Mike and Ashley's 150g reef tank (our first)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by WCKDVPR, May 31, 2017.

  1. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I think they are sharing US distribution from the same warehouse. But Scott's been pretty straight forward with his analysis between different products regardless who he represent.

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  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Oh I realize that, Scott's a standup guy I can get that much. I'm just saying it's getting really hard to get an unbiased review on products it seems, whether it's Jake Adams over at Reefbuilders or me giving a review on a pump I bought because now I have the bias that "I didn't make a bad decision".

    Basically just saying having more eyes on view of some of these products is a major help in deciding things. Like at Neptune where they have most everything under Kessils you can get a view of how they look (I personally am not a fan), I want to say there are some stores that run Radions too. No one runs Mitras in their stores though.
  3. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    That's correct. I don't know of any stores that runs Mitras and I've visited a number of them over the past couple of weeks. This last trip to SoCal included a weekend packed of LFS visits and local tank tours. There was a wide array of lights from Radion exclusively (Vivid Aquarium, ReefRaft, various local reefers), to ATI T5s exclusively (TGC, various reefers), to a LFS that still ran a large number of MH (some of the best aquascaped tanks that I've seen in SW).

    I've been waiting for Philips to bring their CoralCare fixture over stateside and have been following Mitras build threads over a few different forums to see how it does long term. At the same time, I've been very impressed with Radions with the growth and colors that they're bringing out in other people's tanks.

    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the input. Scuzy, I would welcome the opportunity to come by for a look at your lights. I'll send you my email in a conversation.

    Just completed putting the plumbing together, going to wait 24 hours and then water test it all. Fingers crossed, I sure hope there are no leaks! I am going to let it run for a few days in the garage before I move it into the house. Still need to do my aquascaping once the rocks/emaco shows up.

    Off the return I ran a 1" manifold with 4 ball valve outlets. So far I have two of the manifold valves hooked up - one to GFO and one to Carbon (no substrate in there yet). The other two are spares for future use. After the manifold, I changed to 3/4" lines as that is what the tank is drilled for.

    Plumbing 6.jpg Plumbing 4.jpg Plumbing 1.jpg Plumbing 3.jpg
    Newjack and Wlachnit like this.
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Terrance at Neptune systems has two of the Philips lights. From what I've read you can get them but they are 220v so you'd likely need to run a whole new cable/circuit just for them.
  6. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Terrance at Neptune systems has two of the Philips lights. From what I've read you can get them but they are 220v so you'd likely need to run a whole new cable/circuit just for them.
  7. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Question now mark is how are you going to move everything now that it's plumb?

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    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    I put in lots of unions. I am going to run it for a few days in the garage, then pull off parts of the plumbing so I can move the stand/sump as one piece and then the tank, then put those pieces of plumbing back on in the house.

    What are the Philips lights?

    Best regards,
  9. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I'm not in love with the industrial looking fixture but I'm sure it addresses the shading issues with T5, possibly at the expense of some shimmer?

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  10. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Wow those are huge

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  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    As mentioned they aren't state side, for some reason (patents? American's are too picky about looks? who knows), but I wouldn't even consider a new LED unless you had the opportunity to break that thing down and see how it works. Too easy for some company to say "see it works, corals grow, now buy it from us" without knowing how it ticks.

    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    OK, so I filled the tank with water last night and it has been running since as I am doing a leak test on all the plumbing. Fingers crossed, so far only one tiny leak on an o-ring on the front half of one of the manifold Cepex valves - I tightened it up as much as I could and will continue to watch it (it was only about 1 ml of a leak over 12 hours). Easy fix as I can close the valve and pull off the front adapter where the o-ring is.

    Took a bit to dial in the Bean Animal tube heights and the gate valve position on the full-siphon drain line to run properly and also make things quiet at the target flow rate. I think I am pretty close. Running the Varios-8 pump at a calculated (output/power/pressure head) flow rate of 1100-1150 gal/hr - shooting for roughly 7x tank volume per hour per BRS's recommendation. I have lots of room to go up/down with this pump. That said, this pump is stupidly quiet. I effectively have to stick my ear up to the side of the sump to hear it. Running the GFO and Carbon reactors without any substrate (just leak checking). I mounted the reactors over the skimmer section of the sump, so when I open them up any spillage goes into the skimmer section - thanks all for the advice on mounting position!!!!

    Noisiest thing in the tank right now is the waterfall going into the filter socks - I may need to build a little acrylic dam or something to change the flow pattern. This noise seems to be amplified within the sump chamber. Everything else is pretty quiet. A bit of noise as the water passes through the weir, but not much more noise overall than our old 29 gallon tank we had where this one is going.

    Did a simulated power outage and I have lots of room to spare in the sump when the siphon breaks and no more water runs out of the tank (one of the reasons I got a big sump - it is nice when the math turns into reality like you planned). The return line back flow valves work great. Skimmer water height is running right in the manufacturer's window. Now I need to set up my ATO. Going to work out a plan to take water from the reservoir in the garage and get it to the tank a few rooms away..............until then, a temporary bucket will have to do.

    MarcoRocks just showed up and they look nice. That is the next project (along with the ATO plumbing).

    Looking forward to seeing the Mitras lights at scuzy's next week - thanks for the kind offer!

    Can anyone comment on how much heat n=4 54W (48") T5ho bulbs emit? Trying to compare to an LED unit of similar wattage (200W +). Haven't ruled out the hybrid light just yet, but I would really prefer not to go down a lighting path that will require a chiller. We will have no hood and about the warmest we let it get in the house is 75 (regularly in summer) or maybe 77 F when we go on vacation - so just looking for thoughts on T5ho heat production. Thanks.

    Leak test.jpg
  13. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    If your house stays that cool and you don't have a top in the tank you should be fine. Generally t5 is gonna get more heat into the tank than an led that has a fan built in.
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I wouldn't worry one bit about T5s putting heat in your tank. Will they? Sure, but so do LEDs. Neither gets quite as hot as metal halide bulbs though.
  15. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I think the led fixtures w fans are definitely better at diffusing the heat into the room rather than right below the light than the plain t5 ones that usually don't have fans. Might be a little more overall heat w t5 as well. Either way you shouldn't need a chiller with indoor temps below 80 and open top
  16. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    T5s put out way more heat than LEDs do. Stand next to an 8 bulb T5 fixture after a few hours and you'll swear it's summer!

    Couldn't put my head under the T5s at CRC that were over the sps tanks for very long. Could almost smell my hair singeing.

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  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    8 bulb definitely hot. I do believe he was talking about 4 tho...some leds get pretty hot too, especially if they just have a heat sink and no fan
  18. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I have 54W x 4 and AP700 x 2. When all 4 T5 are on it is noticeably hotter than AP700 alone. But when you turn up the AP700 there is also a decent amount of heat emitted as well. But I don't think you'll need a chiller. My great room runs hotter than yours, and my tank runs a couple degrees hotter than ambient temperature (I'm attributing it to my AC skimmer pump). But I can easily keep my tank temp under control with a surface fan.

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  19. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Ones of these will do wonders


    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the input so far. I just returned from scuzy's (thanks!) to look at the Mitras. Very nice lights. He also had an AP700 running next to it, so that was good to see side by side as opposed to running between shops (which I have already done).

    Good coverage on the Mitras and still some shimmer. I would need 3 units to mimic the distribution scuzy has. Good that he has them over a 24" wide tank like mine to evaluate. Difficult to see if there was any disco effect with his black sand, but given the tight spacing on the LEDs in each cluster, I wouldn't think it would be an issue. Can anyone confirm seeing the Mitras over white sand which would make the disco effect easier to see?

    So far I am leaning towards the Mitras over the other LED only choices; would really love to see an Aurora hybrid in person before I make a decision. Will need to soon though, given I plan to move the tank into position pretty soon and won't be able to get behind it to mount lighting brackets if going LED. With the Aurora, I would ceiling hang it as there just doesn't look like an other good option and styling-wise, I think brackets on it may look out of place.

    Another question, we have hardwood floors and we don't want then scratched by the tank stand. Has anyone put their stand on something (thin sheet of hard plastic, thin yoga mat, etc) to avoid possible floor damage? Also, how do you all level your tank on hard flooring without messing up the floor - pounding shims under it while in place isn't going to happen if I am to sleep in the house anytime soon :)

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