Should I add supplemental T5’s to my Kessil AP9X setup?

Should I add the T5’s and mount described?


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Adam1985

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Hi,

I’m hoping for some opinions on whether or not I should add supplemental T5’s to my 2’x2’x2’ (approximately) cube mixed reef. Total volume of around 202 L.

I’m currently using a single Kessil AP9X mounted about 10” above the water. Light program is based on BRS suggestions for an AP9X on mixed reefs, tuned a little bit. Cycle maxes out at 60% peak intensity. Happy to provide the specifics if it helps.

I purchased an aftermarket rack and T5’s recently, but now I’m doubting if I should install them. The rack and strips are such that the setup holds two sets of T5’s (one behind and one in front of the Kessil). You can see it in the attached photo. Both strips are 2x24” 24W T5’s, and I have an ATI Blue Plus and ATI Actinic in each strip. If I install it, the Kessil stand would be removed and Kessil would fit on top of the T5 rack. It would elevate the Kessil by about 1” from its current mounting height and change the angle to flat vs. it’s current very slight angle backwards.

First photo is without the T5’s, other two are with the T5’s mounted but without the AP9X properly placed into the rack. Hopefully you can imagine the look if the AP9X was also installed.

Photos are also a bit blue but hopefully clear enough.

I can’t see a lot of downside to adding the T5’s other than I’m not sure they look as nice as the Kessil alone with it’s stock mount. If I add them, I would start at just a couple of hours per day at peak light on my LED cycle and eventually ramp up to maybe 5 or 6 hours a day supplemental. Of course there’s a bit more heat produced and electricity consumed if adding these T5’s, but it should be manageable.

Main purpose of adding these would be to fill in shadowy areas in the front, back, and sides of the tank. Areas that I’m trying to grow mushrooms, zoas, leathers and some other lower light stuff. Perhaps with a bonus of a bit of extra light for the rest of the tank as well. PAR measurements are difficult where I live as quality meters aren’t available, and those available are really expensive (overseas American here). So I don’t have a real PAR mapping of my tank, only references from the internet.

What do you all think? Do you think the addition of the T5’s would bring enough benefits to accept the cosmetic changes to the setup? Or if it were you, would you just keep the Kessil AP9X as it is and not add T5’s at all? I’ve tried to aquascape in a kind of minimalist island/cave/reverse space way while still having a lot of live rock, and felt the Kessil’s look fit well into that. If adding the T5’s is much better for the tank maybe I just suck it up and accept the larger light setup.

Thanks in advance for your comments and ideas.

Adam

2DC71525-B84B-4B4F-970B-7FBAE3D11023.jpeg 3B8D578C-E0C3-4B27-9838-B625720A27A0.jpeg 8D63C8A2-1625-4230-B912-8B9433B14073.jpeg
 

ying yang

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Will bump this ttt for you to get others opinions.
I would say sure .....
If you like the look on top of tank,light in tank.
Corals have no negative actions.
The t5's are not directly above ( hard to see in photo) and not burning the top of your kessil making it over heat.
Also could have option of turning your kessil down a little so corals can get used to more light. This is what im thinking but lets see what others say ^_^
 
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Adam1985

Adam1985

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Will bump this ttt for you to get others opinions.
I would say sure .....
If you like the look on top of tank,light in tank.
Corals have no negative actions.
The t5's are not directly above ( hard to see in photo) and not burning the top of your kessil making it over heat.
Also could have option of turning your kessil down a little so corals can get used to more light. This is what im thinking but lets see what others say ^_^
Thanks a lot! Really appreciate it.

Actually I think I’m preferring the look of the Kessil alone. I like the shimmer, and I have a Kessil rainbow effect each day at 6 pm. A few other storms and cloud effects at different times.

By chance I ended up seeing the rainbow effect while testing the T5’s… much less dramatic and colorful with the T5’s on. Shimmer also much less with T5’s on, and light spillage into the room is of course higher than without the T5’s. But, I am still open to consider including them if there would be real benefits for the tank/inhabitants. And I guess in they end they could be timed to turn off during times I want to enjoy the Kessil effect alone. I’ve actually never used T5’s; on previous tanks I was using halides alone before LEDs were available. But I always read rave reviews about them.

Also keeping in mind I still could turn the Kessil up another 40% if more light was needed, though I guess the coverage/intensity/distribution would be very different than what the T5’s give.
 

clownfish81

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Hi,

I’m hoping for some opinions on whether or not I should add supplemental T5’s to my 2’x2’x2’ (approximately) cube mixed reef. Total volume of around 202 L.

I’m currently using a single Kessil AP9X mounted about 10” above the water. Light program is based on BRS suggestions for an AP9X on mixed reefs, tuned a little bit. Cycle maxes out at 60% peak intensity. Happy to provide the specifics if it helps.

I purchased an aftermarket rack and T5’s recently, but now I’m doubting if I should install them. The rack and strips are such that the setup holds two sets of T5’s (one behind and one in front of the Kessil). You can see it in the attached photo. Both strips are 2x24” 24W T5’s, and I have an ATI Blue Plus and ATI Actinic in each strip. If I install it, the Kessil stand would be removed and Kessil would fit on top of the T5 rack. It would elevate the Kessil by about 1” from its current mounting height and change the angle to flat vs. it’s current very slight angle backwards.

First photo is without the T5’s, other two are with the T5’s mounted but without the AP9X properly placed into the rack. Hopefully you can imagine the look if the AP9X was also installed.

Photos are also a bit blue but hopefully clear enough.

I can’t see a lot of downside to adding the T5’s other than I’m not sure they look as nice as the Kessil alone with it’s stock mount. If I add them, I would start at just a couple of hours per day at peak light on my LED cycle and eventually ramp up to maybe 5 or 6 hours a day supplemental. Of course there’s a bit more heat produced and electricity consumed if adding these T5’s, but it should be manageable.

Main purpose of adding these would be to fill in shadowy areas in the front, back, and sides of the tank. Areas that I’m trying to grow mushrooms, zoas, leathers and some other lower light stuff. Perhaps with a bonus of a bit of extra light for the rest of the tank as well. PAR measurements are difficult where I live as quality meters aren’t available, and those available are really expensive (overseas American here). So I don’t have a real PAR mapping of my tank, only references from the internet.

What do you all think? Do you think the addition of the T5’s would bring enough benefits to accept the cosmetic changes to the setup? Or if it were you, would you just keep the Kessil AP9X as it is and not add T5’s at all? I’ve tried to aquascape in a kind of minimalist island/cave/reverse space way while still having a lot of live rock, and felt the Kessil’s look fit well into that. If adding the T5’s is much better for the tank maybe I just suck it up and accept the larger light setup.

Thanks in advance for your comments and ideas.

Adam

2DC71525-B84B-4B4F-970B-7FBAE3D11023.jpeg 3B8D578C-E0C3-4B27-9838-B625720A27A0.jpeg 8D63C8A2-1625-4230-B912-8B9433B14073.jpeg
I would personally add t5 just for the really even spread of light and also because you get extra room to play with the coloration of your lights
 

dwest

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T5’s are almost always good for corals. I use a kessil T5 hybrid. But if I were you, I would run the kessil alone for a while. I like the look better plus less maintenance costs. If you find later you want T5’s, go ahead and add them.
 

dwest

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That’s a good question. Mostly, I needed a good way to hang my kessils inside my canopy. The aquatic life hybrid was what I chose. I keep the T5’s running as I believe they alleviate some of the shading from the kessil point source of light. I have a360we’s by the way.

Also, I’m a fan of the shimmer from kessils. The shimmer gets muted somewhat by the T5’s.

For your tank it particular, I liked the simple look of the 9x over the tank vs both lights. To be honest, it’s really hard to differentiate the in tank lighting on a computer.

You should get great in tank results either way.
 
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Adam1985

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That’s a good question. Mostly, I needed a good way to hang my kessils inside my canopy. The aquatic life hybrid was what I chose. I keep the T5’s running as I believe they alleviate some of the shading from the kessil point source of light. I have a360we’s by the way.

Also, I’m a fan of the shimmer from kessils. The shimmer gets muted somewhat by the T5’s.

For your tank it particular, I liked the simple look of the 9x over the tank vs both lights. To be honest, it’s really hard to differentiate the in tank lighting on a computer.

You should get great in tank results either way.
Thanks so much dwest. I’m also leaning toward just the AP9X for now. I like the look better and for the price of the Kessils and their popularity, one would think supplemental lighting wouldn’t be necessary.

My SPS and some LPS/soft corals are growing, so for at least some corals the AP9X seems to be enough. No real growth though with mushrooms, zoas, and Xenia.
 
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Adam1985

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T5 will give better coverage and likely better growth and coloration than point source lighting. It's more about coral health, not what looks cooler above the tank.
Thanks a lot Bob. This was my initial concern/thinking as well. If adding the T5’s gives better health/growth/coloration then I may proceed.

Still thinking about it. Last night leaning toward just Kessil. Today leaning toward adding the T5’s. You know how it is, and I suppose there’s no right and wrong answer in the end.

Wondering if it would be worth the huge expense to import a PAR measurement device which I might only use one time. I do prefer to make data driven decisions when possible though am not about chasing numbers.
 

bobnicaragua

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Thanks a lot Bob. This was my initial concern/thinking as well. If adding the T5’s gives better health/growth/coloration then I may proceed.

Still thinking about it. Last night leaning toward just Kessil. Today leaning toward adding the T5’s. You know how it is, and I suppose there’s no right and wrong answer in the end.

Wondering if it would be worth the huge expense to import a PAR measurement device which I might only use one time. I do prefer to make data driven decisions when possible though am not about chasing numbers.
T5 is pretty gentle compared to LED. If you want start just start with a couple hours a day, you should be fine leaving your Kessil settings alone.
 
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Adam1985

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Thanks Bob. Still thinking about it. Haven’t executed yet.

Also, if doing the install I’d like to do it when the main lights are off so I don’t need to turn the lights off in the middle of the day. But work’s been crazy busy lately. Might need to do it next weekend.

I’m also thinking at the start to run them for 2 hours daily at tank high noon for one week. Then I’ll add an hour each week until I’m at 6 hours of supplemental light per day. And I’ll set the T5’s up to turn off during the Kessil special effects such as rainbows and storms, as to not mask the color display. As I usually enjoy my tank in the evening, I’d then still have the LED alone effect during my peak “enjoyment time.”

Really appreciate all of your comments:)
 
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Adam1985

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Update after much thought.

Decided to add the T5’s and just installed them. Due to the Kessil now being a bit higher up than before, I bumped the Kessil intensity up by 5% at each point in the daylight cycle. Number not chosen scientifically, but seemed reasonable. Lights are now 25 mm above the top of the tank, vs. 25 mm above the water line before. Not ideal but the only other option with this mount is 15 mm; perhaps that is too low and would also make working in the tank more challenging.

I plan to run the T5’s for the middle 3 hours of the 8 high intensity daylight cycle starting tomorrow. Total Kessil daylight cycle is 14 hours with the first/last hour being very low level twilight and the second/third/twelfth/thirteenth hours ramping up to and down from the 8 hour high intensity period.

If all is well after a week, I’ll go to 5 hours during week 2 and the full 8 hours from week 3. If you guys think I should go slower, would love to hear your thoughts on an ideal acclimation schedule.

T5’s are as said 50/50 ATI blue plus and actinic. Considering using 100% blue plus instead, but would be interested in your thoughts as well.

Photos post install attached. Not the greatest photos, but they were taken as the lights are in final ramp down tonight. I have the Kessil a bit on the purple side during ramp up/down as I like the way it makes reds and yellows pop (during daylight time, it’s more standard and basically follows BRS recommended settings though a bit whiter at high noon).

I’ll try to update you all after a few months running this new hybrid setup vs. the Kessil alone. I’m excited about it hopefully improving my corals’ health, growth, and appearance.

Adam
 

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anthonygf

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I personally don't like the light spill on the wall, I have mine hanging close to the water to minimize light spill. Also I think that is a waste of light having it spill onto the wall, less light for the corals.
First pic is Kessils only, #2 is with my new Cobalt C-Ray 2oo, #3 Removed Kessil goose necks and now hanging. Yes I converted a coat rack to serve as mount, I did not want wires from the ceiling. The rack is on wheels and I can swing the rack away from the left side without unplugging wires.
 

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Adam1985

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I personally don't like the light spill on the wall, I have mine hanging close to the water to minimize light spill. Also I think that is a waste of light having it spill onto the wall, less light for the corals.
First pic is Kessils only, #2 is with my new Cobalt C-Ray 2oo, #3 Removed Kessil goose necks and now hanging. Yes I converted a coat rack to serve as mount, I did not want wires from the ceiling. The rack is on wheels and I can swing the rack away from the left side without unplugging wires.
Thanks Anthony. Good points and I agree; I may move it down in the future for these reasons.

Your setup looks nice! Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it.
 

anthonygf

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Thanks Anthony. Good points and I agree; I may move it down in the future for these reasons.

Your setup looks nice! Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it.
Your welcome Adam. Thanks for the kind words. Yours looks good also, minimal clutter. I think the Kessil is fine by itself but you do get better spread and less shadows in your rocks with the T5's. I however I do not like tank mounts, as you can see I converted a coat rack to serve as my mount and hang them, when I have to service the tank the rack is on wheels and all the cords are on one side I can swing the rack and lights from the left out of the way to get all the room I need without unplugging. And no hangers from the ceiling.
 
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Your welcome Adam. Thanks for the kind words. Yours looks good also, minimal clutter. I think the Kessil is fine by itself but you do get better spread and less shadows in your rocks with the T5's. I however I do not like tank mounts, as you can see I converted a coat rack to serve as my mount and hang them, when I have to service the tank the rack is on wheels and all the cords are on one side I can swing the rack and lights from the left out of the way to get all the room I need without unplugging. And no hangers from the ceiling.
Yeah I really like the way you set that up to manage the wires. My wire situation is terrible.

Anyway appreciate the comments. It’s actually the first time someone who knows anything about reefing has complimented my setup.

My other half doesn’t like to discuss my tank (pretty sure it’s a jealousy thing;)). And people who don’t know reefing might say it’s pretty but have no clue what kind of effort goes in.
 
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