Jump to content


Photo

Lighting for 48x 24 x 30 tank (PLEASE HELP!)


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1
Baroose_Le

Baroose_Le

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 162 posts
  • Joined 03 Nov 2009

Hi all, I'm getting back in the hobby after a few years and setting up my first big reef tank (150 gallons). Previously only had up to 40 gallon tanks with limited livestock. I'd like to get some top of the line lighting for my tank but a lot has changed in the past 10 years. I've spent the last couple of weeks doing as much research as I can regarding lighting and must say there is TONS of conflicting/confusing information out there which makes it VERY difficult to make any sort of reasonable decision regarding lighting. Especially considering the cost of some of the options...

I'm very interested in LED lighting and had my eye on a few units, with the Ecotech Radion at the top of the list. However, I've recently read some articles that really trash this light saying it has a bad spectrum, poor PUR and poor penetration for deeper tanks like mine (30 inches). I really like some of the features of this light with the wireless control, software, lighting effects/gimmicks (lunar cycles, storm mode, etc) as well as their integration with the vortech pumps which also seem pretty "cool".

Basically, I would like to get peoples experiences with this light as well as ANY other suggestions for a light to suit my purposes. I would like to be able to grow any coral within reason although I will certainly take it slow. I would also like some control over the flourescene of the coral and/or light spectrum through dimers, controllers or timers similar to what the Ecotech Radion can offer. It seems maybe LED lights are the only real option to create these effects?

Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to replies from the experts on this message board

#2
1fishmonger

1fishmonger

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 2,047 posts
  • Joined 08 Sep 2010
Way too much to read... But 3 or 4 AI Sol Blues is my recommendation.

Radions are there as well but my preference is toward AI Sols.

PAR is a difficult measure to use with LEDs and there are a bunch of articles explaining why ;)

#3
richardcharliesam

richardcharliesam

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 111 posts
  • Joined 17 Nov 2011
If the poor review that you saw was the one by captive-aquatics, take a look at this link. http://reefbuilders....dox/#more-48119

#4
Mike C.

Mike C.

    LED4LIFE

  • Members
  • 1,376 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2012
  • Cooper City, Florida
I have had the opportunity to see just about every LED Fixture over a reef tank and although I run my own LED Lighting company, both the Radion and AI fixtures are extremely nice. Sure the Radionis very expensive, but you are paying for technology and a brand. You also may need several fixtures to get the best coverage, but again, you get what you pay for and I wouldn't worry about buying from either one of these companies. They offer some amazing quality.

They are just going to have to look out for us in the near future ^_^.
Posted Image-Posted Image-Posted Image-Posted Image

#5
Baroose_Le

Baroose_Le

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 162 posts
  • Joined 03 Nov 2009
Thanks much for the replies, they are very helpful.
My main concern is with the depth of my tank at 30 inches. Most of the data out there only deals with tanks 24 inches deep or less so I'm worried that I wont get enough penetration. I want to choose carefully considering how much some of these fixtures cost.
Anyone have experience with the Maxspect Mazarra?

#6
Veng

Veng

    Disaster Inc.

  • Members
  • 5,498 posts
  • Joined 06 Jan 2012
Optic angle is what is going to give you "penetration". Furthermore, you said you've never had a big tank before, so I'm going to make mention of your 30" depth. Measure your arm and see how easily you are going to be able to reach the bottom of your tank at both the front (30" from top of front glass) to the back ~38" from the front glass. The make for really nice looking tanks, but it's very often over looked how deep 30" really is from a practical stand point.
The 20L Adventure, with tanks, puppies, a wife, and cakes!
DIY Custom Acrylic Shallow Sump Have a question about one of my DIYs? Send me a PM, or post in my tank thread.

#7
jedimasterben

jedimasterben

    LED world domination!

  • Premium Members
  • 16,475 posts
  • Joined 18 Jan 2012
  • Okeechobee, FL

Optic angle is what is going to give you "penetration". Furthermore, you said you've never had a big tank before, so I'm going to make mention of your 30" depth. Measure your arm and see how easily you are going to be able to reach the bottom of your tank at both the front (30" from top of front glass) to the back ~38" from the front glass. The make for really nice looking tanks, but it's very often over looked how deep 30" really is from a practical stand point.

This man speaks the truth. Optics will make or break an LED system. LEDs can do 30" depth no problem, but the light kits like that usually don't have optics, and if they do, they are wide optics.

What kind of corals are you looking at keeping? SPS, LPS, Softies?

#8
Baroose_Le

Baroose_Le

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 162 posts
  • Joined 03 Nov 2009

What kind of corals are you looking at keeping? SPS, LPS, Softies?


All of the above eventually. I'll do softies and LPS for starters but it may evolve to SPS over time

#9
jedimasterben

jedimasterben

    LED world domination!

  • Premium Members
  • 16,475 posts
  • Joined 18 Jan 2012
  • Okeechobee, FL

All of the above eventually. I'll do softies and LPS for starters but it may evolve to SPS over time

Then you'll need some intense lighting up top. How handy are you with a soldering iron, and what's your lighting budget?

#10
Baroose_Le

Baroose_Le

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 162 posts
  • Joined 03 Nov 2009

Then you'll need some intense lighting up top. How handy are you with a soldering iron, and what's your lighting budget?


haha I'm not opposed to DIY project but was hoping to get something off the shelf. I'm fortunate enough to not have to worry a ton about cost within reason of course. What did you have in mind?

#11
jedimasterben

jedimasterben

    LED world domination!

  • Premium Members
  • 16,475 posts
  • Joined 18 Jan 2012
  • Okeechobee, FL

haha I'm not opposed to DIY project but was hoping to get something off the shelf. I'm fortunate enough to not have to worry a ton about cost within reason of course. What did you have in mind?

A DIY kit would save you tons vs buying premade (with a tank that large, to get good coverage and be ready for SPS would probably cost you $1500+), you can really customize what your color looks like, and you can add exotics to make your corals really fluoresce.

For a tank that large, I would go with Luxeon Rebel ES or CREE LEDs, with exotics mixed in.

10x 5650k white Luxeon Rebel ES @ $3.50
20x 440nm royal blue Luxeon Rebel ES @ $3.50 each
10x Ocean Coral white exotic star (660nm deep red, 495nm turquoise, and 470nm blue on a single star) @$6.88 each
10x HVTV (high voltage 420nm true violet, adds significant PAR for SPS and makes colors POP!) @~$13.50 each (estimated price, they won't be out for another few weeks)

That's a fuzz over $300 for the LEDs. Drivers, heatsinks, misc (like solder, wire, optics to focus the beam of light from each LED) would cost you another $200-300.

Or I would do
10x 3up CREE 1NW and 2RB @ $13.50
10x Ocean Coral white exotic star @ $6.88 each
10x HVTV (high voltage 420nm true violet @ ~$13.50 each

That's a bit more at $340, but you would get less spotlighting (called the disco effect from the different color LEDs making shadows in the tank) and the base white LEDs would be neutral instead of cool white, so color rendering would be better. In a few weeks Steve's LEDs may get some neutral whites, if he does, go with those. Luxeon Rebel ES are better than CREE (more light), and a bit cheaper, as well.

#12
Baroose_Le

Baroose_Le

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 162 posts
  • Joined 03 Nov 2009
Thanks for the info and suggestion =)

So with a DIY kit will I still be able to do the same lighting effects that units like the radion have? i.e. color mixing, dimming/dawn/dusk, storm mode etc? I assume I would need some kind of controller to do that stuff and researching controllers would be a whole different issue...hmmm