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Old 03-18-2013, 09:43 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
Some observations since acquiring the LEDs and a PAR meter. As I have mentioned before, the Chinese LEDs were a big improvement over a 20 year old MH/Actinic system.

I am a bit surprised at how little light some of these corals need to grow and prosper. And how much some of them soak up.

Common Acros are doing well from 280-500 PAR, many of the Acros are growing well at 300 PAR.
Fancier Acros (you know who you are...) seem to need 400-+500 PAR and very careful handling as bleaching is just a nudge away from the light values they prosper at. This may well be one of the reasons, besides low tolerance for phosphates, that these corals sometimes don't do well. High flow is also needed if high PAR values are used.
Capricornus seems to like about 200-300 PAR
GSP can grow at 50 PAR, but do better at 120-180 PAR
Zoas are about the same, but really do well at even higher PAR levels like 400.
Frogspawn and hammers seem to like 200-300 PAR
Mushrooms grow from an amazing 10 PAR and stop growing at about 300-400 PAR
Soft corals would grow from 50 PAR to 500 PAR, it just varies its length.
Green leather coral liked 100-200 PAR
Large green torch coral liked 200 PAR fine.
Trumpets and most millipora liked 350-500 PAR
Clams seem to like all you can give them. At least 400 PAR and in my frag system they get boosts of 1200 PAR for a few minutes out of every hour.

These are just general observations, they don't take into account flow and water quality, which I have done my best to optimize.
Will be making similar tests as I move from Chinese LED panels to broader spectrum LED panels soon.
Very interesting observations,....I do not possess a par meter but this'll give you an general idea about coral placements In your tank. ,... Very interesting re. Mushrooms also,.where on the par meter do your own personal mushroom forest reside?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:00 PM   #122
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They vary. I have big ones under rocks that measure under 20 PAR. As I move higher to more exposed areas they prosper up to about 350 PAR (2/3 the way up the reef wall), after that, there are none. This is looking at almost 1000 mushrooms in this reef.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:17 PM   #123
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General comparison of Chinese LED panels and the Rapid LED Onyx light.

Background:

I import Chinese LED Fixtures for my business and ended up using them in my 25 year old 300 gallon reef system and a 100 gallon frag tank. They have been in operation for over three years now and I like them fine. They grow most corals really well. But my son, another reef keeper, started using broader spectrum LED fixtures like the Onyx, I really liked the quality of light they put out. When I realized they were priced just slightly over the Chinese fixtures I am using, I decided to start changing the 120 watt panels out with the 90 watt Onyx fixtures. The frag tank was first.

Shipping and delivery;

Rapid LED, the relationship with me is new, but so far they are really professional and quick to respond. Nice to really talk to somebody rather than emailing Hong Kong or another distant local.

The Chinese do not know how to pack anything. Many fixtures came in needing TLC before they went back out the door.
The Rapid LED unit is packaged really well and CAME WITH EVERYTHING you need, even expansion screws for the ceiling and a high quality hanging system. Delivery to the Midwest via ground was 4 days.

Quality of manufacture;

There is no contest here. The Rapid LED unit is deluxe. It has a rubberized exterior and is about 20% smaller than the equivalent 120 watt Chinese unit. Everything internal has been fastened down well (something else the Chinese do poorly) and the fixture is actually pretty. It is a safer fixture as well; the 110VAC doesn't go to the fixture, it uses a computer grade driver that then supplies DC to the fixture. Far safer if the fixture takes an accidental plunge. The cords are twice as long as well.

How does it look?

It produces far more shimmer than the chinese panels, which I like. I got the 60 degree lenses, I guess my Chinese LEDs were more 90 degrees, so the fixture hangs 12" above the water where the Chinese unit hang 6" over the water for the same coverage. The Onyx is available with 80 degree optics if you need the light to hang closer to the water. But Rapid says the 60 degree optics produces the most PAR. The Onyx is a warmer color temperature light than the Chinese unit. It has a red, green and UV LEDs as part of the array. The corals glow more and have a richer color to them. It doesn't look blue at all, it's very natural looking. Fixtures are whisper quite as they have 2 less fans than the Chinese units have.

PAR values measured,
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is with the 200 watt moving spotlight shut off.

With the 120 watt Chinese fixtures I had PAR;

Under the middle of the fixture:
400-450 at the surface
300 midway
150 at the bottom (18" deep)

At the sides:
250-300 at the surface
200 midway
120 at the bottom.

Not too bad.

With the 90 watt Onyx fixtures I had PAR;

Under the middle of the fixture:
750 at the surface
300-400 midway
200-250 at the bottom (18" deep)

At the sides:
500-550 at the surface
300 midway
150-200 at the bottom.

Much better even though it is less wattage. More efficient.

I will report how the frags like it later, but so far I am very happy. Rapid LED says they will have a controllable version of this light later this year that will work with Reefkeepers and Apex controllers. Stay tuned.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:25 PM   #124
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That's quite a well documented comparison,... You obviously have that passion to strive for " the best bang for the buck" and you don't mind saying what's on your mind.., anyone here who doesn't gain from your years of experience should just get up and leave your classroom,... Thanks teach,well done
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #125
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Thanks Dary, in my business as a engineer I have to approach problems methodically. But this was meant to be just a general comparison. I don't have access to the other brands, so I stick with what I have when making comparisons. The more you save on hardware and improved efficiency, you get to spend on critters. Those few extra colored LEDs do make my coral stand out in a nice natural way, not blue cast at all. It may not effect the coral, but sure looks nice and that counts.

It isn't for everyone, somebody will argue it isn't as good as their favorite light. That's the Internet!
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:57 AM   #126
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New pics showing Onyx providing background illumination with the 200 watt moving LED spotlight running from one end to the other on a ceiling rail. With the 60 degree lenses the Onyx lights hang pretty high. The center of the tank remains dark except for the moving spotlight. It is used for an acclimation area.

The spotlight generates almost 2000 PAR midway down, but the coral only gets this much light for minutes out of the hour.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #127
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Pink algae gone wild.

This is just 2 weeks accumulation.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #128
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Finally cleaned the tank. Always looks good afterwards.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:35 PM   #129
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Some more pictures of the main reef.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:02 PM   #130
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Always amazing to see everybody's coral fat and happy !! ... Yesterday while fishing I did manage to catch a small rock with a pair of large brittle stars on its,..one was the color of a banana and the other one was the color of a orange,.... Thought for just an instant about saving em ,..but nah,..they're back home in about 90 feet of water again.
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