Aquarium Lighting

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by KMench, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    Hi,

    I currently have a 75G standard size tank. Running a Current USA Orbit IC LED in addition to an Aquatic Life Reef Edge LED. I think my aquarium is a bit under-lit honestly. I upgraded my powerheads to MP-40s and now I feel like lighting is the next thing for me to upgrade. I have a mixed tank currently and my corals all look ok, but I feel as if I could get better color with some better lights. I'm not looking to spend 1000 dollars on lighting for the 75, but I'm open to reasonable suggestions. I was thinking maybe 2 XR15's or maybe Kessil? I'm not looking to start the great lighting debate here, just some suggestions on lighting my tank. Oh, I should also say that hanging from the ceiling any fixture is out of the realm of possibilities, don't think the girlfriend would approve :rolleyes:

    Thanks!

    IMG_9378.jpeg
     

  2. Mikey Mane The Flare

    Mikey Mane The Flare Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    A4A0A3E8-7D73-438A-9A37-615DD407DA7E.png [QUOTE="KMench, post: 4488716, member: 87437
    [/QUOTE]
    I’m in the same boat! I have been considering a t5 led hybrid. It’s a t5 kit you attach you leds to so you get the best of both worlds. Check them out it does hang however in the online video at marine depot they use a tank mount hanger
     
  3. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    Probably should’ve given this a catchier title like Radion vs kessil. Would’ve been the most popular thread on here :D:rolleyes:
     
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  4. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    At 48” by 18”, you have quite a few options under $1000, but they also depend on your goals for corals.

    T5’s are super easy, most aquarium oriented fixture have a leg system.
    I would lean towards ATI.
    Bullet proof, tried and true.
    Bulb replacement could be a concern.

    Leds are a very popular option. You could get yourself 2 XR15’s as you stated, or maybe 2 hydra 26’s, a pair of kessil a360’s is a good option, but all of these option have very limited sources of light, which mean that shadowing could become a real issue in the case of moderate to heavy SPS stocking.
    I like leds, and in particular lean towards spread out panels, like the Orphek, SBreeflights, reefbreeders, etc etc.

    I personally run photon v2’s on both of my tanks. I tried 2 different t5 fixtures, a dead simple led black box, a couple odd led fixtures. Anyways, I like the look of leds better, but they didn’t get the spread the t5’s did. I think the spread out led panels (which still do not get the coverage of a good t5 fixture, in my opinion and experience) are a much more reasonable medium in my case.
     
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  5. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    I think I want to stay away from T5 because of the bulbs etc. I was thinking primarily LED. You think that two Radion/kessils/ whatever would provide significant shadowing issues?
     
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  6. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I think it depends on how much and what type of coral will be towards the top, but over time, I would think so.
    Perhaps 2 XR30’s or 3 a360’s or 2 hydra 52’s would avoid shadowing, but it’s in the leds nature to be a spotlight.
    Also those are significantly more expensive than other options, and provide far more wattage than necessary, and not necessarily enough spread.
    If it were me, I would look at led options that had much greater dispersion of diodes.

    That being said I am positive that there are users on here who have almost every combination of led we have mentioned and grow coral very successfully.

    Most of this decision these days is opinion, unfortunately.
     
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  7. rkpetersen

    rkpetersen walked the sand with the crustaceans R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019

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    I just today put 3 XR15w Pros over a 5' long Reefer 450 setup. I can say a few things at this point:

    1. Trying to set up the lights with the Reef Link and EcoSmart Live was completely unsuccessful. Last year, when I set up Vortechs on another tank, they also didn't work well and programming/connection success was very inconsistent. Reef Link doesn't seem to play well with my home network. In both cases, last year with the Vortechs and today with the Radions, I gave up struggling with the Ecotech wifi interface and easily connected the devices to my Apex through the WXM module in just minutes. For the Radions, the settings require a bit more tweaking when using the Apex, but the easy solid connection to the devices and straightforward graphical interface more than make up for that. There are some nice custom lighting programs that other Apex users have uploaded, including several versions of AB+.

    I would guess that the non-wireless USB programming option through the Connection Manager works fine (I haven't tried it), but I really want something I can tweak now and then without pulling out a cable and laptop.

    2. The RMS single mounts seem pretty solid and look nice. Easy to set up, decent cable routing, designed not to mark up the back of the tank. They hold the lights about 8" off the water; should be good for most, but might be too low for some.

    3. I'll do some PAR measurements later, but I don't think I would try a primarily SPS tank with this setup unless I added T5s with a hybrid fixture.
     
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  8. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    You think you’ll have too much shadowing with three XR15s? Wow. I was just looking at the AI Prime HDs, but they seem to have much lower PAR compared to the radions.
     
  9. A. grandis

    A. grandis Valuable Member

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    ATI 48" 6 bulb SunPower.
    Best light you can have to grow any coral with a long term success and not spending that crazy money.
    Amazing performance and efficiency with cooling system. Totally worthy!!
    You can place 2 pieces of wood on the right and left sides and place the fixture right on top, like I do.
    Then you don't need to hang it from the ceiling.
    [​IMG]

    Grandis.
     
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  10. Justfebreezeit

    Justfebreezeit Well-Known Member

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    If you go the LED spotlight route (xr15/360we) you can combat the shadowing a little bit with your aquascape. Having a hybrid would be ideal but I understand why people have a reason not run t5's alone or at all. Unless you are trying to grow Sps then I wouldnt worry about the shadowing to much.
     
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  11. rkpetersen

    rkpetersen walked the sand with the crustaceans R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019

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    The new XR15s are surprisingly un-spotlight-like. Especially with the diffusers. I eyeball the light field across the bottom of the new tank and it looks surprisingly uniform, although as I mentioned, I haven't gotten out the PAR meter yet. I'm optimistic that these will provide more even lighting than the 3 Hydra 26HDs I have over the other tank, with which I started to experience significant shadowing as some acros grew, such that I added T5s awhile ago (and which have made a huge difference. )
     
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  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    And $$$$

    The colors of the leds are different too. So there’s some ascetics and option choices in there too.

    My only real opinion is actually just coverage preference, more smaller units for or multi emitter boards.
     
  13. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    So I’ve been continuing to do my research. Would two hydra 26s reduce the shadowing? Or would the radions be better since @rkpetersen has faith in them?
     
  14. Justfebreezeit

    Justfebreezeit Well-Known Member

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    Edit: double post
     
  15. Justfebreezeit

    Justfebreezeit Well-Known Member

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    How deep is the tank? Two hydra 26's would do well, or maybe even 4 Ai Primes so you can spread the pucks better.
     
  16. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    It’s 20” deep
     
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  17. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    Four AI primes would indeed be a nice setup. Is there such thing as too much lighting? :D Do you think four primes is better than two XR15pros or two kessil 360s? My problem with doing 3 360s is they would then be off center and that would bother my OCD. The tank brace right in the middle is a pain.
     
  18. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    I think maybe 2 hydra 26s would work well and not blow my budget. I watched the videos on BRS and I think I could get away with two XR15s for my mixed reef, but why have two pucks if i can get four :D plus AI is made by the same people who make Radion.
     
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  19. KMench

    KMench Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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  20. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    IMO. 4 primes. More units better coverage.
     
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