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what kind of lighting for a new 1200L, 240cm long aquarium?

Discussion in 'Lighting Requirements' started by snowman1235, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. snowman1235

    snowman1235 New Member

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    Hi all,
    I am currently in the process of building a new ~1200L aquarium (240x60x70 dimensions) and am struggling to decide what kind of lighting to choose.
    The aquarium will be planted and populated with a group of ~12 discus and "maintenance crew" of ottos and other small hard workers.

    I've always had T5 lights, but am really interested in LED lighting options, particularly to allow also for dimming effects of morning/evening etc. - to make the aquarium as "natural" as possible.

    But there is a flood of options, all quite different as this seems to be rather new and evolving field of tech. For instance, I am looking at:

    GHL's Mitras LX line
    Kessil's A360 LED lights (would probably need few of these)
    Hydra FiftyTwo HD:
    Aquamedics ECOplant LED 90
    Maxspect Razor 420r 320w
    TMC's GroBeam:
    Euroquatics E5 lamps:

    ...and many others.
    So difficult to choose. And in particular as my aquarium is indeed very large.

    Is there a clear advantage of LED over T5? I realise there are also some dimmable options for T5, but I have not seen any nice ready-made products; many are sort of DIY variants...

    Please can you help me choose a suitable lighting system for a 240cm long 1200L planted aquarium?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    snowman

    Welcome to ASW I am sure one of our lighting experts will be able to assist you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  3. snowman1235

    snowman1235 New Member

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    Just a quick update: I've narrowed my selection between Kessil A360WE Tuna sun (probably will need 4 of those), TMC GroBeam 1500 (also probably would need 4), and GHL Mitras LX (would probably need 2). Any suggestions here?

    Regarding aquarium cover and ligting, I have a question: this aquarium will be installed against a 240cm wall and will look like a "window" with glass exposed from 3 sides but enclosed above and below with cabinet. I want to minimize the evaporation from the aquarium to minimize the impact of the humidity on the cabinet above... otherwise this may not be a very lasting solution. I will leave some space at the back of the cabinet to allow for evaporation, but still...
    So, I was thinking to cover the top of the aquarium with thin glass cover. But wherever I see these LED lighting fixtures, they are all mounted some height above the water but with no glass in between. Is this for aesthetics, or would a glass cover limit some of the light coming through? What would be the best solution to minimize the humidity impact on the cabinet above?
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    snowman

    Its very difficult to actually minimise evaporation unless the tank is completely covered and this also can be very difficult as you have to have hoses going into the tank.

    Can you post a photo of your setup please?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  5. snowman1235

    snowman1235 New Member

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    I do not yet have a set-up for this; my current 400L aquarium has a full cover with T5 lights underneath... but for the new 1200L set-up I am currently in the process of "conceptualization" and design.

    Considering that it will have a bean-animal type overflow with sump, the basic glass will look something similar to this:
    [​IMG]


    I couldn't find any similar set-ups with planted aquarium, so here is one I found with a marine aquarium that conveys the concept:
    [​IMG]


    and this one not as good, but shows access to the cabinet:
    [​IMG]

    So, basically, my sump will be below the aquarium with access from the front (bottom cabinet) and lighting and everything else will be in the above cabinet. I will have enough space higher to have one or two extra shelves for maintenance equipment etc.

    Now, if you try to imagine, on the left side of the aquarium, I will have glass sliding doors, which will slide behind the cabinet leaving about 1M free space to the right for access with plumbing for bean-animal etc. Of course I will mask the opening on the right side so that it will look the cabinet fuses with the wall, but in reality, about 2/3 of the space behind the aquarium and the actual wall will need to stay open for the sliding glass door and 1/3 of the space will be available for plumbing.

    Because of the sliding glass door, the entire height of the wall to the left will remain open and will provide for quite a bit of ventilation... but still - I am worried about evaporation from the tank, because above the tank the closet will be closed from the front. I don't care about water going out - I will have automatic refill in the sump, but I care about the longevity of the cabinet if it is continuously exposed to humidity.

    I hope I was able to illustrate my plans well enough?
    Any suggestions?
     
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  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    snowman

    Thank you for posting the information and, those photos.

    Keep us updated please

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. snowman1235

    snowman1235 New Member

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    So Keith, what is your thought on such cabinet enclosures? Do you think humidity is an issue? If you were designing a set-up like this with a cabinet enclosure, would you keep the aquarium top open (good aeration, best light penetration etc.) or would you close it with glass cover to minimize the evaporation?
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Having done many years of teaching Cabinet Making and Furniture I would say they look very modern with simple lines that do not distract from its purpose displaying an Aquarium.

    If it is completely enclosed there could be a humidity concern.
    If I was designing an enclosed cabinet, I would do my best to explain to the client all of the Pros and Cons of that design.

    With that last design above the tank could be open to allow for light height adjustments and, ventilation.
    It could also be built into a partitioned wall and be completely open at the back.

    At a calculated guess I would think the top tank is completely open at the back.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. snowman1235

    snowman1235 New Member

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    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in the explaining: I already have a design idea for the cabinet, which I described in the text (I am copying it again below). I explained that I have a large sliding door to the left of the cabinet, which will slide behind the cabinet. This will leave a big vertical opening at the back - from bottom to top. However, I am not sure this will (a) provide sufficient ventilation and (b) still whether cabinet will not suffer in the long-run from such humidity if the tank is open top.

     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    snowman

    Now we are getting into another area this time materials used and finishes used. The standard house Electrical work and high humidity do not go together.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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