LED / T5 DIY light fixture for 35inch tank


New member
LED / T5 DIY light fixture for 35inch tank.

Tank is 24 wide x 24 deep
900 x 600 x 600mm

I have a Robo-tank controller that will turn these on and off.
This will hang over my tank with NO hood.

Early in to this idea....

2 x T5 tubes on the sides and 2 x LED DIY lights...

What are good options for the T5 light fittings and reflectors?
Arcadia? and this else?

I have read soooo many LED build threads my brain hurts, I am a good DIYer but not super clever with electronics, know enough to blow stuff up. But I learn and give it a go.

I have seen some build with the LED's screwed straight on to aluminium angle as a heat sink, no fans. I am thinking I will add a top to the light fixture with two extraction fans sucking air out.

Any ideas / tip / sites / builds all appreciated.

Now why you may ask... buying expensive off the shelf LED lights would kill my budget, but slowly accumulating parts over time as I build this will go un-noticed until its to late and passed the point of no return LOL and I like building stuff it is a great sense of satisfaction.


New member
Great idea hopefully you have a great cable management system. I hate when someone has a great idea but poorly executed. Excited to see what you make of this. Cheers


New member
Tanks is 900 x 600 x 600 in the real world - 36 x 24 x 24 to you others.

Question - will the following be enough light????
2 T5 39W tubes $37 NZD each
3 x 50W LED's - 4 chanels
228Watts - all dimmable on 5 channels


I have started to look at parts.
First up is finding a T5 ballast that is dimmable. 1-10V

As a controller I am using Robo tank setup using a Raspberry Pi and Reef-pi which i am building. I have the Pi programmed and working on wifi etc. very cool... $350 paid from a reefer, who decided to to not go ahead with this due to Covid 19. Looked at an Apex and nearly died at the cost,, bugger that, this thing does it all for FA.

All controlled with an 8 x 5v/10 PWM or Analog ports on the Robo tank controller



In the picture is the power box, box for the Pi and tank level sensor.
It will have ATO / auto water changes using NSW (I live in NZ and near the coast) - also PH - have the probe and 2 x dosing pumps.

I can access this on all devices - Ipad, phone and PC - all wifi, just need to work out how to do this from outside my house.... will be done at a latter date.

Just a side note - I am an engineer / diy / electrical novice- know enough to make smoke LOL...

So for a ballast :
QTi 2X21/39 DIM - Osram - about $50 in NZ
39W for Giesemann T5HO bulbs

This ballast will do 2 T5 tubes and dimmer them - 1 x channel.

Next up are the LED's 3 x 50W - 4 -channels
AcroStar Mega4Z 20k Pro Blue (48W)

This is the Pro version, which re-arranges the original layout and includes high quality Lumileds Luxeon UV LEDs.

Full spectrum LED arrangement in 4 channels:

Channel 1: 4x Royal Blue (450nm), 1x Warm White (2700k, 80+CRI); 1A max current, 15V required
Channel 2: 2x Royal Blue (450nm), 1x 425nm Violet (Luxeon UV), 1x 415nm Violet (Luxeon UV); 1A max current, 12V required
Channel 3: 1x Lime, 1x Warm White (2700k, 80+CRI), 1x Royal Blue, 1x Neutral White (4000k, 80+CRI); 700mA max current, 12V required
Channel 4: 1x Blue (485nm), 1x Royal Blue (450nm), 1x Cyan (500nm); 1A max current, 9V required.

6x #4 screw mounting holes available, fits into T-slot rails of most heat sinks, or to custom drilled and tapped heatsinks.
Push in connectors for stranded and solid wire. Ejection tool (included) or small flat head screwdriver to remove wires with little fuss. Compatible with 20-26 gauge wire
Up to 48W of power per star
With high-quality high-effieincy Lumileds Luxeon UV Violet LEDs
Dense packing of LEDs ensures even spectrum available at any point, unlike fixtures with large grids of multiple colored LEDs
Available with secondary stick-on reflector ~ 50 degree angle combined with custom laser cut acrylic diffuser grid which mounts onto the reflector to provide smooth lighting and reduces shadowing and color fringing.
Integrated 10kohm thermistor for measuring temperature of the PCB

OK .. off their website.. been in contact with Yann very helpful.




So the plan is 2 x T5 on the outside and 3 x 50W LED;s down the middle.
Will this be OK?

All this will be mounted in a floating ceiling hanging wooden frame like this which I like a lot.


Tank stand will be the old 2x4 with tongue and groove skin to match the kitchen... white also.!

For NSW I have these - one under the house, the other for the trailer.
All washed and water in them to make sure.. a couple more fills to go to make sure... we are on tank water and have water to burn.


For an over flow I am looking at :
32inch Exotic marine overflow on 35 inch tank - coast to coast

Tank will be 40inch high - what size return pump is recommended?
Skimmer - I have had Deltec years ago but no idea?