180G Philips CoralCare2 Build

JeffB418

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I'm starting up a brand new 180G RR display in my foyer, this setup will be replacing an existing 125G euphyllia dominated display tank that I have been running for 4 years. Both tanks will be running concurrently until I can get the new display properly cycled and stable. This setup I am also using exclusively the new Philips CoralCare Gen2 fixtures.

My plan:
- 180G RR Marineland display
- Custom 80/20 stand from framingtech.com
- 3x Philips CoralCare Gen 2 lights + controller
- Coralvue Wave Engine
-- 2x Reef Octopus Pulse 2 wave makers
-- 1x Icecap 2K Gyre
- Coralvue Hydros Control 4 aquarium controller setup
-- PH, ORP, Optical Level Sensor, and 2x Temp Probes. 2x 4 outlet wifi power strip

As of now I have assembled the stand, setup the tank, added sand/rock, and filled it mostly full of water. Here is my custom stand from framingtech.com.
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JeffB418

JeffB418

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I temporarily mounted 1 of the 3 coralcare fixtures I have received over the display to gain a better feeling on spread and spectrum. For mounting I am using 2 5ft 1" 80/20 bars mounted to the ceiling using 4x wire hangers. The wire hangers each support up to 60lbs so this should be plenty for 3 fixtures in the end. The metal bars mount directly to the 80/20 using standard 80/20 hardware. The bars being displayed are actually 4 ft spares I had while I wait for my 5ft sections to arrive.

Coralcare lights - First impressions:
The first light I received I actually won from BRS as part of their 20k light give away. Unfortunately they packaged it very poorly for shipping with very little packing. This light was repackaged since they used it in house. As I picked up the box I felt it sliding freely around inside the box, I had a panic attack at that point. But to my surprise after opening it, the light was in very good shape. Some very minor, barely noticeable scuff marks, but nothing broken. I will say this, yes the lights are heavy and BIG... but dang they are built like a tank. For something to take that much abuse during shipping with minimal wear, shows how well constructed it really is. So overall, they are some super durable lights!

Here is the fixture over my display. Tank is 3/4 full since I was still slowly filling it over multiple days (slow RODI). As you can see the fixture is big, but actually pretty slim for its size. Running without the controller you will get 100% blue, and 100% white but no way to change that without their controller. For one light at about 9" up, you can see it actually puts out some massive and even spread.
IMG-1096.jpg


So first I turned the fixture to 100% blues since the biggest thing I've heard about these lights is that the blue isn't deep enough for many peoples liking. To my surprise it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The blue channel has a decent balance and a good blue spectrum. I have yet to put corals under it to get the full picture but so far it meets or exceeds my expectations. I was planning on supplementing with 1 6ft XHO Reefbrite fixture, but at this point I do not know if its required to add that 'pop'. That being said, for my displays I do like running a more white/natural profile. My current display uses 4x Gen5 XR15 Pros. I went with the pros over the blues since the blues are just too much blues for my liking. I run a Gen5 XR30 Blue on my 75gal nem tank and have trouble getting that balanced white/blue that I like for mid-day viewing. Note, I did mix up the sandbed before these following pictures so that's why the tank is cloudy now, but it does show the spread much more.
IMG-1101.jpg

Full white: Here is the output with only whites. Some pretty serious output.
IMG-1100 (1).jpg

100/100 Whites and Blues: Both channels full output. Most lights I wouldn't dare running at 100% but the philips oversized passive heatsink barely gets warm running them like this. The other nice thing is that these lights are made to last and be repairable.. not disposable. I believe you can get replacement LED panels from Coralvue/Philips in the future if you ever did have an issue.
IMG-1097.jpg


Finally going back to the 100% white setup, you can see that 1 single fixture provides almost 3ft of spread around midtank and 4 ft of spread at the sand bed. That's some serious spread with a very even coverage. 3 fixtures on this tank will be more than enough.

IMG-1100.jpg


Looking at the spread also makes me feel that these would be amazing for larger shallow frag tanks. Mounted up 15-20" you most likely could cover a 4ft by 4ft frag tank where as it would take multiple radion fixtures to cover.

Next up... mounting all 3 units, fill the tank to the top, and do some PAR and PUR measurements. I have both the MQ510 par meter and the seneye meter (PUR). I will do a bunch of readings and report back after!

If you have any questions drop them below.
 

najer

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Nice work, this light is pretty much top of my shopping list except I only need one so the controller as an add on is annoying, are you sure you need three?! ;)
 
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JeffB418

JeffB418

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Nice work, this light is pretty much top of my shopping list except I only need one so the controller as an add on is annoying, are you sure you need three?! ;)

Honestly I might have gotten away with only 2 units. Only issue is that the 180 has 2 huge braces and that would've cast some bad shadows. Honestly if I was putting these on a 125G with 1 brace, 2 units would be more than enough. If you had a 4 ft tank with no brace, you could get away with 1 fixture I would think.

As for the controller, yeah I agree that its unfortunate that you need it for even 1 fixture. The interface standard the lights use is pretty complex from what I've been told. The lights don't have any real complex processing, just decodes the messaging from the controller and applies the lighting settings to the array. These lights are the most budget friendly when you use 4 or more IMHO. They def have an advantage for larger displays where the cost would get out of hand with any smaller light like the radions. But for tanks you only need 1 unit, you do play alittle more for the basic setup.
 
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JeffB418

JeffB418

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Well finally got around to mounting all 3 units and I have to say these are some serious lights.
EF9724F9-1384-4069-9C4B-7CE787D0D02F.jpeg


They put out some serious and even light. I’ve never seen a sand bed so evenly lit. Every inch of my 180g has coverage. I haven’t had a chance to pull out my meters yet but so far I’m loving the coverage. The mounting method really made them look really nice. I mounted them slightly higher for now since I will be moving in more rock in the future then will drop them 2-3 inches.

here is the mounting system:
872A15A4-BE0F-4DAF-8C6D-29DC18EF481B.jpeg
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it was kind of a pain to get them mounted to the bar but I did it while it was above the tank. You’d have a much easier time doing them on a flat surface and moving them as a whole assembly.

here are 3 diff output configurations 100 white. 100 blue. And 100/100 both channels
4067AE47-2287-46A4-BD19-4E28ADCCD7BE.jpeg
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Pictures honestly don’t do these lights justice. I might add a 5ft reefbrite xho to get that “pop” but still undecided. Going to wait until corals are in.

I did also pop one of the fixtures open to see how they are built. They are really simple. 2 Dali controlled LED drivers and 1 led panel, that’s it. They are manufactured very well tho I would say. Also gaskets on every cover and access port. These things are really protected. Par/pur measurements coming soon.
 

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