Best lighting on the market? Is there one?

Maxout

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
@90's reefer - I could spend all day in front of the reef with my nose pressed up against the glass. I've been accused of that on occasion by someone else in this household...
Here's another pic - of my little old lady Bella - a 13 yr "young" Belgian Groenendael with Norman, a 6 yr old Boxer-Lab mix at her side. I've had Belgians in my life since the mid 80s in Athens GR. Once you have them in your life, you can't really let go.
0SVxCq9.jpg


Cheers,
Ray
Oh yeah! Beautiful dogs! Love them!! Don't forget the treat! Tell them it's from uncle Grandis!
 

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
@shred5 - I get what you're saying about UV exposure, but I think you also need to plug human perception of color into the equation. Also, if you're running a double envelope halide (such as a mogul base or one that has a UV filtering glass as directed for HQI use), you really shouldn't see a pigment shift due to UV. If you do, you should also be wearing eye protection - really.
Here's a shot of my Pocillpora damicornis I donated to our club's Frag Fest in early 2019 (another Pocillopora is at the back of the bin). The color of this coral under these daylight fluorescents is patently rose, or dark pink to some.
lZkeVNc.jpg


Here's the same coral under my LEDs - a much different result.
c9I6UVF.jpg

Yeh, it went through a pretty heavy growth period in a couple months, one of the reasons I decided the club could make better use of it than I at that stage. If you look closely at some of the pics above you should be able to spot a couple "little tykes" started from really small frags of that coral after that club event.

So, while I suspect the fluorescent lighting at the Johns Hopkins APL cafeteria is daylight, I'd wager that I didn't (and probably still don't) have a lot of green in my lighting so the rose coloration didn't show, or was possibly masked by the chromate green. Is this a bad thing? Don't know. Is it truly reflective of what it would look like if I raised it in a greenhouse? Got me. I've tried for years to get authorization to build a greenhouse between the house and the barn with no success so far. I've even offered to turn over half to year-round vegetable gardening. No luck. Yet...

This is a fun hobby, and we hopefully learn something new every day. I just wish I had more time to play with it.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
Did you use only daylight fluorescent over that Pocillopora? What bulb exactly? GE65K?
Different lights offers different results. I like the pink!
Thanks for sharing!
 

The Camaro Show

The Coral Collector
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
5,132
Reaction score
5,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Wheeling, WV
Bright halids over zoas.JPG

My apologies for the content of my system. We are not allowed to keep any hard corals. This is the only thing I can have legally here!

People like you should know what you are doing, right? Nice tank. Like I've said many times, I have many friends with amazing tanks using LEDs only. We don't fight about lighting. They ask me what I think their tank would look like under halides or T5s, but they don't change. And that is fine.

Newbies follow the trend. I'm sure, like you, many of the LED users didn't get exactly what I've been trying to propose all these years. I tried to expose in this tread again and again, but perhaps some of you are so focused in defending the "LED wagon" and put all the efforts in the other side of discussion. Bob Goemans was right when he told you halides were better than T5s, but it will depend on what results you want! The results are different. Did you get it now?
If you use halides over your tank the results will be different and you should know that by now! Do you have to change? NO!
I careless what type of lights people choose. I don't like the fact that halides have been diminished and LEDs are maximized using it as a step! Did you get it now? Selling LEDs gives moves more profit, but that shouldn't have to prohibit halide users to choose what they want to use.The market needs to be fair. All excuse they use aren't true, but what we see published.
The only reason why there are threads like this is because of the fake news of the market. This was the first time (as far as I remember) they published the unfair comparison. From there, most companies decided they would go for the easy extra money the trend would follow:
Where are you located?
 

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
@nereefpat - The aquarium is a 300 gallon Deep Dimension with corner overflows. Foot print is 72" X 36" and water depth is about 27". This is not a cheap, inexpensive, plug and play solution, but rather one that I've tailored to meet my wants and needs.
The LED fixtures are 2X 165W and 4X 300W ViparSpectra. Decent spectrum and array. These are mounted perpendicular to the rear of the aquarium, with the 165W one each end - no need to light the overflows. I used shred5's recommended approach to panel LEDs by covering as much surface area as possible while allowing (tradeoff) for the my preferred inclusion of Kessil A360WEs. I removed the 90' focusing lenses from the ViparSpectra to increase color blending (native lenses are 120') as I wasn't worried about PAR levels and wanted to increase spread a smidge at the same time. I then covered the face glass with an acrylic light diffusion lens to produce basically a large, solid band of well-blended light. It's good to see manufacturers starting to do this in my opinion.
Please note I run this ViparSpectra array at 50% power level so I don't bleach coral. Been there, done that, and I'm still sad at the number of corals I lost because I didn't use a PAR meter to establish a baseline. And before the question is asked, yes, you can bleach coral with blue light. Another experiment I'd rather not repeat.
I supplement these (or vice versa) with six Kessil A360WE with intensity on full and their spectrum swung all the way over to the daylight side. If you look in the pictures up thread, these are place basically along the front edge (3) and rear edge (3) of the aquarium, and provide coverage to the entire reef. I run these for 5-6 hours mid day and they provide a boost of about 100-150 PAR during that period.
Along the lines of shred5's comments on UV above, there are things corals do to protect themselves from too much photosynthesis, and light-blocking pigmentation is one of them. I provide a period of "over the top" lighting to hopefully encourage this additional pigmentation, while allowing for over half of the illuminated period for "normal" photosynthesis levels of 300-350 PAR, where great growth rates hover around for the majority of photosynthetic coral I've plugged into this reef. I tend to give away frags to club members that are willing to come by and pick them up sometimes for a donation of frag plugs, and local shops as well (they reimburse me for the plugs, too, tho). Might as well put them to good use.
As an aside, the Tridacnid research paper I referenced many miles upthread truly is fascinating. It details how symbionts in the clam's mantle produce guanine crystals to shift the UV light spectrum from damaging wavelengths to those useful for photosynthesis. This also has a visible effect on the mantle's appearance. It really does make for good reading.
I hope this helps.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
LED people learn here! How many times I've said that LEDs will need to cover most of the surface area of the tank to give you the best results.
 
AS

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Almost all of the leds can grow coral. The cheap ones just as good as the expensive ones. The major difference is the functionality of the more expensive lights and the biggest thing imo is the color the expensive lights give. The black box tend to look more purple with less pop. They’ll grow coral great but the color of the tank is kinda bland. From what I’ve seen online the noopsyche lights are cheap and give off good color, now I haven’t seen them in person but the tank pics online show a color similar to more expensive fixtures.
Most LED boxes will give you somehow different results in color, very slightly. I like black boxes much better than any other hype LED in the market.
 

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Very much so, thanks.

Your reef is excellent, and packed full of corals. You have addressed the issues that LEDs can have by using lots of fixtures, and the black boxes are themselves panel-like.

You're right. What you've done isn't cheap or easy, but is the best way to light a SPS tank if you're using LEDs.
It would be great if all the LED users would follow that. BUT the mentality today to save money instead investing in the technology you choose! That is another wrong trend going on that needs to stop!!
 

MONTANTK

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,147
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Buffalo
I don’t think there is a best light per se but there are definitely better methods. T5/LED combo seems to be one of the best combos out there.

I also gotta say that I’m really liking the trend back towards LED strips rather than the pendant fixtures. When I say strips I mean have LEDs spread out across a larger area rather than in a puck. Really want to splurge on a Photon V2 but just don’t have the extra cash right now
 

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
a 8 bulb T5ho fixture ...
That’s all I have ever used and there is nothing I can’t grow .
That being said .
I’m sure there are comparable when it comes to the cons of t5’s such as power sonsumption , heat , replacement costs ,
zoas under T5s.png

Above is the same tank under T5s. I have this system since 2008. As you can see the results are very different. I absolutely love T5s!!!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I don’t think there is a best light per se but there are definitely better methods. T5/LED combo seems to be one of the best combos out there.

I also gotta say that I’m really liking the trend back towards LED strips rather than the pendant fixtures. When I say strips I mean have LEDs spread out across a larger area rather than in a puck. Really want to splurge on a Photon V2 but just don’t have the extra cash right now
There is the best light for what you want to achieve though!!!
 

Rmckoy

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
3,061
Reaction score
3,099
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ontario Canada
zoas under T5s.png

Above is the same tank under T5s. I have this system since 2008. As you can see the results are very different. I absolutely love T5s!!!
I feel the same ..

I just went on a shopping mission to find a replacement ballast .
Not bad and about $30 cheaper than it was 10 years ago
I have 2 bulbs that quit working . It’s not the bulbs though ....
 

rgulrich

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
129
Reaction score
238
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Marriottsville, MD
@A. grandis - Please read my posts a little more carefully, and I'm sorry for not being more explicit in my writing style. re: "Bob Goemans was right when he told you halides were better than T5s, but it will depend on what results you want! The results are different. Did you get it now?" I was the one actually coming down on the side of metal halide, not Bob. I built my own starters (you know, with the big old transformer and capacitor, referred to as an M80 these days) with the help of the local warehouse lighting supplier. Yeh, halides were used for aisle lighting in warehouses, and still are on occasion. As I said, I used them for many years. My decisions weren't based on my wallet, but the health and appearance of the animals under my care.

With ref to the Pocillopora above: no, it was grown under Black Boxes, and the photograph was taken under one as well.

That's an amazing zoa collection, by the way.

I do hope that someday "metal halide people" can learn here as well.

Sorry about the Hawaii stony coral issues. Hope the trade and the statehouse figures it out sometime.

Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
1,778
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
but that shouldn't have to prohibit halide users to choose what they want to use

Sadly that's for manuf to choose.

You know one funny thing is there is profit in MH's or there would be none.


Anyone care to guess (or know) the manf. costs of a bulb?
It's old tech i.e r&d and tooling all paid for.
China can sell bulbs for $10 each retail.

Got a fancy 180w one sitting right here.. Heat absorbing glass, shiny reflector included labelled Osram (made in China).
$50..For a Mitsubishi TV.

Complaining about profits is in the same league as heat and energy savings..
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

rgulrich

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
129
Reaction score
238
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Marriottsville, MD
@oreo5457 - I still remember my old Toshiba DLP quite fondly. I replaced the bulb (came in it's own holder) once before I went to an LED big screen in mid/late 2000's. It still hurt taking it to electronics recycling a few years ago as it still worked, just not as well as the new screen. It certainly was worth the investment for a number of years, though.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
2,117
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
@A. grandis - Please read my posts a little more carefully, and I'm sorry for not being more explicit in my writing style. re: "Bob Goemans was right when he told you halides were better than T5s, but it will depend on what results you want! The results are different. Did you get it now?" I was the one actually coming down on the side of metal halide, not Bob. I built my own starters (you know, with the big old transformer and capacitor, referred to as an M80 these days) with the help of the local warehouse lighting supplier. Yeh, halides were used for aisle lighting in warehouses, and still are on occasion. As I said, I used them for many years. My decisions weren't based on my wallet, but the health and appearance of the animals under my care.

With ref to the Pocillopora above: no, it was grown under Black Boxes, and the photograph was taken under one as well.

That's an amazing zoa collection, by the way.

I do hope that someday "metal halide people" can learn here as well.

Sorry about the Hawaii stony coral issues. Hope the trade and the statehouse figures it out sometime.

Cheers,
Ray :cool:
Thanks Ray! Bob was a great guy!!!
Some of the very best results I've seen using LED fixtures were definitely under black boxes! I've tried them too, but it didn't do for me and I went back to my T5s in that system. I wish I had pictures, but I don't. I know people with great tanks using them for years.
That Pocillopora is looking great. I love that "morph" of damincornis. Show more pictures, if you have time.
Can you tell me more about making your own starter??? If you feel like writing some more about that please pm me. I wouldn't think we should disrupt the focus of the thread that way.
All zoas here were collected with permit. All local.
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
1,778
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
@oreo5457 - I still remember my old Toshiba DLP quite fondly. I replaced the bulb (came in it's own holder) once before I went to an LED big screen in mid/late 2000's. It still hurt taking it to electronics recycling a few years ago as it still worked, just not as well as the new screen. It certainly was worth the investment for a number of years, though.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
Toshiba 3 crt projection..Mitsubishi DLP...Visio M (90 local dim spots)? I think..
Toshiba still works though one of the color guns is weak. Bloody tank TV.
Even if I could, wouldn't go back to that tech. Certain superiorities be darned.

Each has it's pros and cons... Current tv choices are a bear to navigate because of some differences.
If plasma wasn't so short lived would be preferred I think. I have a thing for the best black emulation but live w/ some compromises.

Visio is sweet but like you will miss the Mitsu when retired.
More emotional than technical.

all need massaging out of the box.. sound familiar?

Hey if we can talk about dogs why not TV's.. ;)
 

JCOLE

Grower of the Small Polyps
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
3,051
Reaction score
8,436
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Charlotte, NC
I am no expert by any means so just take it for what it's worth.

What I feel is the best lighting is whatever lighting fits your tank's needs. :) I know that isn't the answer most want to hear but you will need to light your tank according to size and what you plan on keeping and especially your BUDGET.

Lighting a tank with 90% Zoa's, softies, and LPS is going to be different than a tank with 90% SPS. Tank size will also be a huge factor.

If you have a 75 gallon tank with Zoas and LPS then 2 Radions XR30's would be a good choice if that is what you wanted. You would get proper spectrum/PAR and that glorious nightclub Glow that is all the rage right now. However, if your tank is SPS dominant then you will have issues down the road once those pieces start growing and create shading issues. You would need to add more fixture to achieve what you are looking fo which cost $$$$.

If I had a 300+ gallon tank then my option would be either all T5's or an MH/T5 combo as I could grow anything at a huge fraction of the cost. By all means, if money is no object then 4K+ on Radion's would work as well.

Also, I see some people mentioning the POP Bloom fixtures, etc. Need to be careful with these Ebay and Amazon LED lights. People see 800+ PAR and they automatically think that they can grow anything. It takes more than just PAR and what these fixtures lack is Quality Diodes for spectrum which is very important and Len's for the right spread. I am not dogging them because I had (4) of the MArs Aqua fixtures on a 150 Gallon ACRO dominant system and it grew all of my corals.

With the black box's I used I had an issue with shading and coloring up the Acro's correctly. They looked fine under the Nightclub Blacklights and I thought everything was happy. However, when I switched to all T5's I really noticed just how they looked. Everything looked like a brown turd. The cheaper Diodes in the black boxes were not exciting the correct natural pigments. I am seeing colors in all of my Acro's now with the T5's that I have never seen before. Also, I had issues with shading from the Black boxes. Now, it seems light is coming up from the bottom of my colonies with the T5's.

This was my tank right after switching from Black Boxes to all T5's so yes, it can be done.

20201101_130645 (1).jpg


Again, I think the correct answer is not which light is best but which light is best for your tank size and what you plan on keeping.
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
1,778
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
This was my tank right after switching from Black Boxes to all T5's so yes, it can be done.

20201101_130645 (1).jpg


Again, I think the correct answer is not which light is best but which light is best for your tank size and what you plan on keeping.
You forgot the best part.. WHAT did you replace the 4 @ 110w max not including dimming the white (84.3W w/ white at 25%) channel with?
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

  • It was a GREAT deal

    Votes: 100 36.1%
  • It was a good deal

    Votes: 90 32.5%
  • It was nether good nor bad

    Votes: 65 23.5%
  • It was a bad deal

    Votes: 17 6.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 1.8%
BSA
Top