Led fixture recommendations

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by TNTFishy, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    Hello everyone! Joined today and here’s my first post.

    I have a rimless 36x 18x 20h. It as a 10x8 center overflow. Currently using an ATI 24 inch , 6 bulb T5ho fixture. On roughly a 500-600 budget, I’ve been looking at 2 AI prime hd with flexible tank mount arm. Bulk Reef supply says it’ll be fine. I also considered the Reefbreeders Photon V2 32. Stretching would be a single Hydra 52 but recommended spread is 30 inches max.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I think the Prime HD should be fine within your budget constraints, one over each 18" section of the tank should be nice for light, 2 of them even comes in under your budget by a bit such that you could add a 3rd if you wanted. Ultimately it depends on your tank layout and the corals you want to get, not sure I'd run 2 Primes with a full SPS tank, but I'm from an older school of reefing where we kept 250-400 watt metal halides over each 2' section of tank :D

    Other options in your budget might be the 150W Maxspect Razor X, if you go a bit over your budget (push it to $700), 2 Hydra 26HD or 2- Kessil 360WE would be a good choice, although I'd lean more towards the Hydra since it has 2 clusters which spreads things out a bit. And ultimately that's going to be the main issue with 2 fixtures, is you want to think about potential shadowing.
    TNTFishy likes this.
  3. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

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  4. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    I like the idea of being able to spot 2 had primes around my center overflow somewhat. However, not sure they are strong enough. Sps would most like be at upper 3rd of tank. Reefbreeder looks pretty powerful. Hydra 52 looks good but does one have enough spread? I’ve read many good things about each of these.

    Anyone have some pics to share? It would be great.

  5. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    2 primes will work for that small footprint. 2 26’s would obviously have more punch, and a little better coverage, but I think you would be fine with 2 primes.
    TNTFishy likes this.
  6. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Supporting Member

    I have a single old AI hydra 26 (95 watts) over my 24” x 18” tank. It rarely goes above 50% power and I can fry some demanding SPS in the hot spots. I think you’d be fine with two AI primes (110 watts total). If you are buying these new, you’d be getting the HD version that allows you to overclock some colors if you wanted so you’d be able to use the full power and get your preferred light color.

    18” x 18” coverage is the “preferred” coverage area for one prime and AI says you can cover as much as 24” x 24”. It seems like you are well within what these can handle. I’d honestly be surprised if you ever ran these more than 75% power even with SPS in the upper regions.
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  7. Rostato

    Rostato Supporting Member

    Honestly, your t5 fixture is probably good enough. Just mount it higher...
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  8. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    Thanks Rostato. I’m tired of paying for the darn bulbs and want the tunability of the LEDs.
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  9. rygh

    rygh BOD

    I have 12 AI-primes on my 72"x28"x28".
    It is definitely overkill as far as PAR, since I have to turn them down.
    But the extra are really helpful for nice even light coverage.

    Colors are great.

    LED controls are a bit quirky at first, but work well once you get all the master/slave stuff set up.

    The one thing I don't like is the fans.
    Not as quiet as I would like. Need cleaning. And one seems to be dying.
    Replacement fans are cheap though.
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  10. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    Sooooo. Another idea is the Kessil 160we tuna blue. Two of them with a Kessil controller? How’s that compared to two Prime HDs?
  11. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Supporting Member

    About $150 more expensive once you add the controller...

    The kessil is also an older light and I *think* it lacks UV In the led matrix. I think the AI will have better spectrum.

    Ultimate Aquarium has a frag tank that’s still lit with about 20 of those Kessils. You may want to check it out.
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  12. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    The 160WE should have UV. The 360WE does.
  13. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Kessil and AI have a very different look. I would suggest checking tanks with both.

    Kessil are darker, more blue, more fluorescence (pop).
    AI are more like sunlight, full spectrum, look brighter. More colors, less pop.

    You can tweak the colors for each of course, but not completely.
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  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I'm not a fan of the overall look of Kessils, that whole "Dense matrix array" while neat, I think had the main problem of all the light being confined to such a small area, where as other LED fixtures use more LEDs and spread them out which may not make the color blending as nice but it gives you more of a blanket of light, then going old school with T5s or metal halides those are in reflectors so even though the light comes from an area it gets spread out to be a bigger blanket of light over the tank.

    Don't get me wrong though Kessil's can make a tank look nice, Kris' tank is a testament to that (before he switched over to Orphek fixtures), but he had something like 8 or 9 over a 7 foot tank, which says something about what you need for coverage (he also had the Reef Brite strips over his tank too) where as traditionally a row of T5s would do the same thing, or 3 metal halides with good reflectors. That said LEDs do have the appeal of being controllable for intensity, where as before you'd turn on T5s in pairs to simulate the "ramp" in intensity.
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  15. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Supporting Member

    You are right. Kessil's website says "A proprietary blend of UV light enhances coral growth and color."
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  16. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    I use Kessil 360 w/ 2 T5 strips. I’m with Kessil mostly because I slowly replaced my MH by buying them one at a time. Anyway, you do need quite few to get good coverage. Mine are about 13” on center.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

  18. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    I called Bulk Reef Supply and one sales rep says Primes are great. A recommend. Called Another day about the Kessil A160 tuna blues and he said it’ll be okay, but he suggests T5HO hybrid to prevent shadowing.

    Sps might be 25-30 percent of my coral eventually. Need to worry?
  19. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Supporting Member

    I think this is a personal decision. The hybrid will definitely have more even light, but you give up some color control and ramp/timing effects.

    Shadowing is a significant issue in my tank since it's set up peninsula style with the light in the center. Assuming your tank is set up with the long side against a wall, then you can just move the LED's closer towards the front of the tank and angle them a small amount. This provides better lighting of the corals from the viewer's perspective.

    Have you looked at hybrid fixtures? I think you're probably talking $1.2K to light your tank.

    I'd have already ordered and installed the AI Primes...
  20. TNTFishy

    TNTFishy Guest

    Lol. Thanks .Angst!

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