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Old 05-15-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Switch from LED to MH?

Hi everybody!
I'm wondering if I should switch from LED to metal halide lights for my reef? I'm not seeing much progress with some SPS.

DETAILS:
I've got a 20 g tall that I'm currently using as a 'nano' reef.
It's doing great in that there is slight growth and everything is healthy and stable - it's been in a routine for about 7 months now (wc every friday, spot feed every tues and thurs, feed fish EOD).
The parameters are all stable, although I haven't been able to get my pH above 7.9~8.0.

I am not seeing a lot of growth, and anything SPS is not doing much of anything at all.
I have one digitata that is growing VERY slowly.
My monti, chalice, and acro are literally doing nothing.
I haven't seen any growth in 7 months (aside from slight coloring or polyp extension after feeding).
The zoas are intermittent, candy canes grow very slowly, and mushrooms/xenias are out of control (as expected lol)

I'm using an LED mounted about 4 inches above the tank. It's the CAD lghts nano LED setup... this one:


I don't use a protein skimmer or sump or anything, just 2 HOB filters (I know, I know) and regular water changes of about 15~20% weekly.

I'm assuming this light is not enough for this big/tall of a tank? Should I upgrade to MH?
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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I think a MH would fry everything in there. Unless you ca n find a really small one.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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You will also need to consider the heat it will be producing. People with MH's they also have to run chillers.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Yeah. I could see that.
I wonder why I'm not getting any growth then?
I always see people with progress pics on build threads or competitions for short periods of time, and they get CRAZY growth.

Is it maybe the lack of protein skimmer then?

Why do SPS hate my tank??
Why does everything barely grow at all?
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
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Sounds like a combo light/ water quality issue as for why they are not growing. You obviously have enough to keep them alive but not to thrive. That won't keep up for ever. I'd address the water quality issue before concerning yourself with new lights
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
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I too can't seem to keep SPS in my tank right now and I have the 4 T5 unit on my tank. But my kenya trees are doing great, finger leather is doing good and well my rbya's well I now have 4 started with only 1 and they are getting very big. I have heard and seen the sucess of the MH's for SPS tanks. I just don't want the heat and have to run a chiller. I have been following a huge thread on here about the Chinese led lights and I am going to try them out and see I can start keeping SPS.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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What led unit is this? You posted a picture of a tank. I don't see specs on any LED fixture. I see one over one of their nanos that's only 4 watts. That's not going to grow much of anything. Metal halide would be going backwards replacing the right LED fixture.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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I don't know the specs. I bought the light kinda last minute in a disaster because the par38 I ordered from dr foster and smith got knocked into the tank.
a LFS told me they could sell me that one cheap and it'd work for my tank, so I just grabbed it used, no box or anything.
I know nothing about it and CAD's website isn't much help :/

I'm going to be moving the tank over to a 35 hex once it I cycle it and get the parameters in check.

What would you recommend for light? I will plan on selling this little crappy one and looking into something else.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
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I would stick with LED lighting, but obviously something different than what you have. I'm using cheap ebay fixtures that work quite well for the money. I suppose it depends on what you want to spend and what options you want it to have.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:28 PM   #10
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I also got my LEDs off eBay. 120w for my 35 gallon. I love them. Dimmable, And separate plugs for blue and white, so I can have them on separate timers. I paid around $180 for them.
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