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reefsahoy 02-19-2011 04:20 PM

My New 24G nanocube build from the ground up with lots of DIY!
Just a short history to how i got here. I've been keeping SW aquariums for over 15 years now and I currently have a 100 Gallon full blown SPS reef tank (see my signature below) and I use MH lighting at the moment. I always wanted to try LED lighting but it's a bit risky going from what i know works to something that is suppose to work. So I decided to do a Nano tank for testing. I found a local reefer willing to trade for frags and i ended up getting a Biocube 14 with a sunpod MH150 for nothing but frags. I later found someone to buy the tank and I upgraded to a Aquapod 24G with the canopy and standard lights. So for a total investment of $0 I will start to build my new Nano.:lol:

After doing extensive research, I will do a DIY LED upgrade to the canopy. This LED setup should be powerful enough to keep anything from SPS to softies. It will include 20 CREE XP LED's with a combo of at least 13 royal blues to 7 whites to try to get the look of 20K. If that combo doesn't get the look, i ordered 2 extra blues so i could get 15 blues to 5 whites to give a 25% white to 75% blue combination lighting. This type of lighting should give shimmer in the tank without any heat going into the water so no chiller should be required. I've already ordered the parts for the LED build and when I get the required parts I will post the upgrade to the canopy.

For supplementing trace elements, I currently have a triple dosing pump. I will be able to dose 3 part alk, ca, and mg separately. I will also build a DIY auto topoff for the tank as i did with my current tank. I will consider using a mini diy kalk reactor in the process.

The goal is to see if LED's give the look i like, if corals can thrive under this type of lighting and whatever i use to support the tank will need to fit under the tank stand as i'm not into seeing all the "junk" that support a tank. If successful, i may one day, break down the 100 G and create a new look and theme aquarium using LED's.

obviously i will try to answer any questions posted here. Hopefully we can all learn something from this experience.

Stay tuned!:lol:

aunt kymmie 02-19-2011 04:33 PM

I'm tuned. :-)

reefsahoy 02-24-2011 08:54 PM

Heres some updates on the build. Here's a picture f the canopy before I've done anything. It has the original cp lighting and moon lights. It will be upgraded to LED's

So I gut the entire top and removed all circuitry to make space for the LED's.

This is what it looks like now that it's gutted. I'm running into some problems already. The previous owner had broken some of the screw standoffs that was to be use to secure the LED upgrade i was building. I will have to compromise and improvise as i continue building the LED lighting.

reefsahoy 02-24-2011 09:03 PM

A couple pictures of the goodies being introduced into the canopy. I ordered 20 CREE LED's which should allow me to keep any light loving animal in the nano. From light loving SPS corals and Clams to softies should be possible once the LED's are installed. Oh, and I will get wicked shimmering lines in the tank too! it won't have that flat look fluourescents or t5's give. It will give a MH look without the heat. No chiller will be required either. remember LED's gives little heat and that heat will be reflected away from the water surface. So. here's the goodies as promised.

Heat sink, and LED drivers

loose LED's. Figuring out how to lay them out and in what order. Blue to white ratio. Remember, I'm looking for a 14k to 20 k look.

The blues being screwed into the heat sink. Heat compound used so heat transfer is efficient to the heat sink.

reefsahoy 02-24-2011 09:12 PM

Now the finished LED lighting consist of 20 CREE LEDS with a combination of 6 whites and 14 blues. About 30% whites to 70% blues. Nice colors. I couldn't wait to see what the spectrum look like so i held it over my current tank. All i can say is WOW! colors pop and POWER! This thing is really powerful and bright!

I tried taking a picture of the LEDS on but the camera couldn't handle the brightness coming out of the LEDs. It's so bright that it hurts the eye just glancing at it. I now wonder if it's too powerful fo the nano? I tried to mount the fixture to the gutted canopy but i broke another of the stand off. These stand off are pretty brittle and break easily. i will have to go the the hardware store to figure out another way to mount the lights. So from here i will post a few of the other stuff i will incorp into this tank.

A big deal for me in any tank is how quiet i can get it. so while i'm upgrading the light i got these stealth fans. Shhh, can you hear them?

I also have a triple dosing pump so i can automatically administer ca, mg, and alk supplements.

reefsahoy 02-24-2011 09:25 PM

once i finish the canopy upgrade with the LEDs and fans i will design and build an automatic refill system. I have an idea of what i'm going to do for that already and it's pretty cheap to build it. once i build and test it i will post away here. so stay tuned!

reefsahoy 02-24-2011 10:07 PM

fiured out how to take the pics with the LEDS on!

for dusk and dawn All atinics and only 6 bulbs

full power! all LEDS on

the entire room is glowing! if i was guessing i'd say somewhere between 15k and 20k. Right where i wanted my spectrum to fall!

underh2o 03-05-2011 01:32 PM

Nice Job!! Some real good ideas, Would it not be correct to spread the lights out more???

Blabomb 03-05-2011 02:54 PM

Wow this looks really interesting!!! Good luck with your project! Keep us posted :-)

reefsahoy 03-05-2011 05:31 PM

ok a few more updates. i finally finished incorporating the LED into the canopy. heres the finished product.

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