KESSIL VS CHINESE BLACK BOX

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by elisa h, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. elisa h

    elisa h Active Member

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    So I recently purchased an approximately 30 tall and 30 wide 90 gallon hex tank (my first saltwater tank). I know the dimensions are not ideal but the deal was way too good to pass up. My question is is there really that much of a difference between say the kessil a360w ($400) compared to a cheaper light such as lightimetunnel ($100)? I only want to keep softies, zoas, and some lps. I could afford the kessil but it is hard for me to justify $400 for a light and it's not like I'm trying to keep high demand sps coral. Also, the dimensions of my tank have me wondering if I could get away with one light if I made a deep sand bed and just refrained from putting coral near the edges and bottom of the tank? I would love some advice!! Thank you
     
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  2. SDReefer

    SDReefer Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R! Personally I like my Chinese Black Box LEDs but I'm sure that Kessil owners will tell you that the difference is huge. Before I bought the Black Box, I had a cheap LED so it was great in comparison. Honestly, they grow softies, zoas, and lps great in my tank. I'm sure there are benefits in getting more expensive lights but it's up to you to decide what you want for your tank. Look at some videos comparing the Black Boxes to Kessils and that may help.
     
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  3. SDReefer

    SDReefer Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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  4. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    In short no. They both grow corals.
    IMO with a larger source of light you have less shading and better coverage. Oops. Not opinion. Fact.

    You can do two or three no frull mars aqua for about 180$
    Look at sbreeflight and reefbreeders. Very good USA sellers. Quality products. Plenty of ranges in price. Also look for used.

    The Benifit of the BB they have a LOT of power. You can raise for better spread or pull lenses or grow high ligh corals or keep the intensity down and go low light and save cash on your electric bill.
     
  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    And welcome to Reef2Reef!!!
     
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  6. crabs_mcjones

    crabs_mcjones Kiss me, I'm a reefer R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R! If you're looking to keep soft and lps corals the black box works fine. I myself have a pair of Kessil's and love them. But black boxes work just as well for all types of coral
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  7. happyhourhero

    happyhourhero Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I would pick a BB over a kessil for any and all applications unless I was trying to make a room full of shimmer.
     
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  8. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    This is my black box tank.
    IMG_0185.JPG
    Softies only? I think not.
     
  9. elisa h

    elisa h Active Member

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    Thanks for helping! What light do you personally use?
     
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  10. elisa h

    elisa h Active Member

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    With my dimensions (30 tall by 30 wide) how would I go about placing two lights above my tank? I know they wouldn't fit side by side without major spill over so would front and back work just as well? Thank you
     
  11. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    Its 30x30dx? What's the other dimension. It's a cube?

    Depending n the manufacturer they come with legs. Mine I hung from the ceiling. Some folks make a bracket from the back of the stand. Some folks use decorative wall plant hangers. I have a canopy on the other tank I just cut holes in the top of.

    On the tank pictured I hung a curtain. Basically a soft version of a "floating canopy" as it's called. A hood that attaches to the wall basically.
     
  12. elisa h

    elisa h Active Member

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    Also I forgot to mention the tank did come with 150 watt metal halides.. maybe I could use those in combination with some bb leds? Not sure how attractive they would look together on top of my tank though.. lol
     
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  13. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    lol. It would be cool but yea. Might take away from the nice "furniture quality" of a tank.

    A Bb is generally 8x16 if that helps visualize the size.
     
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  14. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    If you did want to use the MHs. Get some small Kessils. That would be cool!
     
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  15. Denvercherub

    Denvercherub Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I've used chinese black box and they went out in under a year. Getting replacement drivers was a nightmare too. I would go with reputation over price. You get what you pay for. Maybe look at AI Hydra 26. That's what I use now and love them.
     
  16. happyhourhero

    happyhourhero Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Just throwing it out there that there are black boxes with 2 year USA warranties. Also throwing it out there that mine have been going without issue for over 2 years. Be happy with whatever light you want to go with but you certainly dont have to drop crazy coin on good lights.
     
  17. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    Yup^^^^.
     
  18. SDReefer

    SDReefer Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    No problem! I personally use the Galaxyhydro 165W Black Box but I don't like the fact that it doesn't have WiFi control capability. I've had it for around 7 months and nothing's burned out so far.
     
  19. elisa h

    elisa h Active Member

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    It's a hexagon tank. I lost my measuring tape so I'm not exactly sure of the width but I'm guessing around 20". But the length of the tank is only 30 inches so that's why I wasn't sure if I could hang two lights over it
     
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  20. spscrackhead

    spscrackhead Well-Known Member

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    I have what I would consider black box's over my 48x24 frag and my 40 breeder QT tank. I simply couldn't justify the price of much else. They are the ocean revive units. I also work at a store where we use kessil over everything. I think the only area the kessil out shines the black box is features(nice to have but not necessary), build quality, and shimmer.
    I am very happy with my black boxes. Once you consider pricing, it's pretty difficult to argue for kessil.
     

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