Back in the hobby after a long hiatus - looking for lighting suggestions

schiavonir

New member
Hello there, it's been a long time, but I'm glad to see Reef Central is still around and thriving. To cut to the chase, I started up my 6g JBJ Nano from scratch about 6 weeks ago. Got some LS, LR, cycled the tank, and we have a few inhabitants. I have an LED light I bought some years ago that looks nice, but I know it won't support coral growth.

I've seen a couple recommendations here for lights in the $400 range which may be a bit much for me. My upper limit is probably about $200. I have no infrastructure for mounting (I removed the hood years ago) so it would need to be mounted on a flexible arm. We are mostly interested in colorful softies - zoas, shrooms, xenia, leathers, etc. but maybe this time around I'll learn about LPS and keep some of those.

Do you guys have any recommendations?
 
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LedZep fan2

New member
Welcome back to RC!

I would look into an Aquaillumination Prime, NanoBox Mini Tide, or an ATI T5 fixture that you can hang from the ceiling. Your best bet would be to look for a used unit if you want to cut costs.
 

cojo8888

New member
Hello there, it's been a long time, but I'm glad to see Reef Central is still around and thriving. To cut to the chase, I started up my 6g JBJ Nano from scratch about 6 weeks ago. Got some LS, LR, cycled the tank, and we have a few inhabitants. I have an LED light I bought some years ago that looks nice, but I know it won't support coral growth.

I've seen a couple recommendations here for lights in the $400 range which may be a bit much for me. My upper limit is probably about $200. I have no infrastructure for mounting (I removed the hood years ago) so it would need to be mounted on a flexible arm. We are mostly interested in colorful softies - zoas, shrooms, xenia, leathers, etc. but maybe this time around I'll learn about LPS and keep some of those.

Do you guys have any recommendations?
Used ai prime or kessil 160a with controller. I think you will like kessil since it's for softies. But budget wise ai prime wins on everything. Compact, wifi control, etc.. let me know if you buying ai prime. I have 2 ai prime black hd with metal mount and 3d reefing diffuser to reduce discoball effect and better distribution of spectrum

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Small Heavens

New member
Hey
Sounds good, welcome back.
Possibly Hipargero LED aquarium light, in a 15g it gives about 250par in the middle, and 200par in the bottom of the tank.

I have no idea about how that fits your plans, or your 6g. I keep 1anemone and 2fishes and I picked the Ocean Revive fixture to blast the anemone into a second heaven if needed (350+par at the bottom). 200par at the bottom is more suited for mixed coral tanks so the Hipargero in a 6g, would give you a range to adjust to your stock.
 
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schiavonir

New member
Thanks for the suggestions so far, folks.

It it helps - it's 9" from the surface of the water to the bottom. My piece of LR reaches to about 2" from the surface of the water, and I can place corals at pretty much any depth.

And I'm in an apartment, so I'd rather not hang anything from the ceiling. It would need to be a flexible arm over the tank.
 

schiavonir

New member
Possibly Hipargero LED aquarium light, in a 15g it gives about 250par in the middle, and 200par in the bottom of the tank.

I saw those on Amazon and they seem to get good reviews as far as growing soft corals and such. You can't beat the price, but the downside seems to be that you can't control the colors independently. Seems to be an issue with a lot of the cheaper lights. But then you jump from $60ish to $200ish for that control.
 

Small Heavens

New member
I removed the custom aquarium top and got a glass cover instead, cut half the length of the ocean revive mounting and got an awesome looking setup out of it, the light is practically hovering above the water/glass line and it works great.

The ocean revive is also one of those *cheap* things and it works the same way. It has two channels so you can tone *whites* and *blues* separately but no programmable computer besides the timer on/off function on the whites and blues separately.

For me it is not a problem, because the fishes I got wild caught all died anyway and now I have tank raised fishes that ain't scared of anything I do or anything about the tank or lighting.

For wild caught sentient thingies, I would probably say "get a fancy computer program that simulates all that fancy stuff*, because the wild caught sentient thingies really do die like fruitflies.

But the cheap LED lights turn on and off without that price slowing down the process and it works good enough for fearless tankraised fishes and all kinds of corals alike;)
 

schiavonir

New member
After reading all your suggestions, watching a lot of videos, reading some articles - basically what counts as "research" these days, I think I've decided the AI Prime HD is the way to go. I watched a video of a guy with a bare-bottom 10g cube with an AI Prime testing the PAR level at various depths. At maximum intensity, he was getting 200 at the bottom. That tells me that this light will be plenty powerful for me to grow most anything.

Now, the trick of course will be managing all the settings - spectrum, intensity, and schedule. I'm sure I'll be back for more advice!
 

Small Heavens

New member
Good choice! That one is a very good looking light, I mean in regards to getting the physical setup to look great (..and the LEDs are probably better placed to not give spacing between the spots). Hope to see tons of updates and no problems, we need more good news ;)
 

schiavonir

New member
So the first question is - do I get the goose arm mount or the bracket? Here's a picture of the tank:

RJB90013-2T.jpg


11" Tall X 13.5" X 12"

I have about 9" of water. How high above the water level should I place the light?
 

Small Heavens

New member
That is gonna look really good with your lighting [MENTION=63426]schiavonir[/MENTION]. I personally did not have any success with buying a goosearm because it simply did not bend nomatter what I did, so that was a disappointment but it was not that brand and probably not reflective of the goosearm market as a whole. I used a glass top since I wanted the lighting placed lower than normal (I had a local glazier cut both the glass itself with corner exits for the rig, and the actual legs of the bracket that came with the fixture I picked). A nano does not need open top, as a bubble skimmer can easily keep aeration up by itself.

When having considered water splashing and salt creeps and the placement of the magnet if you put in a pump with magnet (I guess magnets need aprox 11,8-12 inches distance to the light but also might kick up sand if placed too low), you would want to place the light fixture as low as possible to get the most out of the light but it also looks really good, when it is mounted without flying too high above the display of course.
 
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