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Coralife Biocube 29G - Steve's Leds Upgrade Diy Thread - Pics!


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#1
jpc763

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OK,

 

I could not find any step by step upgrades with pics so I thought I would start one.  Here is my upgrade from the tear down to the first lighting (hopefully).

 

My kit was modified to have the following:

 

16 Royal Blue

5 Cool Blue

7 4K White

 

Here is my layout on the heatsink:

 

Layout.jpg

 

Here is the hood tear down:

1) Remove the splash guard & bulbs

IMG_4723.jpg

 

2) Remove all screws

IMG_4722.jpg

 

3) All parts removed

IMG_4724.jpg

 

4) Cover after removal

IMG_4725.jpg


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#2
jpc763

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Here are the 4 points that you will mount the heatsink on.

 

ScrewPos.jpg

 

NOTE:  They are not evenly spaced!  I created a template from this and drilled in the bottom of my heatsink!

 

5) Next step is to mount the fan

 

IMG_4727.jpg

 

6) Next you need to drill the holes in the heatsink to match up with the 4 posts in the hood.  I did not take a picture, but you will see them in the next series where I mounted the LEDs.

 

7) Glue your LEDs down ONE AT A TIME!  Directions say to use a dab of glue the size of the LED.  Here is a close up.

 

IMG_4729.jpg

 

8) Press them down HARD, twisting them so that you see the glue seep out the edges.

 

IMG_4731.jpg

 

Here is a photo of them all glued down.  Tomorrow I solder, mount and hook up the power!


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#3
ecajoe

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Isn't there some concern for heat transfer that's why you space them out?
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#4
jpc763

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Isn't there some concern for heat transfer that's why you space them out?

Steve's recommends that you solder them together.


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#5
cheezefrog

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I actually had to reply to this and start an account(im on 3reed and reefcentral) but I was planning on the starting up a install thread as well, are you going to put more pictures up?

 

I had one main question though and I actually asked Jeff this today @ Steve's. I asked him if there was a common led setup besides the 18/10. He did say some people have swapped out some for blues to give the fish more of color, so I was curious on why you went with this setup as well. Jeff also said that its hard to tell some see the lighting different speculation the color rendition off of fish/corals. Regardless though he said this is there absolutely recommended, just because of the awesomeness of the Luxeon led's and literlly being able to grow corals 10-20% faster and I never found much on custom led preferences people were tweaking around with Steve's products.



#6
jpc763

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I actually had to reply to this and start an account(im on 3reed and reefcentral) but I was planning on the starting up a install thread as well, are you going to put more pictures up?

 

I had one main question though and I actually asked Jeff this today @ Steve's. I asked him if there was a common led setup besides the 18/10. He did say some people have swapped out some for blues to give the fish more of color, so I was curious on why you went with this setup as well. Jeff also said that its hard to tell some see the lighting different speculation the color rendition off of fish/corals. Regardless though he said this is there absolutely recommended, just because of the awesomeness of the Luxeon led's and literlly being able to grow corals 10-20% faster and I never found much on custom led preferences people were tweaking around with Steve's products.

I just logged on to post the completion of the project.  I worked on it until 11:30 last night so I did not post yesterday.  My mix (above) was recommended by jedimasterben and it is the following:

 

16 Royal Blue

7 4K White

5 Cool Blue

 

The layout is in post 1.  The 14 RB arrays are on one dimmer and the remainder are on the other dimmer.

 

jedimasterben is very experienced with LEDs and seems to have a very good track record of setting up these retrofits.


My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

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#7
jpc763

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9) I needed to tin each LED pad with about 1.5" of solder creating a 2mm pad. I used a 25w soldering iron for all soldering.

 

NOTE: I am not an EE so please excuse the poor soldering :D  

 

IMG_0407.jpg

 

10) I then soldered a bare wire from the + on one pad to the - on the next pad creating 4 7 LED arrays.  I attached a lead at both ends of the array, one on the + and one on the -.  This step took a LOT of time since I am not an experienced solderer.

 

IMG_4732.jpg

 

Here is the completed arrays

 

IMG_4733.jpg

 

11) I mounted the 2 Dual Digital Drivers to the heat sink.  I WISH THE INSTRUCTIONS HAD ME DO THIS BEFORE MOUNTING AND SOLDERING THE LEDs!

 

IMG_4734.jpg

 

12) Next, I tinned the leads on the Potentiometers and attached wires.  Then wired them into the drivers per the instructions

 

IMG_4735.jpg


My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

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#8
jpc763

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13) I then wired up the power supply and the drivers

IMG_4736.jpg

14) PER THE INSTRUCTIONS I tested each array independantly before I turned them all on. This pic is with all 4 arrays lit.

IMG_4737.jpg

15) Next step is to mount in the hood. On my Biocube, the Coralife version, 2 of the mouting posts are shorter than the other 2. I decided to get some nylon washers to use as spacers and some finishing washers to clean up the top of the heatsink. Finally I tossed the screws Steve's supplied and bought some #6 2" stainless screws to use.

IMG_4738.jpg

16) I also used a dremmel to open up the fan vent more (but didn't take a picture, sorry!)

17) I installed the optional moonlight kit and the transformer mounts nicely

IMG_4739.jpg

18) Now to put the cover back on, but WAIT, it doesn't fit! There is a ridge midway back that has to be cut in order to install over the fan! You will HAVE TO CUT THIS FIN IN ORDER TO REINSTALL THE SPLASH GUARD!

CoverMod.jpg

19) Not it fits!

IMG_0408.jpg

20) Make sure to run the power cords through the original holes.

IMG_4740.jpg

21) I mounted to potentiometers through the hood. I used a 5/16 bit to drill the holes

IMG_4744.jpg

Here is a shot of the night lights. I mounted them in between the rows of LEDs. Hopefully there won't be too much heat during the light cycle.

IMG_4743.jpg

Shots of the tank with night lights

IMG_4742.jpg
IMG_4741.jpg

I will post tank pictures when the lights go on.

My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

My Steve's LED Upgrade thread - Steve's LEDs Biocube Upgrade


#9
jedimasterben

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Isn't there some concern for heat transfer that's why you space them out?

Nope. As long as they're on the heatsink, it can do its job.

 

I actually had to reply to this and start an account(im on 3reed and reefcentral) but I was planning on the starting up a install thread as well, are you going to put more pictures up?

 

I had one main question though and I actually asked Jeff this today @ Steve's. I asked him if there was a common led setup besides the 18/10. He did say some people have swapped out some for blues to give the fish more of color, so I was curious on why you went with this setup as well. Jeff also said that its hard to tell some see the lighting different speculation the color rendition off of fish/corals. Regardless though he said this is there absolutely recommended, just because of the awesomeness of the Luxeon led's and literlly being able to grow corals 10-20% faster and I never found much on custom led preferences people were tweaking around with Steve's products.

The 7-5-16 is what gives the best color without actually being full-spectrum. It's not just about the fish (the corals come first), but fish do definitely look better under a light with better color rendition.



#10
Trogdor447

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The night lights may be a bit much.. can you dim those down at all?


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#11
jpc763

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The night lights may be a bit much.. can you dim those down at all?

Absolutely - you can change the color, brighten or darken them. They have a controller that I can use.

This is what I got.

http://shop.stevesle...B-Moonlight.htm

John

My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

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#12
cheezefrog

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Nope. As long as they're on the heatsink, it can do its job.

 

The 7-5-16 is what gives the best color without actually being full-spectrum. It's not just about the fish (the corals come first), but fish do definitely look better under a light with better color rendition.

I agree to this as well, although Steve's Leds highly recommended the 18/10 because it had optimal growth efficiency. 

 

You'll have to let me know long term how your setup goes, I can't wait to get mine, its probably being built today so I should have it before the weekend. One reason i was "optimistic" on the color renditions with just the standard 18/10 was because of the moonlight kit and it seemed like it'd do the trick, Steve's makes fantastic products so I'll have to throw some pictures up with the standard config 18/10 with the moonlight kit on mine for comparison. Glad to see you went with it, as this is literally the same setup I just ordered, short of it being a 29g.

 

I'm planning on getting the reefkeeper soon though just because of the Aquarium controller, I really hate lighting flip on timers, so I'm curious to see how the dimmer module works with the ReefKeeper unit; any plans of the same for yourself?

 

 

p.s. I was skeptical on how ugly those dimmer knobs would look on the hood, so I had extra length ordered, those actually look good though with caps on. I dig it! :D



#13
jedimasterben

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I agree to this as well, although Steve's Leds highly recommended the 18/10 because it had optimal growth efficiency. 
 
You'll have to let me know long term how your setup goes, I can't wait to get mine, its probably being built today so I should have it before the weekend. One reason i was "optimistic" on the color renditions with just the standard 18/10 was because of the moonlight kit and it seemed like it'd do the trick, Steve's makes fantastic products so I'll have to throw some pictures up with the standard config 18/10 with the moonlight kit on mine for comparison. Glad to see you went with it, as this is literally the same setup I just ordered, short of it being a 29g.
 
I'm planning on getting the reefkeeper soon though just because of the Aquarium controller, I really hate lighting flip on timers, so I'm curious to see how the dimmer module works with the ReefKeeper unit; any plans of the same for yourself?
 
 
p.s. I was skeptical on how ugly those dimmer knobs would look on the hood, so I had extra length ordered, those actually look good though with caps on. I dig it! :D

Well, frankly, if it was for optimal growth efficiency, it would not use royal blue LEDs, but violet, but that's a very different can of worms. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that with the 7-5-16 ratio, you're going to get better growth because you have more deep red spectrum. Chlorophyll a has a peak at about 660nm that is as big as the peak at 405nm (chlorophyll a does not have a peak at royal blue wavelengths, see the links in my thread for details).

#14
jpc763

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I agree to this as well, although Steve's Leds highly recommended the 18/10 because it had optimal growth efficiency. 

I will let you all know long term

 
You'll have to let me know long term how your setup goes, I can't wait to get mine, its probably being built today so I should have it before the weekend. One reason i was "optimistic" on the color renditions with just the standard 18/10 was because of the moonlight kit and it seemed like it'd do the trick, Steve's makes fantastic products so I'll have to throw some pictures up with the standard config 18/10 with the moonlight kit on mine for comparison. Glad to see you went with it, as this is literally the same setup I just ordered, short of it being a 29g.

Mine is a 29g too. Is yours a Coralife or an Oceanic?

I'm planning on getting the reefkeeper soon though just because of the Aquarium controller, I really hate lighting flip on timers, so I'm curious to see how the dimmer module works with the ReefKeeper unit; any plans of the same for yourself?

I have a reefkeeper, I just don't have the ALC module yet. I am not sure I will need it yet. 
 

p.s. I was skeptical on how ugly those dimmer knobs would look on the hood, so I had extra length ordered, those actually look good though with caps on. I dig it! :D

Well they are better than the posts sticking up, but ideally the ALC would have made it much cleaner! Radio Shack for the knobs at $2.99.

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#15
jpc763

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Some before and after shots. Note that I have the Royal Blues on one dimmer and the 4K and Cool Blues on another. I have them both at about 40% and have not mixed too much yet.

Before
IMG_4716.jpg

After
IMG_4745.jpg

Before
IMG_4721.jpg

After
IMG_4750.jpg

Before
IMG_4718.jpg

After
IMG_4747.jpg

Before
IMG_4720.jpg

After
IMG_4749.jpg

I love the shimmer effect that the LEDs have. I am VERY happy with the upgrade!

My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

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#16
k__

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Are the existing Coralife Hood switches being used at all with the Steve's LEDs retrofit? I have been scouring the forums all day just to find a decent lighting customization answer for our Coralife BC29, which I've finally found (thanks jedimasterben for being all over the place), but this hasn't been 100% clear. Just curious. 

I was also wanting to purchase Steve's Moonlight kit - could you post a picture of your current whole hood setup, inside and outside? Thanks in advance.

-K



#17
cheezefrog

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Are the existing Coralife Hood switches being used at all with the Steve's LEDs retrofit? I have been scouring the forums all day just to find a decent lighting customization answer for our Coralife BC29, which I've finally found (thanks jedimasterben for being all over the place), but this hasn't been 100% clear. Just curious. 

I was also wanting to purchase Steve's Moonlight kit - could you post a picture of your current whole hood setup, inside and outside? Thanks in advance.

-K

Nope, Steve's kits provides dimmer knobs, that have to be drilled with a bushing fitting.

 

I've got the Coralife tank, its the newer model as well. The moonlight kits seems well worth every penny, essentially because it can be cut to fit and the color customization is fantastic, again why I wasn't too worried about the 18/10 combination as specified by Jeff.

 

So I take it 50% | 50% is the about the max dimming most seem to use, I like the overkill with the setups. I'm going to go with the Aquarium controller only because I've heard some crap stories about the rapidled drivers and failing. I haven't seen something as well, at least not in the price of 30 bucks for a true slow dimming effect controller.



#18
k__

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Nope, Steve's kits provides dimmer knobs, that have to be drilled with a bushing fitting.

 

I've got the Coralife tank, its the newer model as well. The moonlight kits seems well worth every penny, essentially because it can be cut to fit and the color customization is fantastic, again why I wasn't too worried about the 18/10 combination as specified by Jeff.

 

So I take it 50% | 50% is the about the max dimming most seem to use, I like the overkill with the setups. I'm going to go with the Aquarium controller only because I've heard some crap stories about the rapidled drivers and failing. I haven't seen something as well, at least not in the price of 30 bucks for a true slow dimming effect controller.


Awesome, thank you. Netting our Kupang Damsel was a PIA when we "upgraded" to the Coralife BC29 this month, and the moonlight kit's color customization seems to be extra useful should we have to do it again for any other creature. I'm really excited about the lighting upgrade now, the stock lights are just so dreary. My husband and I started reefing with an Evolve8, using a Wave Point LED clamp light (blue/white combo). I needed a thread like this. Thanks again.

-K



#19
cheezefrog

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Did you order a kit from Steve's as well?

 

I ordered the Coralife 29 and the moonlight, practically the same as  jpc357 setup, with the moonlight kit, its just to cheap of a price to pass up on the moon kit..  I essentially will probably turn this tank into a frag tank, but I am looking into a sump/refugium setup for it. I've just seen no build threads(even with the sumps underneath) that i've liked. The stability in these tanks somewhat scare me, and the water changes really stir  things up sometimes. Even with inTank filtration, I've also heard some people immediately adding "allot" of GFO in these tanks and they crash within a matter of hours...Although I'm not to concerned  I bought this tank specifically to get back into the hobby, and I'm moving to AZ in the next year so I wanted to get something started and cultivated at least with a larger tank in the distant future and a smaller one to make it easier on a move with possibly a LFS holding my livestock intermittently.



#20
jpc763

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Here are a few pics of the hood top and inside

BD190AC7-DACA-47B7-87D7-45E5642BDC93-404
290AE1FC-F089-4412-BF0A-5B3C3FDC6F76-404
07C3020A-AB1D-4F5A-A8EB-A6F766BA3F1F-404

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#21
k__

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Looks good jcp763, thanks for providing the pictures  :) We will be following your example once we get our kit. 
 

 

Did you order a kit from Steve's as well?

 

I ordered the Coralife 29 and the moonlight, practically the same as  jpc357 setup, with the moonlight kit, its just to cheap of a price to pass up on the moon kit..  I essentially will probably turn this tank into a frag tank, but I am looking into a sump/refugium setup for it. I've just seen no build threads(even with the sumps underneath) that i've liked. The stability in these tanks somewhat scare me, and the water changes really stir  things up sometimes. Even with inTank filtration, I've also heard some people immediately adding "allot" of GFO in these tanks and they crash within a matter of hours...Although I'm not to concerned  I bought this tank specifically to get back into the hobby, and I'm moving to AZ in the next year so I wanted to get something started and cultivated at least with a larger tank in the distant future and a smaller one to make it easier on a move with possibly a LFS holding my livestock intermittently.


We're waiting for payday this week to order. I have to gather lots of info before I'm willing to spend money on something; I hate buyer's remorse. Now that I know that the 16RB 5CB 7WW is going to give the corals what they need and look amazing, and that Steve's LEDs is the way to go vs. Rapid LEDs, I'm set. It only took me a week to arrive at this conclusion hehe.

The BC29 seemed like a good transitional compromise to what we had in the Evolve8 - bigger aquarium, possibility of a refugium in the second chamber (work in progress), decent lighting to move our corals into (we were already planning to upgrade before we even purchased the BC29), and generally worked with what we had to begin with. Seems with all the reading I've done so far, the simpler the operation, the better. We are opting to keep things as natural as possible, with advice from our LFS, and member experience on the forums. 

-K



#22
Newguy33190

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Do you find that the tank is a little to blue? Would it be better to go with maybe 2 more whites?

#23
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Do you find that the tank is a little to blue? Would it be better to go with maybe 2 more whites?

Right now I agree that it is too blue, but I am in the acclimation period so I have both dimmers down very low.  I am going to crank the white/cool blue one up a bit to play with the colors.

 

Here is a FTS with both dimmers at about 30% - Too blue in my mind.

IMG_4769.jpg


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#24
Newguy33190

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Looking to do a light setup like that but I'm not sure of the ratio of colors I should do

#25
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Looking to do a light setup like that but I'm not sure of the ratio of colors I should do

I asked on here and got the recommendation from jedimasterben who seems to be somewhat of an expert. I will crank up the white a bit tonight and take a pic for you.

John

My 29g Biocube thread - JPC763 29g Coralife BioCube

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