PSA ON THE LAMENTATION OF THE OCD LED'ER

Grey Guy

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
512
Reaction score
390
I can hear the frustration in your post man truly, and trust me you are not alone. Thanks a lot for the post. Sps can be extremely adaptive and resilient, but the key is to do thing gradually. You can hit and acro with 800-1000+ par if its been acclimated properly for sure. And it may take a while to really fully adjust and thrive but it can and will. Of course, this is more of an extreme example and not really a suggestion. What will stress out sps tremendously is rapid and dramatic changes in intensity. Frags are certainly more resilient to this sort of thing, but more mature pieces may not do as well.

When it comes to individual vs overall intensity, like those adjustment parameters found on the Radions for example, consider the spectrum sliders only as a means to dial in your visual aesthetic. The overall, is the measure of total intensity of that aesthetic Not much different than a sound mixer in many regards. Guitars, bass, voc's and drums can be blended any way through the individual volume/gain sliders to balance the sound the best, but the master volume still controls the total volume of the mix.

If you have access to a par meter, a really good starting point would be to measure par at the surface, just above the water line and dry, at anywhere from 500-800. Using this standard, you can raise the light as high as possible to get better spread and coverage, and adjust the over all intensity to hit around 500-600 around the center of the light, just above the water line. Distance from the water is irrelevant then as long as you are hitting your target par but I really prefer to get that fixture as high as possible, especially in instances where bleed over isn't a issue. Not sure how deep your tank is but this should be ample enough to keep sps pretty and not to pale them out, but you're concerned at all, then go to the lower end on that and measure par at 500 at the surface. It's a starting point for sure, but just remember to make any changes gradual and give coral some tome to adapt.

If you have any other questions at all, please don't hesitate to post.
Thank you for the advice. I have never heard lighting explained as clearly before. You give me something to do, besides turn the light on and guess.
 

lwmnfrvr

Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
77
Reaction score
28
Location
Redding, Ca.
Fantastic thread Adam, I have been chasing the "Dragon" playing the numbers game with very negative results.
I have two RB Photon 32's sitting approx. 9 inches above the water line and have not been able to dial them in. In fact I have fried four different varities of didgi's trying to provide enough par for the other corals in the aquqarium. The lights can't be raised any further as they are mounted inside a canopy. My tank is mixed reef, heavy on the SPS. (Tank measures 72"L X 18"W X 29"T)
Your last post has provided me with a starting point. Hopefully this will get me on track.
In order to leave the lights controller alone, I will slip on a pair of boxing gloves anytime I'm tempted to adjust the lights!
 

Ssteve

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Messages
479
Reaction score
106
Location
SF north Bay Area
Fantastic thread Adam, I have been chasing the "Dragon" playing the numbers game with very negative results.
I have two RB Photon 32's sitting approx. 9 inches above the water line and have not been able to dial them in. In fact I have fried four different varities of didgi's trying to provide enough par for the other corals in the aquqarium. The lights can't be raised any further as they are mounted inside a canopy. My tank is mixed reef, heavy on the SPS. (Tank measures 72"L X 18"W X 29"T)
Your last post has provided me with a starting point. Hopefully this will get me on track.
In order to leave the lights controller alone, I will slip on a pair of boxing gloves anytime I'm tempted to adjust the lights!

I think there is some actual science to some success with LED's though. As you see with manufactures making led lenses wider and wider, leds have a tendency to give focused hot spots. I dealt with this early on with both kessils being mounted too low(imo) based off the manufactures recommendations, as well as the black box led's(basically what you have) being mounted too low based off general consensus from the forums. Now I see just recently BulkReef posted a video testing the chinese black boxes, and while I do concede that their results may be skewed to help them sell their products, I do think it shows something important as they give you results with several different mounting heights. So if I was in your situation where I couldn't mount my lights at least 14" off the water, I would start looking to swap to something more defused.
 

lwmnfrvr

Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
77
Reaction score
28
Location
Redding, Ca.
Thank you for your response Steve, I have been looking at different options with one being a drastic change to my canopy. I'm loooking to cut the top of the canopy and raise the lights to at least 16 inches by building a frame for the lights then trimming it out so it doesn't look like heck. The other option is to run the lights at a lower intensity, and try to find that sweet spot where I'm not starving the corals at the bottom of the tank and not frying the SPS at the top.
 

Ashish Patel

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
1,555
Reaction score
989
Location
Bridgewater NJ
I told myself I'll never adjust my LEDs settings and here I am reading this article as if its for me. Its true that if its not appealing to your eyes you will eventually change. I changed my radions to SPS AB+ even though I never liked 20K look but figured its good for the corals.

I've made my final adjustment to my LED spectrum today.. The PAR is 250-350 range where I need it and thats good enough for SPS.
Radions set to 100% everything except whites at 55%, Red and Greens at 30%
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
6,325
Location
Wisconsin
I told myself I'll never adjust my LEDs settings and here I am reading this article as if its for me. Its true that if its not appealing to your eyes you will eventually change. I changed my radions to SPS AB+ even though I never liked 20K look but figured its good for the corals.

I've made my final adjustment to my LED spectrum today.. The PAR is 250-350 range where I need it and thats good enough for SPS.
Radions set to 100% everything except whites at 55%, Red and Greens at 30%

Please keep us posted.

In fact I'd really love to have any feedback from people who have stopped tinkering with their fixtures, and what kind of things you are seeing as a result!

could be a decent way to compile some good info :)
 

Old Glory

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
134
Reaction score
79
Great post. I was debating between Radion and Kessil and went with Kessil for the simplicity of set it and forget it....not having to worry about downloading a program and trying to "get it right".
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
6,325
Location
Wisconsin
Great post. I was debating between Radion and Kessil and went with Kessil for the simplicity of set it and forget it....not having to worry about downloading a program and trying to "get it right".

Thanks a lot for the feedback and post!


Please feel free to let us know how it goes with the new fixture:).
 

brad65ford

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
187
Reaction score
51
Location
swf
totally agree with the statement to set and and forget it. But what about those that have sensitive systems that can not take much par and for some reason the corals don't grow fast because of the low par. Is it still good practice to increase intensity (or lower fixture) over a set period to reach 500-600 par at water surface?
 

m3p

Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
38
Reaction score
19
Location
Midwest
I've really enjoyed my Radions over an SPS tank. I try not to tinker with them so that the corals can adjust. I started with the AB+ mode and have a couple hours of all blue before and after to get those looks. I did drop red to <5% after reading an article that suggested red light may inhibit growth (signals to corals that they are near the surface?). Most red light is gone at 20 ft when diving. We'll see how it goes.
 

swk

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
776
Reaction score
370
Location
Wine Country CA
totally agree with the statement to set and and forget it. But what about those that have sensitive systems that can not take much par and for some reason the corals don't grow fast because of the low par. Is it still good practice to increase intensity (or lower fixture) over a set period to reach 500-600 par at water surface?
How is the system sensitive? 5-600 at the waterline is fairly low. I have corals that get 6-700 or more.

There is a strong correlation between nutrients, alkalinity and par levels to make for a successful sps tank

Cliffs notes version - higher nutrients allows higher alk and more par. With low nutrients the opposite is more ideal.
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
6,325
Location
Wisconsin
How is the system sensitive? 5-600 at the waterline is fairly low. I have corals that get 6-700 or more.

There is a strong correlation between nutrients, alkalinity and par levels to make for a successful sps tank

Cliffs notes version - higher nutrients allows higher alk and more par. With low nutrients the opposite is more ideal.


I agree. I do think that low, and ultra low nutrient systems would be considered more 'sensitive ' in this regard. Not to say that the corals won't adjust to high par environments, but they can certainly be very happy and look great at lower par values for sure in low nutrient systems. There's definitely a huge balancing act going on there as you suggested.

I've seen large, ultimately super filtered nutrient free systems, with 400 watt halides mounted nearly 3-4 feet above, filled with beautiful thriving acros. my guess is par s in the low 100's. If I raised my lights that high, my sps would surely brown out, and I don't think they'd come back.
 

Is Reefing the ONLY option for you?

  • Reefing or nothing!

    Votes: 46 60.5%
  • I would consider freshwater.

    Votes: 25 32.9%
  • Not sure...

    Votes: 5 6.6%

Online statistics

Members online
1,709
Guests online
3,984
Total visitors
5,693
CWT Aquatics - Acrylic Sumps, Tanks, and More!
LittleFish Shops
Top