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Crazy DIY lighting idea...
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reignman40
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Joined: 20 Jul 2005

PostPosted: 2005.07.28(Thu)12:16    Post subject: Crazy DIY lighting idea... Reply with quote

Hello all,
Now I just had this crazy idea come to me and was wondering if anybody else has every tried/done this and maybe had some suggestions.

My idea basically is to create a custome aquarium hood with various types of light used to simulate an entire day. Since in nature the light isn't the same strength all day long and then just BOOM it's night.

Any ideas, suggestion, comments are highly welcomed.

Thank you,
Curtis
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.08.01(Mon)9:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other people have done thins also. An idea would be to have blue LED's for moonlight, then white LED's for early morning, then 1 flourescent bulb for morning, then 2 for noon, then 1 bulb for afternoon, then the red LED's for sunset, then blue for moonlight.
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barrigas14
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Joined: 08 Jan 2005

PostPosted: 2005.08.01(Mon)16:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

one way I have been wondering is about using like 3 lights and some LEDS. basically it works like this.

set up a switch that dims or raises the power level to the lights letting them dim and have it hooked up to a timer. so that the dimmer can go over a 24 hour period.

would be hard to figure out though. best option is to set up your standard lighting with some LEDs and have you lights hooked up to timers and set the timers up so they slowly click off or on...with overlap so it kinda makes a 24hour period.
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2005.08.04(Thu)0:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's a good idea.
I think of it as graduated lighting and employ it to reduce the stress to my fish. I have a 15 watt incandescent bulb (exit sign) set with a timer that allows two programs a day. The light comes on for a half hour at dawn and a half hour at sunset. Overlapping this is my main lighting (2X15 watt flor.) that comes on for eleven hours a day by single program timer. You can add moonlight by using another timer that overlaps the sunset phase. If you use three timers you will need a big power bar as they cover a lot of spaces.
Good luck!
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reignman40
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Joined: 20 Jul 2005

PostPosted: 2005.08.04(Thu)14:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was sort of thinking in the same direction. My initial thought process was to have 2 regular bulbs, one not as powerful for the early morning, dusk hours of the day and a powerful one that would consume the main daylight hours. I sort of like the possibility of white LED's to sort of simulate the very early morning hours when it's still sort of dark out and of course the moonlight led setup that would last for probably a few hours after "lights out". Then no lighting at all for those deep hours of the night.

Of course I'm thinking 3-4 timers would be necessary to accomplish all this, but, if I am designing my own hood, I could possibly just build the timers into the hood itself somehow. Who knows, this is all preliminary thinking as I would not do this for anything less then a 75g tank, too much work for smaller tanks. I'm just starting my thought process as I plan on getting 75-125g at tax time this coming year. Plenty of time to work out all the kinks.

So here is a sort of followup question. Would this be worth the trouble to make the fish feel more comfortable? Or do you think they could care less?

Keep those suggestions coming.
Curtis
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.08.04(Thu)19:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the fish won't care and the lights are just for the coolness factor.

I saw some flourescent light dimmers somewhere so mabey you could use a dimmer for the flourescent lights.
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2005.08.04(Thu)22:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on how much you get into the fishkeeping thing I guess.
I'm a tinkerer and am always looking for ways to improve my tanks, wether it is filtration, backgrounds, ornamentation etc... My overriding goal these days is to try to make my tanks as "fish friendly" as possible.
I think (just my opinion) that sudden daylight must stress a fish to some degree, particularily if you have a planted tank and are trying to maximize your daylight intensity. Graduated lighting is so inexpensive and easy to set up (just some timers and low watt lighting) that it does make sense. I don't think that moonlighting is of much benefit to the fish though.
I can't speak to L.E.D. lighting as I don't have any experience with it.
Cheers!
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reignman40
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Joined: 20 Jul 2005

PostPosted: 2005.08.05(Fri)9:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the moon lighting part was for me as I have a couple noctornal fish that are more active at night. Would be nice to see them more.

Now I am at work most of the day so I need the whole setup to be automatic. Do they make dimmers that will just automatically get brighter on a timer? I wasn't sure on that which is why I was thinking I might need to have multiple bulb intensities.

And yes my tank is a 20 gall planted with 55w of BAM! at 10:00am sharp.

Curtis
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2005.08.05(Fri)23:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Curtis,
I also have a nocturnal/catfish tank and use low watt lighting for viewing.
I'm not sure if they make auto dimmers for Flor. lighting, I think they are either on or off. It is an expensive route to go anyways but maybe someone has some more insite in that direction.
If your lighting is set up so each bulb is independant (strip lighting) then just use a timer for each and set them to come on and off in staggered intervals like this:

8:00am: low watt dawn/dusk lighting on
8:30am: Flor. #1 on
8:35am: low watt lighting off (if using multiple program timer)
9:00am: Flor. #2 on
8:30pm: Flor.#1 off
8:55pm: low watt lighting on (if using M.P.T.)
9:00pm: Flor. #2 off
9:25pm: moonlighting on
9:30pm: low watt dawn/dusk bulb off
Midnight: moonlighting off

If your main lighting is connected (wired to one plug) then it would still be OK to do this:

8:00am: low watt dawn/dusk bulb on
8:30am: main lighting on
8:35am: low watt lighting off (if using M.P.T.)
8:25pm: low watt lighting on (if using M.P.T.)

8:30pm: main lighting off
8:55pm: moonlighting on
9:00pm: low watt dawn/dusk bulb off
Midnight: moonlighting off.

The low watt bulb just buffers the fish from the big BAM and actually makes a nice transition for viewing too.
The times of course are optional.
Hope this helps,
Good luck.
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El Fuego
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Location: Reno, NV

PostPosted: 2005.08.09(Tue)15:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could get really fancy (not to mention expensive) and go with something like this.

You could set this up for total control of multiple lights with individual fading and dimming effects for each bulb, depending on the time of day you are trying to emulate. Laughing

Not to mention that you could control it all from your PC with the software. Cool
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