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Category Archives: Coral

Cree Lumia 5.2 Build – 1 Year Update


Well, it’s been about a year since I built my LEDgroupbuy light. I’ve gradually increased the LED intensity from 35% to 60% and am very happy with the results. I may boost the intensity up a little bit but I don’t think much. The only coral I have that seems to not be as colorful is the hammer coral which looks a little lighter. The clams seem to be very happy which makes me happy! ūüôā

The only issue I’ve run into is that one of my MakersDRIVERS 5UP PRO units gave out here last week. I came home and noticed all the LED¬†chips but one were off (far right on). I turned the lights off for a bit and then back on. All the Lumia chips fired up but the right side of my tank looked darker and more actinicly lit. The left side of the tank was bright and white. Turns out that when the MakersDRIVER went out it stop communicating to the other 5UP PROs down the line and the result was each Lumia chip down the line was running at a 100%. This could have been a bad deal for the coral, jumping from 60%-100%, but they weren’t too upset. I dug out an old window screen and placed it over the left¬†side of the tank which seemed to filter out enough light to look consistent with the 60% output.

After the 5UP PRO went out I looked at¬†the LED Group Buy website and saw the 5UP PROs only had a 90-day warranty… Fortunately after emailing LED Group Buy they priority mailed out a replacement at no cost. ūüôā I’m glad I went with a company who stands behind their, and their supplier’s, products!

Cree Lumia 5.2 not working

Here’s what the light looked like after I restarted it (evening). The sunrise/set controller plugs in on the right and daisy chains to the left. The second set of lights you can see are out and all chips¬†to the left are running at 100% :-/.

 

LED group buy 6 foot Makers Light

 

Makers LED Makers DRIVER 5UP PRO failed

 

Cree Lumia 5.2 LED Chip not turning on

Even though the power was turned off to this 5UP Pro it still had about 1% power going to channel 3. I assume the Makers sunset/rise dimmer sends a little power through the audio cables.

 

Bad MakersDRIVER 5UP PRO Burnt Spot

Notice the burn spot between the fuse and fan wires. I’m guessing this is where the issue was.

 

LED Group Buy Makers Reef Light

Back up and running!

 

Happy Squami Clams, Achilles Tang, Rabbitfish, Clownfish

Happy fish and clams!

 

Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles)

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Lumia 5.2 LED Build – Week 7 – 50% Intensity


Update video for my Cree Lumia 5.2 light build. 50% is looking pretty good. ūüôā

Cree Lumia 5.2 LED Aquarium Light Build (8 Chips)


Okay, it’s time to replace the old metal halide lights with a set of LEDs. After seeing a lot of fellow reefers switching to LED fixtures I can’t believe how great their tanks look! The ability to finely tune each light channel really allows for complete customization. Most people’s preferences differ quite a bit on how much blue, or actinic, light is used in their aquarium. Being able to change each channel based on what looks good to you and your corals makes it all worth it to me. I love it when the corals glow in the tank. ūüôā

After a bit of research I’ve decided that I want to build my own light fixture using components from LED Group Buy. I’m pretty sure I can build a LED fixture that will save on electricity¬†and give my corals and clams better light. It looks like the Cree Lumia 5.2 LED chip is a great full spectrum reef tank option. 5 Lumia 5.2’s spaced on a 6 foot MakersLED heatsink should make for a great setup on my 90 inch tank. Tentatively I plan on using the 5 chip setup as it puts at least one chip directly above each one of my tank’s opening. It’s recommended that you use one chip every 24 inches so there aren’t¬†any dark spots between lights. Using 5 LED chips on the 6 foot heatsink would put the LED chips about 16-17 inches apart. Here is my proposed diagram matched up with my tank:

Lumia 5.2 LED Tank Placement

I’m working with the staff at LED Group Buy to finely tune the design but I think the 5 chip design should work well.


 

UPDATE 12/31/14:

After chatting with the team at LED Group Buy it looks like 8 lumia 5.2 chips is more appropriate for my tank. 8 chips should ensure I won’t have any spots lacking coverage. Here is a rough mock up of where 8 chips would sit on a 72″ heatsink over the tank, each line representing a Lumia:

90 inch tank top spacing for 8 lumia 5.2 LEDs

Most important to me, I want to make sure there is a Lumia chip right above the clams on the right side of the tank. Currently one of the halides is close but not really closed enough:

Metal Halide Placement above Giant Clam

 


 

UPDATE 1/9/15:

The order has been placed! ūüôā

Cart Items SKU Qty
180w 48v 3.75A DC Power Supply (1 per 2 lights w/ 1 extra) S-180-48 5
Arctic Silver Céramique 2 Р25g CMQ2-25G 1
CREE Lumia 5.2 – 70w Full Spectrum 5 Channel CREE LED
(Connectors: Dual Molex connectors for CREE Lumia 5.2 – Flying leads)
(Pre-order item)
SKU-4B9177A7 4
CREE Lumia 5.2 – 70w Full Spectrum 5 Channel CREE LED
(Connectors: Molex connector for CREE Lumia 5.2 – Interconnect)
(Pre-order item)
SKU-CA8B17BF 4
Hanging Kit for MakersLED Heatsink MakersHK 1
Makers CONTROLLER – Sunrise / Sunset controller for MakersDRIVER MakersCTRL1 1
MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro – Drive up to 70 LEDs! (1 per 2 lights) MakersDRV5 4
MakersLED Designer Heatsink Kit – Professional Grade – Anodized
(Length: 72″)
Makers72A 1
Meanwell LDD-700HLED Driver (5 per MakerDRIVER 5UP Pro w/ 2 extra) LDD-700H 22

 

UPDATE 2/9/15:

All of my back ordered parts have now arrived! I just need to make a little time to put everything together. Looking over my parts it looks like I need to pick up 3 – 3′ straight-ended 3.5mm audio cables (the 18″ 90 degree cables weren’t long enough to connect each MakersDRIVER), some 14 gauge power wire (16 gauge would have worked too), a few rubber grommets (< .5″ diameter and ~.25″ groove), a step drill bit, 4 computer power cords to run each power supply and 4 quick disconnects to run between the power supplies and heatsink. The plan is¬†to basically build 4 separate sets of lights and place them on one heatsink. Each 180 watt power supply will power up a¬†MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro. The MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro runs two Lumina 5.2s and a fan. First step is to lay everything out and figure out where the power and fan wires need to go through the heatsink.

LEDGroupBuy Light Build Components

CREE Lumia 5.2 Layout on MakersLED Designer Heatsink with MakersDRIVER

The outer Lumia’s are placed 3 inches in on the heatsink then the rest are spaced out 9 7/16″.

MakersLED Designer Heatsink and CREE Lumia 5.2 LED Layout

 


 

UPDATE 2/14/15:

A big thanks to my friend, and fellow Reefer, Kelan for helping me with the build. It’s always nice to have help with these projects as two heads are better than one.

Here we go! Using the step drill bit I started out by drilling holes for the rubber grommets (protection for each power line, fan wire and 3.5 mm audio cable). We made sure to get grommets big enough to fit the 2 Р14 gauge power wires and the small fan wire.

6 foot MakersLED Designer Heatsink

As we began to slide the¬†screws, nylon washers and nuts down the heat sink it became clear that everything needed to be put on the heatsink in a very precise¬†order as it’s a very compact fit. The MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro with Meanwell LED drivers does not slide over the screws. The interconnect Molex connectors will not slide under the MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro when mounted to the heatsink so be sure to put the Molex connector under the 5UP Pro before sliding it into the heatsink.

Also be sure to leave room for the acrylic splash guard to fit in the groove above the 5UP. There’s no room for error so make sure the guard fits and that you have the correct amount of screws between each unit so you don’t have to take everything off!

CREE Lumia 5.2 Interconnect Molex Connector goes Under MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro

A dab of Arctic Silver goes a long way.

The Lumia’s are placed on the heatsink and gently worked down to remove any imperfections for heat transfer then screwed down firmly.

CREE Lumia 5.2 - 70w Full Spectrum 5 Channel CREE LED

A nice “S” shape takes up the extra wire length of the interconnecting Molex connectors.

CREE Lumia 5.2 LED Build

Flip over heatsink and attach fans and run power wires through rubber grommets. Also run 5UP connection 3.5 mm audio cables through holes and add rubber grommets. Note: Because of the size of the audio cable ends and the diameter of the grommets we had to cut a slit into one side of the grommet, slide the audio cable through, then insert the audio cable end and then grommet into the hole. You can see the cut in the audio cable grommet two pictures down.

MakersLED Designer Heatsink with Fans

Make sure to have your small screwdriver set handy to tighten the screws on the 5UP board.

CREE Lumia 5.2 LEDs with MakersDriver 5UP Pro

Time for some bench testing with the extra power supply I purchased. Note: be sure to only have the Makers Controller plugged into the MakersDRIVER 5UP Pro and Lumia’s you plan on testing. If you want to test the whole unit make sure you have power running to each 5UP Pro. We initially had all of the ¬†5UP Pro’s connected together with the audio cables and the result was the single Lumia we were testing didn’t turn on. After unplugging the audio cable connector all worked as expected. Also keep in mind, it takes a few seconds for the Lumia’s to come on and the controller is set at 50% intensity by default which makes for a very bright light. So, be careful when you turn it on so you don’t blind yourself! We turned all channels down to 35% and it was still very bright.

Bench testing Makers Control and Lumia 5.2


 

UPDATE 2/15/15:

Time to get the power supplies mounted.

A quick trip to Lowes produced a white laminated shelving board that we screwed to the wall and then the power supplies to.

LEDgroupbuy 180 watt 48 volt 3.75 amp dc power supply

Then we took out the old lights and easily hung the new unit up using the MakersLED hanging kit and strung the power wires over to the power supplies. Make sure you screw the hanging unit into studs!

Old Current metal halide unit and T5s:

Old Aquarium Lights

New shiny LED unit:

MakersLED Hanging Kit with MakersLED Designer Heatsink

Power up the 180 watt power supplies with the old recycled computer power cords.

LED group buy 180 watt 48v 3.75amp dc power supply

Turns out I had two different power cords consisting of differently colored wires. The first had black (load), white (neutral) and green (ground) wires while the other had brown (load), blue (neutral) and green (ground) wires.


Black White Green Power Cord

Green Blue Brown Power Cord

Plug each power supply into my Apex controller and flip the switch!

8 CREE Lumia 5.2 LED Build

 

LED Group Buy CREE Lumia 5.2 Before and After

 

 


 

UPDATE – 1 Week:


 

UPDATE Р4 Weeks:


 

UPDATE Р7 Weeks:


 

UPDATE¬†– 1 Year: Cree Lumia 5.2 Build ‚Äď 1 Year Update

Tank Update!!!


It’s time for a tank update, lot of stuff happening! I should have probably broke this up into a couple different posts but I’ve not been on the computer much lately and still have lots of work to do.

Here are a couple update photos of the 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank acting as the temporary home for our fish. ¬†We actually really enjoy watching the fish and corals from above. The clams are very neat to look at too! So far the fish and corals haven’t protested the temp setup.

300 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium - Temp with 90 Gallon Refugium

Temp Saltwater Aquarium - 300 Gallon Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clams in Temp Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clam

Squamosa Clam

LPS Coral, Mushrooms, SPS

In the fish room, behind the display tank, I have set up a metal rack to hold the 90 gallon refugium and 90 gallon salt mixing tank. The refugium will go up high and have a drain that drops down into the display tank (to the right). Hopefully the refuge will produce lots of bugs for the fish to eat. ūüôā We’ve also painted everything white in the fish room with Kilz primer, added some can lights, and put in a small sink and hookup for the RO/DI unit.

Metal Rack 90 Gallon Refugium & Salt Mix Stand

Saltwater Aquarium Sink

Just got the ATO (Automatic Top Off) up and running this evening. I used a small pump and a 10 gallon tank for top-off water. I also got my APEX controller back up and running on the temp system.

Auto Top Off (ATO) 10 Gallon Reservoir Tank

While building the stand we ran three new lines to the breaker box, one for lights, one for pumps, and one for the refugium area. I’m really happy to have the aquarium system on its own set of breakers.

Moving the display tank…

6 guys, a trailer, suction cups, straps and an hour of grunting we had the tank moved. We think the tank weighs around 600+ lbs. (.5 inch glass with a bit of re-enforcement glass in the bottom). Luckily everything went well although we did bust off a fitting on the bottom for one of the returns. I think I might actually cut out one overflow (right side), deleting the broken return, and rely on my VorTech MP40s to create the majority of the flow/turnover in the tank. Originally I thought I would get a lot of flow from the return pumps (2 – Mag Drive 24s) but that just didn’t happen.

Moving a Large Aquarium with Suction Cups

Strapping down the tank on the trailer

Moving a Saltwater Aquarium

Moving of the Fish Tank

After a bit more thought and my wife’s “Not to scale” disclaimer drawings (lol) we had the stand figured out. Here’s where we are now.

Saltwater Aquarium Plans/Drawings

300 Gallon Saltwater Display Tank in Progress

Saltwater Tank Canopy Doors

(tops to be installed soon!)

Next time around we should have the tops installed, tank painted and the right side overflow removed… ūüėČ Time for some sleep.

Stormy Weather and Down Power Lines… Do you have a generator for your fish tank?


With all of the bad weather lately it’s a good idea to have a generator or backup power source on hand. One of my friends, who lives in a remote location, had some bad weather the other day that knocked his power out for 9+ hours. Luckily for him he had a generator to run his tank’s pumps and heaters. Lack of water circulation will kill corals in a hurry!

Personally, I have a large UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to protect against power surges and short-term power outages.  I also have backup batteries on my VorTech MP-40 pumps to keep them running for up to 30 hours. My UPS will keep my big return pumps going for 20+ minutes which is longer than most power interruptions in our town.

What is your fish tank plan for a power outage?

Checking in


Well, it’s been a while since my last post so I thought I would give an update. ¬†Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to sell most of the coral in the system. I taken out a 90% of the hammer coral a long with the Montipora caps and pagoda cup coral. Those corals have found happy homes here in Missoula ūüôā . We’ve decided to keep our fish, eel and clams so this means setting up some type of temp tank when we find a new place. ¬†All I have left to really sell are our Acropora colonies (5). I will try to get some updated pictures up soon to show the empty spots in the tank…

I’ve just been so darn busy with work lately I haven’t had much time to devote to the tank. I guess this is what tends to happen to most people during the summer. Am I right?

Tearing Down the Tank, Planning a New One


Well I just got the news that we need to move houses this summer… So, that means I need to take our system down.¬†

But, it gives me the opportunity to plan another tank build when we find a new house. This time I will put a tank in a wall and give it its own room. 

So, over the next few months I am going to try and sell my coral, livestock, then my tank. If anyone is interested in my livestock or knows someone interested in my 270 display tank (90″ L x 20″ W x 30″ tall)/oak stand/40 sump/.3 HP chiller/ Mag return pumps, please send me a PM. I hope this won’t be a terribly difficult process but something tells me it will be. I plan on keeping my controller, vortechs, refuge, mixing tanks & rock for the next build.

As we all know this is an expensive hobby to get into so please do a little research and shoot me a fair price via private message of the things you are interested in. Everything needs to be picked up (Missoula, MT) as I will not ship.

I would rather remove my coral from the tank first as catching the fish will be an adventure. I have linked to some photos and videos of my corals and fish but more can be found on my reef blog and youtube channel.

Coral:¬†–¬†Video

Hammer Coral (will break into multiples) –¬†Video
Tree/Stick Polyp –¬†Video
(2) Pagoda Turbinaria Coral –¬†Video
Blue Stag Acro – Top right in video –¬†Video
Purple Stag Acro – Below Blue Stag Acro on right¬†–¬†Video
Green Birdsnest – Top left in video¬†–¬†Video
Orange Birdsnest – Top left in video¬†–¬†Video
Deep water acro – Top middle, left of hammer¬†–¬†Video
Encrusting Monti –¬†Photo
Yellow Scroll Coral – Left of hammer¬†–¬†Video
Green Pavona
Green Red Wellsophyllia¬†Brain –¬†Photo
Montipora Cap (Red, Orange, Green, Puple, etc) – Far right –¬†Picture
Doughnut Coral (Scolymia australia) –¬†Video
Etc.

My livestock:

Squamosa Clam ~ 15″ –¬†Video
Squamosa Clam ~ 7″ –¬†Video
Radiant Wrasse (prefer he goes with the clams) ~ 4″ –¬†Video
Zebra Eel ~ 3′ –¬†Video
Radiant Wrasse ~ 4″ –¬†Video
Achilles Tang ~ 5″ –¬†Video
Two Bar Rabbitfish ~ 4″ –¬†Video
True Percula Clownfish ~ 3″ –¬†Video
Marine Betta ~ 6″ –¬†Video
Red Hawkfish ~ 4″ –¬†Video
Mantis Shrimp ~ 6″ –¬†Video
Lyretail Anthias 3 females (orange) & 1 male (red). –¬†Video
Orange Spot Shrimp Goby
etc.

Misc:

Serpant Star
Dolabella Sea Hare –¬†Video
Orange Pincushion Urchin ~ 3″ –¬†Video

Any questions? Send me a message 

Swaying in the Wind… I Mean Water


Took a quick macro video of our Tree Polyp Coral. I just love how this coral sways back and forth.

Tree Polyp Coral, Stick Polyp Coral, Saltwater Aquarium, Reef Tank, Macro

Tree Polyp Coral, Stick Polyp Coral, Saltwater Aquarium, Reef Tank, Macro

Reef Tank Pan Left to Right


Panning from the left to the right of the tank.

 

Reef Tank, Saltwater Tank, Reef Aquarium, Saltwater Aquarium

Quick Reef Tank Pan


A quick video pan from right to left of our reef tank.

 

Reef Tank, Saltwater Tank, Reef Aquarium, Saltwater Aquarium

Reef Aquarium Camera Repositioned


After recording some of my recent videos, I thought I would reposition my reef cam to the other end of the tank. I think you can see more and the fish hangout more on that side of the tank because of their feeding clip. What do you think?
So, check out the new video feed:

Reef Cam Play

 

Enjoy! ūüôā

 

An Hour in Water World with New Camera


Reef Tank, Marine Fish, Anthias, Lyretail Anthias

I picked up a new Sony Handycam (HDR-XR260V) for work yesterday and thought I would try it out on the reef tank for an hour. I think it did a pretty good job! Make sure to watch in HD and full screen. ūüôā

I Have a Big Brain… Coral


Brain Coral

Usually this Brain Coral (¬†Red Wellsophyllia)¬†isn’t as “poofed” up but something was bugging him. He’s since returned to normal size. Lots of crabs and such tend to walk over the edges.

Aquarium Update Photos


Thought I would toss up a couple recent photos. I really like the one of the serpent star using corals to climb the wall.

Bubbles in My Aquarium


Staghorn Acropora slime bubbles

I came home from work the other day and noticed the Automatic Top Off (ATO) did not turn on which caused my sump level to run low thus causing my return pumps to pull in some air.  The tank was pretty full of micro bubbles and lots of coral slime. Soon as I triggered the ATO life was good again.

Coral Frags


Did a little “fragging” this past week. Sent a few corals up north to a new home. ¬†I think it’s important to cut corals back to keep them healthy. Finding time to frag seems to escape my to-do list though.

Overgrown Frag Rack


I think it’s funny that I let my frag rack get this overgrown, it’s more like a coral rack now. ¬†I just recently broke the main stalk of this acropora off as the weight was causing the rack to almost fall off. The rack’s magnets aren’t quite strong enough to support a “Coral Rack.” Remember to not let your frags grown into corals on the rack!

Overgrown Coral Frag Rack

Reef Club Meeting – May 2012 cont.


Here are a few more pictures from our last reef meeting (earlier post) that thought I would share. Great shots Kim!

Lyretail Anthias Goldy Marine Fish
True Percula Clownfish in Elephant Ear Mushroom

Giant Squamosa "Squami" Clam Aquarium

Pin cushion Sea Urchine with shell on his back

Red and Green Open Brain Coral

Reef Club Meeting – May 2012


Here a few shots taken from our local reef club (NWMRC¬†– threads) meeting this past weekend that we hosted. ¬†We discussed a bit about tanks and controllers but mainly I think people were hungry. ūüôā

Thanks to all who showed up for the BBQ and a special thanks to Charlie for taking photos!

Easter Weekend Aquarium Update Photos & RO


Between reloading and hitting the range this weekend I took a few update pictures of the tank. Oh and I also ordered a new BRS 75 GPD RO/DI 6 Stage Deluxe System as the Easter Bunny thought I should upgrade ūüėČ (it was actually about time to replace the membrane and filter).

As for the tank, everything seems happy. The Achilles and the Rabbitfish are even getting a long most of the time. It’s kind of funny but the leg that the Serpent Starfish lost is still moving round on the bottom of the tank. It actually looks like the starfish is growing another leg (pictures), I wonder if the leg will try to grow another body, lol.

Reef Tank - Aquarium Update Picture 4-6-2012

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