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Thoughts on LED lighting


Halo_003

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Right now I have a crappy 4x18W Oddysea T5HO fixture I picked up new for $40. I picked it up as a temporary thing though, to see if I really wanted to get serious about a reef tank. I'm at the point where I'm sure I want to continue now, so I'm starting to plan my light upgrade. So first off, let me state what features I'm really interested in.

 

  • I'd really like LED, I don't want anything big since it's over a 10G tank and I have it at college with me.
  • Small fixture is a plus, quiet is a must.
  • Sunrise/sunset ramping is a must.
  • Would like power for larger cube tanks eventually.
  • Would like to be able to mimic weather conditions around the world - seen that before.
  • Good color around 14-18,000K is a must.
  • Max price of $400.
  • Must be controllable or have on built in.
  • Moonlights preferred.
  • Wireless is a plus.
  • I won't be able to hang them so some other way to mount is a must. (college)
  • Storm modes would be cool. :)

 

 

I don't really want to DIY it this time, I might eventually but I don't want to at the moment. I realize that with a more powerful fixture I'll be running lower intensity, not a big deal. I like the look of the AI fixtures like the Hydra and the SOL, not sure if they would be best though. Kessil is a possibility, I could go for a 350 or 360 potentially, not sure how controllable they are though. Nanobox options look really nice but eventually I'd like to have a nice large cube of 60+G and I'm not sure they are powerful enough.

 

Edit: One other option is a single Kessil 150, but I think that'd be a half measure(Mike Ehrmantraut) and would need replacing whenever I upgrade, and lacks a bunch of the features I want.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated, plan on picking something up in the fall before school starts. :)

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For 300 you can get a NICE NanoBox Tide from Dave Fason (NanoBox Reef) and he's a sponsor here. Full spectrum, comes with the coralux storm controller. Customize the hanging options and the color of your light. Check him out.

 

If you eventually want a 60+g cube, none of the lights in the <$400 range will light one. You need multiple of them or a bigger, more powerful light for something like that.

 

IMO - plan for the tank you want and will have NOW. Buy the best you can for THIS tank and worry about other tanks later. Otherwise you'll be me and spend all your time thinking and saving and planning for a tank you may never have.

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For 300 you can get a NICE NanoBox Tide from Dave Fason (NanoBox Reef) and he's a sponsor here. Full spectrum, comes with the coralux storm controller. Customize the hanging options and the color of your light. Check him out.

Yeah I was looking at that actually but not sure how it'd work for a 24x24 cube later on. It is on the radar though for sure.

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Yeah I was looking at that actually but not sure how it'd work for a 24x24 cube later on. It is on the radar though for sure.

It will not work for a 24x24 cube, but how long are you in college for? When would this upgrade be? A duo might work and that would be 450 with the controller.

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It will not work for a 24x24 cube, but how long are you in college for? When would this upgrade be? A duo might work and that would be 450 with the controller.

Should be able to graduate a semester early, but I'm finishing freshman year now. I have been tossing around the idea of taking the half measure approach and going with a Nanobox like you were saying at around $300 actually.

 

 

Edit: where can I check out all of the features? I'm not seeing much on the Nanobox site.

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Should be able to graduate a semester early, but I'm finishing freshman year now. I have been tossing around the idea of taking the half measure approach and going with a Nanobox like you were saying at around $300 actually.

So you aren't even close? You are way overthinking this. Go with the 300 Tide+controller. You don't even know if you are going to like this 4 years from now. Make your tank that you have NOW nice and awesome. Get a bigger tank later. You'll have to do different filtration/rock/etc at that point, so buying a new light (let's not even get into where technology and lighting could be in 4 years) is a moot point right now.

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So you aren't even close? You are way overthinking this. Go with the 300 Tide+controller. You don't even know if you are going to like this 4 years from now. Make your tank that you have NOW nice and awesome. Get a bigger tank later. You'll have to do different filtration/rock/etc at that point, so buying a new light (let's not even get into where technology and lighting could be in 4 years) is a moot point right now.

That is a very good point. I think you're right that's probably best. Is there anywhere to see a gallery or features or reviews? I like the picture of the unit, but some over a tank would be a good selling point, plus a better rundown of the features of the setup, along with mount options etc.

 

Edit: found the photos, what about a feature description?

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Thoughts on the Mini Tide+Storm Controller vs. the Mono for my tank? I noticed the Mono is $50 more than the first two, and already includes the Storm controller. I keep LPS and softies currently, not really planning on any SPS.

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I think Dave is phasing the Mono out because it's not that different (other than the housing). I could be way off. I think he is moving to the Tide, Duo and custom lights.

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I think Dave is phasing the Mono out because it's not that different (other than the housing). I could be way off. I think he is moving to the Tide, Duo and custom lights.

 

 

I'll make sure to ask before I order anything in that case. Do you know what the Storm is exactly? Is it a standalone controller, or could I access it via web/app from my desktop or tablet?

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It'll happen sooner or later.

I'd love to say this didn't happen to me but monti plates happened. Still the twigs are not on the agenda. just more really old large montis. I've had my eye on a monti skeleton at an lfs for some time now.

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I'll make sure to ask before I order anything in that case. Do you know what the Storm is exactly? Is it a standalone controller, or could I access it via web/app from my desktop or tablet?

Standalone but Dave is working on a unit that works with the Genix BlueFish controller which can be controlled via internet/wifi/etc and a mobile app.

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Standalone but Dave is working on a unit that works with the Genix BlueFish controller which can be controlled via internet/wifi/etc and a mobile app.

Looking at it more, I'm 100% sure I'm gonna go with Nanobox, not sure what I will get yet though. I love both options, it will be hard to pick between them. I may actually pick one up in the next 2 months or so potentially. I saw the bluefish controller, that thing is wicked, and is a definite WTB. I'll have to get in touch with Dave and see what he thinks between the Mini Tide+Storm, vs. the Mono.

 

Also I was looking at PicO aquariums, I may end up going for one of their smaller cubes in the 12G range, the options I'm considering are:

 

18Wx18Dx9H roughly 12.5G

15x15x15 cube roughly 14G

14x14x14 cube roughly 11.5G

 

My assumption is that either light would be good for those though.

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If you are going with any of the sizes listed above, Mini Tide + Storm :)

Thanks Dave!! Would the Tide + Storm be able to work okay on my current 10G in the meantime? (assuming it would) Like I said above, I keep LPS and softies, Z/P's etc.

 

Edit: also, would it be possible to get the Mono chassis instead of the Tide one(I like the shape, if not no problem)? And approx. what color temp would you say the Tide is?

Edit 2: is there a way to moonlight/moonlights included with the Tide?

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