How long do betta fish live depends on a lot on their habitat. First of all, we need to understand the concept of a Led light for the aquarium and its equipment because it greatly affects the betta fish.
I purchased some broken fluorescent fixtures used for aquariums, they're mostly aluminum, with metal reflectors, and are of high quality, too good for the melee to go. So I built them to use white LED strips with daisy chainable connectors on both ends. A single salvaged PC power supply will be used to power a few sets. Standard bolted terminal blocks were used to make the connections as they are cheap, easy to use and rated at 15A per position so that about 25 feet of the LED strip is but that much is not used. I chose 5050 type LED strips mixed with 3528 LED strips, to balance out the light distribution, but mostly to test the different SMD LED types to use output for future projects.
Step 1: parts and tools
Customized kits are available, please contact us for assistance with all of the parts you need.
Broken / old aquarium fluorescent tube, preferably with a metal reflector
12V LED strips, not waterproof, type White (cool or warm) 5050 LEDs and / or 3528 type Store-Link
4 x 2-position terminal blocks, 15A - Digikey part # ED2582-ND
22AWG connection cable, black
22AWG connection wire, red
18AWG speaker wire or other heavy duty dual strand wire
12V power supply, varies amp rating with LEDs, changed ATX or The Store
Soldering iron and solder
Hot glue gun
Drill bits and bits
Step 2: disassemble them and prepare the case
Strip down: Each type / brand of light is different apart, the model I have is pretty high quality and is mostly aluminum with some plastic ends.
Remove the screws and start pulling apart, be sure to remember how to put it back together.
Remove the lamp sockets, transformer, power cord, unnecessary parts ect.
Preparing the case: I wanted to use mountain barrel panel jacks for power, but I wanted to be able to daisy chain the light so I went with two screwed terminal blocks soldering together rated for 15A per position. Skip to step 4 to see what I mean. To mount the end caps of the light to them, I drilled a hole 9/16 "away from the edge and cut a slot in the plastic with a hacksaw. The clamps are later slipped down the slot and positioned and hot glued into the hole.
Step 3: attach the LED strips
For the LEDs I went with 3 strips of 5050 size LED strips and 2 strips of 3528 LED strips. The 5050's have 3 white LEDs each the 3528 are single LEDs I was hoping to mix up the different types, the light distribution would even be a little bit but I don't think it's necessary I would have used all 5050 type if I choose.
Place the LED strips:
Clean the reflector surface with isopropyl alcohol or other solvents.
Starting with the middle strip, remove a few inches of the tape securing and glue it as close as possible.
With the rest of the tape still on, position it to secure it the entire length, making sure that both directions are centered.
Optional mark where the end will die with a sharpie.
Remove the rest of the tape securing and place the strip down in the same place be it test fit.
Repeat with the other strips, keeping them all parallel and straight, I alternate the 5050 and 3528.
Step 4: power connections and LED strip wiring
Powering the device through two screwed connectors soldered at the ends with a thick dual strand of wire (I used some 18AWG speaker cords) used to transfer the power from one end to the other. The power for the LED strips is connected to the screw down terminals, with some of the LED strips always cross-connections.
2 sets of mated bolted connectors are required; the insertion holes should be facing the same way for each pair.
Put them next to each other like in the pictures and solder them together. Make 2 sentences.
Position the terminal at the end where it will be when the device cap is put back together, get an idea of how long to cut your wires so that they can reach the terminals from the strips.
Run thick power cord under the reflector (out of the way) over to the other end, and cut it.
The terminal blocks I used could only hold a strand of 18AWG wire and a single 22AWG, so I soldered a wire from one of the polarities (+ 12v or GND) to one of the light strips to the terminal, on both ends. From the 5 LED strips, there are only 4 connections to the terminals, the rest of the connections are made (10 in total, since each of the 5LED strip connection to + 12v and GND required) by networking the strip, pad, pad with some jumper wire.
Step 5: close up and test
Trying it out: So that it is mostly unassembled fine, turn it on and test it should look over your connections and solder joints first, make sure everything is correct. Test the other end to make sure that energy is being transmitted properly through the light.
If it works right ...
Slide the paired terminal blocks up the slot and position it in the hole and hot glue in place
Install the screws.
Repeat with the other end.
Mark V + side of the terminals with some red tape
It should all be working, ready for installation and hopefully years of light without ever changing and disposing of a fluorescent tube. The lights are extremely bright and turned better than I hoped.
I have a 4 'version of the same light that will be put in an 8 section RGB (24 Channels) DMX-512 light utilizing my 24 channel high current LED controller with DMX512 serial interface (Instructable and Kits available soon)
Thanks for reading, visit my profile for more Instructabl for more projects, downloads, and in The Store Shop for kits, LEDs and parts.
Step 6: extra light
I also had a single, cheaper fluorescent light fixture for aquariums, I got it pretty much the same thing, take a look at the pictures for details.
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Join date : 09/09/2020
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