Lighting redo.....

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by frankinswine1, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. frankinswine1

    frankinswine1 Plankton

    I have a 65 gallon mixed reef tank. I am currently running a 36 inch current marine pro LED, with 2 36 inch true lumen actinic LED strips. This was a setup suggested by a marine depot rep. when I was looking at what lighting to go with.
    I know these are lower end LED, but I do like the ease of use and the controller. Unfortunately, I just cant get the water color I want. I keep turning down my white balance but I just cant get an eye catching blue that I want. I also feel that despite the supplemental LED's I'm still not getting enough light for good coral growth.

    So my question/decision is which way to go with a new light.

    I could keep the marine pro LED, and supplement it with T5.
    For a cheaper option I was considering using this fixture. Aquatic Life 36 inch fixture, it's a two bulb T5 fixture. What I like is that each bulb has it's own reflector, and its not crazy expensive. I was thinking of going with ATI coral plus, and a purple or blue plus bulb combo. All together I'm looking at under $200 to supplement my existing LED setup. I think this will help me get the color temperature where I want it, and add to my PAR without a huge investment.

    Another option would/could be adding an entirely new LED set up. At one point it appeared that there were some Kessil tuna blues on here for $200 ea. These are a little much for my setup but if I add the controller, I should be able to dial them in a little bit. So I'd be looking at around $500 for lights and controller, and I would have to modify my hood to accommodate this lighting setup.

    The last option I am considering is going full T5. I'm thinking about a four bulb ATI Sunpower. I have more softies and LPS so the four bulb should provide plenty of light for my stocking. This option is going to be about $600 by the time I get the fixture and bulbs.

    I am going to make a change at some point soon. The options are really endless. I like the quite operation of the LED's, and the fact that they don't have bulbs to replace. But on the other hand there are a lot of great systems running T5's, with great results. I was just curious what other people thought about these options in particular the mixed T5/LED option.
  2. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    I have kessils on my tank and love them. I program them through apex so I can't account for ease of use with another controller but you can adjust the balance between blue and white and the intensity separately. I can get some really nice coral color and seem to have happy corals. I'm not sure about your setup but I have mine mounted on the arms from the back glass since I have an open top rimless tank. They are super quiet and can get a little warm right up next to them but I don't think they contribute to tank heat much since my heater still kicks on at regular intervals. The down side is that they are pricey! They were part of my setup purchase and I'm going to dread ever having to replace them!
    frankinswine1 likes this.

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