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AZBurns

Lighting for 33 Long

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AZBurns

I want to set up a 33 long I have as a nano reef. I am planning on sticking to small soft corals, button polyps, zoas, mushrooms, ricordeas, etc. Maybe I would try some small, undemanding LPS corals as well.

 

I really like the shimmer effect from Kessil LEDs. How would three A80 fixtures work for this tank (48x12x12)?

 

Thanks for any feedback,

AZ

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mcarroll

You'd want four of them.  

 

(If you run a search there was another thread on 33 Long's just the other day.)

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AZBurns

Thanks mcarroll,

 

I was also considering a combination of LED and T5, to get some shimmer and still have even lighting across the tank. My main limitation is space under a canopy. I have two cats that are extremely curious, stubborn, and destructive, so I really need a canopy. Heat would also obviously be a concern.  I wonder if three A80s and a single 4' 54W T5 would get me a decent combination for this shallow of a tank.

 

I did a search, but didn't find anything recent about a 33 long. I'll look a little more thoroughly when I have a bit more time.

 

AZ

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mcarroll

Sounds like a set of Orbit Marine (or Marine IC's...either one) would be more ideal to what you're looking for.    Similar smooth look as T5's, but with a little shimmer.

 

Since you aren't looking for anything like clams that require extra bright light, you could do well with a single basic Orbit Marine though....plenty of watts and PAR for a tank that's so shallow.

 

If you had two, they would cover most or all of the surface of the tank (check actual dimensions) so might even serve as a hood/cover for you.

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AZBurns

The Orbits probably would be perfect for my lighting requirements, and have a controller built in. But I really hate the look of the flicker from a strip fixture like that. They remind me of a disco ball; lots of little erratic random flickers all over the place. I probably would prefer a 2x48" T5 over the Orbit.

 

Maybe even just a pair of A80 pendants would give me enough of the flicker I like, and a pair of 54W T5s would give me enough light needed to grow corals?

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GraniteReefer

Just chose a two bulb 36” T5 in conjunction with a single current trulumen pro 36” actinic LED for my 12g long.  I like that I can ramp the led and bump par with the T5 as well as adjust spectrum in the future with different t5 bulbs.  Best thing is. I scored the LED w/ power supply for $44.75 and the T5 for $69.44(I own the ramp timer/docking feet for the LED from previous builds). 101 watts of power for $114.19 and all brand new equipment.  Unbelievable price and coverage.  I vote T5 with led supplements!
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mcarroll
21 hours ago, AZBurns said:

The Orbits probably would be perfect for my lighting requirements, and have a controller built in. But I really hate the look of the flicker from a strip fixture like that. They remind me of a disco ball; lots of little erratic random flickers all over the place. I probably would prefer a 2x48" T5 over the Orbit.

 

Maybe even just a pair of A80 pendants would give me enough of the flicker I like, and a pair of 54W T5s would give me enough light needed to grow corals?

 

Strip LED's (with emitters spaced evenly across the whole tank surface) should be quite similar to the look of T5, but with just a little shimmer.

 

Spotlights like the A80's would be VERY intense shimmer by comparison.

 

T5 is the polar opposite and is totally dead-looking -- zero shimmer.  I wouldn't go this route, personally.

 

It would be very ideal for you to see some examples before deciding one way or the other.  Check out YouTube vids on all the lights in question if there's no way to see them in-person locally.

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AZBurns

I definitely like the Kessil shimmer, and like the way it looks in combination with T5 as well, from what I have seen in videos.

 

Lots of people use the bigger Kessils along with T5s, so it definitely a popular and successful option in those cases. I would think it would scale down in the case of a smaller tank like this, so long as I have the right amount of light for the corals I am interested in keeping. 

 

Would two 54w T5s and three Kessil A80s be enough light for zoas, polyps, and ricordeas, and maybe a few simpler to keep LPS corals? I would think it would be more than enough but couldn't say for sure.

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mcarroll
10 hours ago, AZBurns said:

Lots of people use the bigger Kessils along with T5s, so it definitely a popular and successful option in those cases. I would think it would scale down in the case of a smaller tank like this, so long as I have the right amount of light for the corals I am interested in keeping.

Of course it works....T5's work....LED's work...the combo would also work.

 

LED+T5 kinda became "a thing", but I still can't recommend setting up a T5 system in 2020.

 

LED spotlights with LED strips would be as close as I'd get.

 

The folks who made LED+T5 a thing were the folks I alluded to earlier who were already running T5 when LED's became popular.  It makes a degree of sense to add on LED's if you're already running T5....especially if you were wanting more light but couldn't afford (or fit) a larger T5 fixture.

 

The problem with it being "a thing" is that folks have taken it further than just making a degree of sense for some folks and ascribed near-magical qualities to it.  

 

There's no magic...it's just light.  😉

 

T5's are super expensive to run, and come with inherent environmental problems on the waste end.  There are simply better ways to light a tank in 2020, especially if you're making a new investment vs maintaining an old one.

 

I mean I have a sweet halide setup in the closet.....dual 150w -- very similar to the Kessil AP700 in output.  But you won't see me running it anytime soon -- not with LED's and not without LED's.  It's too expensive.  I've never used more than about half of the power of that halide system on any LED system I've used since I replaced it.

 

For perspective:  You can take one year's budget for replacement bulbs for a T5 system (or halide system) and have enough money to buy a whole LED system that could replace the T5 system.  That would be true every single year the T5 system was in operation.   Put it another way:  Even if you bought an LED system every year, used it for a year and then threw it in the trash, you'd be no further behind that running a T5 system.   (Not talking about high-end lights here...talking about competitive systems.)

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AZBurns

I am definitely not a fan of the less sustainable aspects of T5s. Just thinking of an even, spread out light source that can provide decent growth without the disco flicker effect of strips/pucks that would work well with a Kessil for the more natural looking flicker (IMO) 

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AZBurns

Another interesting option would be to try some kind of diffuser on an orbit or similar strip fixture to smooth out the color blending. Some PAR would be lost, obviously.

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Amphrites

Honestly if you want diffuse, even-light you're stuck with running multiple lights mounted fairly-high up. 
You could try just running a LOT of cheap pendant lights like the Tuna Blue's from ABI @ like 12-15" height and you'd likely not have any hotspots or color-blotches.
Otherwise you could try multiple black-boxes, multiple kessil's with the wide lenses, multiple primes - all of which would need to be mounted fairly-high up.
If you want to try the Orbits @mitten_reef may still have a great deal available on a pair of them.

Reef breeders also has that photon v2 unit which may work out well, maxspect also has a triple-puck unit which could probably do-fine by itself (but you'll lose light over the tank's sides because of the small-width, same with things like a pair of the ocean revive arctics).

I'm trying to figure out lighting the same tank, I was originally going to grab those orbits and mount them on a maxspect I have, but I just didn't think that would work out well for me. Because I have a double-puck maxspect already I think I'm going to mount it up 10-12" and grab a pair of those Tuna-blues to angle pointing towards the back-middle of the tank to get "T5-ish" coverage.

If it might help you out I have an XCF file with various different positions, angles, and light-counts (roughly at scale) over a 33-long.

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mcarroll
23 hours ago, AZBurns said:

I am definitely not a fan of the less sustainable aspects of T5s. Just thinking of an even, spread out light source that can provide decent growth without the disco flicker effect of strips/pucks that would work well with a Kessil for the more natural looking flicker (IMO) 

Have you seen Orbits in person?  I you have, that's good.

 

Your impression (massive disco effect) seems like one you would get from seeing a chinese black boxes in action....and that makes be think that maybe you haven't seen them for yourself.

 

I've had both (black box and Orbits) and they are not similar.  LED strips like these are much more similar to T5 light.  You can certainly play around with diffusers, but I wouldn't consider that a necessity, just a curiosity.  

 

Prefer the plain orbit with 120º lenses for the best (least disco) light IMO.

 

I highly doubt you'll want to add anything to these strips either, once you see them in person (plenty of shimmer), but they'd certainly work with a Kessil in the mix too.

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