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View Full Version : Switching Lights . . . Best way to do it?


Enigma
10-10-2012, 05:05 PM
My T5s are about ready to be replaced in the next couple of months. I've been humming and hawing over what I'd like to do for LEDs for this system (36x18x16). I finally gave up on my indecision and just ordered two AI Sol Blues from Modular LED.

I purchased the EXT rail and hanging kit for them, as well as the AquaIlluminations to VDM Adapter Cable (to hook them up to my Apex, so I can dim and control them).

The tank has four ATi 36" T5 bulbs (2 blue+, 1 purple+, 1 coral+) which sit on top of it, and I'm running a 12 hour light cycle (to compensate for the fact that the tank really does need 6 T5s at the least with my covers). It is mostly LPS, with some softies and SPS (which need more light than what they're getting).

Should I just start by running a ramping program and mounting the two Sol fixtures really high and slowly lowering them?

The T5s are total of 156W. The LEDs are a total of 48W. Any ideas as to how the two compare: would 156W of t5s be less PAR than 48W of LEDs driven at 100%?

jorjef
10-10-2012, 05:15 PM
I started with 2x48" T5's on a tank that is if I remember right 20-22" deep (77 gallon) and went to 2x AI Super blue's 8" off the water at 50-65 percent 50 being white and 65 the blue... My tank is 99 percent LPS and no problems. I haven't increased intensity a whole lot since then (close to a year now) I did once and things weren't happy. They might have adjusted and been fine but i went with the ' if its not broke don't fix it' and set back to around the original setting... Too much at stake and too chicken...

I think two lights with your tank depth at 100 percent would nuke your LPS

Enigma
10-10-2012, 05:23 PM
That would have been 108W of T5s? How high was your T5 fixture mounted above your tank? Did you leave the length of your light cycle the same?

Based on what you've indicated so far, I'm pretty sure I could start at 50 percent with the lights in the position I wanted them.

jorjef
10-10-2012, 05:27 PM
That would have been 108W of T5s? How high was your T5 fixture mounted above your tank? Did you leave the length of your light cycle the same?

Sounds right on the 108, about 4 inches and if I remember correct I left the cycle the same, about 10 hours with a 30 minute ramp at beginning and end. Didn't get fancy with multiply ramps.

Enigma
10-10-2012, 05:31 PM
Sounds right on the 108, about 4 inches and if I remember correct I left the cycle the same, about 10 hours with a 30 minute ramp at beginning and end. Didn't get fancy with multiply ramps.

Thanks! This gives me a good idea what direction to go with it. :)

I'll get them hung before the weekend, but won't actually operate them until the weekend. That way I can watch for negative reactions from the livestock.

jorjef
10-10-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks! This gives me a good idea what direction to go with it. :)

I'll get them hung before the weekend, but won't actually operate them until the weekend. That way I can watch for negative reactions from the livestock.


Don't get freaked out if at 50% it looks way too dark.. It's a different type of light. It took me a day or two to adjust to the difference.

Enigma
10-10-2012, 05:37 PM
Don't get freaked out if at 50% it looks way too dark.. It's a different type of light. It took me a day or two to adjust to the difference.

Good to know . . . thank you. :) I probably would freak and crank it up.

jorjef
10-10-2012, 05:42 PM
Good to know . . . thank you. :) I probably would freak and crank it up.

Ya I was cursing when I first set them up. I couldn't believe how two piddly T'5s could look brighter. Somehow a persons eyes get tricked, at least for me. I just ignored it at let the corals tell me if they wanted more or less light.

Enigma
10-13-2012, 02:41 PM
Lol. Oh my. my math was really bad on that one! I think I forgot that these were 3w LEDs. I've got over 150watts in LEDs. :rolleyes:

I got my Sols mounted last night . . . Or rather, hubby and I did. They're a little crooked over the tank . . . I knew it wasn't wise to ask for his help when he had six beer in him, but I wanted to be sure that I had them running this morning. Oops.

I've got them hanging at 11" over the tank, and I've got them ramping from 0-45 percent over the course of two hours. I haven't changed the length my light cycle, which is 11-12 hours with T5s, and starts at 7am (so everything is awake to eat when I leave for work).

As it sits right now, they are mostly rammed up, and my plate coral is still in its "night time" condition. It only ever puffs up at night. During the day the flesh is tight to the skeleton. I think that is normal for the type of plate I have, but I'm not sure. It was sorely neglected when it came to me.

Most of what I have looks just as good under these lights, though a couple of my froggies and my duncan are a bit disappointing color wise. I was prepared for everything to not look the same. I did have an ATi Purple+ bulb in my T5 fixture. I think I'm going to miss it a bit.

My plan is to increase the lighting by 1% per day. I'm planning on keeping the whites, blues, and royal blues at the same percentage for most of the day. I had read somewhere that SPS did better with the lights equal. But, for aesthetic reasons, I may change the program to be a little more blue/royal blue heavy in the morning and the evening.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
10-13-2012, 05:28 PM
I thought that the number of watts of LEDs was way off with 2 AI Sols. Glad you solved that before nuking your tank. And yes, be very aware how dim your tank will look under LED at first as you get your corals adapted to LED vs T5HOs (or MH in my case). Had a friend over here who claimed it looked dimmer than NO fluorescents when I had mine dimmed down.