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Old 11-23-2019, 08:01 PM
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Default Learning about lighting

Hello all.

I don't actually have any dart frogs(yet), but I've wanted to get some amphibians in general for some time and of course dart frogs are quite attractive. I've had reptiles for majority of my life, currently I just have 2 crested geckos and a shrimp tank I started this year.

I also took my first real step towards making living enclosures this year and it's something I want to work on before I actually consider getting some frogs. I've done a lot of research on the soil/plants and bugs but I'm eager to learn more on lighting.

I'm not a huge fan of the lighting options available. Specifically for tanks up to 36" tall, for my first attempt at a proper viv(18x18x36) I got lights from NEHerp but 1 of the bulbs started flickering so bad I had to take it out and trying to deal with getting a replacement was annoying enough I'm just not even going to bother at this point.

So now I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about building custom LED lighting for my specific tanks. Which brings me to why I'm here and posting, I've read quit a bit on here but a lot of the links are dead now. And quite frankly I'm not getting any good hits on google for learning about working with LEDs for plant in a vivarium.

So if anyone has any links or recommendations for reading material about making and using LEDs for plants in a vivarium and specially anything that touches on dealing with height I would greatly appreciate them.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Learning about lighting

Welcome!

Some DB searches to get you started (Yes, you said you read quite a bit here, but sometimes newcomers seem to get fewer results using the search feature than are actually available):

DIY LED: https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gt...hp?q=diy%20led

Lighting tall vivs: https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gt...hp?q=diy%20led

If you want something prebuilt, check out www.spectraldesigns.com.
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Learning about lighting

Thank you, those links definitely pulled up a lot more then my searches brought up. Still wishing there was something as in-depth for vivs as you'll find for planted aquariums. Also, it's really annoying Photobucket changed their model and made all direct linked images useless, pretty much neuters a lot of old useful info you can find on forums.

Spectral Designs came up a few times searching through the forum, if I end up going prebuilt that site is definitely gonna be my first stop. But I'm pretty set on at least trying to DIY this, as I'd much rather have the ability(and knowledge) to fix the lights if a part goes out.

I think I should have enough information to at least start a supply list and see where I get. Hopefully by the time I decided to buy everything I'll have learned a bit more about the needs of plants outside of water.
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Learning about lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellsrage View Post
Still wishing there was something as in-depth for vivs as you'll find for planted aquariums.
A couple thoughts:

- There are 100x more people keeping planted aquaria than dart frogs, and many more planted tank people are serious cheapska...uh...I mean financially responsible. Not that DIY is always about doing things on the cheap, but that is often a motivation (although not typically a result, in my lengthy experience of DIY aquarium stuff). The educational aspect of DIY you mention is worth all the money thrown in the trash by failed DIY attempts, so I'm hesitantly pro DIY anyway.

- Growing plants in a dart viv is much more straightforward than planted tanks. Plants + whatever light + some water = a tolerably decent planted viv. No algae issues, lighting calculations dependent on ferts and CO2 parameters, effects of water clarity. There's just not as much to be discussed about viv lighting. Any LEDs will work, pretty much.

- Are some of the planted tank builds useful models for what you're trying to do? Kinda the same thing.

Something I wanted to mention earlier when you asked about lighting a tall viv: dart frogs don't like bright light. In most darts' natural environment, it is pretty dim on the ground, and there are no plants growing on ~98% of the substrate (the other 2% is tree trunks and little straggly stemmy plants with umbrella leaves that block even more light). Darts generally don't appreciate ground cover plants (moss, etc).

So, if a person wants to set up a 36" tall viv for dart frogs, punching lighting down to the substrate isn't an issue. If a person wants to build what counts as a 'pretty' viv and get likes on YouTube and all that, then yeah go nuts on the lights.
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