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View Full Version : What type of lighting is best?


Slayer33
01-24-2018, 09:05 PM
I'm a little confused in the lighting area... my tank is a 60 gallon, 18" tall.

I used to run a 36" Current Orbit IC light but was told this wasn't sufficient... so I supplemented it with a dual 36" T5HO with ATI bulbs... eventually I was told that a quad T5HO is better than the setup with the LED.. so I got rid of the Current Orbit and replaced it with another dual 36" T5HO fixture, and am now running it with 2x Blue Plus, 1 - Coral Plus and 1- Purple Plus. I am also running 2x 36" Aqueon Blue LEDs for nighttime viewing when the T5s are off, but also run them 100% on with the T5s together during the day cycle.

I don't see crazy coral growth but everything is happy (to my knowledge at least)...

I was looking at maybe adding a stronger LED vs the 2x Aqueon Blue LED strips which I think are only rated at 5 watts each. Would that help? or perhaps I need a better combination of t5ho bulbs?

Maybe getting rid of 1 T5HO and replacing it with one of those 165W Mars Aqua LEDs?

Just looking for input.. maybe my quad T5HO lights are more than enough?

Razor Ramon
01-24-2018, 09:29 PM
Lighting is a factor 1 of many .
Led tec. Is great now .
T5 you wonít see better coloration of your corals.
But bulbs need to be changed every 8-12 months.
Now for crazy growth.???
Every coral grows at different rates
My fastest growing are sps , monti ,maybe
Birds nests , red plating monti to put out there.
I use many lights that work fine , stay away from lights
That have 3000-4000 k spectrum. Grows green stuff.
The led fixture you have in mind works well for many.
Keep Iím mind that that yellow light grows green so that side
Of the fixture you will be limited to about 25% on
That channel.
Your lighting you have should grow every thing near to the max
For the lighting end of things if you keep up on bulbs.

Myka
01-24-2018, 09:54 PM
If you were wanting to upgrade lighting I'd suggest you look to a quality T5 fixture like ATI. Unless you're growing a whack of SPS, then 4 bulbs is plenty. The amount of usable light you will get out of an ATI fixture compared to a cheap fixture will be significant though. If you're already paying for the bulbs and the power to run them, why not put them in a fixture that will run more efficiently?

DorySaid
01-25-2018, 06:54 AM
I'm a little confused in the lighting area... my tank is a 60 gallon, 18" tall.

I used to run a 36" Current Orbit IC light but was told this wasn't sufficient... so I supplemented it with a dual 36" T5HO with ATI bulbs... eventually I was told that a quad T5HO is better than the setup with the LED.. so I got rid of the Current Orbit and replaced it with another dual 36" T5HO fixture, and am now running it with 2x Blue Plus, 1 - Coral Plus and 1- Purple

4 bulbs should be just fine. Change them regularly and you should see decent growth and excellent coloration.
Sometimes I prefer t5s over LED the way they light up the tank dispersion wise....I just don't wanna spend 100 bucks every 9 months changing them.

CHEAPREEF
01-25-2018, 05:02 PM
I really like the hybrid option, gives you the diffused light your corals need (mostly SPS) and the slight shimmer and spectrum control so you can tweak in the look you like.
I run a DIY fixture with 2 AI Hydra 26's and 4 ATI T5 run off 4 Sunblaster. Growth and coloring are miles better than when I ran LED only. I run the LEDs for the bulk of the 12hr photo period, T5's only run 5hrs a day so they will end up lasting 2X longer than standard full T5 fixture before needing to be changed out.

Ryan
01-26-2018, 05:14 PM
I am running a 6 bulb T5 with ATI bulbs over my 20 inch deep tank and works great.

I would like to pop colour a little more so my plan is to down to 4 bulbs with 2 mars aqua fixtures and the end goal being 2 bulbs of t5 with ATI Blue Plus and 4 of the mars aqua.

I believe this will give me a good combination of growth and color, and pop.

tang daddy
02-14-2018, 11:09 PM
LEDs give you the pop but unfortunately they have a problem with coverage and shadowing, especially if your tank is tall. The tried tested and true combo like many above have said is t5 led which gives you coverage and minimal shading. I run all 3 (t5,mh,led)and really loving the vivid colours I am achieving atm.

Frogger
02-15-2018, 03:24 AM
From what you have said it sounds like everyone is telling you something different and you have received a bunch of advice.

Reef tank lights are like cars and everyone has an opinion. Find out what you like (research), what you need/ require (based on what you want to grow or not grow) and what your budget for those lights are and then make a decision.

Once you make a decision quit second guessing yourself because you will drive yourself nuts thinking about what you don't have or could have got. Your tank lighting is just one small part of the big picture.

DKoKoMan
02-15-2018, 10:08 AM
Lots of good information provided on this thread. Look at some of your favorite tanks you have viewed in person (we all know the ones we admire) and see what type of lights they are running. Price has a lot to do with higher end lights and visual appeal. That being said many reefers achieve the same results with combinations and get a visually stunning tank :smile:

Cujo#31
03-03-2018, 05:56 AM
Oh man...if you wanna strike up a heated debate, you found the topic. FWIW, I prefer T5 ATI as the bulb of choice but honestly, lighting is as much a personal choice as the Corals you chose to keep. Every tank is different, everyone has a different opinion. T5 is a trued and true if you grow SPS, Halides as well and they add that shimmer so many find appealing but also add a ton of heat, power consumption and high priced bulb replacement. Tried LED, Iím not part of that camp. The real important considerations are water column height, and desired PAR ratings. That will often limit your options right oqut of the gate.

e46er
03-03-2018, 05:44 PM
I have used 2x150 MH, 2x250MH and LEDs. in that order

the LED provided by far the best color and best looking corals I ever had. the 2x250 provided WAYYYY faster growth. but as tthe LEDs were the last in use my experience also went up and that system was basically self automated and WC were just opening and closing valves and a light switch to activate the pump so my husbandry also was at its highest, until of the the seal blew and 250G ended up on the floor and I lost everything but its been almost a year so today im going to pickup a new tank!

DKoKoMan
03-03-2018, 06:10 PM
I have used 2x150 MH, 2x250MH and LEDs. in that order

the LED provided by far the best color and best looking corals I ever had. the 2x250 provided WAYYYY faster growth. but as tthe LEDs were the last in use my experience also went up and that system was basically self automated and WC were just opening and closing valves and a light switch to activate the pump so my husbandry also was at its highest, until of the the seal blew and 250G ended up on the floor and I lost everything but its been almost a year so today im going to pickup a new tank!

Sorry 😐 to hear that! Iím glad your still in the game and getting a new tank.