View Full Version : Help with ATI/Kessil setup

11-23-2016, 12:47 PM
I'm hoping someone out there has some advice for me please as I'm considering getting a new custom peninsula tank build that I'd like to use my existing Kessil 160's on as well as integrate a new ATI system with it.
The tank's dimensions will be 54" L x 34" W and 22" H. That's not set in stone yet, (or glass, lol:) but just what I'm considering at the moment.
I'd like to use an ATI Sunpower in conjunction with the Kessils so am thinking either one 48" x 8 bulb ATI down the middle (which is flanked by 4 Kessils) or two 48" x 4 bulb ATI's with the 4 Kessils in the middle.
The tank will have a mix of corals in it but will be predominantly SPS.
Open to suggestions and/or other ideas if anyone has any?

11-23-2016, 11:32 PM
How about 8 x 48" ATI at the back and 4 Kessil upfront, pointed rearward.

Since the Kessil is so directional, you will get the best colours pointing them towards the back of the tank.

11-25-2016, 12:39 AM
Thank you So much for responding, but I don't feel that setup would be the best option because it is a peninsula style tank so is viewed on both long sides. That's why I was thinking to have the one type of light in the middle and the other flanking it's sides.
I already have a similar setup with a Maxspect Razor in the middle, then on each side 2 kessil 160's, and on the outside of all that 2 Aquatic life 2 x bulb fixtures.
It's a bit messy looking altogether but works really well with one other exception. The Maxspect and Kessils run on programs that retain their brains even if the power glitches, whereas the T5's don't. Plus the new tank will be a foot longer at least so I need longer T5's anyway ...
I haven't decided 100% yet on the new build's dimensions because I want to work out things like the lighting first.
Next thing is the overflow and returns and power heads:))

11-25-2016, 01:11 AM
Right, you did say that.

In that case I would put the T5 in the middle and the Kessils around the perimeter pointed inwards, for the same reasons stated before, this will utilize the colour from the Kessil the best.

I think the T5 will still do a good enough job reducing shadows being in the middle.

If it was all about growth, I would probably put the T5 on the outside, but for a display tank, LED goes around the perimeter, IMO.

11-25-2016, 02:12 AM
I do like the T5's in the middle idea better. Especially too because one 48" ATI 8x bulb is much cheaper than two 4 bulb fixtures. Thank you!
Hoping a 48" ATI will be sufficiently long enough for a 54" L tank with a narrow overflow on the 34" wall end. From what I've read that should be plenty. Opinions anyone?
To make the tank any longer (ie and use a 60" ATI) makes the tank kind of long for where it will be sitting.
And for help with the over flow, returns and power head positioning should I be starting another thread? I have some ideas and questions based on my own experiences I would appreciate bouncing off someone. Please😊

11-25-2016, 02:35 AM
48" bulb on a 54" tank is absolutely fine IMO.

It's only 3" on either side, some of which could be occupied by the perimeter of your hood if you are building one, so its nice to have a little space.

You could also consider putting the Kessils closer to the ends, in the 4 corners pointed towards center a bit, that way you get a bit of LED on that short end wall. See drawing below.

Ya I would start another thread like a build journal, that's what I'm doing, then you can discuss the multiple topics in one thread easier, although certain things might get more exposure in specific threads.

11-25-2016, 02:43 AM
My peninsula tank was 72"L x 28"w x 18"h.
48" ati dimmable was plenty at 10" above the water. It was offset so it was equal distance from the overflow to the opposite end. It was a sps tank with mostly acros.

11-25-2016, 04:02 AM
That's what I'll do then. Thanks so much):) everyone!!
Hmmm....maybe I will make the tank 58" long instead of 54". Didn't realize the 48" would give that much light.😎

11-27-2016, 02:19 PM
Why not do what Bulk reef supply did with their BRS 160 but replace the ap700 with whichever kessil you plan on using? In my opinion with kessils\t5 you do not need the expensive ati fixture. Also 8 bulbs is waaaaaay to much light for a tank that is only 22" high you will burn/ bleach your corals in my opinion.

11-27-2016, 10:31 PM
Thank you, and I do like that idea but am concerned that because the tank is so wide (34") that I might not have enough coverage on the sides.
Also, I am admittedly very new to the retrofit idea. Ideally I wanted programmable T5's. Can that be done with the retro kits somehow without breaking the bank?

11-27-2016, 11:10 PM
Oh I didin't see the 34" wide part. Not without breaking the bank unfortunately. The only easy source I have found for dimmable T5 ballast in canada is reef supplies that sell the ati dimmable ballast and they are $80 for a ballast for 2 36" bulbs. And they don't come with the kit... You can retrofit T5's using this ballast because it uses a 0-10v source for dimming which an apex or reef keeper (extra module is required with the reef keeper. Price will add up if you want to go this route beacuse you will need the controller.

If you haven't built the tank yet consider making the maximum width 24" or less or it gets very expensive to light.

11-27-2016, 11:19 PM
I'm not sure how much Kessils are but I don't think they're that cheap. Why not go with a 48" 8 bulb and put a Reefbright on either side of the fixture ? They are actually designed to mount perfectly to the ATI sunpower and it's very easy to do. An 8 bulb is an absolute must for a tank that's 34" wide imo. My tank was 30" wide and I had the ATI hybrid 8 bulb and felt it wasn't wide enough to cover the 30" front to back well enough for an sps dominated tank. The nice thing about adding a Reefbright to both sides of the sunpower is it will cover that 34" perfectly and look much cleaner than adding 4 kessils imo. Also an 8 bulb is not too much light for a 22" tall tank and will not bleach your corals. I have an 8 bulb over top of my 48"x24"x10" tall frag tank and have no bleached acros.

EDIT: sorry just re read your post and now see that you already own the Kessils. Maybe sell the kessils and go with two Reefbright strips?

11-28-2016, 01:09 AM
maybe get an 8 bulb fixture, and put E5's on either end?

i should add the new upgrade of the e5's that another thread on here was discussing, not the current version out now.

11-28-2016, 01:25 AM
maybe get an 8 bulb fixture, and put E5's on either end?

i should add the new upgrade of the e5's that another thread on here was discussing, not the current version out now.

Still no where near wide enough for a 34" wide sps dominant tank. The ATI Sunpower 8 bulb is only 17.5" wide , which just barely covers half the width unfortunately.

11-28-2016, 05:04 AM
I hadn't heard of the Reefbrite strips before and I certainly would have made use of those earlier because that's exactly what I had been looking for a while ago.
But here is what I'm thinking. I really like the Kessil 160's for their shimmering effect, plus the ability to adjust the white vs blue channels. I might be repeating myself, sorry, but right now I have 4 of them on my 42" L x 24" H x 24" W 105 gal peninsula tank. And I was hoping to keep them in use.
Maybe just to clarify a bit, I will explain my current setup a bit better. Its a bit of a long story, sorry...
I have a 27" Maxspect razor and a nano razor at its end down the middle of the tank. (Upgrading from my first tank which was only a 29 gal so needed longer coverage, lol:)
Then I added the Kessil's, 2 on each side of the Razor, but wasn't happy with the shadows and slow SPS growth. So I added a 36" Aquatic Life Marquis marine 2 x bulb T5 on both outsides of that. It kind of looks like a Frankensteinish lighting setup, but at least the coral's colors are fabulous now. Only problem is, I've never really been happy with the size of the tank and now that everything is growing so well I figure that before the tank's cabinet and hood are built, now is the time to upgrade to the bigger tank. I'm guessing its the same story as with other reef addicts:biggrin:
So.... I also have 3 kessils downstairs on my 48" frag tank of which I could use them all if I had to. (Two are the older model Kessil 150's that don't have controllers so I'd probably leave them out). (Plus there are 2 -48" x 2 bulb T5's on the Frag tank).
My ideal new tank will be 2" shorter as I have to wear shoulder length gloves now, and as long and wide as possible within the room constraints.
I'm doing my research before signing the "build it now" invoice because I'd like to eliminate some of the current hodge podge I have going on.
I really appreciate all your input. And time... I really do:lol:

11-28-2016, 05:32 PM
Why not get 2 4 bulb fixtures and place Kessils in the middle. You can move them a bit for light coverage. This is my setup (30" wide) when my T5 fixtures arrive.

11-28-2016, 06:09 PM
I'd go 48"8 bulb t5 hybrid and call it a day.

Skimmer Juice
11-28-2016, 07:01 PM
IMO I would prefer the kessils over the leds in the hybrid fixture . And the price of those lights is crazy . Since you have 160's you should have no problem finding a mounting solution . I mean if you have $2500 for an aquarium light plus bulbs than yeah go for it as its a super clean set up . Personally I think t5/kessil looks better than ati hybrid in person , minus the exterior of the fixture obviously

11-29-2016, 01:29 AM
So just to be clear, if the tank is 34" W then would either a stand alone 8 bulb ATI T5 hybrid or an an 8 bulb ATI with the kessils alongside be enough for the width? And 22" depth?
(I had considered the 2 x 4 bulb ATI's outside the Kessils, but that's more $ plus an extra fixture/cord).
And what's everyone's opinion on dimmable ATI vs non dimmable?
I read a few opinions but would be interested to hear more.

04-23-2017, 05:36 AM
Ok, it's been a while. Time for an update.
The new 210 g has been running for a couple of months now. I wish I could say I've taken a lot of progressive pictures and carefully logged my progress, but the truth is it was pretty much a chaotic mix of trying to get too much done in too short a time frame as I felt rushed to get the tank set up before my knee replacement surgery.....which I can honestly say wasn't all that wise as all you more experienced reefers know and I'd been warned:( (About the rushing part that is)
To back up a bit, I finally went ahead and bought a dimmable 8 bulb ATI which I really like, and that's what I've had running on the new 210 g until now. I'd just started to get my Kessil 160's up -3 on either side when I realized that with all these lights, I really missed my old Maxspect Razor's ability to run the leds at only 1% blue and 0% white so at night time I would see the fluorescence and have what I thought of as "moonlight" (albeit fake moonlight, lol). The Kessil's only turn down in 5% increments and 5% blue is still way too bright to leave it like that all night like I used to with Razor setting.
I don't have the canopy made yet. Everything is hanging from a frame my hubby placed on the ceiling for now.
I've been googling "moonlight" led strip lighting (ie. Reefbrite) and also the Neptune Apex system, because the canopy has yet to be designed and there's still room and I do eventually want to hook up to an Apex perhaps, but to me it seems kinda crazy to spend that much more money for the first option and even more for the second because I'm not ready to buy the Apex yet. (Which you need for the second choice).
Im not "electrically" savvy but am considering a few diy fluorescent blue strips and wonder if anyone out there has any advice or better ideas? I realize I probably shouldn't be leaving even the 1% blue on all night but I really liked the effect as I'm often up at night and it's a really cool effect I'd come to enjoy.