New start up after years

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet Forum' started by Lan Brown, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Lan Brown

    Lan Brown New Member

    Jun 18, 2017
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    Sherwood, Oregon
    Hi I have recently began gearing up for a 65 gal mix reef. Last time I had one LED's did not exist in their current capacity. Of course I am always on a budget that has not changed from the past:) I am looking at the lights below and wondered if or in what configuration I should consider using them for my intended reef tank, would like a mix of lps and sps and or be able to add to increase capability without breaking my bank:) They seem to have good ratings but some conflict. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Philadelpahia, PA
    With LED lighting, you need to consider a lot more factors than you do with most other traditional aquarium lighting. With other lighting such as T5 or MH you know more or less what your getting. Your going to know exactly how many and what kind of bulbs they have. This is not the case with LEDs. Just about every LED fixture out there has their own arrangement of LEDs and what power and color the LED are.

    The other big feature is the control system the fixture has. Some are quite elaborate, allowing you to configure your lighting cycle online, using your computer browser, or your smart phone app. Some control systems have a channel for each color and allow the adjustment of each color independently or the others. More limited fixtures might only use 2 channels, or at the extreme end, no control at all beyond off and on.

    Another factor to consider is parts availability. With T5 or MH fixtures you can usually repair then using off the shelf parts, so if something goes bad, a quick search on the net can find you exactly what you need. With LEDs you usually need to depend upon the manufacturer for parts. Make sure you can either get parts for your fixture or that you get such a good price, that you don't mind discarding the fixture if it goes bad.

    Yet another factor is vendor support. Can you send them a question about using your fixture? Can you call them if you have an issue? Your going to drop quite a lot on an LED lighting system, and you want to be sure it's going to work for you.

    Since you want SPS corals, your going to need some fairly intense light. I don't think the Current fixture is going to work out very well. The largest fixture is only 46 watts, which would be very limiting. I'm not too impressed with the Euphotica fixture either. It's got more power but only has 2 channels for control. However, this fixture I say "maybe" if you can live with the limited control functions of it.

    LEDs like to send their light straight down. This can make tanks with dark corners or areas if you don't use enough fixtures. Figure your going to need two fixtures if you want fairly even light and don't want the "disco ball" effect.

    If your willing to spend the money, the high end fixtures from EcoTeck, Aqua Illumination, Kessil and a few others are tough to beat. If your going to go with some of the other LED vendors, you can still get good lighting, but you need to shop very carefully. It's real easy to get something that just doesn't work out.

    There are also some companies out there that offer DIY kits for LED lighting. Again you can get some good lighting that way, but you need to be sure your electronics skill is up to building it.

    As usual, I recommend getting top quality. This does not mean get the most expensive. Long term top quality products will last and you will not end up replacing them.
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