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Old 12-16-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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This LED for future reef?

For the past month I have been searching for the perfect light for my reef tank. I really see LED's picking up in the future, but for now, they are way too expensive... however;

Catalina Aquarium


My tank has been running for 2 weeks and for Christmas I want to get the big ticket items (ie, lighting and more LR). Since I'm new, I am going to be starting with the hardy fish and LPS. Down the road (next year) I would like to eventually get SPS corals and really not have a limit to what I can put in my tank.

Should I just wait a couple more years for the LED prices to go down and get a good T5 system now? Or should I jump right into the LED?

Catalina Aquarium

I'm looking to spend around $500 for the best light I can get now that offers the actinic bulbs and moonlights (I really enjoy the changes in day). Any suggestions?
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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Oh, does everyone have an open top to their tank, or do you have the glass covers like this?
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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I have glass covers on my tank, but with two lids that open, not one. I also do not run that back strip piece, I've read that you want air to get under there to aid in gas exchange (not sure on that).

While I've never had a Catalina fixture, I've heard good things about them, and that fixture seems like a good one.

If you want LED's, I just ordered these:

60Watt Aquarium LED Panel: AquariumLEDSolutions.com

You can get a pair of these 60W fixtures for $500 as well, they supposedly each put out the same PAR as a 150W metal halide. I can't vouch for that however, as I have not received them yet, they should be here today.

Jared
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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Dump the glass covers. Oxygenation takes place at the water surface. Glass tops that seal the tank don't allow enough fresh air to mix at the surface. However, if you have a sump with a large protein skimmer you should get enough gas exchange there to make the glass tops optional.
However, the glass tops are going to be covered with salt spray, cutting down on the amount of light entering the tank. Unless you plan on wiping them down every day, I would still skip them.

The first LED you linked is for a FW system. LED prices are coming down and there may be some good units available in your price range. Look at some of the larger online stores for makes/models, and/or search for LED threads on this site.

I switched to LEDs earlier this year. I was thinking of the 72" Giesemann Infiniti Light Fixture (3) 250W HQI + (4) 80W T5 which goes for $3600, but got similar function in 400wMH equivalent LED fixtures for much less (though still out of your budget).
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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"Dump the glass covers."

How do you keep evaporation to a minimum without it? I have to top-off nearly every day, so much so that I am thinking about a auto top-off system. Also, I have a canopy on my tank, so I need somewhere to sit the light fixtures. I have been keeping my water surface agitated with a Hydro circulation fan, along with angling my spray bar at the water's surface, I was told that this would be sufficient for gas exchange. Anyways, back to the OP's topic.

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:56 PM   #6
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Evaporation is normal. An auto-topoff is a great idea. I added one several years ago when I was leaving the country for a month. Now I fill my top off bucket once a month and that keeps the tank topped off.
Switching to LEDs has greatly reduced the amount of evaporation compared to my former MH lights. Another good reason for LEDs.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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Oh, you can always hang the fixtures or add them to your canopy. That's what I did with my LEDs.


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Old 12-16-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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i can get you the ecoray 60D fixtures for about 275 give or take.
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great PAR numbers. that's what it's all about.

those catalina fixtures aren't what you want.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Oh, you can always hang the fixtures or add them to your canopy. That's what I did with my LEDs.

Are those Ecoray 60 LEDs?
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:58 AM   #10
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Pat click on dougs home link for more information on the lights.
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