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View Full Version : Need to loose the M/H lights, help me pick.


swill
06-02-2014, 04:39 AM
I'm old school, I've been in this hobby for 15 years and have had metal halides pretty much the whole time. I had no plans to ever change to LED's until a month ago when my chiller died. Now that the weather is getting warmer I have realized that I have 2 options, get a new chiller or upgrade my lights. The thought of spending hundreds of dollars on a new chiller seemed backwards to me so it's time to upgrade and step into the 20th century of the saltwater world.

I have an aquarium that is 32" deep by 45" long by 26" wide. It is a 190 gallon with the sump. We have SPS and LPS coral all throughout the tank. We are currently using Metal Halide (1 x 400 watt and 1 x 250 watt) and 2 VHO's. We are looking to upgrade to LED's and have no clue on what to get. Could someone tell me exactly what we can safely use in our system?

Coral Hoarder
06-02-2014, 05:33 AM
Go with one of the ever grow fixtures

Proteus
06-02-2014, 05:35 AM
T5

Aquattro
06-02-2014, 05:49 AM
Replace the chiller.

zv3n
06-02-2014, 06:25 AM
Replace the chiller.
+1

WarDog
06-02-2014, 06:55 AM
Sounds to me like you have a huge investment in LPS and SPS. I agree with Brad and zn3n, replace the chiller. If you are old school I think LED's would disappoint you and your SPS's.

spit.fire
06-02-2014, 07:07 AM
+1

+3

imo your tank would do best wth mh due to the height of it

Nuttyreefer
06-02-2014, 07:50 AM
I have 9 Ai over my 300g it is 33 deep and I have light to spare :biggrin:

NIVLEM09
06-02-2014, 08:25 AM
+4 you can't replace a technology that's proven.just get a new chiller and your corals will love you for it!i regret switching to LED's:cry:

hfp75
06-02-2014, 12:17 PM
Kessils with the narrow lens will penetrate down....

Use the A360N if you have a controller and use the A350N if you don't and won't have a controller...

reefermadness
06-02-2014, 03:04 PM
A friend of mine has a beautiful tank SPS (with some LPS) using T5 and LED hybrid. Cut your electical and heat.

I think a lot of people get into problems when switching the lighting on an established tank. Even if both technologies work there will be differences in spectrum, intensity, spread which can negatively affect the corals. This is why when switchig lighting you should go slow, better to let some corals get a little darker/brown than bleached, and slowly raise intensity.

pinkreef
06-02-2014, 04:05 PM
switch to two x 250watt mh bulbs

The Guy
06-02-2014, 04:42 PM
With the cost of electricity sky rocketing I would much rather use good quality LED's than run 650 watts of MH and a chiller, unless you have the money and don't care about power costs. IMO

Aquattro
06-02-2014, 04:43 PM
With the cost of electricity sky rocketing I would much rather use good quality LED's than run 650 watts of MH and a chiller. IMO

I noticed no difference in my hydro bill for the year I ran LED vs MH. And my chiller was still needed.

sphelps
06-02-2014, 06:21 PM
I run three mirtras on a 62" x 32" x 32", there are certainly some SPS species that just don't do well for me but my water chemistry is far from perfect. LPS do really well provided you don't burn them with too much light and I'd say overall color is better compared to M/H only while fairly comparable to M/H&T5 setup. SPS growth appears to be quite low overall, especially for acropora. Clams do great in the sand bed.

They put out no heat into the tank as far as I'm concerned, I've measured the power from my heaters and it's virtually the same throughout the day and night when the room temp is kept stable. 80F is almost 27C so if you're still needing a chiller with LEDs you have other issues like inefficient pumps or an elevated room temperature. Also watts are watts and calculating electricity savings is elementary math. There is either is saving potential or there isn't, it will vary by application but it's not a myth or witchcraft.

There are advantages and disadvantages to pretty much anything you look at, for me LEDs have too much advantage to ignore but it's obviously just an opinion.

My advice is look at higher end fixtures like ATI or GHL. Other fixtures may fall short of expectations and not last as long as you would hope.

Aquattro
06-02-2014, 06:36 PM
Also watts are watts and calculating electricity savings is elementary math. There is either is saving potential or there isn't, it will vary by application but it's not a myth or witchcraft.



I think the math to calculate the watts with LED is a bit more complicated, as the ramping up and down would be tough.
Where my MH were on for a set period, my LED were on 24/7, but at varying levels.
My heat issues were specific to my installation, canopy in a warm room. Not all installations would retain heating issues. I suspect most would not.

Overall though, I saw no noticeable change in my bill over the 12 month period.

And while I prefer MH and am going back that way, LED does offer features that are hard to ignore.

sphelps
06-02-2014, 07:01 PM
I think the math to calculate the watts with LED is a bit more complicated, as the ramping up and down would be tough.


Not really, it's area under the curve of watts vs time multiplied by the electricity rate, still simple math. Regardless how complicated you want to make it if you're LEDs are rated at half the power of the halides you could expect about half the consumption, if you ramp them up you probably don't need them to peak at 100% for the same time that you previously ran halides for. Most people also rarely run them at 100%.

In the grand scheme of things saving a hundred watts or so applied over a few hours isn't overly significant. LEDs certainly don't save people money.

Aquattro
06-02-2014, 07:10 PM
Not really, it's area under the curve of watts vs time multiplied by the electricity rate, still simple math.

Simple to who?? :razz:

But ya, not a big savings over a year. I will concur that there may be a lot of reasons to change to LED, but saving money isn't one of them!

xenon
06-02-2014, 07:21 PM
Replace the chiller.

+1.

I have tried almost every brand of LED's and came to the conclusion that there is something missing in the spectrum that corals need to get optimal coloration.

We actually just downgraded from LED's to MH and it was the best move I ever made.

With that said, LPS seem to do just fine under LED. SPS, not so much.

sphelps
06-02-2014, 07:22 PM
lol, well like I said it's elementary math so ideally simple to anyone who's completed that level of education and cares to remember it.

Aquattro
06-02-2014, 07:24 PM
lnd cares to remember it.

Therein lies the problem :) I just had flashbacks of analytical chemistry class. "shudders"

sphelps
06-02-2014, 07:25 PM
Therein lies the problem :) I just had flashbacks of analytical chemistry class. "shudders"

No kidding, I still have exam nightmares

swill
06-03-2014, 02:14 AM
Wow, I'm shocked with the response, mostly of all the "get a new chiller" comments. I thought for sure most would recommend getting LED's. I do care about my hydro bills but I've got a Hot Tub, loads of aquariums and 4 kids so really I'm thinking switching to LED's would not change the bills much. I will have to think about this one. I do love how my tank look with the M/H lights. I'd hate to see bleaching or corals lost due to a change.

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Aquattro
06-03-2014, 02:48 AM
I'd hate to see bleaching or corals lost due to a change.



I did switch over to LED for about a year, I had no issues with bleaching or losses from it. Just wasn't as happy with the look.

Proteus
06-03-2014, 02:53 AM
I'm suprised some thing going to halide is a downgrade simply because it's a old technology

Aquattro
06-03-2014, 02:56 AM
I'm suprised some thing going to halide is a downgrade simply because it's a old technology

lol, I usually just bite my tongue :) I suppose LED is a technological upgrade.

Samw
06-03-2014, 05:39 AM
I am that close to going back to MH myself. Going to add another strip of LED to complement my T5s to see if it helps.