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Aquarium lighting
#1
Well I really liked Todd's LED lamps on my viv and my aquarium started looking downright shabby, so I picked up 3 x 22" LED light bars from him and lit my aquarium Smile I started with a crummy set of tape LEDs and man were they terrible. These light bars were quick and easy to install in my existing DIY low profile hood. I documented most of the details here:
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/2012/07/2...rium-hood/

I picked a few highlight shots to show off the light bars in case anyone is interested in trying them on their viv . This is a shell dweller 33L (12x12x48) tank with three species of shellies and S lucipinnis. It's been up for over a year. The front of the fixture is on the right. Right most pair of bars are the daylight lamps driven by one timer, middle blue tape LED's are the moonlights on a second timer, and the left most bar is dawn and dusk on a third timer:
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moonlights (morning and night, moonlights only)
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Dawn and dusk (rear single bar lit, moonlights on)
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Full sun (all three bars lit, moonlights on)
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I found these exceptionally bright in comparison to a Marineland single bright and comparable to my DIY brightness, but the colors of these bars are far better. They are made of aluminum track with a sealed insert of LEDs. There are 4 eyelets on each unit which makes for easy installation. Overall, piece of cake to install, and worth considering for a DIY hood. I would caution that the beams are narrow, so I'm not sure you'd want to go with a single strip on a viv - I'd probably do 2 shorter strips to even out the light distribution. The three bars worked perfectly for me.

I'll post a few shots of the inhabitants shortly. Prepare for little brown fish shots.... Wink
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#2
Here are a few shots of the tank occupants starting from the left side of the tank to the right. Depending on how you start the tank, you can setup visual barriers for shellies and they generally stay put. I have a cluster of flower pots and plants on the left that are home to a breeding pair of L. caudopunctatus (caudos or "punks"). They breed frequently and to me, are the most attractive of the shell dwellers (though they are not a true shellie, they will use shells to breed when available. Here's the pair with normal coloration:
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Here's the pair with the male in his display / aggressive coloration:
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Another view of the male:
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The majority of the tank is a L. multifasciatus (multies) colony. They are one of the few shellies that form colonies, and they tend to dominate a tank. They are "isolated" in the central part of the tank by large flower pot fragments and some well established anubias. Here is one of the dominant males (a whopping 1.5" of fury):
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At any given time there are usually 1 or 2 dozen fry darting in and out of the shell bed (approximately 150 shells are in the central part of the tank, up to about 4 to 5" high in some areas):
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Finally on the right is a trio of L. brevis. They are a fairly large shelly, with a large disparity in size between the male and females. Here is the male and one of the females:
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The S. lucipinnis are the show case of the tank, but of course they are mostly noctornal and nearly impossible for me to get a shot of. They live inside two inverted shallow flower pots on the right side of the tank. I'll see if I can get a better shot of them. In general they just dart past my camera during the day:
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Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#3
Very nice! Makes me want to start up a Tanganyikan tank again...

([sigh] like I need any more tanks... )

I've never seen L. caudopunctatus before -- they remind me a lot of L. "Daffodil" (always one of my favorites) -- how big do they get?
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#4
Thanks Chuck! Yeah they are fun. I went almost a decade without a multie colony and am I glad I set one up again. Let me know when you stand up that spare 10 gallon tank you are staring at right now thinking "I bet I can fit it there..." and I can pull a few multies or caudo's for you Smile
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#5
Well I ended up having heat issues with the original mounting of the light bars that I posted above. They overheated, the resin cracked and they yellowed. Overall the bars ran pretty hot. Todd was good about working with me on replacements. I wanted to avoid melting these, so I ripped off Chuck's idea and bought a big heat sink. I epoxied the light bars to the heat sink, mounted it in the original wood enclosure using 1/2" nylon spacers. I mounted a 120 mm variable speed fan as a blow hole, and man do these run cool now! (Thanks for the link to heatsinkusa.com Chuck!):
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I think Todd is working on cooler running bars, but mounting the bars to a heat sink was a pretty simple solution for me and it worked like a charm.
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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