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Light Diffuser for Fluval Spec 5

Discussion in 'Lighting Requirements' started by Ricardo K, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Ricardo K

    Ricardo K New Member

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    Hello everyone:

    I need some assistance in choosing a material to make a light diffuser for my Fluval Spec 5.

    I use a 16" Finnex Fugeray Planted Plus light and it just puts out way too strong a PAR for that tank and the plants I have.

    Consequently I have been fighting algal bloom for several months and have grown tired of pulling out my spiderwood, washing it off, replanting my swords and hair grass, using algaefix literally every other week, turning over the substrate (eco-complete).

    Hoping a diffuser layer will bring down the PAR levels enough to let my dwarf hair grass grow, and to replant new flame moss and still allow my swords enough light.

    Ideas?
     
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Shade cloth may work over the tank as long as it is not too close to the light where heat may be an issue. You could also try some water moss or amazon frogbit floating on the top to reduce the light. These are not as messy or bothersome as the smaller floating plants.

    Does it have a dimmer function? The Fluval aquaksy lights have one. I've actually found them to be decent little LEDs for the price. I'm running mine at about 75% for a low tech without CO2 (although I just added CO2 because why not if I have the gear). At 100 % and without the floating plants it would be too much and cause algae.

    What type of algae are you getting?
     
  3. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    There's a thing called neutral density gel (or ND gel) in the photography world. It's just a layer of film, sort of like a thick piece of plastic wrap, that cuts out light at different strengths. I've used them on hot lights and video lights with no problem, so there's definitely no issue with using them with LED's. Plus you can cut them to whatever size you want to fit nicely under the light.

    I'd suggest maybe just going with a 1 stop neutral density gel and if you need more, just add another layer.
     
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  4. Flo

    Flo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    For how many hours is the light on? Maybe reducing the time can help.
     
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  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Do you have any idea of the cost of that product?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Looks like e bay has them for around $7 for a 21x24 inch sheet. That's more than enough for this application. Otherwise check Amazon, BHphoto in NYC definitely has them, not sure about other parts of the world, but they are pretty common and easy to obtain. Google search for ND filter gel should get you there.

    Rethinking my earlier post, would probably go with a 1/2 stop gel and double up if necessary.
     
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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    @J Art

    I really like the idea of the gel if it effectively blocks out PAR and holds up to heat, it would be a great alternative for reducing light intensity for people who do not have the capability of dimming or raising their light.
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    L Art looks like you are going to be the Photography expert on ASW.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ricardo

    Have you chosen a material to make a light diffuser for my Fluval Spec 5 yet?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. Ricardo K

    Ricardo K New Member

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    Hello all:

    I'm redoing the tank with new substrate. There's just too much loose spore that keeps re-growing. I'll have to kill off the spores on my spiderwood and rocks before re-scaping with them. Hoping that a good rinse will remove all the growth from my dwarf hairgrass (OMG tedious) and the swords.

    As for the gel. It sounds like the thing to use in my case. The light has no adjustment capability, other than the blue nightlight mode. The Finnex light sits directly on the plastic tank cover, so I'd likely have to raise it a bit and allow some space for the gel sheet. I have access to 4 suppliers in Portland, Or. I'll get with them. Hopefully I can buy a single sheet at a time.

    Thank you all for your help. I'll update once I get the Gel installed.

    Rico
     
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  11. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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  12. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Definitely keep us updated! Make sure to go with 1/2 stop ND gel and double up if necessary. It's an easier/safer route than rewiring your lights with a low quality dimmer.
     
  13. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    LOL. @J Art route is the safest. I'll consider his method too!
     
  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    GDA is fairly common and really only mucks up the glass after a while. There us no such thing as an algae free tank, believe it or not. Minimal algae yes....but not nonexistent. I get GDA on most of my higher light tanks. Just clean the glass every once in a while. If you don't want to do that try a twinstar.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  15. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Not to hijack the OP thread. But the discussion is kind of related @ShadowMac . Last week I purchased a TwinStar. The jury is still out as I'm in the middle of a re-scape (any feed-back on that would be much appreciated). But I'm glad to know GDA is not just MY PROBLEM. I have a Finnex Planted + on a 16 inch over a 5 Gallon aquarium. GDA was out of control, tried the wait it out method; didn't work. Cleaned the glass every 3 days. That worked! But I have toddlers at home; I can't afford to take that much time for tank maintenance so I'm hoping the twin star will MINIMIZE the maintenance to my Friday night water changes.

    As I said... not to hijack the OP's original question... just watching this thread with much interest.

    Thanks!
     
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  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a toddler too, so I get it. Light is probably the easiest factor to control. Ferts, CO2, healthy growth....all don't get rid of GDA fully. Mine is never that bad. Clean the glass every week but could go two or three. It's easy to wipe it down while water drains. If it's really really bad then reducing the light should help. Twinstar does help with it. I was skeptical but have seen it be effective.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  17. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So far for me Light has been the most difficult thing to control LOL! I already have a timer, tried raising the light, and purchased a TwinStar. That is why I'm watching the OP's thread carefully.
     
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ricardo K

    As far as cleaning the glass I never cleaned the back of the tank reasons most hidden by plants plus the Shrimps and Nerites kept it clean.

    As for the sides and front I used a non soapy Glass no scratch scourer pad usually monthly.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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