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Coral Vue Hydros

ATI Sunpower vs AI Sol Blue


Daveg99

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Im setting up a shallow tank with a 32x24 footprint. I was all for getting the AI sol blue but after talking to some guys in my club and researching a lot online I have my doubts. I am now thinking of using the ATI sunpower 6x24 fixture. Both fixtures will run me a little over $500. If I decide to get the dimmable sunpower it would be about $100 more than the AI sol blue. I know the ATI fixture will give me much better coverage. I currently have a PAR38 from rapid LED over a 10 gallon tank and it seems like a lot of the SPS are getting light only on one side. Its like I need two par38's to get true coverage on a tiny 10 gallon tank. Thats what Im afraid of with the sol blue over a 32x24 tank. Im afraid I will need another module to get proper coverage. Im not ready to spend $900 on two modules just yet.

 

The other problem is that I have read that LED's are missing some of the needed color spectrums. I know lots of people say their corals are doing great under LED's but a lot of people with the high end SPS are selling their LED fixtures and going back to either T5 or MH or both. I have been seeing it a lot lately even here on NR.

 

Here is a thread on that topic.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2032737

 

This is a quote in that thread from someone who saw Anthony calfo speak.

 

" Interesting. I was in Lake Mary this past weekend at the SRC bi-annual conference and one of the speakers (Anthony Calfo) touched on this exact topic with LED's. He mentioned that one of the issues with LED's is that the wave spectrum peaks are extremely 'spiked' at its particular Kelvin temp instead of a nice 'blunt' curved peak you get with a MH/T5 bulb. He said the range of Nm are very very small and specific with LED's.

His analogy was the LED's peak wave length is like a laser beam trying to hit its target (the zooanthella sp?) and if that 'beam' is not the exact color/temp needed for photosythesis of that particular cluster of zooanthella, then they are screwed. Most corals have several kinds of zooanthella in their skin and require different spectrum for photosythesis... i.e. 420-480. A blue LED may be more like 430-435 (example only)...causing the 'color shift' in your corals or even zooanthella die off (lightening). "

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The LEDs are a great technology. I agree with the 1 sided thing. I have 2 PAR30s over a 12" cube for this reason. You would need 2 AI Sols for that size tank anyways for good coverage. It's good that you have experience with LEDs already, because it is one of those things that you just have to try yourself to understand.

 

Besides the obvious LED vs T5 debate, you will need 2 AI Sol modules to cover that size tank. Have you looked into boostled's Mu fixtures? They are cheaper, and nice fixtures, but not dimmable and you will need 2 of them as well. Also consider the cost of the bulbs with the T5. Neither the Sunpower nor Powermodule come with bulbs.

 

As far as spectrum, the LEDs used now are much more "full spectrum" than when they first came out. With the exception of the blue LEDs. They whites have a much larger spectrum, but not as much as a T5 bulb.

 

http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/xlamp7090xr-e.pdf

 

note the spectral analysis on the whites versus the colored LEDs

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The prices I quoted for the t5 fixtures are bulbs included. I dont mind spending $120 every 12 months for bulbs if I can get my SPS to grow better as well as have even light coverage and have some awesome colors. I love LED's but the shadow affect they create is annoying sometimes. You have to add so many LED's in order to get proper coverage. I know the experience I have with LED's is pretty small but it is what it is.

 

I wish there was a hybrid fixture that had a couple T5's as well as some LED's. Wouldn't it be great to have a programmable and dimmable ATI / AI Sol hybrid fixture? Now that would be perfect.

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there is a guy local to me selling his ati sunpower 6x24 with bulbs that are brand new. I think I can get it for $400. New its $511. Not sure if saving $100 is worth not having a warranty. I think I may just get them new.

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there is a guy local to me selling his ati sunpower 6x24 with bulbs that are brand new. I think I can get it for $400. New its $511. Not sure if saving $100 is worth not having a warranty. I think I may just get them new.

 

 

... Should have reached out to me a few months back, I sold my 6x24" fixture for $300, new bulbs included.

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Tank that wide I'd go ATI... Ur need two SOLS to cover it.

+1. Sols are great, but their coverage isn't near a 33"X24" footprint. For a shallow tank, the Sunpower will work swimmingly.

 

The spectrum issues you talk about on LEDs are kind of "eye of the beholder" in nature. Some people are perfectly happy with their fixtures, others want something in the 660 and 420 nm range that most LED fixtures don't address well (I'm thinking of adding some deep reds, turquoises, and TV LEDs to my fixture for that reason). That said, I love LEDs. No form of lighting is more controllable, growth is great, royal blues do things to corals you wouldn't believe, and PAR to wattage is unmatched.

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... Should have reached out to me a few months back, I sold my 6x24" fixture for $300, new bulbs included.

 

Dam! Wish I would have bought it!

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  • 2 weeks later...
saltwatercoral

If you want to go cutting edge it will always cost you. For your size tank you will need 2 SOLS to cover it plus a controller and that will cost you a nice price tag of around $900 if you dont get any celing mounting hardware... I have 3 Black SOL BLUES cover ing my 120 (4x2x2) just to give you an idea... But on the bright side there is no bulbs to changes!

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  • 2 weeks later...

my ATI 6x24 will be here today! It was on back order and I had to wait a couple weeks. Got a nice $20 discount though. Im going to put it over my 10 gallon for now until I get my new tank up and running. Should be pretty bright over a tiny 10 gallon!

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my ATI 6x24 will be here today! It was on back order and I had to wait a couple weeks. Got a nice $20 discount though. Im going to put it over my 10 gallon for now until I get my new tank up and running. Should be pretty bright over a tiny 10 gallon!

 

Nice choice ;) Dont worry i kept a 6 bulb ATI over an 8 gallon with no issues just hang it high enough above the tank.

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