Instructables

LED lighting capable of reef aquariums?

Using 5m 420nm to 680nm blue and red LED getting enough "light" past 18 inches of water to allow live rock and coral growth. How many LED's are needed? Has anyone else done it? Ridiculous is the price as soon as you put the word hydroponics or aquarium on a item. Like some help building one 36"x 12" that would pentrate 18" of water at what 3000 lumens? Pars? Buying "supplies" here in Kanada is another use of that "R" word.

theledguy3 years ago
It really depends on the type of LED's you choose. For a reef tank, you're gonna need some pretty intense light with a mixture of 10,000 kelvin white light and some 460-470nm blue LED's (both of which are readily available). For this purpose, you're going to need 100ma LED's, which they do make in 5mm (these typically produce about 30-45 lumens a piece). I would plan on buying about 10 LED's per square foot of tank, with a ratio of one blue to every three10k white. This should give you adequate lighting, with a nice moonlight if you set the blues on a separate circuit.
dsatone4 years ago
 I'm running two 225LED white and blue panels

My watermellon is bigger than ever!

the Kenyon Trees are medium at best.

I'm running the lights for 7 hours and my moonlighting is down.

more to follow
lemonie5 years ago
You need a high colour temperature setup: (correct) fluorescent tubes. I'm not very hopeful that you can do this with LEDs, and it's not the sort of thing you'd want to test on a live-system. L
peninbrant (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Your right and I wasn't planning on "interupting" a live system but rather building a LR and soft coral system around an appropiate lighting system. Right now I am in a city and living on grid, however in 5 years I will be living full time in my off grid cottage and really do not wish to sell or lose my system. My system is small, 30 gallon. Using a "plenum" system. The one thing I do have is time, the tech is moving rather quickly is there a known conversion mcd to lumen or even par?
This appears to be fairly comprehensive on "lumen candela par conversion"

http://www.sunmastergrowlamps.com/SunmLightandPlants.html

L
Indeed - don't reefs need full spectrum style light? LEDs generally put out only a few frequencies, and even high power leds don't put out much in the UV spectrum.
I think so, the hard penetrating UV is something you don't get in LEDs (easily) L
You don't get hard UV from "full spectrum" fluorescents either ! Steve
These aquarium tubes vary a lot, I don't know any more that this much (without looking) L
I know they're pretty high spectrum with a bell curve around the uv.
peninbrant (author)  frollard5 years ago
differernt UV's..A, B and C.
A being the the "bad one"
No, LED do not produce this.
I see grow lights being advertised, so someone has figured out howm many of what nm make what.
Blue is a color that penatrates water the furthest.
That is why most reef aquariums are in that "spectrum", yellow, orange and red (in that order I believe ) lose their "light potential" thru water at various depths.
I noticed the science behind "lighting" has been over complicated and made to be confusing in order to 'reem" a few extra bucks out of the everyday consumer.
Watts to gallons is no rule of thumb...however I have found a site that actually shows what aquariums need in "product" rather than a lot of tech mumbo-jumbo and I would be more than happy to share such a site.
It's the first place I have found that said I dont need a HID for a reef aquarium.
http://www.marineandreef.com/Articles.asp?ID=121
In case anybody else is interested.