EcoTech Vs Aquaillumination

Discussion in 'EcoTech Marine' started by _marine_dream_, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. _marine_dream_

    _marine_dream_ Member

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    So I’m looking to upgrade my tank to a Red Sea Reefer 350 some time this year, but as far as lighting, I can’t make up my mind.

    I run a AI Prime HD+ on my current 24G JBJ Nanocube and it does the job very well.

    I had in mind upgrading to two AI Hydra 26 HD ($349 ea)vs one AI Hydra 52 HD ($599 ea) to better spread light across the entire 4 feet.

    (On a side not planning to stock it with a EcoTech Vectra Return Pump and two MP10s or one MP40 Powerhead)

    Should I just go full on EcoTech Marine and get max two Radion XR30W G4 [MSRP: $649 ea] (maybe even Pro? [$799 ea] If it’s again worth the money and make a considerable difference on growth)?

    [I feel like two Radion XR15W Pro (MSRP: $399 ea) wouldn’t. provide enough light spread across the tank]

    So in the end, would the price difference justify me getting Hydras vs Radions?
    I’d pay around $700 for the two AI Hydra 26 HDs vs the $1,300 for the two EcoTech Radion XR30W G4 (make that $1,600 if I wanted those two to be PRO).
     
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  2. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Ecotech owns AI :)
     
  3. _marine_dream_

    _marine_dream_ Member

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    True, knew that but wanted more of a performance aspect instead of brand. I mean the difference in price must mean something not just branding.
     
  4. siggy

    siggy Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    T5 hybrid with your existing HD?
     
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  5. SDboatguy

    SDboatguy Member

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    SPS ? 2 Radions or Hydra 52 hds would be good.OR you could go with 2 Hydra 26 hds and use the "left over" cash for an Aquatic Life LED / T5 hydrid and use your Prime as well...
     
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  6. aquaman30k

    aquaman30k Active Member

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    IMO the Radions are worth every penny. Not that the Hydra’s won’t do a great job, Radions, especially the xr30 g4 Pro’s are so powerful that it’s the first LED that I’ve had to turn down.
     
  7. aquaman30k

    aquaman30k Active Member

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    T5/LED is your best solution. Like mentioned above, look into the AquaticLife hybrid fixture.
     
  8. Stephen Petruzzo

    Stephen Petruzzo Member

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    I currently have three AI Prime HDs over my Red Sea Reefer 350 (one per foot length of the tank). I also have a seneye to check the par and spectrum. The Primes put out more than enough par for SPS, and the spectrum is on point. I couldn't recommend them more. The total cost is believe is Primes(3x$225)+Mounts(3x$30) = $765 which is about $85 cheaper than the Hydra 26 HDs combination. Although you do get one extra light puck going with the Hydra 26s, but probably better spread with the Prime way. Either way, theyre great lights and you can go wrong with an AI setup.
     
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  9. Stephen Petruzzo

    Stephen Petruzzo Member

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    Looks like the prices on the Primes dropped to $200 too. BRS is sold out but you can find them on eBay as of now for that price. That's another $75 in savings.
     
  10. Centerline

    Centerline Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I own both Hydra 52 HDs and Gen4 Pros. I don't think there is really a lot of difference between them and I like them both. The reefer is 47" long and using the standard mounting arms that put the lights about a foot over the water you are going to have plenty of par drop off on the edges with a single light. So unless you raise the lights up you may have to be careful what you out in the tank. If it were me I would put two or even three of the lights on the tank for even coverage. Even so you may still have shading issues. One thing the G4 Pros have going for them is the new diffusers. Pretty sure the reason so many people have problems with SPS is due to hotspots and the diffuses address that more or less. Below is a shot of my 450 with three Gen4 Pros and the diffusers. Looks very even but poking around with a Seneye still shows some jumps in the par here and there. Could of course be the Seneye is so touchy. Pardon the condition of the tank - its been sitting with nothing in it as it was pretty much KILLED by hurricane Irma. So you can see that three of them appear to have a nice even spread. Of course you could just pop some T5s on the tank and save a bunch of money, get great growth and not have to screw around with the lights. For less than the price of a single light and arm - Hydra HD or Gen4 Pro you could score an ATI Sun Power - if you like that LED pop either toss a couple of true actinic blubs in or add a XHO led strip....
    7.jpg
     
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  11. _marine_dream_

    _marine_dream_ Member

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    I’ve been looking into a LED/T5 Hybrid, but would I still be to go with a single 2 puck Hydra or Radion? Or would I need two on top of the T5?
    And yes the diffusers are drawing me more into that direction.


    Also nice tank by the way! Glad it’s recovering.
     
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  12. Centerline

    Centerline Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    If it just that you like the LED look why not consider 4 T5s and maybe a couple of XHO Led strips.
    The 48" Reef Brite XHO Actinic LEDs strips run 350 ea. So figure 700 for two of them - they produce ALOT of pop and one would probably be enough. Par is about like a T5 - at least for me testing with a Apex par meter - they apparently under report the blues though. However you may find that one is all you need or even a couple of the Reef Brite Lumi Lite actinic strips. $110 each at BRS.

    So.... two pucks over a 48" tank is going to leave a LOT of shadowing - probably not the best idea if you intend to keep SPS. Lets do a quick price / value / looks break down.

    2 Hydra HD pucks with the Aquatic Life hanger you looking at $1000
    Should look nice but will have shadowing
    4 puck version will have nice overall coverage at $1700
    Should look nice, will take care of most of the shadowing and have plenty of par for SPS



    2 Radion G4 Pro pucks with the Aquatic Life hanger at $1100
    Should look nice but will have shadowing
    4 puck version will have nice overall coverage at $1800
    Should look nice, will take care of most of the shadowing and have plenty of par for SPS
    2 Reef Bright 48" XHO strips with Aquatic Life hanger at $1000
    Should look nice, will take care of ALL of the shadowing and have plenty of par for SPS

    2 Reef Bright 48" Lumi Lite strips with Aquatic Life hanger at $510
    Should look nice, will take care of ALL of the shadowing and have par for all but the most demanding SPS

    Or

    1 8 Bulb ATI Sun Powder - 48" with 2 XHO 48" LEDs @ TOTAL = $615
    Will look nice, no shadowing, absolute par monster that will grow anything.

    1 8 Bulb ATI Sun Powder - 48" TOTAL = $1315

    Will look nice, no shadowing, absolute par monster that will grow anything and the XHO combined with the ATI T5s will produce mazing coloration.

    Personally out of the above options I would go with the ATI and add LEDs as needed. I had this combination on my last light rig and loved it. Those LED strip lights can add a bunch of pop to any setup.
     
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  13. BMAN88

    BMAN88 New Member

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    I have 4 ai prime HDs over my 36 inch 48g tank. Lots of SPS and a couple of clams. Frags are growing daily it seems like ! I am a believer in AquaIllumination. BRS tv has demonstrated the spectrum when compared to ecotech is almost identical.

    AquaIllumination will grow your coral , no denying that. As long as you have the right set up.

    I have seen the radions in action at my LFS and I would be lying if I said I was not a tad bit envious, but for me, price was the deciding factor. I am happy to report that I am not disappointed with my decision to purchase AquaIllumination
     
  14. _marine_dream_

    _marine_dream_ Member

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    Agreed I’ve used AI since day one and it’s pretty cool but every time I see the Radions at my LFS they just look so cool and I feel like price is what’s slowing me down. Lol
     
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  15. gcarroll

    gcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You might want to consider going with 3 Ecotech XR15 G4 pros. Add the diffusers and there is no doubt in my mind that you will have beautiful even coverage in that tank. If you want to increase PAR, you can always add a 4th down the road.
     
  16. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Active Member UK Reef Club Member

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    Orphek Atlantic 4 are worth a look at, BRS did a recent review
     
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  17. _marine_dream_

    _marine_dream_ Member

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    Yea that is a good idea! Wonder if I can also try for one XR30W G4Pro with diffuser and use my existing AI Price HD+ in the meantime until I know if I should invest in a second one.
     
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  18. PanchoG

    PanchoG Member

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    I am running 3 AI Hydra 26 for almost a year and they are doing a great job, no need to look for other options. I am not saying AI is better, just saying AI does a great job.
     
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  19. Centerline

    Centerline Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    AIs are very nice and I actually prefer the way they look and the large passive heat sinks.
     
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  20. Centerline

    Centerline Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    And maybe raising the lights a little more than the standard arm will help with the spread. Always surprised at how high some of the professional growers have them.
     
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