After 9 months Leaving LED for Metal Halide

Jeebs

New member
In late December/early January I set up a new 60 cube tank (24X24X24). I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make the leap to LED because the tank would not transition from something to LED but be there from the start.

I have not been able to get much of anything to grow outside of some mushrooms and a frogspawn. Even then, they just got big but didn't really grow in the true sense. SPS and clams have only died slow deaths in my tank. I have been able to maintain very stable tank parameters and chased the problem up to the light. I switched water sources to another LFS. I thought it could be flow - so I tossed the Hydor power heads and bought Ecotech Vortech power heads. This leaves the Kessil LED lighting.

Yesterday, I did a LFS tour here in San Diego. In all but 1, the display tanks (not frag tanks) are all lit by metal halide. One store even has Kessil, AI and Ecotech side by side over a large frag tank. On their own, they look pretty good. They are, however, sitting right next to their stunning display tank powered by metal halides and they just don't compare. This same store really tried selling me on ANY of the LED setups - saying I just needed more. He showed me the way you can play with them, the storm modes and all the other cute features. When he finally realized I was not there to buy an LED (he no longer carries MH fixtures) he got down to the bottom line - he wouldn't put LED lighting over his personal tank at home nor the display tank in his store. That combined with all of the reading I do on here (I do a lot more reading than writing here) and it seems like an easy decision at this point.

I have a couple of options in mind. The first is the Hamilton Belize MH + T5 setup. I like the idea of being able to add some actinics for that "pop" in color. The problem is the cost combined with the fact that the ballast will need to go as well. The other option is the Hamilton Cayman reflector. It is inexpensive and allows me to add whatever ballast and bulb I want but lacks the T5. Any thoughts? Also, should I go 250W for the 24" deep tank? Going for SPS growth in most areas.

Thanks!
 

grigsy

New member
I ran an Aqua Illumination SOL in place of one of my metal halides for a few months and saw much better growth under the metal halide. I have been much happier using metal halides.

Right now I am running Cayman Sun pendants and like them. I am though milling over the idea of changing them out to a Cebu Sun system just because the price is good and it adds 4-T5 to the mix which I like. That will give me more color and more pop.

http://www.hamiltontechnology.com/i...e--4-T5-High-Output--LED-Lighting-System-2113
 

rc1626

New member
What version of the kessil were you using? At the time you started your tank the only ones available would have been the A150's. Depending on coral placement maybe just not enough power or spread for a 24" cube like yours. I'm not an led lover by any means. I actually went back to MH myself. Not because of growth, that I had (mostly SPS). It was because of color rendition.

I'm currently using the Caymans with 250W Radiums and love them. Also supplement with 2 T5's as well. Just got myself a Kessil A350W and am testing that. I like the light thus far. A little blue in my opinion but brings out all the colors that just cool white and royal blue lacked. Light penetration is supposed to be a lot better than the A150's as well. We'll see if it can grow SPS and sustain a Maxima clam at 18" below water surface. Definitely not as bright as the Halide to the naked eye but you know what they say about led's and visual output. I'm also going to be getting my hands on a Maxspect Razor fixture soon to test that as well. We will see if my mind changes.

I'm sorry led's didn't work for you. MH is certainly a no brainer when it comes to sps, lps, and clam growth and color so good luck.
 

NastyZ

New member
i was hyped to try led lighting...but now i'm reconsidering...thanks for the info!

I find it funny ur so quick to reconsider for some people LEDs don't seem to work and other they work great I went from a 6bulb t5 to kessils and my coral are doing great a lot of it has to with placement and water quality
 

shinninja

New member
I've been wondering how good/bad my ai sols really are. I think I may try adding my old t5 setup in the garage tank (same water). Take a couple frags and observe over a small period of time.
 

JimBeam

New member
No, you're wrong.
He clearly states he tracked to problem down to the lights!
He has a vortec pump and switched water sources.
Its gotta be the lights!
 

Toadally

New member
I find it funny ur so quick to reconsider for some people LEDs don't seem to work and other they work great I went from a 6bulb t5 to kessils and my coral are doing great a lot of it has to with placement and water quality

I agree completely....

I'm using two A150's on a 40 breeder and have SPS. I've only placed a couple of frags in the upper part of the tank to see how they'll do. I also have a three inch sand bed which brings the distance from sand to the waters surface at only 13 inches. So needless to say I'm getting great penetration.

I did notice that the red planet frag lost it's color, but polyp extension is really good. It's only been about 4 weeks and I chalk the color loss to acclimation of the lighting and the water parameters. I'll probably give these light 6 or so months to see how it goes. If it don't work out... oh well, back to either T5 or MH.
 

Toadally

New member
No, you're wrong.
He clearly states he tracked to problem down to the lights!
He has a vortec pump and switched water sources.
Its gotta be the lights!

It still depends on placement and water parameters, AND it also depends on the coral. I have a tank full of SPS that's been up and running for alost three years. Some coral do well were some don't. It depends on the coral, placement and keeping the parameters rock solid.
 

bhazard451

New member
Unfortunately for you, the biggest strides in color rendition and growth in LEDs didn't come along until recently within the past 6 months. I have seen comparable growth and excellent color using LEDs, but I use a custom DIY fixture. Almost no fixture on the market can provide the PAR and color that a DIY unit can, at an affordable price. I built a Cree unit that measures nearly triple the PAR of an AI unit, and paid nearly half as much.

The only fixture on the market I would even use would be the Maxspect Razor, but even that is missing some red LEDs that I feel add a lot to a led fixture. They are far too costly to not be 100% happy with.

The only true downside to LEDs compared to MH right now is its experimental nature on what colors to use. With MH you just buy a bulb and you're done. With LEDs, you need to plan out a correct ratio of colors to achieve a desired look.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
 

NastyZ

New member
No, you're wrong.
He clearly states he tracked to problem down to the lights!
He has a vortec pump and switched water sources.
Its gotta be the lights!

Hahah I like how you can say I'm wrong when I have the same LEDs as him and my sps Lps and softies are doing great do you have the same lights to prove that I am wrong just because he changed water sources means nothin if he once he put the water in it becomes cloudy. There are some many variables. How high is the light mounted? How low does he have the corals? Is he running carbon for water clearity? Are the particles in the water colum that can be effecting the penetration of the light? So before you go saying someone is wrong be sure you know all the variables
 

bhazard451

New member
He was being sarcastic.

The op isn't totally wrong though. Standard cool white/blue fixtures like the Sol Blue have been shown time and time again to dull out some colors on coral. I ran a cool white/blue fixture myself for a few months and saw it happen firsthand.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
 

Jeebs

New member
I ran an Aqua Illumination SOL in place of one of my metal halides for a few months and saw much better growth under the metal halide. I have been much happier using metal halides.

Right now I am running Cayman Sun pendants and like them. I am though milling over the idea of changing them out to a Cebu Sun system just because the price is good and it adds 4-T5 to the mix which I like. That will give me more color and more pop.

http://www.hamiltontechnology.com/i...e--4-T5-High-Output--LED-Lighting-System-2113

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely have to check out the Cebu Sun system.

What version of the kessil were you using? At the time you started your tank the only ones available would have been the A150's. Depending on coral placement maybe just not enough power or spread for a 24" cube like yours. I'm not an led lover by any means. I actually went back to MH myself. Not because of growth, that I had (mostly SPS). It was because of color rendition.

I'm currently using the Caymans with 250W Radiums and love them. Also supplement with 2 T5's as well. Just got myself a Kessil A350W and am testing that. I like the light thus far. A little blue in my opinion but brings out all the colors that just cool white and royal blue lacked. Light penetration is supposed to be a lot better than the A150's as well. We'll see if it can grow SPS and sustain a Maxima clam at 18" below water surface. Definitely not as bright as the Halide to the naked eye but you know what they say about led's and visual output. I'm also going to be getting my hands on a Maxspect Razor fixture soon to test that as well. We will see if my mind changes.

I'm sorry led's didn't work for you. MH is certainly a no brainer when it comes to sps, lps, and clam growth and color so good luck.

It is the A150 and it is absolutely not enough to penetrate down the 24" (closer to 20" with sand bed). That much I figured out very quickly. There is nothing on the sand bed aside from a couple of mushrooms. I have ended up placing SPS as high as I can, about 8" below the water line. The LED system is mounted about 5-6" above the water line. Here, the SPS doesn't die a slow death, but doesn't really grow either.

I'm not sweating the fact that it didn't work, just a little bummed at the expense of switching. All part of any hobby with a new technology. I'll use MH for a while until people have sustained success (READ: Years on a tank) and then maybe look to switch back.

Thanks for the info!

No, you're wrong.
He clearly states he tracked to problem down to the lights!
He has a vortec pump and switched water sources.
Its gotta be the lights!

I suppose I could have wrote something like, "I made many changes including but not limited to water source change and power heads." Would that have been more satisfactory to you? I know that I was thorough in trying to figure out this problem. It has been a long process and am a point where the last thing I can come up with is the light.

Why do people get an attitude around here when it comes to LED discussions?



Unfortunately for you, the biggest strides in color rendition and growth in LEDs didn't come along until recently within the past 6 months. I have seen comparable growth and excellent color using LEDs, but I use a custom DIY fixture. Almost no fixture on the market can provide the PAR and color that a DIY unit can, at an affordable price. I built a Cree unit that measures nearly triple the PAR of an AI unit, and paid nearly half as much.

The only fixture on the market I would even use would be the Maxspect Razor, but even that is missing some red LEDs that I feel add a lot to a led fixture. They are far too costly to not be 100% happy with.

The only true downside to LEDs compared to MH right now is its experimental nature on what colors to use. With MH you just buy a bulb and you're done. With LEDs, you need to plan out a correct ratio of colors to achieve a desired look.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

If the LED stuff is getting better and working out, great. I hope to one day go back to LED lighting systems. I'm sure it will all get worked out. Like you said, it is still in the experimental stage and I'm kinda checked out on the experiment on a personal level. I'll go with the tried and true method until it all gets worked out.

Thanks for the comment. I hope the LED system works out great for you.
 

Toadally

New member
Why do people get an attitude around here when it comes to LED discussions?

hehe let me know when you figure this one out. :headwallblue:

When I decided to try LEDs I searched for information to see which lights were working for people. It seemed to me that people that were using the Kessil lighting were enjoying success them, even for SPS. So, I decided to give them a try... if they don't work out for me, I'll move on and use either T5 or MH....no biggie.

I guess they could be used as supplemental lighting for MH's.
 
Last edited:

yachtdr22

New member
There are SOOOO many variables when it comes to LEDs.
It would not be advised to judge all LEDs that way.

Can the CORRECT Wattage and Spectrum of LED's grow LPS & SPS ... Yes!!!!

Now the fun part is figuring out the correct ratio....

:beer:
 

Jeebs

New member
Well, after settling on a new lighting system, I venture to my LFS to place the order. It will be here tomorrow. Fast forward three hours and my phone rings. He wants to carry the Giesemann Teszla LED system and wants to know if I would test fire it at home at no charge (in lieu of the new system). :lmao:

Its hard to find anything about this LED system. Anyone have any thoughts on it?
 

Nanofreak79

New member
Well, after settling on a new lighting system, I venture to my LFS to place the order. It will be here tomorrow. Fast forward three hours and my phone rings. He wants to carry the Giesemann Teszla LED system and wants to know if I would test fire it at home at no charge (in lieu of the new system). :lmao:

Its hard to find anything about this LED system. Anyone have any thoughts on it?

Why would he ask you to test it? Why wouldn't he test himself, and have his own personal experience to pass along to his customers. I thought you were leaving LEDs alone? Now your going to jump back into another led system, and then complain later that it killed your coral and disappointed you. I'd stick to your original plan.
 

toromp

New member
Right now I'm doing a Mh/led combo. 14k bulb with BRIDGELUX LEDs.. awesome.color!
 

Attachments

  • uploadfromtaptalk1347424719474.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1347424719474.jpg
    27.8 KB · Views: 0
Top