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Lighting Options for 24 x 20 x 12 Acros

PugsAndFish

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I have an Innovative Marine 25 Lagoon with a mix of corals. Although the tank will be predominantly zoas I am planning to get a dozen acropora (PC Rainbow, Walt Disney, Strawberry Shortcake, Slimer, other staples). I don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon but if I do it’ll either likely be a 50 cube (24 x 24) or a 40 breeder at max since I'm on the move often. I’m trying to consider the possibility of an upgrade when making a choice in lighting to avoid buying twice.

I have a AI Prime HD running the BRS AB+ settings but I’m sure the par levels and coverage aren’t sufficient for acropora. I thought about adding the T5 Aquatic Life fixture but I have limited mounting options so I think I will go with LEDs. I’m not sure which to go with though…

  1. Pick up an old Hydra 26HD. I had this light so I want to try something new but I see them for $200 and I already have a mount from a old build. I think one unit would be sufficient?
  2. Radion G5 - Blue or pro for acro? Also XR15 or XR 30? I’m thinking XR 30 outright so I don’t have to think about dealing with shading later down the line. I think XR30 would be better if I end up getting a 24 x 24 x 24 cube later. I want to avoid getting a XR15 then thinking of options to supplement. On the other hand, if I don't upgrade the next few years, XR15 probably would do the trick for my tank?
  3. Radion G4 - I see XR30 for around $450. Maybe I can get a light and mount setup for $500 or so? This is proven to work but a new G5 would be nice lol. Might be a good saver option
  4. XR15 with the Reefbrite add on. Slightly cheaper than a XR30 outright

Any thoughts?
 

WIReefer

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If it were me I would add a 6 bulb sunpower but I’m a t5 guy
 

danlu_gt

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Check out my new ReeFi Uno LED fixture, see my post below:

 

Strad12

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I have a 12" cube with an AI Prime running BRS AB+ and I have acros that are doing well at the top and bottom of the tank. You don't need a super high powered light since your tank is only 12" deep. I'm even running a diffuser on mine and with blue channels at 80% and white at 20% I think it might even be a little too much light. According to Dana Riddle, Acropora can survive and grow with just 25 PAR. Most metabolic activity and coral growth in nature occurs in the morning hours when the light is fairly dim. You might want to consider adding a second prime just to increase coverage over your tank and mitigate shadowing. If you're set on ditching the Prime, I would recommend the Kessil A360X since it has the best spectrum of any commercially available LED and should be able to cover your tank completely. By "best" I mean the widest band of blue-violet spectrum and even reaching true UV wavelengths as shown by BRStv investigates. They found that the Kessil has even wider blue spectrum than the ATI Blue Plus T5 bulb, which they consider the gold standard of reef lighting. I have a Kessil A80 on a second 12" cube, and I like it even more than the AI prime for visual appeal, silent operation, shimmer, and spectrum. Haven't gotten a chance to grow corals under it yet, but there are plenty of other reefers who keep everything under it.


Place your acros near the center of the tank, make sure they get plenty of indirect water flow, and they should do well. Just keep your parameters stable and let the corals do the rest.
 

Porpoise Hork

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I Just recent setup a Nuvo 20 and am using a pair of Prime HD's and modified a pair of RedSea ReefLED swing arms I had lying around to mount them to it. I then got a piece of 4mm thick acrylic and cut out a pair of squares pieces to fill the gap since the RedSea mounts are for class 8mm or thicker and the Nuvo 20 is only 6mm thick. This set the lights perfectly over the center of the tank display area at about 9" above the water line. Dialing them in to 66% on the UV, 58% blues, 0 Green, 4% red and lastly 20% White is producing about 300 PAR at the top of the rockwork on the left side, and a fairly even 125-150 across the bed. I'm also using a pair of 3D Reefing diffusers as well to eliminate the disco and smooth out the hot spots.

20201013_135001_resized.jpg


A pair of stainless screws and nuts and drilled a hole into the mounting clip.

20201013_135123_resized.jpg


The PrimeHD's screw right in and the nuts are small enough to slip past the plastic light housing and secure them to the arms.

20201013_135141_resized.jpg


The acrylic sheets to fill in the gap to mount the lights and also moves the lights back 8mm so they are centered over the tank.

20201013_135153_resized.jpg


These are all frags I pulled from my other tank and have all been under the same PAR levels and spectrum balance. I still have more to move over but am doing so in stages to make sure everything is happy in the smaller tank.

20201019_111026_HDR(1).jpg


Really a single PrimeHD mounted a bit higher up at 10-11" would be able to do the job since there's plenty left in reserve to produce the same PAR off a single light. But I had two of them already so why not use both and dial them back.
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

7akata

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Check out my new ReeFi Uno LED fixture, see my post below:

Do you think 2 unos to try to reduce shading over a 25 lagoon sps dominant would be fitting. I worry about the single light point source.
 

danlu_gt

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Do you think 2 unos to try to reduce shading over a 25 lagoon sps dominant would be fitting. I worry about the single light point source.
I think 1 Uno will be enough. However, if you have super dense large sps colonies, adding a 2nd Uno wouldn't hurt as long as PAR are kept within range.
 

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