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Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Old School Mullet


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While planning my light mod, I noticed that Amazon has changed the description of the light that I purchased.  It looks like jedimasterben was right; the new description states that all of the blue LEDs are 460nm:

  • 27 x Blue 460nm
  • 10 x White 14000K
  • 6 x Natural White 8000K
  • 6 x Warm White 3200K
  • 4 x Deep Red 630nm
  • 2 x Green 520nm


However, I don't believe there is actually a mixture of 14000K and 8000K LED, as those 16 LEDs look exactly the same to me.  Who knows, maybe they changed the light since I ordered mine.  Anyways, I believe they are all 8000K, since none of them have a blueish tint.


But whatever the cool whites are, I think I want to replace them with 4500K LEDs (which is almost a 180° change from my original plan).  The product description also references UV, but there is no UV, or violet.  I figure that this light has gone through a couple generations and that the description on Amazon hasn't been completely updated after each change.


Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have purchased this particular fixture.  Based on this new information, Jedi's suggestions, and some additional research, my proposed layout change is below.  I'm waiting on thermal paste and more LEDs.  Hopefully I'll be able to start work on it in the next couple of weeks.  Looks like a fair amount of work (leaving only a few LEDs in their original positions).


  •  2 x violet (425nm - 430nm)
  • 19 x royal blue (440nm - 450nm)
  • 8 x blue (original 460nm)
  • 3 x cyan (490nm - 495nm)
  • 18 x neutral white (4000K - 4500K)
  • 5 x warm white (original 3200K)



I also ordered some coralline in a bottle, which I'll dispense across all my tanks.

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Well, definitely sounds like a project. Seems almost like a lot of LEDs to change on a “new” light...I really hope it all works out like you envision! I do love projects!

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Quite a lighting project! Way outta my league. 


Will be interested to hear if the coralline in a bottle works. 

I’m hoping small little bits I scraped from my bigger tank will seed my pico. 

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24 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

Quite a lighting project! Way outta my league.

New for me too.  But I'm not too intimidated.  I'll document the upgrade.


25 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

Will be interested to hear if the coralline in a bottle works.  I’m hoping small little bits I scraped from my bigger tank will seed my pico.

I've used it before.  It will seed spores; and if conditions are right, coralline will grow.  Scraping works just as well (cheaper too).

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Here's my dosing plan:

  • Do a 100% water change, making note of the new water's alkalinity and calcium levels.
  • Wait a week and retest alkalinity and calcium.
  • Divide the weekly alkalinity and calcium consumption by 7 to get daily consumption rates.
  • I plan to dose (BRS two part) alkalinity one day, and calcium the next.

I still plan on doing large weekly water changes to replenish magnesium and correct alkalinity and calcium levels.  I'm using BRS bulk additives (versus ESV, Red Sea, or something else) because I have a boat load of it for use in other tanks.  However, name brand two part systems are affordable enough for use in a small tank.


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One of my fans was grinding at startup a couple of days ago.  It corrected itself in less than 30 seconds, but it got me thinking about fan upgrades too.  I took the case apart to take a quick peek, just to make sure the blades weren't hitting a wire.


Everything seems nice and clean, so I imagine its a bearing issue.  I'm going to order 2 new fans to replace these.


While open, I took a peek at the LEDs.



I'm thinking about reversing the blue and white channels.  Maybe something like this:


That would mean removing all of the original LEDs.  Not sure I want to do all that soldering, but I feel the current spectrum needs improvement.


The original layout looks like this:



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Is the heat sink on that just a thin sheet of flat metal? Neat to see the guts of a black box.


also, the proposed spectrum change looks good, looks like quite a fun project!

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Nice build! The new layout looks great. I really really like the the plan of broadly covering the red side of the spectrum with 3500K and the low blue end with 4500K. If you're up for it, I do agree the new layout would have a more useful color variety over the old layout. Also, keeping a couple reds in there would make anything with red stand out so much more than without.

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41 minutes ago, MetaTank said:

Is the heat sink on that just a thin sheet of flat metal?

Yeah, that's the heat sink.  It's pretty lightweight, although there is some thickness to it.  You can get an idea by looking at the holes:


So they are pretty much relying on the spacing, the large sheet, and fans to keep the LEDs cool.  Some black boxes use three fans.  However, since I'm not running the channels at 100%, I think it should be enough.


25 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

Also, keeping a couple reds in there would make anything with red stand out so much more than without.

Probably true.  I see most of these boxes using a couple of reds.  However, I'm hoping that the warm whites and neutral whites will provide enough (while blending much better than individual red LEDs).  IDK, it's so red right now, that maybe I'm just swinging the pendulum the other way. :unsure:

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Haha yeah, I know what you mean. Ever since seeing the difference in red specimen, I'll always try to incorporate - how about just one red, right in the middle? Nobody would hardly notice it :ninja: 

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4 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

how about just one red, right in the middle?

Possibly, I'll have to think about that.  Maybe without any optics.

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This LED project is a bunch of beep boop bop to me. Lol, my head’s spinning!


Excited to see how it turns out and how difficult it is to change the LEDs... I’m guessing you need soldering tools? Would be sweet to see pics as you work on it!

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2 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Would be sweet to see pics as you work on it!

Definitely.  I'll document the process.

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So here are some pics using just the white channel.  You can see the red shadowing in the first two, and also the green in the third.

052419d.jpg  052419f.jpg  052419e.jpg

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I check in after a 2 week absence, expecting to see a tank shot & it's all about LEDs...

Dude, I know those are important for the corals, but come on now!!!

I'm kidding! (kinda)

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3 minutes ago, Wendy said:

DudeI know those are important for the corals, but come on now!

:lol:  As for the coral, well... it seems fine.  It's not all that exciting.  Instead of the saying, "it's like watching paint dry", people should say "it's like watching SPS grow".


I don't have much of a cast of characters, so there's not much really happening.  I've thought about an interesting invert, or even a fish.  I might possibly add a small shrimp, which would force me to feed more.  But 100% water changes would be out.


So anyway, this LED project is giving me something to think about.  However, month end is approaching and a new FTS will be due.  I'll try to get a few closeups too.


Going to try dosing too.  Also, I haven't been feeding a whole lot.  Just a little more than enough to keep my hermit crab, Eugene alive.  I've dosed some phyto, although most people will concur that SPS doesn't directly feed on phyto.  I'm even kind of thinking about dosing yeast.

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This guy is extra salty

You need a specific thread for the leds lol 


I have been wanting to see the mullet 


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I love this thread!

Tank is looking great and I figure I’m about halfway through an Associates Degree in LED lighting now!  (It’s always good to have something to fall back on ya know!)

Keep up the good work Seabass.

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