Originally Posted by TropTrea
1. In my past experience I learned not to use MDF in my fish room. The reason is that when water penetrates through any needle holes the MDF wants to swell. What did you use to seal the MDF to prevent this. Also did you consider making these side brackets out of acrylic or Polycarbonate?
I had considered acrylic but it is very hard to cut and bend. I may have to try it in the future if something goes wrong though. I weighed up the risks and am hoping that the vast amount of acrylic spray paint that the mdf soaked up will have sealed it to some degree. It soaked up loads before they started to look white.
2. You mentioned you used a total of 18 3 watt LED's. Dependent on the driver this means you have up to 54 Watts of LED light.
Yep. potential 54W
Your tank is basically a little over 30 gallons and I have found that with the newest LED's out there X-PG2's 1 watt per gallon is edging on excessive. But more important the selection of the color of the LED's will drastically effect the plant growth and amount of algae blooming in the tank. So may I ask what current you picked for your drivers, and what color or colors you picked for your LED's?
The tank is actually 144 litres/38USG (if filled to the top) so nearer to 40USG. I would think I will be filling it to about the 36USG mark
These aren't the newest LEDs though. I did most of this project in 2012 and it has been a slow waiting process to build some motivation to get on with this scape. lol.
I know the Cree and Bridgelux fans will give a collective 'meh' or 'pffft'. These are the ebay chinese luxeon3 copies. I find they are much better than people say. When I made my first luminaire in 2009 they weren't brilliant. Looking at the LEDs you could see there were slight colouration differences in the LED or its die. very very slight tint of yellow in some, very very slight tint of blue in others. Not noticeable looking at the tank. I only noticed looking at photos I'd taken of the luminiare itself.
I think I remember that these LEDs require 700ma
By the time I made the Mk2 in 2010 they had mastered that problem and the LEDs were also brighter.
This unit is the Mk3
In terms of current I'll have to read the driver labels. Like I said I did most of the work in 2012. All I did last month was alter the wiring. I'll post the current details later. I assume I am under-powering in terms of ma if not wattage itself but can't remember off the top of my head.
In the post of mine above this one I detailed that I had altered the wiring. I now have flexibility of using 1 row, 2 rows or 3 rows whereas before it was wired to be more of a novelty thing with series from left to right letting me stagger a sunrise/sunset effect from one side of the tank to the other.
So now I can use the centre row on its own (potentially 18W/0.5WPG based on 36USG) or I can use just the front and back row (potentially 36W/1WPG) or I can use all 3 (potentially 54W/1.5WPG.)
3 Would be great to see some pictures after the tank is planted for about 3 months. Any hope of seeing these?
I have a journal started for this scape: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...pti-white.html