the diodes in the string should light up. Repeat the test for each string. You only have to adjust the SVR1 dial once for the test phase.

    Attaching The Optics:
    Each optic will fit neatly over each diode and will press in place quite easily. However, in order to make sure these stay in place, they will require some adhesive. DO NOT USE SUPERGLUE to attach your optics as the gas given off will cloud your lenses. Instead, use a silicone adhesive, and use a toothpick to apply a small amount to the edge of the optic, then press in place. The end result of wiring and optics will look like this:

    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The Final Steps:

    Finally, hang your completed fixtures above your tank at an appropriate height to avoid spotlighting, and wire them to your drivers and attach your dimming wires to your choice of controller. Be sure to turn the output voltage all the way down on each driver prior to plugging it in. This step is very important as you can end up over driving your diodes and shortening their life span.

    The final look will give you something like this:


    The final step in this whole process will be to adjust your output voltage to appropriate levels. for appropriate current levels, reference this chart to determine the proper level for your diodes. For instructions on how to do this properly, the following video can be followed.


    Please note, you do not need a multivolt power chord for this as your voltage will be adjusted by your controller.

    Enjoy your new setup.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Nicely done.

    You made it look easy
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff
    Nicely done.
    You made it look easy
    These days it is easy.
    I'm lighting my 70g planted tank with 24 3-W warm and cool white LEDs.

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    cliff, it can be made even easier. If you are not interested in doing any soldering or having to use wire nuts, then they sell plug-and-play retrofit kits. The diodes come with the wires pre-attached, and they have a quick connect to plug into a board and the board plugs into the driver using a quick connect. The power chord also plugs into the driver via a quick connect. Those setups are more expensive though. Also, I'm not so sure they would be too practical for a large setup.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well I'll be, I did not know they can with plug-in-play connections. The soldering was the intimidating part for me. I'll have to look into this

    Thanks
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •