Lighting HELP!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by BC-reefer, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    Hi Folks,

    Tried a few other threads and didn't get much so will try here in the lighting section :) I have ordered a IM Fusion 30L and am struggling to make a decision on lighting.

    I have done a TON of research but that seems to have left me somewhat confused. I have determined there is a lot of personal preference in the LED/T5 discussion and am open to both at the moment.

    Here are the requirements for what i am looking for;
    - Needs to be tank mounted (cannot hang from ceiling)
    - Tank is for both corals and fish. For corals, i will mainly have LPS but may want to dabble in SPS if the lighting can support it. Fish will be only 3-4 small fish as it is only 30g
    - Budget; aiming to stay under $600

    I have been considering the following;
    T5's:
    ATI Sunpower (Unfortunately, looks like i would have to hang them which is not an option)
    Coralife Aqualight HO (had a Coralife light on my first reef tank and worked well but i don't read great reviews about them recently)
    Pro's; strong lighting for corals and meets budget. Seems the ATI bulbs look great as well
    Con's: noise of fans, don't have that "sleek" look of LED's, cost of bulbs (not too worried about this one), the one i want (ATI Sunpower) seems to only have a hanging fixture option?

    LED's:
    Current USA Orbit Marine PRO LED (seems to be a good fit given my tank is shallow at <12")
    Fluval Marine Performance LED (not sure if a good choice but LFS has in stock)
    Aquamaxx Nemo LED
    *Many of the LED options available do not fit my needs in terms of profile on the tank. This is going in a room that is not just a fish tank room and i can't have an LED high above the tank that turns the room into a night club (bosses orders).

    Any advice here is appreciated.

    Thx,
    Dylan
     
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  2. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    crabs_mcjones, DSC reef and LetItReef like this.
  3. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    thanks! what is the "scratch and dent"? i took a look on the forum but couldn't find it...
     
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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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  5. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    Ahh gotcha. Thx

    I feel like i had an easier time choosing my kids names than picking a lighting system
     
  6. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    We have our priorities strait.

    Uh oh the wife!
     
  7. jda

    jda Well-Known Member

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    Frame this decision as such: do you want to tinker & play or do you just want to plug something in and have it work?

    Most of the rest of the decision is a wash, IMO. I would factor ROI on a panel at five years - while some might bristle at this, ask them how old their current panels are and see if anybody is even close to this.
     
  8. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    Thanks. I'm guessing the tinker and play is for LED's?

    I'm also wondering why i don't see many combo's out there of say a 2/4 bulb T5 unit and then a LED strip as well...
     
  9. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    It Hasn't cought on until his year. A fairly new trend. You'll see a lot more knockoffs soon would be my bet.

    And if you get a par meter or lux meter setting the leds aren't to tough.
     
  10. Ranjib

    Ranjib Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Two a360 won't be too much ? I was thinking just two 160, or even a80 , given there is not much depth, and this ain't gonna be a sps heavy tank....
     
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  11. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    It was a split decision really. A 160 could be too little a 360 could be too much.

    Four 160s would also be awesome too. Coverage and shading.

    But it's all about the budget imo.
     
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  12. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    It was a split decision really. A 160 could be too little a 360 could be too much.

    Four 160s would also be awesome too. Coverage and shading.

    But it's all about the budget imo.
     
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  13. Ranjib

    Ranjib Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Agree, the pendant style makes it hard for long aquariums, theres no smaller version of ap700.
    Another option, worth considering will be a nano box due or two nano box tide
     
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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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    Yup. Another very good option. They sell a t5 kit with that as well.
     
  15. Ty Hamatake

    Ty Hamatake Hi, my name is Ty and I'm a Reefer... R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    Have you considered the AI Prime? You may eventually have some shading issues, but that is a possibility with most LEDs. I am running two Hydra 26s on my 75 gallon and they did a pretty good job, though I eventually added a T5 retrofit for more even coverage. Also, you could always DIY a hanging option (the Primes do have a gooseneck option though). I used 1/4" conduit, painted black, and it doesn't look too shabby!
     
  16. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys!! Much appreciated.

    The dilemma i have is this tank is going in our living room and i can’t have a bright LED spilling out around the room. Even some of the pendant options still sit fairly high above the aquarium.
    From a pure visual perspective the best fit is the current marine orbit pro but i read mixed reviews on success with corals. The pro has twice the power that the regular does but still is considered underpowered. But maybe ok for a shallow tank?
    I am going to cruise a few LFS today that have the AI’s and a360’s setup and see what they look like over the tank.....
     
  17. Ty Hamatake

    Ty Hamatake Hi, my name is Ty and I'm a Reefer... R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    From what I've seen and heard, if you're not going to have an SPS heavy tank (and are smart about the ones you do get) you should be fine with the Orbit Pro.
     
  18. FugeTown

    FugeTown Well-Known Member

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    Build a diy canopy the king of diy has an instructional on YouTube and it keeps most of the light inside the tank. I'm actually in the planning stages of making one myself.
     
  19. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    Awesome, i will find it and take a look
     
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  20. BC-reefer

    BC-reefer Member

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    That sounds slick. Any pics showing the setup? Very interested in how a hybrid could work
     

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