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Old 07-15-2011, 03:44 PM   #1
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Reef LED lighting whats the best?

So I have a 90 gallon aquarium to set up and am debating on either Metal halides or LED lighting. What are peoples opinions on this. I keep some SPS in my nano reef and also plan on it for the 90 gallon system as well. What lighting system would you suggest for overall Heath and productive growth?
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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go LEDs, if you don't want to spend that much then do with T5s, they are the cheapest and just as intense as the rest if not in the middle of both of those, and they will save you wattage over the MH, which will result in a lower run cost and lower tank temps.

tehre are DIY LED kits from www.rapidled.com it is recomended to use 12-15 LEDs per square inch of tank space, so in a 90g, you should be looking at 64- 80 LEDs or you could go for 96 and call it a day
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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I absolutely love my LEDs, the 1st generation of Ecoxotic panoramas. Had them for quite a while and all my corals are thriving. I have a little of everything, sps included. Some of the major benefits I've experienced are-
No chiller needed anymore, way less heat than my old t5s, in fact, no heat transfer anymore.
Amazing shimmer effect, which I've read actually multiplies the light many times for an instant (same as halides).
Easy do it yourself with panoramas.
For me, a major increase in coralline algae growth.
Natural look
Less nuisance algae growth.
Less electricity
Sps seem to grow faster under them, but I think it's because of the 8000k whites on the 8000k / 453 combo. My old setup was t5 Ho with 12000k /460 bulbs.
There are a few other benefits but its hard to type on my phone keyboard. By the way my tank is a 90 gallon tall, 48" wide, 24 tall, and 18 (front to back). I finally ended up with 9 panoramas. Only drawback is price, but once you buy, your done. No bulbs to replace. They do have a newer higher watt version of the panoramas now too. www.ecoxotic.com
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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The marineland LEDs are cheaper and are nice as well.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dabeyta3 View Post
I absolutely love my LEDs, the 1st generation of Ecoxotic panoramas. Had them for quite a while and all my corals are thriving. I have a little of everything, sps included. Some of the major benefits I've experienced are-
No chiller needed anymore, way less heat than my old t5s, in fact, no heat transfer anymore.
Amazing shimmer effect, which I've read actually multiplies the light many times for an instant (same as halides).
Easy do it yourself with panoramas.
For me, a major increase in coralline algae growth.
Natural look
Less nuisance algae growth.
Less electricity
Sps seem to grow faster under them, but I think it's because of the 8000k whites on the 8000k / 453 combo. My old setup was t5 Ho with 12000k /460 bulbs.
There are a few other benefits but its hard to type on my phone keyboard. By the way my tank is a 90 gallon tall, 48" wide, 24 tall, and 18 (front to back). I finally ended up with 9 panoramas. Only drawback is price, but once you buy, your done. No bulbs to replace. They do have a newer higher watt version of the panoramas now too. www.ecoxotic.com

you do know with T5s you also get a shimmering effect, its just not the same since they put out a stready beam of light across the tank and don't have a direct shot like MH or LEDs where the rippling of the water causes a directional shift in the light. it doesn't actually lincrease the light just a nice effect
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gti_Leo View Post
you do know with T5s you also get a shimmering effect, its just not the same since they put out a stready beam of light across the tank and don't have a direct shot like MH or LEDs where the rippling of the water causes a directional shift in the light. it doesn't actually lincrease the light just a nice effect
I'm not a light expert, but I found where I read the shimmering effect amplifies the light. It's from the book Aquarium Corals book by Eric H. Borneman. A short summary of the section on page 331 explains that light from a point source creates strong glitter lines from the ripples on the surface of the water. He says the ripples act like moving lenses and magnify the light by up to 15X (times). He also says that there is research that suggests that the periodic amplification of light energy by the glitter lines is important in the health of high light demanding corals, as it serves as to punch light deep in the coral tissue containing zooxanthellae. Again he says that the light energy typically gets amplified by 200% from 1 - 4 times per second for about 0.1 of that same second, which means that corals receive greatly amplified light energy for one half of each second.

Like I said, I'm no light reflective expert, but this is what I read.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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i don't see that happening, the ripples distort the beam and reflect the light the same way a crystal breaks a beam of light into a rainbow, the only thing is it doesn't get put back together as it passes through so the light rays change direction.

i can see how it would be benificial as this is a natural occurance in nature so it would be more liek your live stock is in the ocean rather then an aquarium, but as far as it amplifying the light i just can't see it happening and have never read anything saying it does.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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I would agree that it amplifies the light in a similar way that holding a magnifying glass to the sun can cause the intensity to multiple in that particular beam.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #9
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Oh, and I am running 4 of the aquaillumination sol white fixtures. They are absolutely fantastic and no complaints coming from a double 150 watt hailed fixture with supplemental T5s.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Oh, and I am running 4 of the aquaillumination sol white fixtures. They are absolutely fantastic and no complaints coming from a double 150 watt hailed fixture with supplemental T5s.
A couple questions on your sol's. How far above your tank are they mounted and how long and deep is your tank? Do you get any spotlight effect? Last, if you had to purchase Leds again, would you still choose the aquaillumantions or try other leds (are they everything you hoped for). And I agree with your magnifying glass remark, I saw a survival show on tv where a guy started a fire with only a clear plastic bag filled with water. If water has the ability to act as a lens to start a fire with the sun, it must act as a lens to turn solid light into beams underwater. My only question is, with the sun and halides, are the corals feeling the heat - light energy, or just bright spectrum. I know with halides and the sun, you literally feel the heat in the light underwater below them, but with my leds, nothing. Does that heat energy mean anything or is it all spectrum? I know my tanks inhabitants do love the leds though. Just always wondered.
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