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Old 05-19-2011, 11:40 PM   #91
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Plans for a busy weekend forced tank maintenance to this evening. Things are looking up in the tank.

The good:

- No more fish deaths. I finally got a drop checker to work well so I have a qualitative idea about how much CO2 I've got in the tank. I was able to cut back on the BPS rate a little and it's been stable.

- The hair algae is receding. I've been dosing 2mL of macros and 1-1.5mL of micros. Cutting back on the micros seems to have worked.

- The plants are growing well. The mayaca and diandra have settled in nicely and the rotala wallichii is actually starting to grow.

The bad:

- I've got a small breakout of BBA. I'm blaming it on me screwing with the CO2. I need to get some H2O2 to treat it.

- My nutrient levels are off again. I'm completely bottoming out on nitrates. Test results today were:
NO3 - 0ppm
PO4 - 3-4ppm
I'm tempted to start dry dosing nitrates to keep up. I'm also contemplating moving some guppies and adding some heavier bioload to the tank. Any suggestions? Off the top of my head I'm thinking maybe a mystery snail or two.

The other:

- Now that I get home from work at a reasonable hour, I'm thinking about switching from my split photo period back to a single period to see if I get any better growth.

- I've got a rough plan for the hardware necessary to create sunrise/sunset effects. I need to get some ICs and start playing with the code.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #92
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So if I wanted to set somthing simular up for a 55 could I just double the parts? Im not real savy on these things and Im wondering if I need one big driver or two smaller ones. Also did you look at the higher watage LEDs or is that over kill?
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #93
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It really depends on how you want to set up the light. You could simply double my setup or you could use a different driver. You need 1A of power per leg of LEDs and ~3.5V per LED in the leg. A 4A 15-18V driver would allow you to double my 2-leg x 5 LED setup. A 2A 30-36V driver would let you run a 2-leg x 10 LED fixture. It's really how you want to lay it out and wire it.

I'm already using 3W LEDs here. I don't think Cree makes any single diode LEDs that are more powerful. I know Luxeon does, but I had heard better reviews on the Crees, even though they're smaller. At this point, I think my tank is nutrient limited and that's how I want it. Any more light would just be a waste.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #94
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stevesleds carries epistar LEDs that are 3w and not as pricey as cree and have roughly the same PAR as the Crees. BigJim is spot on there are some drivers available form Meanwell that are relatively plug and play and you can run a string of 6 LEDs @ 700mAh without any problems and they are +/- 15 bucks a piece. Then there are BuckPuck or Bucking linear drivers available that require a DC voltage source. Go take a look at nano-reef for some awesome LED advice under their lighting section. Reefers have been using them with great results for the last few years and there are quite a few builds on there to get you started. Remember though they are shooting for a TON more light than you will need for a planted FW tank
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:40 AM   #95
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I found a cool company called Rapid LED who sell retro fit kits. I wrote them and they were very nice. I already ordered this four panel set from eBay and I already regret it. But they were cheap and ready built so I will try them out.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:29 AM   #96
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BIGJIM
I'm impressed with your project and glosso growth and I'm sold.

Any advice on the LED temperature? You used (Cree Flux/Color BIN: Q5 WG), but on the rapid website recommended by Pecktec (Results for LEDs:White LEDs) they got quite a bit neutral/cool/warm white with/without lens, any advantage?

I currently running compact(DIYed), 55Wx2 in a plantless tank, hoping to restart my planted using LED.

Cheers
Singapore -Mike
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #97
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Mike, I went with the cool white LEDs because I like the bluer color and I'd seen other planted tanks thrive under them. There's some debate as to whether warm white would provide some beneficial extra red light and I may play with it on my next build, but I think the results speak for themselves.

Since the weather finally broke around Chicago, I've been busy landscaping and doing umpteen other things outside, hence the lack of updates. I'll try to get some pictures this week. The plants are finally starting to fill back in after my war on hair algae.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:55 PM   #98
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I will be looking forward to your photo updates, meanwhile will follow your route and add a little more function like slow glow and moonlight.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:29 AM   #99
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BigJim, Did you had a "formula" to derive the number of LED to use?
I've been talking to an experienced aquarist, he said I would need 50pcs 3WCree to match a 150W MH in terms of lumens! Wow!
But judging from yours @2/3 power, I don't think lumen measurement applies.
Wats your recommendation for a 5ft tank (~130G)?
Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:08 PM   #100
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Excellent job on this, BigJim. I hadn't read this thread before and just sat down and read the whole thing. The tank looks fantastic! I'm really impressed with how well the plants have done and the overall design of things.
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