Suggestions for refugium lighting

Discussion in 'Triton Applied Reef Bioscience' started by edolan, May 20, 2017.

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    T5's are growing macro just fine... If you're providing sufficient light, and can't get macro algae to grow, it's more than likely that you've got a nutrient deficiency of some sort. Most any light will grow macro algae. BRS has been doing all sorts of tests and videos to show which lights are the most efficient, and they're right, if your goal is to control algae growth in the display tank, you need the macro algae to out compete GHA, or whatever it is you're trying to get rid of. A high end light source, in the proper spectrum for growing macro algae is important. Still... I know many people that use cheap, low output lighting to grow macro algae, and it grows just fine... provided the nutrients it needs are available.
     

  2. Chris Mitchell

    Chris Mitchell Member

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    You are correct. Not to hijack someone’s thread, but in the interest of expanding our knowledge, here is what I am experiencing.
    First off, I don’t claim to know it all by any means! But I have been around the aquarium shop a few times. I have been keeping reeftanks since 1998. I started using refugiums in 2001. In the beginning, I used Caulerpa. Once Chaeto became more available in my area,I switched . I used a common clip on light with reflector, and a cfl bulb. The algae always flourished. Nitrates were always undetectable + or - 2ppm.

    My current system is a 75 gallon mixed reef, and a 45 gal. mixed reef combined into a 90 gal. With the 75 gal. as the sump. Half of the 75 is the fuge. The 75 was a 6 year old system. The 45 was a 2 year old system. The 90 is 16 months old to date. Both smaller systems before had refugiums, doing very well. But I have had no luck getting the Cheato to grow in the new sump. I upgraded the lighting because the new sump is so much bigger. I started with a 175 watt cfl Horticulture fixture. After 6 months the algae had grown very little. However my nitrates were at 40ppm. Phosphates were at 1.3 ppm. Then I upgraded to two of the Teo Tronics LED grow lights, from Amazon, that someone else mentioned. Still no results, so I added a third. I have always ran my lights on a reverse daylight schedule for 12 hours. After eight weeks there is still no improvement. Only with weekly 30 gallon water changes am I able to slowly reduce my nitrates. I also run a skimmer rated for a 200 gallon system. For something that is always came so easy for me, this year has me scratching my head! I am open to any and all input.
     
  3. Chris Mitchell

    Chris Mitchell Member

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    Oh, and I am very familiar with the BRS TV video series. Great stuff! But I would like to find a way to achieve acceptable growth of macroalgae first. Then I could contemplate spending $300 for outstanding growth.
     
  4. bubblemytip

    bubblemytip Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm using a LED floodlight and TUNZE 8850 full spectrum LED. The floodlights come in a variety of wattages. Mine is 20W, 6500K and IP65, so should work well in a humid sump environment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Chris Mitchell

    Chris Mitchell Member

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    6275BB25-E01C-460E-A98D-6CE8D012DACC.png 6275BB25-E01C-460E-A98D-6CE8D012DACC.png CA039D3C-013D-4B40-9BD0-0A63C616B0CE.jpeg I tried this for 4 months, with the bulb 9 inches off the water, with very little growth. I was very surprised in the lack of response to it.
     
  6. ReefingwithO

    ReefingwithO Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The Kessil grow lights are great for growing macroalgae but they are not very budget friendly.

    The Kessil h80 is not a good value at all. I found this $20 grow light on Amazon that produces more PAR, more PUR, and the spectrum is almost dead on to the A80. I'm not willing to spend over $100 for a slight difference in spectrum and PUR.

    Now sizing up to the H380 is different but the above light works well for those of us with smaller refugiums

    kessil_acke_comparison.jpg
     
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  7. landlubber

    landlubber Active Member

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    as a person that started with an h80 and eventually moved up to a h380 I feel like I should use my experience to save someone else money. the h80 is a decent light but really should only be used for a very small refugium (under 5 gallons). even with its perfect spectrum it isn't powerful enough to separate it from the less expensive options.
    the h380 is a different story and deserves the praise it gets. a person considering this light should have a fuge larger than 5 gallons and be utilizing their refugium as a primary nutrient sink as it aggressively grows chaeto.
    if the price is too steep the ufo light on amazon is supposed to be fairly comparable to the h380.
     
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  8. Want2BS8ed

    Want2BS8ed Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Where you stand depends on where you sit... I would agree with your statement if we were only looking at initial startup costs, but when you consider the long term operating costs (i.e. electricity and the cost of annual bulb replacement to maintain efficiency) the LED's are going to be considerably cheaper in the long run.

    M
     
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  9. Chris Mitchell

    Chris Mitchell Member

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    I agree. If you look at over all cost, led’s take the cake. And from what I have seen, kessil makes a very good product. For me, I have never had any trouble getting chaeto to thrive. So this is all new to me. And even though I have done so already, to a point, I don’t want to just throw money at the problem. Surely I am overlooking something very simple. Like I was dosing 2 part into the first chamber of my sump. Well that is where the algae is. So maybe, even though the system is turning over around 10 times an hour, the alk. could be stunting the cheato. So I moved the dosing lines to the bubble trap area.

    I am using 3 of the Tao Tronics 36 watt leds. The algae is growing. Just very slowly. I have nutrients. There is only a very small amount of micro algae in the display. But if the types of lighting I have already tried won’t grow chaeto. I feel that the h380 will have similar results. I have to be missing something.
     
  10. Fritzhamer

    Fritzhamer Well-Known Member

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    If you’ve ever had a planted tank or follow those forums, there are more nutrients that plants need than N and P. Plants need certain amounts of certain substances to grow. Providing an abundance of N or P or light won’t create more growth if there is a deficit of another substance (potassium, iron, etc.). For explosive growth one would need to provide all of the needed raw materials, some it will need in abundance and some in trace amounts.
     
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  11. Chris Mitchell

    Chris Mitchell Member

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    I have read a few freshwater forums on this topic, and been considering a Triton water test. I think that might be the best direction to spend my money at this point. They have way more test kits than I am even willing to own.
     
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  12. Want2BS8ed

    Want2BS8ed Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Well said.

    M
     
  13. ReefingwithO

    ReefingwithO Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The light I compared the h80 to was another LED that requires no bulb replacement.

    It’s $20 and is just a few watts more than the h80 Kessil light. Produces 30% more PAR, the Kessil is 85% PUR vs 83% for the ACKE light. Kessil is $110 more.

    Sounds like a great value to me. I’m testing the 150 watt UFO grow light vs the h380 this week.
     
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  14. Want2BS8ed

    Want2BS8ed Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I think the ACKE is a few watts less than the H80 (12-watts vs 15-watts)... not that 3-watts is worth $100, however the spectrum graphs are not identical. Carrying over experience from freshwater planted tanks, superfluous spectrums can lead to unintended consequences and undesirable algae growth. Not saying the ACKE will do that, but there is something to be said for quality of light over quantity.

    Will you be doing a side by side between the UFO and H380? Interested to see what you find.

    M
     
  15. Dj City

    Dj City Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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  16. Want2BS8ed

    Want2BS8ed Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Thanks for the links. Lots of paper comparisons yes, but I didn't see anyone doing an actual side by side comparison similar to the BRS video series.

    I was hoping that was what was being suggested.

    I actually like this quote from one of the threads:
    I'm all for saving a buck, but sometimes it's false economy. In the end, I have thousands tied up in equipment and live stock, why cut corners on the refugium just because it's in the basement and out of site?

    M
     
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  17. Fritzhamer

    Fritzhamer Well-Known Member

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    For me there’s more to it than the BRS videos went into. There are two factors here for me:

    1) does a 90 watt h380 cause cheato to grow faster than you want it to? IE uptake too much in nutrients. After all I can run seven gfo reactors if I wanted to. Surely they would outperform just one. I think the “reef on steroids” that people chase leads to this bigger and better mentality. Like all the “which ____ is best?” posts.

    2) Keeping in mind the above, are any of the Kessil lights going to give a worthwhile ROI? Is the H80 six times better than an LED growlight of the same wattage?

    In my experience the h380 was wayyy too much. The h80 wasn’t enough. I get Ryan’s point and I agree but in this hobby bigger is almost never better. I think the only way to really get a “reef on steroids” is to find balance.
     
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  18. Want2BS8ed

    Want2BS8ed Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Valid discussion. Let's first agree we are discussing this in Triton's forums where they recommend growing multiple forms of marine algae of which Chaetomorpha is likely a lower order than say a red Gracilaria that has more demanding requirements.

    Spectrum and quality of lighting matter more than quantity. A point the FW folks have long proven.

    As for your specific points, I get what you are saying, but then again if you have an M4 that'll do 167mph, you're not likely to use it at that speed, but you could if you wanted (with full understanding of the consequences). If you are starting with an underpowered light or one of poor spectrum, no lengthening of duration is going to change the fact that it is underpowered or has a poor spectrum.

    As for your second point, what price do you put on piece of mind? Kessil is a longstanding reputable company that builds their own unified purpose designed LED's - not an assembly of components from unknown sources or of unknown quality sold on Amazon. It wouldn't be the first time a product didn't live up to its claims on Amazon - just ask the folks that bought fake glasses for the solar eclipse last year.

    Sometimes you do really get what you pay for though so caveat emptor.

    M
     
  19. Fritzhamer

    Fritzhamer Well-Known Member

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    All valid points. For me I want to run my fuge light for 12 hours so a high intensity light like the h380 is way overkill. If it were a FW tank with that light, I’d only run it a few hours a day.

    In terms of ROI, I have had to have amazon replace one taotronics bulb that died but they stood behind it. It has 3k reviews which made me pretty comfortable with the purchase. I’ll need to go through ten of these bulbs before buying two h80s would have been the better bet.

    If the h380 could be dimmed I’d go back to that in a second. All that being said, I’m pretty sure Triton recommends t5s for the fuge which opens a whole other conversation on this.
     
  20. Dj City

    Dj City Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    January 2nd

    Feb 7th

     
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