Well, as the title should imply, my tank now (finally) has proper lighting! It took me roughly 3 hours to remove the stock lighting bar from my Fluval Edge and to install the new lighting fixture, but it was well worth it.
Actually, I put the light on sort of backwards, but I don’t know if it’s a big enough deal to warrant spending another few hours fixing. The hood of the tank is designed to fit best with one side of it to the back, but the way I attached the light has that backwards. The end result is that it doesn’t fit entirely snugly, but oh well. For now, I’m just happy to have that finished.
The difference is definitely mind blowing, and all credit goes to WingoLED. The kit was purchased on eBay for $160 (+$20 for an optional second dimmer) and I received it in a little over a week. The seller was extremely helpful with answering all my questions, so I feel the need to plug their info here, as this really was a lifesaver for me. I don’t have any DIY lighting skills or know-how, and either way I’m very happy with the purchase.
Getting to the details, the lighting kit features 2 dimmers, one for moonlight, and one for normal light. Both of these feature separate power lines, so I was able to set them up to timers to allow for a faux-sunset/sunrise effect. Right now I think I have the moonlight turning on at 11:30am and turning off at 6:30am, with the actinics on at 12:30pm and off at 12:30am. So with that, moonlight turns on 1 hour before actinics, and off 6 hours after. I’ve heard a wide variety of things when it comes to a lighting schedule, but I’ll keep an eye on things and see how this goes.
Anyway, the LED kit features a heatsink and 2 relatively quiet fans. It mounts inside the Fluval Edge hood, just below the screen. Positioning it was pretty annoying, as the kit has to be mounted using fish wire strung through the screen (has to be tied very tightly to keep the LEDs flush to the screen), but now that it’s finished it’s definitely secure. Due to the inherently annoying design of the case on the back of the Edge, installing the entire kit required powering down and removing the HOB and juggling a mess of wires, but now that all the annoying stuff is done and over with it looks as sleek as ever.
I’ve posted some pictures below, however there are a few things worth noticing when viewing them: 1) the White Balance setting on my phone was on auto, so before/after photos aren’t truly comparable, 2) my tank is currently fully stocked with live rock, so the aquascaping is non-existent and (more importantly) certain rocks are hidden from the light due to the spread arrangement.
Anyway, I’m certain these lights will make my coral happy once it comes to that.
Current parameters (as of yesterday): pH – 8.0 (using buffer to get this up a bit more), Ammonia – <.25ppm, Nitrites – 5ppm, Nitrates – 80ppm.
Really itching to get a CUC in there lately. I’m pretty sure I have some peanut worms in my tank, and they’ve been feeding a lot since I’ve seen some algae growth, and they’re leaving a bit of a mess behind. I could probably get away with getting some snails in there soon, but I’ll resist the temptation as to make sure the water is juuuust right.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’d really like to get a Court Jester Goby (below), and that I’ll be trying out a Lettuce Sea Slug (below) once it comes time to begin the CUC introduction.