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Old 04/16/2014, 11:51 PM   #101
lcs
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Purdy! Glad your issues are panning out!


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Old 04/17/2014, 08:51 AM   #102
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Thanks!!

As much as I want to go LED, I just haven't found a fixture I like. I think I will just stick with MH and T5. I am curious what the best 250/400 MH fixture on the market would be. Looking for 3 individuals. I will be making an aluminum frame that holds the MH's, T5's and some LED's and will have a pulley and winch setup so I can raise the whole assembly up when I need to access the tank.

I was looking at these but was hoping others could chime in with some suggestions. So much information out there...

http://premiumaquatics.com/aquatic-s...RB-HPD250.html

http://www.marinedepot.com/CoralVue_...PDDETF-vi.html

http://www.aquacave.com/Hamilton-Tec...ant-P3045.aspx


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Old 04/17/2014, 09:36 AM   #103
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You will likely want a larger reflector because of the width of the tank. Have you looked at these?

http://premiumaquatics.com/store/mer...Category_Code=

Have you considered 400w Radiums for you MH choice? I just switched to them and couldn't be happier! The bulb replacement time frame is truncated, but I absolutely love the color and growth that I am getting. Things have absolutely taken off! I run mine with 4 - T5s (2 Actinic and 2 Blue+).

Good luck with the rest of the build!

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 09:43 AM   #104
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I have not seen those. Thanks for the info. I am not sure I want 400's since the tank is only 24" tall. My 120 did perfect with 250's but I agree that I need the widest spread possible.


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Old 04/17/2014, 09:51 AM   #105
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I have not seen those. Thanks for the info. I am not sure I want 400's since the tank is only 24" tall. My 120 did perfect with 250's but I agree that I need the widest spread possible.
I run mine on a 60 cube, so mine is also only 24" tall. Some of the other 400w MH bulbs I would definitely stay away from since they have insane PAR and you really only need it for a 30" plus deep tank. The 400w radium gives you the par of a 250w 10k with the color of a 250w Radium (20k). It is simply stunning. If you haven't seen a 400w Radium tank, you are in for a treat

I was a little cautious switching to the 400w, but I am so glad I did!

If you do decide to go that direction, I highly recommend this ballast.

http://premiumaquatics.com/aquatic-s...-DIM-400B.html

You want to run it on the "Super Lumen" setting to get the famous 400w radium color. The only other ballasts that might be slightly better are the PFO 400w HQI or Sunlight Supply S430, but they are difficult to find and have no warranty if that matters to you.

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 10:03 AM   #106
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My opinion on color seems to be the opposite of everyone else. I don't like the 14k or 20k. I like the pure white of a 10k with some Actinic blue and purple T5's.


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Old 04/17/2014, 10:08 AM   #107
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My opinion on color seems to be the opposite of everyone else. I don't like the 14k or 20k. I like the pure white of a 10k with some Actinic blue and purple T5's.
The 400w radium overdriven is closer to white than a "true" 20k, but still more of a crisp 14k look. If you are going to be going with a 10k-14k look, I would recommend looking at the 250w DE Giesemann Megachrome Coral bulb. It is a little on the expensive side, but if you are looking for the "Pure White" look to supplement with T5, it is hard to beat. I ran one for quite a while on my cube, but found myself craving more blue

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 10:12 AM   #108
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That's the bulb I liked the most from my 120. I had an infinity fixture that came with them. When those got old, I tried 20's and 14's. Even gave them a few weeks but ended up switching to 10k. The bluer bulbs made me feel like my tank was filled with windex


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Old 04/17/2014, 10:33 AM   #109
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That's the bulb I liked the most from my 120. I had an infinity fixture that came with them. When those got old, I tried 20's and 14's. Even gave them a few weeks but ended up switching to 10k. The bluer bulbs made me feel like my tank was filled with windex
With most 20K bulbs, I couldn't agree more! I hate that "monochromatic" blue look that most of them give, especially the phoenix. Yuck! IMHO... The Radium is a completely different animal that I think is worth checking out. I think it is far from the "windex" look

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 12:52 PM   #110
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I am now looking into 72" T5 retrofit components to build my own lighting but not having much luck searching. I was thinking about 3 or 4 T5's on each side of the 3 250-400w MH's that will be in the center of the 6' span. I would think ideally, I could find some narrow 3-4 light fixtures rather than having to build my own t5 setup but even then, the individual component choices seem limited. Would I be better off doing 2- 3' fixtures on each side?


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Old 04/17/2014, 01:28 PM   #111
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Would I be better off doing 2- 3' fixtures on each side?
I would think you would have more flexibility that way. Not to mention it would probably be easier and less risky to have shorter lamps shipped.

Nice build btw Very similar approach to the way I built the stand for my 125.


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Old 04/17/2014, 01:31 PM   #112
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I think you are most likely going to be best served by pairs of 36" fixtures. ATI, my favorite T5 bulbs don't even come in 72" that I am aware of... 60" max. I wish Icecap still had their preassembled retrofit kits. Those would have been perfect!

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 01:34 PM   #113
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I'm no help Brandon, I have 5 old Hamilton Reefstars behind a black curtain hung with shower curtain hooks in a garage.


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Old 04/17/2014, 01:41 PM   #114
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I just had another thought.... If you could find one locally, the Maristar fixture that was made by Sunlight Supply would be a perfect starting point. 6 feet long, 4 36" T5s, and 3 x250w DE MH. I have a 24" one that I won't be giving up anytime soon

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 02:44 PM   #115
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Very cool. It seems one place online carries it. I wouldn't think 4 T5's would be enough for a DD though and I like the idea of creating my own fixture. I really want to be able to control the sequence as well so 3- MH's and 4 T5 fixtures sound like a lot of dusk/dawn possibilities with my controller


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Old 04/17/2014, 02:49 PM   #116
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I agree I don't think 4 T5s would be enough. I think you will need at least 8 36" T5s.... More likely 16 for a total of 4 rows on each side of the MH I was just thinking it you wanted to use it as a starting point...


Although, I think building your own frame is still probably the best option. That way it moves as one fixture when you are trying to move it up and down and out of the way... T5 Endcaps, standoffs, reflectors, MH reflectors, ballasts for both, and wire... lots and lots of wire!!!

Don


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Old 04/17/2014, 03:05 PM   #117
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2 of those fixtures would be great mounted to the aluminum rack I have in mind if they didn't have the MH's in them.

The wire will be in a loom that will move with the rack. But all the electronics will be in the upper end of the side of the stand, partially closed off from the rest of the cabinetry to minimize salt creep/damage.


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Old 04/17/2014, 05:51 PM   #118
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What do you mean you havent found a fixture you like?

I went with LEDs for the simple fact that you can do any thing you want with the color. Im using 6 AI SOLs on my tank, and I am able to grow anything. The new AIs are wireless I believe, so all you have is a power wire running to them.

Here is my setup using AIs rails mounted on 1 1/4 conduit.




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Old 04/17/2014, 06:29 PM   #119
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Very nice Charlie!!!!


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Old 04/19/2014, 09:16 AM   #120
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I just haven't been happy with any LED set ups I have seen in person. It's not about the color or brightness. I just don't like the way LED's kind of have a strobe effect. And often I can see the led bulb pinpoint on the sand below which drives me nuts. I have yet to see anything that looks as good as t5/MH.

I love the ability to simulate dusk/dawn and weather patterns in some of the new LED setup as well but I think with 3 MH's, 4 sets of 4-36" t5's and independent rows of LED's, I will be able to do some cool left to right ramp up for dawn and then the reverse for dusk.


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Old 04/19/2014, 03:17 PM   #121
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Tagging this thread......... Thats one sweet tank. Cant wait to see the cabinetry on it.


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Old 04/19/2014, 03:41 PM   #122
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I went ahead and filled the tank with water to check how it sets down on the frame and ran into a concern. Before filling with water, all four corners had a slight gap from the corner to about 6-8" inward towards the center. I could fit a .035 shim all the way to 8" in from the outside edge of each 6 foot side basically. The builder said he designed the frame to have slight positive camber so it would deflect and be level when filled. That gap is almost completely gone on all corners but the end that drops off (not the end that overhangs for plumbing etc), I can still barely get a .020 shim to slide in from the corner to about 2-3" inward. The opposite corner has a slight gap as well but much smaller. If I get down to where the tank frame meets the metal stand frame, I can see a gap the entire 3 foot length just a little bit inward from the edge. What are the thoughts on this? If I shim the bottom of the stand up, I don't think it will address the issue b/c it's steel. I was told not to lay plywood down under the rimmed tank b/c it could possibly start to crush the edge of the ply and cause uneven pressure. The tank is perfectly level in both directions.




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Old 04/19/2014, 05:55 PM   #123
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I think the only option for me here is to use some really strong 3/4-1" ply and shim it just a hair b/t the ply and metal frame. I could even use sheet metal since it's so thin.


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Old 04/19/2014, 06:19 PM   #124
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Very nice Charlie!!!!
Thanks Jesse

Quote:
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I just haven't been happy with any LED set ups I have seen in person. It's not about the color or brightness. I just don't like the way LED's kind of have a strobe effect. And often I can see the led bulb pinpoint on the sand below which drives me nuts. I have yet to see anything that looks as good as t5/MH.
I never seen the strobe effect your talking about. But I know what you are saying about the spot light, You just need to raise them a little or get more lights. You could always find a fixture your interested in the classifieds and play with it awhile. And if you cant get what your looking for sell it for what you got into it.

Quote:
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I went ahead and filled the tank with water to check how it sets down on the frame and ran into a concern. Before filling with water, all four corners had a slight gap from the corner to about 6-8" inward towards the center. I could fit a .035 shim all the way to 8" in from the outside edge of each 6 foot side basically. The builder said he designed the frame to have slight positive camber so it would deflect and be level when filled. That gap is almost completely gone on all corners but the end that drops off (not the end that overhangs for plumbing etc), I can still barely get a .020 shim to slide in from the corner to about 2-3" inward. The opposite corner has a slight gap as well but much smaller. If I get down to where the tank frame meets the metal stand frame, I can see a gap the entire 3 foot length just a little bit inward from the edge. What are the thoughts on this? If I shim the bottom of the stand up, I don't think it will address the issue b/c it's steel. I was told not to lay plywood down under the rimmed tank b/c it could possibly start to crush the edge of the ply and cause uneven pressure. The tank is perfectly level in both directions.
The built in camber always scared me. Because if it not perfect you get that. Thats why I went with wood. Sorry no help there.


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Old 04/19/2014, 07:24 PM   #125
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I think I may have figured out the problem. When I try and lay a level across the width of the 3" steel tubing, I can rock it. So the outside of the steel isn't perfectly flat. It seems since the steel frame is just a hair smaller than the tank frame, the tank is only touching various high points of the frame but is still level. I am thinking in that case, the plywood or even a solid wood frame to go on top would be the ideal solution to create a level surface for the tank to sit on. If ply, I would choose the really good stuff made of more layers.


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