Lighting change over

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by screebo, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    My existing and somewhat successful lighting fixture is a Photon Plus that has two single end Mh 250 watt bulbs and six T5's. I bought it from Aquarium Specialties, one of the few suppliers that distribute it. Cost was $2K. It's a real energy hog and gets pretty hot. Hot enough to heat up my small kitchen noticeably. I recently supplemented this with a single 48 inch Reef Brite blue strip and love the color it provides. I pretty convinced that LED's can provide enough light for my reef to thrive so I've purchased an additional 4 strips from my good friends at Neptune Aquatics, Along with the original blue strip, I've added two more blues and two whites. I built a simple DIY aluminum frame to mount them all. I'm pulling the Photon Plus fixture and hanging the new one today. If all goes as expected, I'll have a very nice combination Mh/T5 fixture to offer at half price from what I paid a year and a half ago. I'll create a post in the Buy/Sell forum in the next couple weeks if all goes well with the LED's. Just for reference, the Photon Plus fixture is passive cooled and is elegant. Pictures will follow once it's up and running.
  2. newhobby

    newhobby Guest

    Nice John!!!
    So you decided to take the MH completely out huh?
    Really interested in progress.
    I hope you like.
  3. eldiablosrt8

    eldiablosrt8 Sponsor

    Congrats john....I love my 100% reefbrite tank.
  4. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    As Promised (I'm pretty stoked and optimistic about all this :)
  5. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Very nice John :)
  6. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    My electric company is going to hate me. :)
  7. eldiablosrt8

    eldiablosrt8 Sponsor

    Pics look sweet
  8. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    That tank doesn't look like it is missing you being gone to work all day one bit. Nice!
  9. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    nice setup- have you thought lowering it so it's closer to the water or do you need/ like the clearance for your hands/ arm/ shoulder. :)
  10. BigMac

    BigMac Guest

    I really like LED.. I am not a big fan of RB.

    Did you notice much of a color change in your corals?
  11. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Color looks very similar to when both Mh and all six T5's were blazing. I've only chosen the height based on the existing splash guards. I checked out different heights and it seems like plenty of light even at it's current height. Since light drop off is so marked, I will likely modify the splash guards to be about half as high so as to lower the fixure a few inches. I've also got to have some acrylic sawed for the top. Otherwise, it's only a matter of time before I get a high jumper that will make it between the strips and onto the floor. It appears that both LPS and SPS are extending polyps better with the new lighting than before.

    IMPORTANT: I found a very basic flaw in my entire system last week. I had been running my Eheim 1260 return pump through the chiller and back to the tank. I noticed that I was getting a algae slick on the top surface and pretty quickly determined that my water exchange had dropped off to almost nothing. All my SPS was suffering badly. I bought a dedicated smaller Eheim for the chiller and a new 1262 for the return and increased my exchange rate by 10 fold. It's hard to be sure what made the biggest difference in my coral health, the increased exchange rate or the new lights. Time will tell! :)
  12. sfboarders

    sfboarders Guest

    Looks good John! What color RB's did you end up adding?
  13. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Total of three blue strips and two white strips.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Looking great. GO LED!
    Keep us up to date on how the coral do.
  15. 99sf

    99sf Guest

    John, I will be very interested to learn about how your system reacts to the LED lights, because it was so beautiful under the old lighting system. Once you soaked your original Eheim pump in vinegar, does it work as well as it should?
  16. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    So far, a marked improvement in SPS health and LPS is always looking fluffy, not stuffy. Let's give it a few weeks. I'm likely going to follow through with taking my splash guards to tap and having them saw them to about half their height. I think I can still get my arm to the back of the tank with the LEDs a little lower. The color looks fabulous with 3 RB blues and 2 RB white strips. I have the white turn off two hours earlier than the blues so I can see the black light effect of the coral florescence. The frame looks very DIY but it works fine for now. My SPS was pretty far gone and will take a long time to come back. Some things didn't make it through the recirculation log jam.

    Take away message: Always run separate pumps for sump return and chiller. ALWAYS :|
  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    That's one reason I like running two return pumps. Just in case one craps out or something you still
    Got one goin strong'
  18. bmhair03

    bmhair03 Guest

    Very Nice John.
    I think you just made my mind up. I'm going RB .
  19. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Changed programing: Blues come on at 11 AM, off at 10 PM. Whites come on at noon and off at 8 PM.
  20. bluevoodoo

    bluevoodoo Guest

    Looks good

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