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huseMN
07/13/2017, 08:05 PM
I posted a similar thread in the lighting section but wanted to get opinions form those in the know.....What setup would be best for long term high end SPS?

I know there is a lot of personal preference, so lets hear your preference.


Tank is 96" x30" and is 24" deep.

Option 1
4- 20"x20" 250w Radiums, if this option how would I get the actinic look for dusk and dawn? Would strips of Blue LED's on the perimeter provide that look?


Option 2
2-4' 8 bulb t5 fixtures- if so what bulb combination would be best?

Option 3
4-5 12"x12" MH reflectors with 150W double ended bulbs 20K. Supplement with Add on 4- 4' 2 bulb T5 fixtures.

Option 4
Any other combinations that you think would work well.

jda
07/13/2017, 10:30 PM
They dusk/dawn is just for you... the corals don't care... so you can do it however you want. I would use some T5s if you really need it.

The 20x20 reflectors will cover 30" better, IMO. if you decide on Radiums, make sure that you get M80 ballasts since they drive the bulb the way that it needs to be driven to make the right pop.

huseMN
07/14/2017, 08:38 AM
OK thanks... for the mh with radiun, magnetic or electronic ballast? whats the difference?

codydemmel4
07/14/2017, 09:56 AM
nice size tank!

I would go with option 2, I love my T5s and if you really want the dusk/dawn they have 2 channels and you could put them on timers or you could get the dimmable one.

Could also add reefbrites to the side of the T5 fixtures

Mishri
07/14/2017, 03:07 PM
you have a 24" height or a 30" height? some people use deep to measure front to back.. and some use it when talking about depth, top to bottom, so just checking.

BRS had a lighting test and they found 8x T5 is probably overkill, 6x T5 should do it, but if it's 30" height then maybe 8 is correct.. not sure.


My tank is 96" long x 30" tall x 24" deep and I'm also debating on this as I mostly want to keep SPS. Right now i'm still leaning towards MH 400 watt x 4, but might end up with 250watt x4 as I don't need or care about fast growth. I don't like the color of m T5 lights, 2 blue 2 white. There is a video on youtube that shows what color combinations look like, and I think I preferred 2 purple 1 blue 1 white.. or maybe it was 2 blue 1 purple 1 white... - my favorite lighting is my MH 150w 14k phoenix. and like jda said, sunrise/sunset is for your own pleasure, corals near the equator get 12 hours of sunlight.. so I set my lights to come on at 7:30am and off at 7:30pm.

-The thing that concerns me about LED's is the shading issue people bring up and how you need like 1.5-2x as many lights as you would for lps/softies. bringing the cost up to around $4,000 for LED.

huseMN
07/14/2017, 08:30 PM
Sorry should have clarified, the depth of water is 24". 30" front to back and 96" long. I am cycling the tank now so need to make a purchase in the next month or so and it is a much more difficult decision than I would have thought. I have spent countless hours reading posts and looking at the "top" tanks and am finding it hard to pull the trigger, So many factors...I am leaning towards option 1 with add on T5's or Reefbright LED's or both.

Cody, I do not have much experience with T5's, my hesitation is the "look" I have only had LED and Halides on previous tanks and am worried their might be a "flat" look to the tank. What's your experience. Have you had other lighting and how does it compare?


Mishri, Thanks and is a 12 hour lighting schedule common for Halides?
Also, How do you like your 2-xf250's? How do you have them positioned?

Mishri
07/16/2017, 10:03 AM
i don't have the tank setup yet,(remodeling my house first) but they will be horizontal, near the top on each end. i have 2x xf130's in my current tank and they are great, had them since they first came out. no issues others reported. I have macro algae (not sure of species, leafy-i like it, doesn't grow fast) growing all over one and it hasn't impacted the water movement at all.. but I do have them running at less than half speed. I expect i'll be running both the xf250s a little over half way up and don't expect issues. -trick is, don't clean them unless you have to, and then don't take them apart.. unless you must. that's how people break things on them.

I'm not sure if 12 hours on is common or not... but it seems to work for me.

I still can't find the video showing different combinations of T5 lighting... this is the closest, but it isn't as good as the video I watched before..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OSS_PoUX6o

codydemmel4
07/16/2017, 05:26 PM
t5s definitely give the flat look and there is no shimmer/etc. I even have a reef brite on the front and back and pretty much have no shimmer. The only time I do is when I have just the reefbrites on.

I still like the look on my tank but if you love the shimmer, etc then T5s arnt for you. I have had LED's before a couple years ago and they were good but didnt grow the corals like my T5 is but at the same time you can search around the threads and find plenty of people very very successful with LEDs

KJoFan
07/19/2017, 01:25 PM
While my sps tank is relatively new, so I can't speak to success I opted for MH. It seems like if you really want success with sps, MH or T5 is the way to go, and I didn't want the temptation of lots of fussing (bulb combos or LED tweaks) so went with a dimmable Reefbrite ballast and hybrid Reefbrite 250w fixture with the blue Reefbrite LEDs attached to the fixture for the extra pop/dusk/dawn effect. I've had LED fixtures pretty exclusively for several years and really just wanted the simplicity of the MH, so focus could be on the inhabitants, not the equipment.

I don't yet have the dimmable option up and running. Currently running a Radium bulb, but also have one of those Twinarc bulbs to try out.

My one 250w fixture is lighting a 32"x24"x20" tank so I don't know how that works out for you, though they do make 400w version as well.

Just food for thought. :)

Stolireef
07/19/2017, 03:54 PM
I'd say the gold standard would be four 400w radius supplemented by T5s

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

LandoCalrissian
08/16/2017, 03:01 PM
Wow Im amazed people are still using MHs.
Ive been out of the hobby 10 years and 400 W Radiums driven by 80ballasts were the best but I thought LEDs (the newest versions at least) were performing as well, with 70% less power consumption.
I just bought some G$ Radions, since I dont want to spend all that much with power costs and also replacing bulbs every 6 months.
Do you think people using MHs are majority still?
regards
Marco

kevin.st
08/16/2017, 04:07 PM
Wow Im amazed people are still using MHs.
Ive been out of the hobby 10 years and 400 W Radiums driven by 80ballasts were the best but I thought LEDs (the newest versions at least) were performing as well, with 70% less power consumption.
I just bought some G$ Radions, since I dont want to spend all that much with power costs and also replacing bulbs every 6 months.
Do you think people using MHs are majority still?
regards
Marco

From what I understand, the whole power savings by LED is not as easy as some think. For my 6 foot long tang, I needed 5 LED fixtures. This ended up being a similar cost to my 8 bulb 80 watt ATI fixture. When I switched to t5 from LED, I was expecting my bill to jump, but I saw no difference.

One of the problems with LEDs and large tanks, is you need to run many fixtures to get a good look and avoid shading of corals.

jda
08/16/2017, 04:14 PM
Nobody has to replace bulbs every six months. LED still cannot do what MH or T5 can. You might even be able to tell the difference, and if you can you might no care. However, for those who can tell and do care, there is no substitute.

To properly light a tank, there is no energy savings using LED - sure, if you want to use less panels, then there can be some, but you are saving from using less light, not the same.

I go into homes all of the time and see a about a dozen tanks a month. The majority have PetCo style lights... PCs, T5 and some HO bulbs. These are mostly fish with maybe a few polyps. The majority don't care enough to even look at a board like this.

mike810
08/17/2017, 02:55 AM
My tank is similar to yours, 96x36x24.

I went with two ATI Hybrid PM. With this fixture, it doesn't give you the flat T5 look like others have mentioned. I have shimmer from the LEDS and no disco ball effect.

Edit: Forgot to mention they're the 4', 8 bulb fixtures.

LandoCalrissian
08/17/2017, 05:24 PM
From what I understand, the whole power savings by LED is not as easy as some think. For my 6 foot long tang, I needed 5 LED fixtures. This ended up being a similar cost to my 8 bulb 80 watt ATI fixture. When I switched to t5 from LED, I was expecting my bill to jump, but I saw no difference.

One of the problems with LEDs and large tanks, is you need to run many fixtures to get a good look and avoid shading of corals.

Thanks for your input. I still dont know what everybody means when they refer to "shading" caused by leds, Im still to install the Radions so probably I will be able to tell once they are working, but isnt that just like having MHs in a tank? as a single light source you face the problem of always wanting more.

LandoCalrissian
08/17/2017, 05:25 PM
Nobody has to replace bulbs every six months.
With MH Radiums driven by hqi ballasts you MUST as the bulb is overdriven. Been there, done that. 4 400w Radiums every 6 months to maintain PAR.

jda
08/17/2017, 06:01 PM
The MH has the reflector which has light coming from all kinds of different angles and stuff. Light will still get to bottom of a colony. If the MH bulb did not have a reflector, then it would be like a LED coming from a small point. Radions are some of the worst about shading and shadowing - most people who are hardcore into SPS end up with at least twice what EcoTech recommends and sometimes more. There are accounts of tanks ending up with 3+ Radions to replace each MH that they had - Dr. Joshi's tank is one of these which he has an article about.

If you were running 400W radiums on those ballasts, then six to eight months is right. Unless you had an incredibly deep tank, just the regular Magnetic ballasts probably would have been fine and then you could have gone a year. If indeed you did need that much light, and it really is a LOT of output for folks who do no know, then you will not be happy with the Radions and might need four for every MH fixture that you would have used... plan on a watt for watt exchange. The people who overdrive 400W Radiums are very rare, but I do know of three people who do it.

mike810
08/17/2017, 06:53 PM
Thanks for your input. I still dont know what everybody means when they refer to "shading" caused by leds, Im still to install the Radions so probably I will be able to tell once they are working, but isnt that just like having MHs in a tank? as a single light source you face the problem of always wanting more.

When people refer to corals getting shaded due to running LEDS. It's because most LEDS do not have reflectors like MH or T5. It's a single point of light which is from the top. As corals grow, they block the light to whatever is under them, even blocking light to itself.

With T5 or MH, there are reflectors to bounce the light around so shading is minimized.