Low tech LED for a 48"

rafini

New member
Good day Reef central! I am planning on converting to saltwater later this year, just beginning to do my research. The first part of the plan is getting a suitable light. I have kept a reef around 15 years ago and have since been keeping fresh. I would like to convert my aquarium towards the end of the year so I have plenty of time for research. I have a wet dry sump system that you guys here helped me plumb into a herbie so I will have to add a protein skimmer also. I like having live rock, hermit crabs and snails but I am not particularly interested in corals. Nothing beyond mushroom softies and easy low tech beginner stuff. So I will not be needing a high output light. Here are my criteria: 1. Ships to or available in Canada 2. Lower price preferred, not looking for anything fancy I can always upgrade if my needs change. 3. Is there a benefit to 36" vs 48" if I am not planning on having many corals (see above) Please let me know what you recommend!! Thanks and have a great day, Rafini Is there any benefit to going 48" or could I use a 36" long?
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
You might try cheap black box fixtures on Amazon.com. PopBloom is one that uses reflectors instead of lenses so the issue of lens burning is avoided.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Well with most LED you can't really go wrong unless you get a fixture that has the tiny half watt LED chips. On the lower cost spectrum, there are plenty of LED's on amazon that will get you by such as Viparspectra, Popbloom, and SMATFarm. It's just going to vary as to features, controlability, etc. I have popbloom LED bars to supplement my halides, but I'm using them as an accent and not as primary lighting. I have heard a lot of good things recently with SMATFarm (it's on the higher end of low cost but it does come with the mounting bracket and has a master/slave mode).
 

rafini

New member
Sorry I haven’t had time to reply.
thanks for the suggestions.
is there a big difference between 36-48” on a 48” tank?
I used to have a 36” with extender and I didn’t really care that there was a dimmer area at the top corners.
is this a preference thing?

I was thinking of going with the Fluval sea, I like the fact that it is easily programmed and managed.
this project will be an attempt to bring my fiancé into the aquarium hobby and she likes the idea of being able to control it all on your phone with an app.

I believe also that if I wanted to keep any soft low light coral like GSP, leather coral or zoanthids this should be sufficient?
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Okay, so I have no experience with the Fluval Sea 3.0 LED. However, I did pull this off of their website:
UPC015561145145015561145152015561145169015561145176
Size Range15 - 24"
(38-61 cm)
24 - 34"
(61 - 85 cm)
36 - 48"
(91 - 122 cm)
48 - 60"
(122 - 153 cm)
PAR / LUX (Depth)
3" (8 cm)
6" (15 cm)
12" (30 cm)
18” (46 cm)
370/ 15 000
181 / 6600
65 / 2400
31 / 1200
376 / 16 290
222 / 8750
90 / 3620
47 / 1940
381 / 16 720
236 / 8910
94 / 4160
55 / 2440
390 / 17 120
243 / 9210
102 / 4270
63 / 2580
LEDs99168252336
Wattage22 W32 W46 W59 W
Lumens850 lm1350 lm1950 lm2550 lm
Color Temp.25 000 K25 000 K25 000 K25 000 K
Lifetime50 000 hrs50 000 hrs50 000 hrs50 000 hrs

I'm mainly looking at the par levels. Sticking with mainly lower light corals, depending on the depth of your tank, you should be fine. Towards the bottom (if your tank is 18" deep), then you are a little low on PAR (for me - I usually try to run about 150 PAR or so on the bottom). The upper level and middle you should be fine.

That said, I would do the 48" but that's because I don't like shadowing on the sides, however the PAR difference isn't going to be huge.
 

rafini

New member
Okay, so I have no experience with the Fluval Sea 3.0 LED. However, I did pull this off of their website:
UPC015561145145015561145152015561145169015561145176
Size Range15 - 24"
(38-61 cm)
24 - 34"
(61 - 85 cm)
36 - 48"
(91 - 122 cm)
48 - 60"
(122 - 153 cm)
PAR / LUX (Depth)
3" (8 cm)
6" (15 cm)
12" (30 cm)
18” (46 cm)
370/ 15 000
181 / 6600
65 / 2400
31 / 1200
376 / 16 290
222 / 8750
90 / 3620
47 / 1940
381 / 16 720
236 / 8910
94 / 4160
55 / 2440
390 / 17 120
243 / 9210
102 / 4270
63 / 2580
LEDs99168252336
Wattage22 W32 W46 W59 W
Lumens850 lm1350 lm1950 lm2550 lm
Color Temp.25 000 K25 000 K25 000 K25 000 K
Lifetime50 000 hrs50 000 hrs50 000 hrs50 000 hrs
I'm mainly looking at the par levels. Sticking with mainly lower light corals, depending on the depth of your tank, you should be fine. Towards the bottom (if your tank is 18" deep), then you are a little low on PAR (for me - I usually try to run about 150 PAR or so on the bottom). The upper level and middle you should be fine.

That said, I would do the 48" but that's because I don't like shadowing on the sides, however the PAR difference isn't going to be huge.

Thanks Shane!,

this aquarium is an unusual dimension, it’s 24” high but taking sand and water level for overflow into consideration it would be closer to 20”

So that would mean that any soft corals would have to be placed at least 4” off the ground?
I have no problem placing them higher.
I’m not even sure when there will be corals but I can tell that my fiancé will inevitably want to add some at some point.

I’m still in the research stage as the tank is currently a planted freshwater aquarium.
after I’ve got the light selected I need to work on the sump, I don’t know anything about how it should be partitioned and what I need. I’m fortunate that the tank is already drilled and set up with a herbie system
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Well you may be okay with placing corals on the ground, however, particularly with softies, you can usually tell if they are reaching for light.

I would give a look at some of the other systems out there (not sure on your price range), as many lighting systems have apps (however most of the cheaper systems do not). You could look for used more expensive systems locally for good deals

I use premade sump so I have no idea on that. Might consider looking at pre made (like trigger systems or similar). I would make sure you have a filter sock area (don’t have to run it but nice to have if needed), a large enough section for equipment (protein skimmer, heaters, etc), and if you want to run a refugium, a refugium section. Also some premade sumps come with an ATO resovior but if you DIY you may be able to do this yourself? I hope this helps!
 

monkeysee1

Member
Hi!
...I take it you have a 90 gallon, like I do??
......technically, in the strictest sense, there's NOTHING wrong with the 36" light you have right now for your upcoming saltwater tank (as long as it STAYS FOWLR), but keep in mind that if you use it, like Shane said, you're going to get that "ghostly" hollow dark look on the sides of your tank, which most people don't find all that attractive.....
Believe it or not, even MUSHROOMS like pretty strong light for them to grow and get good color. They meed more light than most novices think, especially the fancy ones....
May I suggest the AQUA-ILLUMINATION AL PRIME 16's, or (if you want to go STRONGER) the HYDRA 32's, TWO of either evenly spaced apart on your tank rim??
Just a thought.....
 
Last edited:

Ciuo uni

New member
+1 for a 36'' hygger auto light, used more than one month, not working on full light mode, I set it 75% light on noon, and 25% light on evening, of course, off at night.
 
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