Help with LED lights (and my marriage) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-31-2013, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Help with LED lights (and my marriage)

Hi, my husband keeps freshwater fish, and new LED lights (installed for plant health) are causing a major problem between us. I was hoping someone on this forum could help us out with a solution.

In our small apartment, the only place for his 30 gallon tank is on the same wall as our TV - this has always been a little annoying but previously the light was contained in the tank. Now, the new LED lighting system he installed projects light in all directions out of the tank . Is this normal? There's a bright, shimmering pool of light (about six inches square) on the carpet, a beam of light two feet long onto the side wall, and a four inch halo of glowing light above the length of the tank.

I find it incredibly distracting and asked him to shield the light or put the old lights back, but he said the plants will all die (they were dying before with the lower lights, as the tank isn't near a window). He told me he'll have to schedule the light so that it's off when we're home, but then he won't be able to see the fish. So now he's sad in the other room and I'm sad, and I was hoping to figure out whether there's a different lighting solution, a way to block the lights, or something that he did wrong that causes the fish tank to be like a lighthouse.

Is it normal for LED lights to shine so much outside the tank? Any help would be appreciated! :)
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-31-2013, 10:19 PM
Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I am somewhat experienced with LED lighting as I have a 75 gallon aquarium with 2 48 inch Lin Finnex ray 2 LED lights strips that are super bright.

1 thing your husband can do is to purchase or make an aquarium canopy that sits above the aquarium that would greatly limit the amount of light coming from the top of the tank.
2nd thing your husband can do is purchase a background for the aquarium. Maybe like a complete black background or something with a scenery this will limit the amount of light from behind the aquarium. He can also place a background on the sides of the aquarium which will limit the amount of light from the sides.

3rd move the aquarium. I know you said the only place for it is along the wall of the TV but maybe the furniture and aquarium can be moved to better suit its placement.

4th option downgrade to a smaller aquarium.

This is my opinion.

-------------* Semper Fortis *-------------
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-01-2013, 07:33 AM
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We had the exact same problem, more with the TV. My daughter came up with a fix after we installed a mylar backdrop, plain black as it makes the plants and fish really stand out. We had some extra so she suggested draping strips from the edge of the fixture to the glass top to block the light. Works perfectly and, being LED there isn't enough heat to worry about on the plastic.

The backdrop blocks the light on the back wall, the strips block the light out the front, rear and sides... just tape them on, I haven't taped them yet, just set curled pieces on top of the glass that block the light... lazy. The strips also stop the light from being reflected off the glass top.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-02-2013, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you for the helpful replies. :) Husband and I are talking things out and are going to look into a canopy and backdrops.
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