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Old 10-23-2018, 02:04 AM
Serpantkeeper Serpantkeeper is offline
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Default Lighting watts per gallon

Iím adding sps to my tank and eventually will be sps dominant. Iím thinking Iíll be upgrading my lights from the old school t5 to the new school LED. Just wondering what people are running for watts per gallon on their sps tanks. What configuration? I guess amount of fixtures?
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:00 AM
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Unfortunately the old watts per gallon do not apply to LED's. Every Led fixture is different in the intensity, quality of led, spread and optics. The best way to know how much Led's you require is using a Par metre and tailoring your tank to what you are trying to grow.

Not everyone has access to a par metre you may want to try checking the website of the company that sells the Led's you want to buy. The better companies will have recommendations to how many you will need depending on what you are growing and how deep your tank is.

I have found having a more than you need and dialing back the intensity is the best way to go, rather than buying only enough or worse too little.

I currently have my LED's dialed back to 60% but am running the T5's at full intensity. I have a hybrid fixture.

Last edited by Frogger; 10-23-2018 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:02 AM
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If you want recommendations we will need to know size of tank (dimensions) and budget.. Also if you have preferences as to what fixture you want to purchase.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:26 PM
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Its a standard 120. 4x2x2 I donít really have a preference as I donít know much about the led world. Last time I was in the salt game I ran MH with vho and t5s were the new tech.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:04 PM
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Default Keep the T5

Keep hte T5 add L.E.D. for that pop effect. You will thank me later.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:05 PM
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Default Keep the T5

Keep the T5 add L.E.D. for that pop effect. You will thank me later.
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:16 PM
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If you go with the premium light which is the Radion XR30 G4 you would need a minimum of 2 units. To decrease coverage and reduce dead spots you might want to go with 3 regular Radions and dial them back. You could also add supplementary T5's to provide more coverage if you go with 2 Radions.

Ideally shallow water Acros prefer a par between 250nm and 350 to 400nm. Corals can be acclimatized for higher if done slowly over time. So ideally you want to keep most of your tank where you want shallow water Acros in these ranges.

This is why a par metre is a good tool to have because your eyes cannot tell the difference between 200 par and 500 par when using LED's especially if you prefer the bluer spectrum.

On my 4' 75 gallon tank I went with the 4' ATI hybrid with four t5 bulbs and 3 led arrays. I can hit over 600nm par if I fire it up on all cylinders. The big advantage I find is I get all tank coverage with the t5's. The width of your tank is wider you could use the 8 bulb fixture.

I have a maxspect 160 watt LED fixture over my 35 gallon and the par is good in the centre directly under the LED's but fall way off steeply to below 100nm when I move towards the sides. Under 100 is ok for some LPS, softies, zoas and acans but even deep water acros want more.

Last edited by Frogger; 10-23-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:43 PM
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I use 7 year old Aqua Illumination SOL Blues. I have an SPS dominant tank. 3 x 75Watt units over a 5x2x2 tank. I set them only to peak at 35% intensity and only for about an hour of peak intensity. You donít nessesarily need the latest and greatest. I have great growth and colours. Use the T5s as supplementary lighting, they look nice and cover what the Leds donít. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:01 PM
cvrle1 cvrle1 is offline
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When it comes to LEDs. majority of them will grow coral just the same, as long as they are 3W LEDs. That is the most important part of LED fixtures. There are some fixtures out there, like Current USA Orbit that use only 0.5W LEDs, which are only good for fish only tanks, or really, really, really low light needing corals and shallow tanks.

In terms of 3W LED fixtures, there are many options out there, at many different prices. As mentioned, they will all grow corals just the same, different cost comes with all the extra features that you want your unit to have. Units like Mars Aqua and Viparspectra, which are quite popular are Chinese Black Boxes. They are very basic, as they only have 2 channel control and Viparspectra has a timer. That is it, no other features. Then you have units like Ocean Revive T247 which are nicer looking, and have mounting brackets (still only 2 channels) Then you go to something like Reefbreaders V2+, which are even nicer looking and have a lot more features. 6 channels, sunrise/sunset, WiFi control and so on. And finally you have top of the line Radions, AI, Kessil and so on, which have all the bells and whistles you can think of.

In the end it really comes down to what features are a must have for you. I decided that I dont need 6 channels, WiFi and all the extra gadgets, so I went with 2 Bloomspect 165W fixtures. They are almost identical to Viparspectra I mentioned above, but have 2 UV LEDs as well. I will use 2 of these over my 120G 4x2x2. That should give me more than enough light to keep whatever I decide to. The way I saw it is: 2 Bloomspect units cost <$200, 3 Radions or AI would be over $1K. Pretty easy decision for me.

There are also hybrid units with T5s as mentioned by Frogger, however I didnt want to deal with T5's as they need to be replaced 12-18 months.

Last edited by cvrle1; 10-23-2018 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:12 AM
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I think in this world you really get what you pay for. I believe there is a marked difference in buying a quality fixture that uses quality parts (Cree or Osram led's), quality optics and a quality dimmable driver.

Many of the lower end or black box leds don't produce as much quality light per wattage as does a fixture with a quality driver and cree or osram led's. Therefore it cost more to produce the same amount of light.

There is also the issue of warranties and longevity.

Many people believe that if your light is producing the correct spectrum you are either wasting energy or worse encouraging unwanted algaes to grow.

My original leds I bought didn't last more than a year and a half before they were burning out and the fans had conked out. That was the original maxspect led. Back then they made a cheap unit. They did warrantee them and gave me a break on a replacement razor fixture.

If you don't believe me take a look at what 3 or 4 year radions are selling for on this site. Only a few hundred less than they paid for them. You can't give away a 3 or 4 year old black box led.

Last edited by Frogger; 10-24-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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