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Old 03/06/2018, 11:20 AM   #1
DarkSkyForever
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Lighting a 220g SPS

Hi everyone,

I will need to light a 220 gallon SPS tank that I'm setting up - dimensions are 72" long, 30" deep, 24" tall peninsula style. My current tank is lit by a 36" 6 bulb ATI dimmable fixture with an actinic XHO reefbrite strip for pop/shimmer.

I'd like to go strictly LED on the next build, but price/availability might push me back towards T5.

I had considered 6 Ecotech XR15 fixtures spread over the tank, but they appear to be sold out everywhere I've looked. Because of that, my fall back plan is to use a 60" 8 bulb ATI Sunpower. It is significantly cheaper (~$900 for fixture/bulbs vs $2400 for the Ecotechs).

A third option is to pick up AI Prime HD pucks since they're on sale ($200 a fixture) and go with 8 spread over the tank ($1600). I just don't have any experience with these lights, no do any other reefers in my area, so I don't know enough about these to weigh the pros/cons.

I know the T5 option would probably provide me with the most coverage to prevent shadowing, and save a significant amount of money.

TL;DR - What would you do to light a 72lx30dx24t SPS aquarium?


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Old 03/06/2018, 11:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSkyForever View Post
I know the T5 option would probably provide me with the most coverage to prevent shadowing, and save a significant amount of money.

TL;DR - What would you do to light a 72lx30dx24t SPS aquarium?
Don't forget to account for frequent t5 bulb replacement costs.. Typically 9-12 months max out of a t5 before its spectrum shifts considerably..

But for an SPS tank I'd use T5 or MH
Mostly due to the inability of most LED setups to prevent self shadowing issues due to the narrow point source that is LEDs..


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Old 03/06/2018, 11:32 AM   #3
DarkSkyForever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
Don't forget to account for frequent t5 bulb replacement costs.. Typically 9-12 months max out of a t5 before its spectrum shifts considerably..

But for an SPS tank I'd use T5 or MH
Mostly due to the inability of most LED setups to prevent self shadowing issues due to the narrow point source that is LEDs..
I had considered that, the bulbs would be about $200 a year. I replace my 36" bulbs every black friday. It would be 8 1/2 years before I broke even on bulb replacement vs the Ecotechs, and after 8 years you'd probably end up having to replace the LEDs anyway.

I feel like I'm talking myself into the T5 more and more.


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Old 03/06/2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DarkSkyForever View Post

I feel like I'm talking myself into the T5 more and more.
yep.. The cost of the "mainstream" LED fixtures surely isn't cheap by any means..

Now if you accept/use the typical Chinese black box LEDs that you can pick up for under $100 then T5's can really show their expense..
And those LEDs "can" certainly grow corals.. how well compared to other sources is still under debate.... I ran them for a while on a 72" tank and was able to grow whatever I wanted in there.. But I wasn't heavy in SPS by any means.. mostly softies/lps


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Old 03/06/2018, 01:18 PM   #5
DarkSkyForever
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Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
yep.. The cost of the "mainstream" LED fixtures surely isn't cheap by any means..

Now if you accept/use the typical Chinese black box LEDs that you can pick up for under $100 then T5's can really show their expense..
And those LEDs "can" certainly grow corals.. how well compared to other sources is still under debate.... I ran them for a while on a 72" tank and was able to grow whatever I wanted in there.. But I wasn't heavy in SPS by any means.. mostly softies/lps
I had two of the black boxes over my current tank before switching to T5s. What problems I had back then and attributed to the lights probably was just new tank issues and a lack of nutrients. They could burn out corals if you weren't careful.

I ended up selling them to someone else and six months into use one started on fire. They work, but the build quality is poor.


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Old 03/07/2018, 09:47 AM   #6
solitude127
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If you go with a SunPower, stick 2 ReefBrite XHO's on each side. I've been using a T5 Powermodule for years and added a RB XHO and couldn't be happier. Colors on the corals pop and I get more viewing time since I can dim my RB strip.


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Old 03/07/2018, 02:10 PM   #7
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^^^ Agreed. You’re not gonna get better coverage than an 8x80w ATI T5 fixture. Add a couple of Reefbrite XHOs for extra pop and ramping and you should be good to go. Acropora growth and health under T5 lighting is much more consistent under T5s than LED only set up IMO. For my build, I recently picked up a 6x39 Sunpower with a Reefbrite Blue XHO strip and sold my AP700.


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Old 03/08/2018, 09:33 AM   #8
DarkSkyForever
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I have a 36" 6 bulb ATI w/ XHO reefbrites, and I never notice shimmer/pop while the T5s are on. The wife really likes the shimmer effect, hence why I was leaning towards a hybrid LED fixture/t5 fixture approach.


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Old 03/08/2018, 11:22 AM   #9
solitude127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSkyForever View Post
I have a 36" 6 bulb ATI w/ XHO reefbrites, and I never notice shimmer/pop while the T5s are on. The wife really likes the shimmer effect, hence why I was leaning towards a hybrid LED fixture/t5 fixture approach.
The T5 definitely drown out the shimmer of the XHOs.
Happy wife = happy life. lol..


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Socalireefs Featured Reef Oct 2011

Current Tank Info: 60*30*20, 8x54 ATI Powermodule, ReefBrite XHO, ATB Elegance 200, Aquamaxx CTech CaRx, Ecotech Vortechs, Apex Controls, WM Ecobak powered. RedSea Reefer 170, MP10, Apex Jr, Ecotech Radion XR15, Aquamaxx WS-1
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