Experience with mars aqua China lights

fnlyreefready

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Found an eBay deal I just couldn’t refuse..... any experience with these? I’ve read good reviews on other sites but any personal experience? If you need lights maybe try them out with me ? 8 left!

D9F729E0-DD32-4571-801A-C54F49FAD2D4.png FAA516BE-C4BA-4C5E-8E37-7FAD4D955E8F.png
 

naterealbig

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Check out BRS review - they just did a show on these. Basically a terrible light. Spend the few extra bucks and get a couple AI hydra. You will be disappointed with the lights of you are trying to use them to grow coral.
 

RamblinSquid

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Ditto the BRS review. Basically Mars Aqua is worst of the worst. If you're looking to save money (like me!) then they said that Viparspectra is winner of the inexpensive black boxes. A lot of people will say spend the extra 50-100 for something nicer but I've definitely seen people post here and elsewhere about making the black boxes work. I'm planning to use Viparspectra and just mount them super high above the tank based on their review video.
 

naterealbig

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That would certainly help with the spectrum. In the video, the recommendation was to mount them very high. ~ 20" if I remember correctly. There were bad hot spots - the distance evened out the spread.

Tank dimensions?
 

naterealbig

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Yep, the Vipars were the clear winner by far. Reefbreeders might also be a consideration - and a good middle ground between the BB and high end fixtures.
 
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fnlyreefready

fnlyreefready

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Yep, the Vipars were the clear winner by far. Reefbreeders might also be a consideration - and a good middle ground between the BB and high end fixtures.
I had them ordered prior to post. But both lights for 85 bucks to my door? I really feel like it’s gonna be okay. But now y’all have me concerned
 
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naterealbig

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I don't think you'll kill anything with them, just mount them high. But also manage your expectation. You will not be able to grow what I would consider a stunning mixed reef with them. They simply don't have the spectrum, or spectrum blending attributes required for this. In a heartbeat, I would use a cheap or used t5 or MH setup loooooooooooooooooooooooooong before I used those. They will grow coral though, and perhaps could get you by until the next upgrade.

I'm happy to help you source one of these systems if you need a hand.
 

Gernader

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I actually love my Mars Aqua for my 75g reef. I have them mounted 12" above the water and I am getting good par numbers (around 400) at top for SPS. I do not even use whites on mine and all corals are very happy, SPS are growing fast and encrusting.
 
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fnlyreefready

fnlyreefready

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I don't think you'll kill anything with them, just mount them high. But also manage your expectation. You will not be able to grow what I would consider a stunning mixed reef with them. They simply don't have the spectrum, or spectrum blending attributes required for this. In a heartbeat, I would use a cheap or used t5 or MH setup loooooooooooooooooooooooooong before I used those. They will grow coral though, and perhaps could get you by until the next upgrade.

I'm happy to help you source one of these systems if you need a hand.
I have a used t5 but for the price of bulbs I saved 50 percent ‍♂
 

a4edwin

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They’ll grow just about anything. You have to adjust the spectrum manually. And you’ll have to get a timer for them to turn on and off unless you want to do that manually. Again they will work but have no features. I bought one and mounted it over my tank with square tubing. Lasted five minutes. Didn’t like how it looked then got rid of them.
 

naterealbig

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True - BRS doesn't sell them. They are toys, and I wouldn't sell them either. They measured the Mars Aqua against the standard that they use for the rest of their lights, and they failed miserably. And we aren't even getting into safety aspects here.

I get it - I started this hobby without a lot of money to spend, so I know what it's like to have to consider cost effective equipment. Heck I still do. Yes, they will grow corals. Yes, I think there are MUCH better cost effective options.

By-the-by - let's see some pics of these tanks using the Mars Aqua, long term. Height above tank? Spectrum settings? Photoperiod?
 

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