MH / LED usage in 2016

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by rygh, Jan 12, 2016.


What is the PRIMARY source of light for your tank. So ignore secondary enhancements.

  1. Metal Halide

    3 vote(s)
  2. LED

    40 vote(s)
  3. T5

    3 vote(s)
  4. Other???

    0 vote(s)
  1. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    there was a time that I ran 3500+watts of MH. I went all Kessil 12: 350, and 12: 150
    my power bill went down about $150/mo
    I enjoy the colors of the corals better but the heaters run longer
    my $0.02 worth
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    It is funny - you almost need a programmable heat pipe on MH lights.
    Dump heat into the water in the winter.
    Dump heat outside in the summer.
    Kmooresf likes this.
  3. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    I think for those that still using T5/MH are not so much with the grow but more because of coloration.
    Very few people that grow acropora in long term have great success with LED.
    For lps and softies, led is a sure choice.

    For sps, T5/MH is king.
    Think about it. Why do people switch from LED back to T5/MH when they surely know about the yearly bulb replacement cost. Nothing would make an sps coral keepers happy than to see good color on their stick corals. The bulb replacement cost is nothing when you do sps. The brownout corals is what you dont want to see as an sps keeper.

    Sent from my GT-I9192 using Tapatalk
    Enderturtle likes this.
  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I think plenty of people are switching back because they are impatient. They don't get the right amount of LEDs, don't put them in the right places, don't set them to the right intensities, and then They blame the lights and go back to what they know how to use. Have seen plenty of colorful sps growing quickly w LEDs.
    Kmooresf and Vhuang168 like this.
  5. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    Ive always been a fan of MH. Im using the radions that came with my tank and am going to give them a shot. The downfall Ive always had with MH was my power bill and 7-12 months comes alittle to quickly for changing out the bulbs. Im toying with the idea of using MH for a few hours a day and using the led's for the rest of the day
    Coral reefer likes this.
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    +1. MH/T5s are basically plug n play. For T5, you pick a length, figure out how many bulbs u need and pick the color of the bulbs and you are basically done. Same with MH. How many watts / how many fixtures / what k bulb.

    LEDs have a level of sophistication that many who switch are not prepared for or do not want to deal with. So after struggling with it for a few months, they give up. + many who switch do not employ the use of a par meter and slowly acclimate their coral to the new light source. Usually resulting in bleached corals.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Coral reefer likes this.
  7. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Here is a picture of a tank on Hydra 26s. Colorful enough for you?


    Not to mention @wpetersons tank was full LED as well and we can all agree it was full of colorful sps!

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  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Lots of green pops in that picture.
  9. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    You grew thse corals from small frags with the hydra 26 Led?
    That is a nice color tank.

    Do you have a tank built thread?

    By the way, wpertersen tank has mostly monti cap which do well under any Led.

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  10. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Not my tank but those were from frags.

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  11. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    I just dont believe what i see. Alot of people use the Led for a few weeks and then post picture saying that their LED is the best and work well with LED.
    I really like to hear from those that run LED for over 10+ months on their sps tank. Those are the real testimony.

    Because i want to try LED again so badly. I have been dreaming days and night for the last 6 year to try LED again someday. My sps tank failed miserably with my RApidled DIY led back in 2009 and failed miserably again with Ecotech radion in 2010.
    I have been using T5 since but holding out my hope to go back with LED again someday.

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  12. Roc

    Roc Guest

    I think Jess has the whole store lit by LED's
  13. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Lol even given proof.




    These are just some pix from @wpetersen tank.

    Here is his tank journal. He recently relocated back to Boston but still checks in once a while. Hopefully he will put in his 2 cents.

    Hornberson Reef - DSA 90 gallon mixed reef

    I'm sure other members will chime in with their accounts.

    Radions will grow and color corals just fine.

    What issues were you having?
    wpeterson likes this.
  14. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    Yes but like i said. Those monti caps are easy to grow and they do fine under.any light. Even homedepot crappy light just so you lnow.
    Monti caps and green slimer are the easies and they work fine under any light.
    I dont see.any real acropora in that tank.

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  15. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I think you need to look a little closer.

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  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I had the same question. Did bleach them out? Slow or no growth? Radions put out a lot of PAR.
  17. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Gonna throw my two cents in again.

    Im mainly talking about ACROPORA. Montis easier to maintain and color than acropora.

    The color on acropora just seem to come out easier and deeper colors on T5s/MH than on LEDs. Winfields tank was not an acropora dominated tank.

    If you scroll through the Reef Central Tank of the Months. All the acropora-dominated tanks that look good are lit by T5/MH.

    And we're talking about the harder to color acros like pink milleporas, yellow acroporas, multi-colored acros.

    I think we can mostly agree that tri-color acropora valida and green slimer acros are relatively easy to color and keep alive under LEDS.

    LEDs will grow and color acropora but still havent seen an acropora dominated tank looking great under LEDs. The majority of people havent accomplished this. Examples are scarce. Most of the acro-addicts are sticking to T5s/MH.
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  18. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Robert at Neptunes recently switched out his T5s and metal halides for Kessil AP700 LEDs. Good data point. Ready to see what the AP700 can do.

    Last time I was there his acro tank was lit with T5s or MH. His sunburst nem was under it too. Most of his main frag tAnks still under kessil
  19. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    Thank you and thank you. Now you are speaking my language.

    The guy in Boston that runs a 5000g tank and grows mainly stick corals (acropora) where Winfields bought corals from. He called me the other day to tell me that dont switch to LED.
    He said after 10 years of research, studying and testing, said LED dont do well on acropora.
    He has tried out every single LED out there even those dirt cheap chinese on ebay too.
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    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  20. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Acropora are a different beast to tame in the reef keeping hobby.

    I can grow and color zoas, mushrooms, assorted LPS all day long but im just playing with acropora. Couple frags here and there. Some die. Some live.

    Adam at battle corals actually grows his acropora under all 3 types, LED, MH, T5s.

    Just to clarify my point is acropora will grow and color up under LEDS, but T5s/MHs seem to do it better, easier, and faster.

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