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 New Lighting System

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Join date : 2011-07-14
Posts : 241

PostSubject: New Lighting System   Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:34 am

Im getting a decent size tax return Very Happy and after I pay off a certain stupid speeding ticket grumble , I think I'll (still) have enough to buy a new light! cheer But I haven't been light shopping for a couple of years and I need help navigating the modern units. You all seem to have a wide array of light fixtures to be able to help me out, hopefully hahaha

(Im partially writing down the following so I remember what I wanted/what I need as Im looking because I forget things really easily)

WHAT MY TANK DEMANDS: not much. I have two fixtures currently. I alternate between using the two whenever I need to replace a bulb but want to procrastinate a few more months. One two-bulbed T8 fixture and one two-bulbed T5 fixture. Both have one blue actinic and one 10000K daylight. Both have one on/off switch that controls both bulbs so it's light or no light.
I have in my tank: 3 fish that are accustomed to the aforementioned lighting levels, one Kenya Tree coral that could probably care less about light as long as I feed him, some zoas slowly being overtaken by hair algae, and a sun coral that doesn't like me anyway and only slightly comes out after I hold krill near its mouth for what seems like an eternity. He's in a shady spot and so also probably wont care about the light I buy.

WHAT I'D LIKE to do is get more corals and get that crazy cool effect that really brings out the colors and makes it pop. I'll probably start with something small like ricordias or mushrooms or zoas or palys, but I want the cool effect I see in all yall's pictures Sad Which I always assumed was the actinic lighting? I know for sure I want a new fixture that lets me differentiate which bulbs are on. Example: have just actinics on for the last 3 hours of the day. And I want a tiny moonlight I think, but that's not a deal breaker.

Im concerned about LED lights because supposedly they never go out and you never have to change them? It sounds good but I don't know how they guarantee that the LEDs put out the correct spectrum the entire time because with regular lightbulbs you have to change them after 8-10 months.

Im also shying away from ones known for getting hot just as a precaution.

So here's the real question: What do you guys have or have had in the past and what did you love or hate about it/them? And do you have any recommendations for me?
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Join date : 2012-12-18
Posts : 396

PostSubject: Re: New Lighting System   Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:54 am

get a 48in or however long your tank is t5 led and bulb lighting system from solarmax its $200 and you never have to change the bulbs ever and you can corals all day long as long as you have the high output
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Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: New Lighting System   Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 am

I'd recommend LEDs or T5s for you. You can get either to work as you'd like with daylight, dawn/dusk, and moonlighting. Both will make corals "pop" if the color spectrum is right. LEDs will be more expensive initially, but they'll save you money down the road.

My personal experiences...

- Power compact (on my Biocube): got really hot, had to replace bulbs every 6-12 months, couldn't support SPS corals.

- T5s: allowed the color spectrum I liked. Got hot, but not as hot as metal halides. Didn't like that I had to pay about $20 every 6-12 months to replace bulbs. Not sure what fixture Logan is talking about, but I've never heard of T5s that don't need replacing.

- LEDs: The Marineland Reef Capable lenses sucked and bleached holes in the corals I saw (Nicholas's old tank). The Ecoray 60D I have on my macroalgae tank works well for macros, but I don't know about corals so much. The light is really strong, so you have to hang it high. AI Sols are what I now have on my reef tank. LOVE them! Yes, they're expensive, but I bet you can find some used (I did). And, their price has really come down with all of the newer LEDs (like the Vega) coming out. LEDs in general are great because you won't have to change them out for 5-10 years, they put out very little heat, and they save your electric bill. Can't beat that. Smile

~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Join date : 2012-12-18
Posts : 396

PostSubject: Re: New Lighting System   Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:14 pm

the one i have on my tanks is a t5 led and bulbs that have moonlight atnics and white light and ive had them for 5 years and iev never had to change the bulbs or anything
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