Contemplating making a move on Lighting fixture - Give me some feedback or oppinions

kcsnook

New member
Ok so here it is Reef Central Lurkers..

I have been contemplating making a change to my tank.

I have a custom 154 Coast to Coast Aquarium and love it however I have struggled to get more vibrant colors in my tanks dating back to my original 72 bowfront and 90 gallon after that then I went to the custom. Growth has always been good it is more so colors like pinks, reds, purples.... I know most will argue trace elements but I would argue that based on dosing and water changes currently performed. Some corals like montis have great coloration, some SPS have great coloration and others lack. So there is no rhyme to reason for me, if all my coral was brown and that isn't the case then I would be more prone to hear the trace arguement.

Now before everybody starts chirping in on parameters let me preface I personally do not feel this is my issue and I understand phosphates and nitrates are two of the biggest color inhibitors and again I stress that my parameters are in check. Test kits are LaMotte, Hanna Low Range Phos, Hanna Alk. I do dose Calc, Alk, Mag, Vodka and also do 20% water changes every two weeks. I also understand dosing Carbon does strip trace elements but I believe I have this under control.

I was speaking with Rogergolf at a TBRC meeting and we started discussing Calcium Reactors and this got me thinking. I have seen a lot of amazing tanks and the most amazing tanks I see have one or two things going Mogul Base Metal Halides and/or Calcium reactor.

So I started researching Calcium reactors and decided to make the plunge but this weekend I started thinking again and held off. If I am dosing via GHL and have Tunze ATO things are what I would consider consistent as far as parameters etc go.

I read Keefkeeping articles comparing Dosers to reactors etc...

My thought is getting a new Fixture with mogul based MH's.

I am currently Running a Geisemann Infinity 2 x 250w DE Metal Halide w 4 x 54w T-5. Geisemann T-5 lamps and Normally Phoenix 14k but recently changed to the ESV 250w DE lamps which is supposed to be the closest thing to a DE Radium if they existed.


I love this light but I am thinking I want to give the Mogul base a run.

I am considering a Sfiligoi XR6 2 x 250w and T-5 fixture that will accommodate a mogul lamp particularly radiums.

Last night I had a conversation with a guy who had both my fixtures and is now running ATI fixture.

I am not a big fan of T-5 based purely on the look but that may be the lamp configuration I am used to but his pictures looked amazing.

So I open this discussion to you guys and your opinions.

Before you all go LED crazy on that azzz, please know I have LEDS on my frag tank and I am not interested in them on my display.

I would prefer to hear the discussion on the lighting.

Thanks in advance! :beer:
 

aguila88psi

Zoa Addict
In my opinion, which is all based on reading and own experimenting in my tank using T5's and Actinic LED suppliment, I have no experience with white LED's or Metal Halide fixtures....

For coloration of corals, you need a run your tank at lower alkalinity, roughly 7.5-8 dkh and be low to ultra low nutrients.

At high alkalinity, corals tend to brown out but with extra nutrients and trace elements most of the corals colors can be maintained. I run my tank at high alkalinity and good amount of nutrients with trace element dosing, I'll try and snap a few pics of some of my SPS with blues, pinks and purples.

If going with calcium reactor, you'll be dosing trace elements that are in the media. This is probably the best route to go with for calcium/alk replenishment.

Hope I helped and didn't stir up the pot too much lol :D
 

kcsnook

New member
Lol

Lol

Pedro my man, I have decent color but I want more Vibrant colors. As far as the nutrients go I am well aware of low nutrient systems etc.. and Pro's and Con's.

I am looking for comments on peoples experiences with T5, and Mogul Based MH's. I should have clarified...

I am aware of the benefits of each method pertaining to dosing vs Reactors. and what follows...Again my opinion is when I see a sexy tank I always see a calcium reactor and or mogul MH's.

I have gone through my trial and tribulations as far as parameters etc.. not really my concern at this point.

I have a tri color that is crazy purple, I have jedi mind trick monti that has crazy colors. I see the mogul base MH's as a happy medium for all I suppose.


In my opinion, which is all based on reading and own experimenting in my tank using T5's and Actinic LED suppliment, I have no experience with white LED's or Metal Halide fixtures....

For coloration of corals, you need a run your tank at lower alkalinity, roughly 7.5-8 dkh and be low to ultra low nutrients.

At high alkalinity, corals tend to brown out but with extra nutrients and trace elements most of the corals colors can be maintained. I run my tank at high alkalinity and good amount of nutrients with trace element dosing, I'll try and snap a few pics of some of my SPS with blues, pinks and purples.

If going with calcium reactor, you'll be dosing trace elements that are in the media. This is probably the best route to go with for calcium/alk replenishment.

Hope I helped and didn't stir up the pot too much lol :D
 

Ted_C

Active member
It sounds like your issue is your giving the corals the wavelengths they need for growth but your lacking the wavelengths for florescence.

You mention you have an LED over your frag tank - and are not interested in LED over the display. Why? What's running over the frag tank?

While this is a letter to the LED industry - it covers the wavelength requirements regarding our corals. A word of warning - It's quite a read but has what I think is a great compilation of information: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2315500

To sum up the thread, the op is asking for better choices in "white" LEDs that do not have the wavelengths that might/would be detrimental to SPS. Pacific Sun gets into some details in later threads regarding their fixtures, other competitors and the specific wavelengths and overlays.

Whether you go with LED, Metal Halides, or Florescents - if the wavelengths emitted by the fixture are the same across the three technolgies, you'll continue to have the same problem.

FYI - I've been running Pacific Suns from day one. Here's a shot of the stylo you gave me:
2013_08_07_Purple_Stylophora.jpg


2013_10_09_Purple_Stylophora.jpg
 

kcsnook

New member
TED_C - Thanks for the insight, majority of my experience is with Metal Halides and Double Ended at that. In my opinion tanks that run single end lamps have great coloration. As for LED's I had a AI unit on a rimless cube which was nice and I have a IT2040 over my frag tank and I will say that coloration is good but I can get a better read on my corals under MH's as opposed to LEDS regarding their happiness. lol For example and again my opinion the LEDS are much less forgiving if I were to say burn a coral from poor placement on my end as compared to MH. Maybe I am wrong but I guess MH's are my comfort zone and I have yet to try mogul base lamps.

I am starting to feel a little crazy here thinking that Mogul based lamps makes that difference but I swear it does.

I do agree with you on the wavelength issue, but LEDS are rapidly changing and still in the works for evolution of the technology. I don't want to buy the latest and greatest LEDS only to have them be obsolete like a iphone in 6 months. I do like a lot of the benefits of LEDS but I am likely to hold off on LEDS until technology plateau's if that will even happen.

People are buying high dollar LED fixtures then upgrading to pro-pucks and this and that when a company makes a new release.

Im glad the stylo is doing well I will post a updated picture of the colony which has tripled in size. No color issue with the purple stylo for me I might add.

Maybe the question I should pursue TED_C is comparing wavelengths of Mogul base vs Double Ended?
 

nitr8

New member
These "sexy tanks" you talk about. Are you referring to tanks you have seen in person or via photos? From what I see, the photos always make the colors look better than they do in person if you have the right camera. I'm sure photoshop and post editing has a lot to do with that as well. If you have great growth and good colors than I would be happy with that. Striving for the photoshop colors is asking to break what wasnt broken before. Believe me when I say I have a hard time with leaving well enough alone but don't we all?
As far as LEDs go, I was extremely hesitant to use them at first but I went with the AI SOL because they are 100% module. When the next best thing comes out I spend a fraction of the original cost to upgrade if I so desire. As of now I haven't seen any reason to upgrade. Sorry, I have no experience with MHs, only T5 and LED.
 

kcsnook

New member
Camera

Camera

These "sexy tanks" you talk about. Are you referring to tanks you have seen in person or via photos? From what I see, the photos always make the colors look better than they do in person if you have the right camera. I'm sure photoshop and post editing has a lot to do with that as well. If you have great growth and good colors than I would be happy with that. Striving for the photoshop colors is asking to break what wasnt broken before. Believe me when I say I have a hard time with leaving well enough alone but don't we all?
As far as LEDs go, I was extremely hesitant to use them at first but I went with the AI SOL because they are 100% module. When the next best thing comes out I spend a fraction of the original cost to upgrade if I so desire. As of now I haven't seen any reason to upgrade. Sorry, I have no experience with MHs, only T5 and LED.

These are tanks I have seen in person. I owned a AI Sol myself on a cube I had. Thanks for your feedback.
 

MrHarvard

"ship it"
I know you expressed that your perams are good and that they are not the issue but anytime I had an issue with only certain colors and not all of them it was due to certain trace elements. Couple of questions, is it all colors or only certain ones that lack? Do you test or dose different trace elements like Iron, Iodine, potassium etc... Each of these have a direct influence on different colors. I would personally look into this before contributing it to your lightning. I have personally had the best coloring with T5s but your set up should be perfect for sps. Lighting wise you didnt mention what T5 bulb combination you are using this maybbe something to look at. Hope I didnt over step my boundaries im only speaking from personal expierence with sps coloring.
 

kcsnook

New member
There are no boundaries!!!!

This is the first thing I did years ago was check trace elements such as strontium, potassium, Iodine etc...and dosed them. I have read countless hours of articles as to what effects coloring like potassium for blues and certain things for reds etc...

As for the t-5's they are only run ramping up to my metal halides and weening down after MH's turn off.

I have seen some nice tanks with t-5's and wouldn't rule them out but do you get the shimmer effect like MH's?

Pardon my tone and I am just curious that is all, I feel I have ruled out traced elements contributing to vibrant.

I have noticed a difference with the new EVC 20k lamps I am currently running towards the positive.

We all tinker with our stuff and we all are curious as to what brings best results.

Who has run double ended lamps vs single ended moguls and what are your thoughts?

Maybe it is in my mind that I notice this....

Thanks for contributing mr Harvard.

I know you expressed that your perams are good and that they are not the issue but anytime I had an issue with only certain colors and not all of them it was due to certain trace elements. Couple of questions, is it all colors or only certain ones that lack? Do you test or dose different trace elements like Iron, Iodine, potassium etc... Each of these have a direct influence on different colors. I would personally look into this before contributing it to your lightning. I have personally had the best coloring with T5s but your set up should be perfect for sps. Lighting wise you didnt mention what T5 bulb combination you are using this maybbe something to look at. Hope I didnt over step my boundaries im only speaking from personal expierence with sps coloring.
 

MrHarvard

"ship it"
No prob I respect your knowledge so if u say your trace are good then I know they are. I more question how long do u run your MH per day and how long do you run your t5's hour wise? I also agree with the shimmer statement. I mounted ecoxotic panarams in the center of my leds bulbs and that gave the shimmer effect I wanted. Im not sure what T5 bulbs you run but maybe switching those to cover more of the spectrum would help. Im also curiuos if people have noticed a difference with mogul vs DE MH fixtures.
 

kcsnook

New member
There are countless threads if you do a search.

My t-5's are on for about 1hr before MH's and after MH's, I run my MH's for about 6hrs. Then of course I have LEDS for supplemental dusk and dawn.

I am currently running Geisemann bulbs as for the colors I'd have to look. I've tried several different combinations actually. The t-5's are not on while the MH's are on.
 

MrHarvard

"ship it"
There are countless threads if you do a search.

My t-5's are on for about 1hr before MH's and after MH's, I run my MH's for about 6hrs. Then of course I have LEDS for supplemental dusk and dawn.

I am currently running Geisemann bulbs as for the colors I'd have to look. I've tried several different combinations actually. The t-5's are not on while the MH's are on.

If my memory serves me correctly thats close to how Emmett runs his but I think he may run his MH only 4 hours. You may want to contact listen2bob and see what DE MH he is using on his tank. He has nice growth and great color. Im sure you will figure it I out good luck!
 

barfish

New member
The best colors I ever had where with vho actinics and radium 250w w. a bluewave ballast. simply awesome colors but also had to run a chiller and the yearly elec. and bulb replacements sucked. I miss the color and shimmer now that I'm using LEDs but I'm
Happy with them and having to run a heater in summer instead of a chiller was a huge shock to me.
 

MJNTWise

7 Year Newbie
If my memory serves me correctly thats close to how Emmett runs his but I think he may run his MH only 4 hours. You may want to contact listen2bob and see what DE MH he is using on his tank. He has nice growth and great color. Im sure you will figure it I out good luck!

Seen his tank this weekend...Great looking tank...I believe he runs 2 150 and 2 small blue led strips....
 

listen2bob

- David
Indeed I do run de 150 Phoenix with 2 stunner strips for dusk and dawn. I have more growth than I can handle and pretty solid color. I probably have unacceptable p and n levels for what most people aim for.

Kc you may not be crazy on the se bulbs, they have been proven for a long time
 

kcsnook

New member
lights

lights

If my memory serves me correctly thats close to how Emmett runs his but I think he may run his MH only 4 hours. You may want to contact listen2bob and see what DE MH he is using on his tank. He has nice growth and great color. Im sure you will figure it I out good luck!


I have known ListentoBob for years that is actually a funny story, I have seen his tank and actually have some of his corals that he gave to me as frags.

I am going to give my new lamps some time but I think I see a new fixture in my future and I can truly compare these against my imagination!!

Thanks so much for the recommendation.
 

kcsnook

New member
lights

lights

The best colors I ever had where with vho actinics and radium 250w w. a bluewave ballast. simply awesome colors but also had to run a chiller and the yearly elec. and bulb replacements sucked. I miss the color and shimmer now that I'm using LEDs but I'm
Happy with them and having to run a heater in summer instead of a chiller was a huge shock to me.

John - I do have a heater that needs to be run but did you have a canopy? I am going to hang a suspended fixture with no canopy.

I don't think the electricity will be a huge difference going from Double Ended to Single or am I wrong here?
 

barfish

New member
No difference in elec. from de to se. I was referring to running two magnetic ballast and a chiller compared to my current LEDs.
 
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