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Old 05-18-2011, 12:45 PM   #21
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I don't want to hijack this thread...I have seen them in person, just not on my tank, haha.. I don't particularly like a real blue look, that's why I think the mixture would give a good balance. Time will tell!

Back to the discussion t5 or LEDs. What I found for me:

T5s: upfront cost lower, maintenance higher, bulbs lose effectiveness or strength so you have to change them out one at a time or reduce light schedule and increase it again if you change all bulbs at once. I noticed you will not get the maximum fluorescence possible from your corals. Can have on and off, no in-between, no mimicking cloud cover, moon cycle, etc. Still require separate LEDs for moonlight, or they are built in to fixture.

LEDs: crap ton of money up front, with a controller you set it and forget it. 5 years from now when the led goes out you replace the led bulb and your back in business for another five, given the module/fixture is still working. The Sol module and controller allow you to set up for cloud cover, the moon cycle, etc.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #22
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You can sure go fancy with the LEDs, but I ordered panels from a China supplier a few years back and they are still booming. Coral is doing great. Can't do anything fancy with them, on or off, but I got 330 1watt mixed blue and white LEDs in 3 panels and spent $750. They will also custom build panels with 2 watt LEDs if the panel needs to be smaller.

My reef is over 18 years old. I have in the past really harmed it accidentally by not changing metal halide bulbs as often as recommended. The change is so gradual, it might not be caught until damage is done. The LEDs virtually eliminate this type of mistake.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:58 PM   #23
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You can sure go fancy with the LEDs, but I ordered panels from a China supplier a few years back and they are still booming. Coral is doing great. Can't do anything fancy with them, on or off, but I got 330 1watt mixed blue and white LEDs in 3 panels and spent $750. They will also custom build panels with 2 watt LEDs if the panel needs to be smaller.

My reef is over 18 years old. I have in the past really harmed it accidentally by not changing metal halide bulbs as often as recommended. The change is so gradual, it might not be caught until damage is done. The LEDs virtually eliminate this type of mistake.
I agree Greg. It seems like every time I change my T5 bulbs, it's an eye opener at how much the difference is.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:13 PM   #24
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I have DIY LEDs and I love them to bits... I only have had one coral SPS for one month but the growth is awesome. If I could have afforded it I would have gone with dimmers and controller setups but I opted for DIY
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:22 PM   #25
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Like any light, you need the right output in watts and the right color spectrums. With LEDs you just add them up. My best guess is that 120 watts of leds will light about 75 gallons. It is easy to make them yourself, or order them pre made. I personally think the controllers are cool, but they add a layer of expense and complexity I will avoid for now. My tank is 32" deep and the LEDs hang about 8" above the water. They grow soft corals fine on the very bottom of the reef. At the top, I keep hard corals, but have to acclimate them to the light slowly. One down side is that my rapidly growing colonies of mushrooms only expand about half as big as they use to as a result of the lighting increase. But everything else took off and I haven't had to run my chiller in a year.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by leftyfish View Post
I don't want to hijack this thread...I have seen them in person, just not on my tank, haha.. I don't particularly like a real blue look, that's why I think the mixture would give a good balance. Time will tell!

Back to the discussion t5 or LEDs. What I found for me:

T5s: upfront cost lower, maintenance higher, bulbs lose effectiveness or strength so you have to change them out one at a time or reduce light schedule and increase it again if you change all bulbs at once. I noticed you will not get the maximum fluorescence possible from your corals. Can have on and off, no in-between, no mimicking cloud cover, moon cycle, etc. Still require separate LEDs for moonlight, or they are built in to fixture.

LEDs: crap ton of money up front, with a controller you set it and forget it. 5 years from now when the led goes out you replace the led bulb and your back in business for another five, given the module/fixture is still working. The Sol module and controller allow you to set up for cloud cover, the moon cycle, etc.

false, there are dimmable ballasts for T5s. they are a bit more money but all an electronic balast does is manipulates the electrical frequency to raise the output voltage, so addign a dimmer to them is as simple as addign a dimmer to your standard incondesent bedroom fixture
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Gti_Leo

false, there are dimmable ballasts for T5s. they are a bit more money but all an electronic balast does is manipulates the electrical frequency to raise the output voltage, so addign a dimmer to them is as simple as addign a dimmer to your standard incondesent bedroom fixture
For around $100 bucks, not bad, but wouldn't you have to manually dim them? I'm more of a set it and forget it when it comes to lights, my days vary so much it is easier to have programmable timers rather than having to be there to dim it! Are there ones that dim them on there own?
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:40 PM   #28
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BlueLine Products - Reef Aquarium Lighting & Pumps

its a dawn/dusk controller
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #29
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SWEET! To bad my 20" nova pro isn't upgradable to my 48" tank Another reason I went with the LEDs, ability to upgrade with me.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:36 PM   #30
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you can still use the nova pro it would just be more of a spot light like a halide is.

if you have a DIY LED yeah you can add more but you'd have to add more fixtures if its not, just like your T5s
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