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Old 05/19/2018, 07:25 AM   #326
Special K85
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Thanks Rob seems like no one has any experience with these Iím trying to stay around 600$ or so any suggestions since you seem like the light guru


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Old 05/20/2018, 07:14 AM   #327
Ron Reefman
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OK. Oh, BTW, I assume it's a typo. The name is Ron not Rob (I know, the 'n' and the 'b' are next to each other on the keyboard).

For starters I'll assume you 75g tank is 4' long and roughly 20" deep as that seems fairly standard.

Costs for what you are looking at is going to be in the $650 to $700 range either way.

The Hydra has a footprint of 18"x18" recommended and maxed out at 2'x2', I can't find any footprint info on the Kessil. My best guess is they may cover roughly the same area.

The Hydra uses very well known and quality leds, Kessil uses an led chip they claim to make (I'd have serious doubts). Personally, I don't like chips as they tend to be all or nothing in terms of failure. And Kessil A360's seem to have quite a few bad reviews for short life expectancy (just beyond warranty).

Personally, I like the looks of the Kessil pendant way better than the Hydra box that looks more like any Chinese Black Box fixture. But I like everything else about the Hydra better than the Kessil.

If I HAD to pick between the two, I'd take the Hydra. And if you have a canopy that you can hide them in, that's even better.

HOWEVER, for $500 or the same $650 you were looking at spending, you could pick a Reef Breeders Photon V2+ in either a 32" or 48" fixture. IMHO the 32" fixture will cover your 48" tank end to end and save you $150. But if the extra $150 is worth it to you, the 48" fixture will offer you the option to waste light out the ends of the tank! LOL! I'm always surprised by how many reefers with 48" tanks get 48" led fixtures. Light spreads as it goes into the tank. Covering the extra 8" at either end of the tank is easy to do with the 32" fixture at the right height.

The Photon V2+ uses the same quality brand leds as the Hydra and instead of 52 leds total (2 Hydra 26 fixtures) you get 72 leds with the 32" and 88 leds with the 48". It already sounds like a no brainer to me. Save money and get more high quality leds!

The Photon V2+ is only 1" thick (not at all Chinese black box looking) and is aluminum. It comes with a hanging kit AND legs (I use the legs). It has 6 channels of color control and full sunrise/sunset ability. And I'm going to get the V2+ upgrade for my 2 year old fixtures that still run and look like new. It makes the sunrise/sunset ramp smoother than the once per hour that my older units do now. Although I really don't mind the once per hour at the top of the hour light change as I think of it as being like an old grandfather clock that chimes the top of the hour. LOL!

Reef Breeders also has a sponsor forum here at Reef Central so they are super easy to deal with. Logan, the owner, is super helpful.

Here is what mine look like. The big tank is the 50" Photon V2 over a 60" tank and the small one is the 16" fixture over a 24" cube.






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Old 05/20/2018, 07:44 AM   #328
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Thanks Ron makes sense to go the v2 and I like saving money


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Old 05/27/2018, 01:48 AM   #329
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Hi I'm currently gathering all of the equipment that I need for my first tank and I've been doing my research but the lights are really tripping me up.

I have a standard 29 gallon tank, and a 10 gallon that I'm planning to connect to it as a sort of modified fuge/sump. The protein skimmer I plan on getting is too tall for the 10 gallon so since it needs to go in the DT anyway, I'm planning to just have the water pumped through the fuge with some chaeto and stick the heater down there as well. I might add more filtration to it but I'm not sure yet. I also have a 10 gallon for a quarantine for fish, and since my LFS is having a $1/gallon sale I'll probably pick up another 10 as a quarantine for coral.

I want to have a mixed reef tank with options for all different corals. I'm trying to keep a budget to around $200. If a bit over would get me a far superior light that's going to make a significant difference I'd consider it, but I would really prefer to keep costs down.

For the 10gal fish quarantine I have a standard hood light.
For the 10gal fuge for algae and maybe some inverts I have this I admittedly bought this at 4am in a rush and did not look at the details too close and Amazon would charge $8 to return it so looks like I'm keeping it.
I just need something for the small coral tank, and the 29gal DT.

I'm looking at the AquaMaxx Prism - AquaMaxx NemoLight - Current USA Orbit Marine - and the AquaIllumination Prime HD

I was thinking that maybe if I get one of the ones that stretches across the top of a tank I could just upgrade the length and DIY something so I could have the two tanks that need that light next to each other. I'm open to suggestions of other lights, these were just some ones that were in my budget and seemed like they'd be okay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 05/28/2018, 05:24 AM   #330
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First, saying you have a 'standard 29g tank' really isn't very helpful. These days there are very few 'standard' sizes. I assume you mean it's roughly 30" long and 18" deep?

Of all the fixtures you listed, the only one that produces enough PAR to really do a mixed reef in an 18" deep tank is the AI. All the others use 0.5 watt leds which are OK for fish only tanks or reef tanks that are 12" deep. They can work over an 18" deep tank, but don't try any light loving corals like sps. There just isn't enough PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation).

The AI has a better PAR level. However, one fixture will only make an 18"x18" footprint and your tank is 30" wide, so you'll need two of them. So now you are way over budget.

Consider two 16" Mars Aqua fixtures at just under $100 each. These don't have all the bells & whistles that the other fixtures you asked about have, but they do make more than enough PAR for even a 24" deep tank using 3 watt leds driven at 1.9 watts so they last longer and run cooler.

You can look at other Chinese Black Box fixtures that will look similar to the Mars Aqua like the Viparspectra, Euphotica, Ocean Revive and a few others. You may find ones that are 24" or even 30" long and they may serve you even better, but they may also be a bit over your budget limit. BTW, all the other Black Box fixtures use 3 watt leds and drive them at 2.2 watts so they make even better PAR than the Mars Aqua.

Welcome to the addiction and good luck.


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Old 05/29/2018, 11:46 PM   #331
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Thank you for your help Ron! I went with the Viparspectra 165 watt and am still working on finding a light for my coral QT.


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Old 05/30/2018, 05:56 AM   #332
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Why quarantine coral? The things that come on corals can be removed by using various brands of dip. Fish need to be quarantined, but they don't need any 'special' light.


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Old 06/07/2018, 03:07 AM   #333
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Ron, the reason to QT coral is that none of the coral dips are able to kill the tormonts of Ich or Velvet. The accepted standard is to QT corals for 76 days, as the life cycle of these diseases runs for about 72 days.
Keep up the great work you are doing with this lighting thread you advice is greatly appreciated.


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Old 06/09/2018, 03:40 AM   #334
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Redleg13b, I probably know close to 50 reefers in my local club and not one of them quarantine coral. In 15 years of keeping multiple reef tanks with corals, I never once quarantined a coral, even ones I collected wild in the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico.

The only case of a fish with a parasite was one with Ich that a friends fish had and I had a spare tank so I treated it.

If you feel the need to quarantine coral, be my guest, it's unlikely to do any harm. But IMHO, it's also unlikely to be necessary 99.9% of the time.


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Old 07/05/2018, 08:07 PM   #335
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We used kessil ap700 they worked great


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Old 07/09/2018, 11:03 PM   #336
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Hello everyone, Iím pretty new to the hobby but over the past year I have upgraded pretty fast now I have a 200gal tank that I want to make a reef tank what do you suggest would be a good light to grow and maintain corals that wonít run me too much money please let me know thanks


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Old 07/10/2018, 06:43 AM   #337
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Let me start with a simple statement, over a 200g tank, any led fixture (or enough led fixtures) that are 3 watts or more will grow healthy coral. Even the underpowered 0.5 watt Current Orbit fixture works over shallow tanks (16" or less).

From there it's more up to what you want than about whether the fixture will grow coral or not. Assuming a 5' or 6' long tank, 3 or 4 Mars Aqua fixtures (Chinese black boxes) would be more than enough to do the job well and would only cost $300 to $400. You get a mix of leds, 2 channels (mostly white and mostly blue) and built-in dimmers. At the opposite end of the spectrum would be 2 Pacific Sun hybrid led/t5 fixtures with all the bells and whistles at $2000+. And there is a whole world of variation in between.

How much better would a Pacific Sun or Eco Tech Radion grow coral than a Mars Aqua? IMHO, very, very little. But how much more control would you as the user have over the light? A lot! And how much better made would the high end fixture be? Again IMHO, it would be better made, and probably some better materials used, but how much that extra quality worth to you? Especially in a fixture you will probably upgrade in 5 years. I can tell you that your coral really doesn't care. And in 5 years your fixture will seem old and there may be some new features you might be interested in having. And in 10 years I can almost guarantee that you won't still be using whatever led fixture you buy now. I've been using leds for about 8 years now and I've had 2 long term fixtures, 5yrs and 2+yrs (and still using) over my main tanks and a variety of other fixtures (6 different brands over 3 other tanks). If you offered me the led fixture I bought in 2010 for free if I'd use them to replace any of the fixtures I use now, I wouldn't even consider it. Even though I paid $800 total for two of the fixture 8 years ago! Fixtures have improved that much. However, the improvements have slowed down as years go by and now we are almost down to feature improvements or marketing gimmicks that really mean very little to the coral or to the user.

So back to the questions you need to ask yourself:(these are in no particular order)
1) Budget - $300 absolute minimum to over $2500
2) Color Control - 2 channels or more, most midrange cost & higher end fixtures have 6
3) Intensity Control - 2 basic dimmers and no timers, 2 built-in digital dimmers and 2 timers, sunrise/sunset control over all 6 channels, ability to connect by wifi to a remote system and model the light from a real reef.
4) Looks - Basic black box, slimmer more modern looking case, complete disregard because nobody will see them in a canopy or built into the ceiling.
5) Materials Quality - Steel case vs plastic vs aluminum. Temperature control by fans only, a heatsink that is just a sheet of aluminum plus fans or a real finned aluminum heat sink and fans.
6) LEDs - Cheap bridgelux & epistar, more expensive Cree, Semi, OSRAM and others, or even led chips with many leds built into a tiny board.
7) Customer Service - Virtually none from ebay cheap end to retailers who have websites, phone numbers and even sponsor forums at websites like this.

OK, and here is what I wanted and what I bought: I want the best value. In other words good quality (not crazy high end) and good control so I can play with the color and timing. So I use and would recommend Reef Breeders Photon V2+ fixtures. You would want two 32" fixtures for a 6' tank and the total cost would be about $1000 or if it's a 5' tank, a single 50" fixture for $675 (this is what I had over my 5' tank).

If you don't care about having all the control and/or you budget is smaller, let me know and we can talk about all the fixtures between the Mars Aqua and the Reef Breeders Photon V2+. (try post #231 in this thread for some useful information).


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Old 07/27/2018, 09:49 AM   #338
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all these fancy high dollar led lights they sell people buy them, me since 2004 been using 50w led chips half white have royal blue been running then on 32v 1100ma power supply made for hp printers and even run the fan on the heat sink, all still good. I used before that MH and t5s. it just started as an experiment after I ask the guy how bright they got compared to MH, he said just bright, yup it was china on ebay just never seen them before tried it out on a 30g nano everything I put in that tank grew like weeds all I do is feed and keep up on water, tank still up and going since. I moved coral in and out to trade off they out grew this tank its small. now I have more time at home I'm going to setup a bigger tank just got a 120 maybe I will see on going to 100w leds see what that does.


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Old 07/31/2018, 06:45 PM   #339
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I am looking for suggestions on the best lights for my situation. I am looking to light a standard 75 gallon which would have mainly LPS/Softies. Here are my answers to the criteria Ron posted:

1. Budget - Preferably around 200-250.
2. Color Control - For control in general, just something that I can adjust the percentage of white and blue intensity. I don't really care about the other colors, and while timers would be nice I don't want to pay a premium for them.
3. Intensity Control -^
4. Looks - They will be in a hood, so I don't care.
5. Materials Quality - Similar to timers, the nicest I can get without paying far more.
6. LEDs - ^
7. Customer Service - Again, not necessary, but it would be nice.

Looking at this myself, it looks like the MarsAqua style Chinese black-boxes would be best. However, there are two main questions I have before I decide on them.

How much shimmer do they produce? I would like to AVOID the shimmer as much as possible. I know it is mainly dependent on the surface motion; I would want to keep that to a minimum anyways. I work at a LFS. We have Kessil pucks on our coral tank, and Fluval Aquaskys on some of our freshwater tanks. There is not much difference in surface motion, and the Kessils make that tank distracting for me to look at, while the freshwater have almost no shimmer. So I know that it can vary, likely because of point source vs. strip.

Like I said, I work at a LFS. I can get stuff at wholesale rather than retail prices. I figured I could get a slightly nicer light at wholesale from our distributor than the MarsAqua through Amazon. For the same price, I could have higher quality and a physical company with a reputation. What are some lights I should be looking for? Everything I have found so far is crummy .5 watt led strips, like the FluvalSea, or massively overpriced, like the Kessil.


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Old 08/01/2018, 02:28 AM   #340
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I almost found all the answers I was looking for.

Thank you, guys


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Old 08/01/2018, 07:07 AM   #341
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wertoiuy, At 4' lomg you are going to need either 2 of the Mars Aqua standard units, about $200 total, or 1 of the 32" units which is a little bit less. I'm not sure if the Viparspectra or Ocean Revive is really much better. They would have built in timers and slightly more power (they all have 3 watt leds but the Mars Aqua drives them at 1.85 watts and everybody else drives them at 2.2 watts. I haven't checks current specs, but I assume they all do aluminum cases these days. And the Viparspectra and Ocean Revive probably fall above you budget. All of the more common brand names will be way above your budget even at wholesale cost.

Good luck.


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Old 08/03/2018, 01:09 PM   #342
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If I plan to QT new coral frags for a few days of observation, would my QT need lighting during that time? Is there a good, Home Depot option that would work as it's temporary?

Also, (while I'm on the subject), is it pretty safe to use my fish QT tank as the QT for coral frags? 20 gallon, no fish in it currently, but cycled.


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Old 08/03/2018, 02:13 PM   #343
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If you feel the need to quarantine coral for a few days(?why) almost any light will do. Corals are fine for 3 to 5 days with no light, but you probably want them to open while they are in the QT. I think HD and/or Lowes sell PAR 38 bulbs that would work and only require an ordinary socket (thread in any light bulb style) fixture.

Are you dipping your corals or just doing this quarantine? I'd say that if you are going to the trouble of doing the quarantine, you should do a dip first and then the quarantine. If you aren't doing the dip first, a short quarantine really isn't going to show you much, if anything. Just my opinion.

And I'd say yes to using the QT that you use for fish is OK assuming you didn't have any issues with the fish.


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Old 08/05/2018, 01:53 PM   #344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Reefman View Post
If you feel the need to quarantine coral for a few days(?why) almost any light will do. Corals are fine for 3 to 5 days with no light, but you probably want them to open while they are in the QT. I think HD and/or Lowes sell PAR 38 bulbs that would work and only require an ordinary socket (thread in any light bulb style) fixture.

Are you dipping your corals or just doing this quarantine? I'd say that if you are going to the trouble of doing the quarantine, you should do a dip first and then the quarantine. If you aren't doing the dip first, a short quarantine really isn't going to show you much, if anything. Just my opinion.

And I'd say yes to using the QT that you use for fish is OK assuming you didn't have any issues with the fish.
Thanks. Yes, I'll dip first, but thought a couple days of observation would be a good idea.


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Old 09/15/2018, 10:35 PM   #345
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Really great info Ron...thanks!
Like a few others in this thread I'm getting ready to get back into the hobby. I've got my heart set on a 72 bow or something similiar i.e. 48" wide and 24" deep. Going to be full reef with SPS and LPS. I have no problem buying the "black boxes" ...personally I think that $799 for the Radions is rediculous...don't care how well made they are. And of course the Kessils are nice but they're expensive as well.

I was looking at the MarsAqua, WillsLed, and VIPARSPECTRA units...they are all dimmable and look like they have decent output for the money. But I DO want to have the sunrise/sunset control and a timer/moonlight cabability.

The closest thing I've found that has nearly all of the features I want is the Orbit Marine....they look great and have the controls i like. But a lot of the reviews are horrible and as it has been mentioned here...they are way under powered. You can get the Pro version with is 2 lights but that brings the total to nearly $500. Another choice is the Photon V2 but the 48" version is around $675 so for that I might as well go with the Radions.

Barring better advice ...I might still go with the Orbit Marine...just wish they had better output.


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Old 09/16/2018, 06:11 AM   #346
Ron Reefman
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Really great info Ron...thanks!
Like a few others in this thread I'm getting ready to get back into the hobby. I've got my heart set on a 72 bow or something similiar i.e. 48" wide and 24" deep. Going to be full reef with SPS and LPS. I have no problem buying the "black boxes" ...personally I think that $799 for the Radions is rediculous...don't care how well made they are. And of course the Kessils are nice but they're expensive as well.

I was looking at the MarsAqua, WillsLed, and VIPARSPECTRA units...they are all dimmable and look like they have decent output for the money. But I DO want to have the sunrise/sunset control and a timer/moonlight cabability.

The closest thing I've found that has nearly all of the features I want is the Orbit Marine....they look great and have the controls i like. But a lot of the reviews are horrible and as it has been mentioned here...they are way under powered. You can get the Pro version with is 2 lights but that brings the total to nearly $500. Another choice is the Photon V2 but the 48" version is around $675 so for that I might as well go with the Radions.

Barring better advice ...I might still go with the Orbit Marine...just wish they had better output.
You are welcome for the info, I'm just trying to pass on my experience with using and having worked for an led fixture supplier.

If you are doing a 24" deep tank (or even a 20" deep tank) and expect to keep sps corals, please do yourself a favor and do not buy the Current Orbit line of led fixtures. This is not the place you want to try and save money. The PAR output is not strong enough for a serious sps tank. And by serious I mean a lot of sps, not hard to grow sps. Their less than 0.5 watt leds are fine for zoas and softys... maybe even lps, especially in a shallower tank like 18" or less. IMHO you would be better off buying 2 Mars Aqua fixtures and forgoing the sunrise & sunset feature if budget is an issue.

If you want sunrise & sunset (completely unnecessary for health or growth of any coral) look again at the Reef Breeders Photon V2+. And if you think you might as well move up to the Radions, think again. On a 48" tank for sps corals, 1 Radion fixture is not enough. You'll need 2 in order to cover 48" well enough for sps corals. One would be OK if you fill the ends of the tank with easier corals, but the dimmer ends of the tank will not be good for sps.

Don't look past the Photon V2+. It's very well made, very slim and modern looking, uses Cree and OSRAM leds, has legs and hangers and now has virtually smooth sunrise & sunset ramping ability. And with just 1 fixture will do the job. You could do either a 32" which is good enough, or a 48" which is almost too wide and will 'spill' light out the ends. I used a 50" on a 60" sps tank with great success.

Good luck and have fun whichever way you go!

20170223_155902 by Ron Lindensmith, on Flickr


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Old 09/16/2018, 01:01 PM   #347
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Thanks again Ron. I did some more looking and you've kind of convinced me. Those Photon fixtures are the shiz!

I had a successful 72g bowfront reef a while ago and I'm thinking about doing the same again. It will probably end up being a window box (starting as stand-alone) so I'm not worried about light spillage but at the same time I'll probably get the Photon 32 if you think that's enough for a 48".

I know the sunrise/sunset isn't necessary for the corals but I'll have some fishies too and I want to keep them happy. And hell...I just like the aesthetics.


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Old 09/24/2018, 05:10 AM   #348
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Thanks again Ron. I did some more looking and you've kind of convinced me. Those Photon fixtures are the shiz!

I had a successful 72g bowfront reef a while ago and I'm thinking about doing the same again. It will probably end up being a window box (starting as stand-alone) so I'm not worried about light spillage but at the same time I'll probably get the Photon 32 if you think that's enough for a 48".

I know the sunrise/sunset isn't necessary for the corals but I'll have some fishies too and I want to keep them happy. And hell...I just like the aesthetics.
Sorry for the slow reply, I'm sort of moving to a different website forum...

The 32" Photon will work well over the 48" tank with 2 considerations. One is that it will need to be a bit higher than is common, say 12 to 18" off the water in order to get end to end coverage. Or the other alternative is to have the fixture lower and use the dimmer light at the ends of the tank for zoas and lps. The alternative is to go for the 48" fixture or do 2 of the 16" fixtures and space them 4" off the ends and leave an 8" center gap (4" for each fixture to cover. This is all budgeting issues though, the amount of light will be fine.


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Old 11/06/2018, 09:32 AM   #349
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32" Photon V2+

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Originally Posted by Ron Reefman View Post
Sorry for the slow reply, I'm sort of moving to a different website forum...

The 32" Photon will work well over the 48" tank with 2 considerations. One is that it will need to be a bit higher than is common, say 12 to 18" off the water in order to get end to end coverage. Or the other alternative is to have the fixture lower and use the dimmer light at the ends of the tank for zoas and lps. The alternative is to go for the 48" fixture or do 2 of the 16" fixtures and space them 4" off the ends and leave an 8" center gap (4" for each fixture to cover. This is all budgeting issues though, the amount of light will be fine.
Hi Ron:

Lots of great info. Just purchased a 100 gallon 48"(l) x 20"(w) x 24"(h). I'm leaning towards saving some money and getting the 32" version based on your recommendation. Should I be concerned with the 24" depth of the tank if I'm keeping my lights 12" - 16" above the tank? I want to get sufficient PAR to maybe keep a hammer or frogspawn near the bottom of the tank. Thanks for your help!

PK


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Old 11/12/2018, 02:20 PM   #350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peekay View Post
Hi Ron:

Lots of great info. Just purchased a 100 gallon 48"(l) x 20"(w) x 24"(h). I'm leaning towards saving some money and getting the 32" version based on your recommendation. Should I be concerned with the 24" depth of the tank if I'm keeping my lights 12" - 16" above the tank? I want to get sufficient PAR to maybe keep a hammer or frogspawn near the bottom of the tank. Thanks for your help!

PK
You should have plenty of PAR for a 24" (H) tank, as I have my Photon V2+ 26" from the water, and my Fuge is 27" (H). At a max setting of 90% for the Blue and Violet channels, 20% for the White channel, and 1% to 5% for the Red and Green channels, my PAR is 135 or so in the center, and 100 or so on the ends, and the lite part of my Fuge is 48". I could drop my Photon down to 18" from the water an have better Par readings on the bottom then I do now, but I like the lights higher up as I am able to work on the Fuge without interference from the light rack.


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