SPS Cube lighting solution

Strad12

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Hi all,
I've been running an Acropora dominated IM Nuvo 10 for the past 4 months, and I'm looking to increase my lighting intensity with the hopes of bringing out more colors from some of my corals. I currently have 2 Kessil A80's mounted 3-4" off the surface of the water running at 100% intensity and 60% "color" for around 11 hours per day. The corals are located pretty close to the water's surface, so they're getting as much light as these put out. I'm a huge fan of the A80 for the simplicity of design and use, the excellent shimmer, and passive cooling.

Most of my acro frags have faded to varying degrees of green: PC Rainbow is yellowish-green, ORA Frogskin went from 3-colors to solid green, Red planet is green, and a handful of BC signatures that were red, pink, or purple when I got them have turned green, with a little bit of red showing on the top of one of the corals (see pics attached). They're all growing, although growth seems to have slowed down compared to the first month or two, but I can't complain since I haven't experienced any mortalities.

I think increasing my lighting intensity would help bring out the colors that I'm looking for, which is why I'm asking for advice on improving my setup.

My current options are to add one or two more A80's, which would take up a significant amount of space with mounting goosenecks on the back of the tank, add an A360X or A160 in addition to the 2 A80's to limit shadowing, or go with one A360X with narrow lense. I'd prefer to stick with Kessil because I like their products, and BRS tests have shown them to have the best spectrum, blend, and shimmer of any LED currently on the market. With one A360X I'd be concerned that as corals grow, they will shade themselves and cause irregular growth forms and dead spots at the center of colonies. Is it within the realm of possibility to use a sheet of "light diffusing" plexiglass as a tank cover to create a T5 effect that would mitigate shadowing? This would prevent fish from jumping and potentially help streamline my lighting setup, but would dampen the shimmer and potentially be an eyesore depending on how much light it reflects back into the room.

I've also considered adding an XR15 with diffuser. I have an AI Prime on my LPS nano reef, and I'm not a huge fan of the AI/EcoTech LED layout, plus the active cooling is noisy and the LED drivers buzz when the lights aren't at 0% or 100% intensity. A gen 3 XR15 is cheaper than a Kessil A360X, but I know the shimmer and spectrum isn't going to be as good.

I'm interested to hear the thoughts or suggestions of my fellow reefers!


In case anyone asks about parameters, here is what the tank is at as of this afternoon
Alk: 12 DKH
Ca: 500 ppm (a little higher than I would like, but I'm bringing it down slowly)
pH: 8.4

Dosing regiment: Kalkwasser in ATO and 4.5mL Tropic Marin AFR daily (automated)
Feeding: .15 mL reef chilli, .15 mL BeneReef, .3mL TDO B2, 3 drops of Selcon
fish: Biota Mandarin Dragonet

TL;DR need recommendations for increasing light intensity and preventing shadowing on a 10 gallon SPS cube

IMG_0439.JPG IMG_0441.JPG
 
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Kessil

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Hi all,
I've been running an Acropora dominated IM Nuvo 10 for the past 4 months, and I'm looking to increase my lighting intensity with the hopes of bringing out more colors from some of my corals. I currently have 2 Kessil A80's mounted 3-4" off the surface of the water running at 100% intensity and 60% "color" for around 11 hours per day. The corals are located pretty close to the water's surface, so they're getting as much light as these put out. I'm a huge fan of the A80 for the simplicity of design and use, the excellent shimmer, and passive cooling.

Most of my acro frags have faded to varying degrees of green: PC Rainbow is yellowish-green, ORA Frogskin went from 3-colors to solid green, Red planet is green, and a handful of BC signatures that were red, pink, or purple when I got them have turned green, with a little bit of red showing on the top of one of the corals (see pics attached). They're all growing, although growth seems to have slowed down compared to the first month or two, but I can't complain since I haven't experienced any mortalities.

I think increasing my lighting intensity would help bring out the colors that I'm looking for, which is why I'm asking for advice on improving my setup.

My current options are to add one or two more A80's, which would take up a significant amount of space with mounting goosenecks on the back of the tank, add an A360X or A160 in addition to the 2 A80's to limit shadowing, or go with one A360X with narrow lense. I'd prefer to stick with Kessil because I like their products, and BRS tests have shown them to have the best spectrum, blend, and shimmer of any LED currently on the market. With one A360X I'd be concerned that as corals grow, they will shade themselves and cause irregular growth forms and dead spots at the center of colonies. Is it within the realm of possibility to use a sheet of "light diffusing" plexiglass as a tank cover to create a T5 effect that would mitigate shadowing? This would prevent fish from jumping and potentially help streamline my lighting setup, but would dampen the shimmer and potentially be an eyesore depending on how much light it reflects back into the room.

I've also considered adding an XR15 with diffuser. I have an AI Prime on my LPS nano reef, and I'm not a huge fan of the AI/EcoTech LED layout, plus the active cooling is noisy and the LED drivers buzz when the lights aren't at 0% or 100% intensity. A gen 3 XR15 is cheaper than a Kessil A360X, but I know the shimmer and spectrum isn't going to be as good.

I'm interested to hear the thoughts or suggestions of my fellow reefers!


In case anyone asks about parameters, here is what the tank is at as of this afternoon
Alk: 12 DKH
Ca: 500 ppm (a little higher than I would like, but I'm bringing it down slowly)
pH: 8.4

Dosing regiment: Kalkwasser in ATO and 4.5mL Tropic Marin AFR daily (automated)
Feeding: .15 mL reef chilli, .15 mL BeneReef, .3mL TDO B2, 3 drops of Selcon
fish: Biota Mandarin Dragonet

TL;DR need recommendations for increasing light intensity and preventing shadowing on a 10 gallon SPS cube

IMG_0439.JPG IMG_0441.JPG
Given that you've already got the A80 units, your most versatile bet would be to add an A360X as your primary light, and then angle the A80s from either side to reduce any shadowing. The A360X will provide PLENTY of light for the tank, especially when you factor in reflection from the sandbed and refraction off the glass. The A80s would just be supplemental to remove any shadowing over dense colonies.

Let us know how else we can help out!
 

minus9

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I don't think lighting is your issue here, but water parameters could be the culprit? What are your N & P #'s? Also, 12dkh is pretty high. Are you tracking salinity and temp? In nano tanks, salinity and temp swings can cause problems, especially with sps. I was growing two maxima and one noae with a single a80, granted it was a shallow container in my sump, but two a80's should do the job. Have you checked with a par meter? There's more to coloration than lighting.
 
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Strad12

Strad12

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Given that you've already got the A80 units, your most versatile bet would be to add an A360X as your primary light, and then angle the A80s from either side to reduce any shadowing. The A360X will provide PLENTY of light for the tank, especially when you factor in reflection from the sandbed and refraction off the glass. The A80s would just be supplemental to remove any shadowing over dense colonies.

Let us know how else we can help out!
Thanks so much for the suggestion! Would you recommend that I pick up the narrow reflector for the A360X, or would I want a wider beam of light? The aquarium is right next to my desk, and I would like to limit light spill.
 

Kessil

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Thanks so much for the suggestion! Would you recommend that I pick up the narrow reflector for the A360X, or would I want a wider beam of light? The aquarium is right next to my desk, and I would like to limit light spill.
You can use the narrow reflector to cut down the light spill, but make sure to take into account that it increases the intensity. You'll either want to mount the light higher or turn down the intensity.

For comparison - one of our team members runs an A360X over a 13 gallons peninsula tank, and peaks out the intensity at around 30%. Be careful not to burn your coral as it's a substantial lighting upgrade.
 

minus9

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Rent or borrow a par meter before you make the change regardless. Knowing where you are currently will help with the lighting change and answer a few questions. Also, the 360x will kinda future proof you a little with any tank upgrade and the added control over the extra colors, especially violet, will make your sps happy.
 

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