Cut Holes In Polycarbinate Sheet?

montythebrave
  • #1
HI everyone, I have a hood on my tank buy I'm doing DIY LEDs and so I can't have condensation so I am buying flat polycarbinate sheeting to but inside the rI'm of my tank above this will be the hood with LEDs attached to it.

Question is, should I be drilling some air holes in the polycarbinate or does this just defeat the point of stopping condensation getting to my LEDs?
 
TexasDomer
  • #2
I would think it'll defeat the purpose.

Are you trying to grow plants? Reason I ask is that many DIY LED setups won't grow many plants well, depending on tank depth, plant species chosen, and the number of LEDs. I tried
 
Ulu
  • #3
You want a few small air holes to be above the lamps & since heat rises this will let heat and moisture out of your hood. Don't put any holes on the wet side.

For the sake of circulation you could put a small hole, Low down, on one end of the hood, but well above the water.

If you use LEDs marked as warm White you won't get enough high-energy radiation to your plants. You want ones that are marked as daylight, 6500 Kelvin and above.

If you spend some money you can get LED grow light bulbs, with even more high-energy radiation.

By the way I have successfully grown many different plants under warm white bulbs tubes and LEDs but you have to get the bulbs really close to the top of the plant for adequate radiation.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Yeah I intend to grow my plants.

I have ordered the following 2 strips which I am hoping will be more than enough to grow everything, if not please do tell me so I can quickly cancel them.

Auralum® Super Bright Flexible 5M 14.4W/Meter SMD 5630 300 Leds IP20 Non-waterproof Daylight White(6000-6500K) LED Strip Ribbon

Plant Lights, iNextStation 16.4ft/5M LED Plant Light Grow Strip Light SMD 5050 Waterproof Grow Light Full Spectrum Rope lights Red Blue 4:1 for Aquarium Greenhouse Hydroponic Plant, Garden Flowers Veg Grow Light DC 12V


Along with the jlb flora pro 160 co2 system.

The reason I was asking about drilling holes on the actual polycarbinate was for air to get to my tank as I thought if I cover my whole aquarium with this flat sheeting and also have my hood on top it wouldn't get enough air. There are air holes on the actual hood.

Here is a picture of my current setup. Will be changing the lights to the ones I mentioned above along with the polycarbinate sheet and remove that protective cover you see in the picture and have pvc piping and reel the LEDs around it all and have the polycarbinate under it to keep the condensation away. I will install a pc usb powered fan on the top of the hood to duck out the hot air.
 

Attachments

  • 15226117173124420488170235567018.jpg
    15226117173124420488170235567018.jpg
    81.7 KB · Views: 79
  • 1522611732595153873706959531209.jpg
    1522611732595153873706959531209.jpg
    55.8 KB · Views: 83
yukondog
  • #5
Are you going to drill vent holes on top for air exchange? [air in air out]
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Are you going to drill vent holes on top for air exchange? [air in air out]

That was my question. Should I drill some holes on the polycarbinate sheet once I get it or will that allow condensation to get to my LEDs?

(Note: I haven't set this up yet with new LEDs and polycarbinate sheeting so photos posted above does not reflect what I am referring to)
 
yukondog
  • #7
If your going to have a fan on top your going to need some way for air to get in so it can go out through the fan. I would not drill any holes on the bottom [poly side] other than maybe a hole for drainage in case you do get condensation. Did you use all stainless screws?
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
If your going to have a fan on top your going to need some way for air to get in so it can go out through the fan. I would not drill any holes on the bottom [poly side] other than maybe a hole for drainage in case you do get condensation. Did you use all stainless screws?

The hood already has vents, so I'll be cutting out a square to fit the fan to suck hot air out but will be vents at both sides of the fan for air, I was just more concerned about under the hood i.e the poly cover, so I won't drill holes in this, only holes will be the intake and outtake corners.

Will those 2 strips I listed above be more than enough light and spectrum to grow my plants? I have organic potting soil under my gravel also.
 
yukondog
  • #9
Sorry can't help on plants, but you might post in the plant sec. to get more info.
 
TexasDomer
  • #10
No, I'm not convinced that'll be enough lighting to grow dwarf hairgrass and other needy plants, especially with the sheet likely reducing the PAR by a lot.

If you want to do a DIY type setup, I'd get LED bulbs so you can better control your lighting - you can get more bulbs with a higher wattage (a poor proxy for PAR, but it's what we got) if you need more light. I use dome work light fixtures with LED bulbs over many of my tanks.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
No, I'm not convinced that'll be enough lighting to grow dwarf hairgrass and other needy plants, especially with the sheet likely reducing the PAR by a lot.

If you want to do a DIY type setup, I'd get LED bulbs so you can better control your lighting - you can get more bulbs with a higher wattage (a poor proxy for PAR, but it's what we got) if you need more light. I use dome work light fixtures with LED bulbs over many of my tanks.

Problem is I have a closed hood, I don't have many options. The polycarbinate is only 1mm thick so it shouldn't affect the par too much.

The LEDs I have currently have been growing my plants, so with a brand led full 5 m 6500k white strip along with the red blue 5m strip both running at 60w each, I thought that's would be more than enough.
 
TexasDomer
  • #12
You could easily get a glass lid.

Even at only 1 mm thick, the sheet will lower par, and likely more than you can spare with the LED strips.

How long have you had the plants in the tank?
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
You could easily get a glass lid.

Even at only 1 mm thick, the sheet will lower par, and likely more than you can spare with the LED strips.

How long have you had the plants in the tank?
I have had the long plants at the back just over a week. Dwarf hair grass I only just put in. Please remember the s don't reflect the setup I mention on doing as IV not got the materials yet.

There are many thanks with covers over lights so I don't see any major drawbacks with the clear polycarbinate sheet.

I have seen many DIY LEDs growing plants so I don't see why they won't work, I am going above board getting the red and blue on top of my white so I reckon it should be fine.

I have a hood on my tank so I'm limited to my ideas, so what I am doing it putting the sheet under the hooded so it sits on the rim, I'm removed the clear plastic cover you see currently covering my current LEDs, I am installing pvc pipes along the inside of the hood and will run 5m of both strips around the piping and have reflective tape to reflect lights also.

Only thing that will be between the plants is the water, and 1mm polycarbinate sheet.
 
TexasDomer
  • #14
I have had the long plants at the back just over a week. Dwarf hair grass I only just put in. Please remember the s don't reflect the setup I mention on doing as IV not got the materials yet.

There are many thanks with covers over lights so I don't see any major drawbacks with the clear polycarbinate sheet.

I have seen many DIY LEDs growing plants so I don't see why they won't work, I am going above board getting the red and blue on top of my white so I reckon it should be fine.

I have a hood on my tank so I'm limited to my ideas, so what I am doing it putting the sheet under the hooded so it sits on the rim, I'm removed the clear plastic cover you see currently covering my current LEDs, I am installing pvc pipes along the inside of the hood and will run 5m of both strips around the piping and have reflective tape to reflect lights also.

Only thing that will be between the plants is the water, and 1mm polycarbinate sheet.

That's what I thought. You just added the DHG, so you can't say that it's growing well in your setup. It's pretty demanding in terms of light. Having injected CO2 will help, but if you want it to carpet, you'll need medium-high light. I don't think you'll be able to get that with two rolls of LED strips, especially with this tank height and especially not with the additional reduction in PAR with the sheet.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but I do think you'll have trouble growing the demanding plants (like DHG); you'd likely have no issues with low light plants. I tried a roll of LEDs on a shorter tank, with no sheet or lid between the lights and the plants (so a higher PAR), and I couldn't grow anything besides the low light plants.

A glass lid (I don't like hoods because they are so limiting) will give you so much more freedom with lighting. You could easily get work lights with LED fixtures and have no issues with getting high light.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
That's what I thought. You just added the DHG, so you can't say that it's growing well in your setup. It's pretty demanding in terms of light. Having injected CO2 will help, but if you want it to carpet, you'll need medium-high light. I don't think you'll be able to get that with two rolls of LED strips, especially with this tank height and especially not with the additional reduction in PAR with the sheet.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but I do think you'll have trouble growing the demanding plants (like DHG); you'd likely have no issues with low light plants. I tried a roll of LEDs on a shorter tank, with no sheet or lid between the lights and the plants (so a higher PAR), and I couldn't grow anything besides the low light plants.

A glass lid (I don't like hoods because they are so limiting) will give you so much more freedom with lighting. You could easily get work lights with LED fixtures and have no issues with getting high light.


I have checked the Kevin, wattage and model of the LEDs to ensure they are the latest and brightest available. 5630 led type for white and the 5050 for the red/blue, I have been reading that, they are great for growing plants
 
TexasDomer
  • #16
Right, I'm sure they can grow some plants, but I still think you'll have difficulty growing the DHG with the sheet and water depth. PAR is more informative than any of those, but that's not easily available. I'm not saying you shouldn't give it a try, I just don't think it'll work as well as you're hoping it will.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Right, I'm sure they can grow some plants, but I still think you'll have difficulty growing the DHG with the sheet and water depth. PAR is more informative than any of those, but that's not easily available. I'm not saying you shouldn't give it a try, I just don't think it'll work as well as you're hoping it will.

Can you show me what you are recommending in terms of lighting that would grow DHG
 
TexasDomer
  • #18
You can use stronger/more bulbs in the fixture to get higher light.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
What I mean is, can you show me the specific bulbs you would recommend so I can compare the difference between that and the LEDs I am going to use.
 
TexasDomer
  • #20
For the bulbs, higher wattage LEDs would be good (again, poor proxy for PAR, but it's what we got). Something like these but in a better light temp (like 6500K):
LED BR30 - 11.5W - 65W Equal - Soraa SB30-11-120D-927-01


With the LED strips, the wattage is spread across the hundreds of lights, which seems to dissipate the light too much for it to be good for the high light plants. The more concentrated bulbs work much better for me.
 
montythebrave
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I am connecting a 5a power supply to each led strip so they have their own power supply, I am also attaching the power to the tned of each strip so the power is even at both ends.

The white led is 6500k 60w 5630 chip.
The red blue is a 5050 chip full spectrum.

So these should do something.

Once I get all the materials I'll let you know one of it works.
 
TexasDomer
  • #22
Hopefully it works, but I would expect you'll need more lighting. Like I said, the wattage is spread across each little LED, and it's not as concentrated as the bulbs are (which you can easily add more or take away as needed), so it's not the same as using the bulbs.

The power strip doesn't really matter in terms of the strength of the lighting (it'll limit what wattage/amps you can use, but the power supply to each doesn't really help with the lack of lighting).
 
Ulu
  • #23
The hood already has vents, so I'll be cutting out a square to fit the fan to suck hot air out but will be vents at both sides of the fan for air, I was just more concerned about under the hood i.e the poly cover, so I won't drill holes in this, only holes will be the intake and outtake corners.

Will those 2 strips I listed above be more than enough light and spectrum to grow my plants? I have organic potting soil under my gravel also.
They will work fine in the closer you can get them to the plants the faster they will work so if you have a 24 inch tall aquarium with 1 inch plants at the bottom and the lights at the top they won't get enough light.

It's better if you arrange it so you can drop the lights close to the plant and raise them as the plants get taller.

Make the lamp assembly sealed on the bottom and allow for ventilation around the edges of it around the entire tank, and you probably won't need a fan because you'll have enough natural convection due to the heat of the lamps
 
Ulu
  • #24
How light works is that if you move the light twice as far away you only get one fourth the light so a lamp one inch from your plants will give 16 times the light of one just 4 or 5" away.

This is a big factor in the speed of plant growth: the lights need to be close to the plants.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
Replies
7
Views
1K
Mathew Baker
Replies
16
Views
8K
t1mmbo
Replies
22
Views
5K
nfeuerhelm
Replies
10
Views
6K
outlaw
Replies
38
Views
47K
Jonez
Top Bottom