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    Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

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    ericpkeith

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    Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Wed May 08, 2013 12:23 am

    I'm new to this forum and wondering if anyone is doing SPS in a nano with LED lighting. I'm doing this in my JBJ 28 gallon LED Nano Pro. I wanted to compare notes such as success stories and failures.

    I'll lead with I didn't get good coloration and growth until I added more, high quality blue LEDS and greatly improved circulation over the stock setup.

    LEDS:
    I added 3x more watts of LEDS to the front using a home-built NEMA 4X spotlight for beaming more blue light to the front, where I believe there was poor coverage. I'm using 1x Luxeon royal blue and 2x SemiLED Violet for better "actinic".
    I also plan to replace all the stock blues (Chinese made...and marginal quality) with Luxon Royal and True Blue as there is much more blue output (the best there is at low current) than the stock ones.

    Circulation:
    I upgraded to 2x Eheim Compact 1000s that put put out a real 265 gph each. I alternate each pump on a wave timer every 12 hours. I also use Spin Stream and Koralia Nano (425) for extra flow and turbulence.

    After these two upgrades my corals really started to color up and polyp extension much improved. I'm now getting coloration that is close - and in some cases maybe better - than what I used to see when using high quality MH lighting.

    Note: some people say the LEDS cause coral bleaching or fading...but I have not seen this. Yes, before I added more blue LEDs, my SPS did look a bit dull, but all in all, the colors pop like they should. Perhaps this is a topic on it's own?

    Eric.


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    dwolson2
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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by dwolson2 on Wed May 08, 2013 10:14 am

    I haven't run LEDs long enough to give good information, but Sisterlimonpot has been growing SPS under LEDs well. I think with anything in the hobby, good stable conditions will give you good results. As for the color of LEDs, search about the dream chip multichip led. There were a lot of people who colaborated to get the best color spectrum possible(minus reds for whatever reason) Most of the people I have read about have great success with LEDs have multiple(3+) colors.


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    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Wed May 08, 2013 11:09 am

    It all comes down to proper spectrum and intensity. A lot of people go overboard with certain spectrums which can lead to coral bleaching. LEDs are very deceiving when comparing them against MH or T5s. The PAR output on my LED fixtures is about 1/2 the PAR reading vs T5/MH but provides much better spectrums for coral growth. When people try and match PAR for PAR when swapping lights they usually run into bleaching problems. Here are a couple graphs to help:

    Light spectrum that Zoothanthallae use compared to white LEDs:


    Light spectrum for Chlorophyll A and B


    Chinese 'royal blue' LEDs are usually in the 480nm range. Cree Royal Blues are in the 455-460nm, and Luxeon are in the 450nm range. This is one of the reasons I recommend against Chinese LEDs, their spectrum is a guessing game and they never match what they are sold as, both in Blue and Red spectrums. I bought a few dozen Chinese '660nm' Red LEDs to use on algae scrubbers and put them under a spectrometer at work and they were actually 630nm which isn't good for algae growth. For best coral growth I have found using a 1:1:1:1 mix of 420nm/450nm/460nm/warm whites provide the best look (personal preference) and growth from corals. I also like to put in a few Red LEDs on larger fixtures because I do like how they make orange and red corals/fish really pop but they are hard to incorporate in a Nano setting.
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Wed May 08, 2013 1:23 pm

    This is one heck of a write up...and I thought I knew a lot of detail about lighting. I find the PAR graphs that you list above very telling. To me, it confirms that LEDS almost cater perfectly to the hobby.
    Also, I 100% agree that Chinese LEDS is a guessing game. I wasted too much money testing them out in the past two years. Then again, they work OK for general lighting applications where lumens is the goal. Not PAR or CRI...or longevity...or reliability.

    Also the 1/1/1/1 ratio you use is pretty much what I'm working toward. The JBJ LED Nano Pro has 25x 3 watt (so-called) 10k LEDS on it, which I think "looks" too washed out. Compared to MH with T5s, I miss Red, Green, and Yellows. I plan to de-solder and replace 4x 10ks with Luxeon (or Osram Dragons) warm-white and then another four 10ks with Luxeon True Blues. Eventually, All the individual blues will be replaced with Luxeon Royal blue. I will also probably replace the stock LED drivers for the 25x 3 watt LEDS with dimmable ones so I can dim with a controller.

    Lastly, to address multi-chip LEDS, I think that they're very application specific. In my opinion, this is the best fit for distances where optics are required, such as for deep tanks or track lighting for show tanks (where mounting is up on the ceiling). Kissel already utilize a multi-chip (high density) design with advanced optics. I'll argue, for close range applications, where optics aren't needed, low-density board mounted chips are better fit. Then again...there are so many ways to skin a cat in this bobby...no one idea is perfectly right.

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    dwolson2
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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by dwolson2 on Wed May 08, 2013 5:38 pm

    I didn't mean for you to use multi chips, only that the dream chip has a good blend of colors. If you wanted a good place to start, looking at that combination would be best.
    here are the specs:
    Option A: Dream Ratio
    1) 20 x 10000K
    2) 20 x 455nm (blue, beneficial to chlorophyll C)
    3) 10 x 420nm, 10 x 430nm (UV range)
    4) 20 x 445nm (blue, beneficial to chlorophyll C)
    5) 20 x 15000K

    Option B:
    1) 20 x 10000K
    2) 10 x 420nm, 10 x 445nm (blue:beneficial to chlorophyll C; UV)
    3) 20 x 16000K
    4) 10 x 430nm, 10 x 445nm (blue:beneficial to chlorophyll C;UV)
    5) 20 x 10000K



    _________________
    2012 MASVC Treasurer, 2013 MASVC webmaster/secretary
    Wasting money on my tank one paycheck at a time!!
    50 Gal Cadlights(No thread, as its still a bit away from finishing it)
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Thu May 09, 2013 12:02 am

    Ahh...now I get it. Both options are very interesting and doable. Option B could be done easily with quality LEDs that already exist today. Crees or Luxeons (preferred) can be driven at 700mA in all the listed nm ranges. Option B (80x LEDS @ 700mA) is ~240 watts. This would take 4x large heatsinks and 4x CPU fans, e.g. divided into 4 controllable sections. If I had money to burn, I could repurpose a 4 foot 4x T8 fixture for the job. I've done bigger projects than this...but that was before two marriages and three kids. I'm surprised no one on this forum builds this. I can guide the assembly of this if anyone wants to try.
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    dwolson2
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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by dwolson2 on Thu May 09, 2013 6:24 pm

    The idea is just to see what kind of spectrums to use. YOu can scale it up or down to meet your needs.


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    Wasting money on my tank one paycheck at a time!!
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    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Thu May 09, 2013 7:03 pm

    ericpkeith wrote:I find the PAR graphs that you list above very telling. To me, it confirms that LEDS almost cater perfectly to the hobby.

    Those are spectral graphs above. The conclusion I come to is over 50% of the output of white LEDs is 'wasted' light (look at the large peaks in the green/yellow range above compared to the useful spectrum of zoothanthallae). The remaining spectral output of white LEDs does provide good useful spectrum in the blue area. Now the various blue/violet LEDs out there do cater very well for photosynthesis. This is why I like the 1(420nm):1(450nm):1(460nm):1(Warm White) ratio because the white is mainly used to meet the 'personal preference' aspect of lighting vs being mostly beneficial for coral growth.

    I do not believe in using 'UV' lighting, which is anything below 400nm. 410nm is the lowest I would go in the visual spectrum and that is because right around 400nm and up in the 700nm range bacteria love to colonize (they are not photosynthetic, rather they use the byproduct that the photosynthetic process creates in those spectrums). From reading the various bacteria studies and doing bacteria slides on my own tanks and looking at them at work, one thing is clear to me, the standard cool white/royal blue combination leads to a 'semi-sterile' tank in regards to bacteria. Using a more complete spectrum LED light, or most T5/MH bulbs for our hobby that do output in the 400nm range, test show those tanks usually contain much more bacteria, by around a factor of 10, and more closely matches bacteria levels in the ocean.




    My opinion on both of those multichips above is both contain way to much white LEDs and not enough blues. I do like the idea of multichips in certain situations like you mentioned above (hanging near the ceiling with optics), but for most home tanks I dislike them because of the lack of ability to fine tune the colors (like the Kessil, you only have 2 channels of control, white and blue). I like having all of the same type of LED on their own driver/dimmer so I can really fine tune the spectral output in order to achieve the best possible spectrum and intensity for the majority of corals. That is for larger tanks though, nano tanks harder to design for because they require far fewer LEDs, but with careful planning creating a good light for any size tank is doable, but at some point on the 'nano/pico' side one should probably look into using 1w LEDs vs 3w in order to be able to use more types of LEDs to fill in the spectrums you want.
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Fri May 10, 2013 11:25 am

    Ace25 - where did you acquire all your lighting knowledge? Are you in the field? I'm just starting to convert over to selling LED lighting in the commercial and industrial market. It's a hard sell...
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    dwolson2
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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by dwolson2 on Fri May 10, 2013 1:52 pm

    Ace25 wrote:My opinion on both of those multichips above is both contain way to much white LEDs and not enough blues. I do like the idea of multichips in certain situations like you mentioned above (hanging near the ceiling with optics), but for most home tanks I dislike them because of the lack of ability to fine tune the colors (like the Kessil, you only have 2 channels of control, white and blue). I like having all of the same type of LED on their own driver/dimmer so I can really fine tune the spectral output in order to achieve the best possible spectrum and intensity for the majority of corals. That is for larger tanks though, nano tanks harder to design for because they require far fewer LEDs, but with careful planning creating a good light for any size tank is doable, but at some point on the 'nano/pico' side one should probably look into using 1w LEDs vs 3w in order to be able to use more types of LEDs to fill in the spectrums you want.
    Those multi chips are 5 channel. With them full bore they look like a 14k MH. They were designed to be the best all around, color and growth, chip. There was a team of people who contributed to the layout.


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    2012 MASVC Treasurer, 2013 MASVC webmaster/secretary
    Wasting money on my tank one paycheck at a time!!
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    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Fri May 10, 2013 11:52 pm

    I didn't realize they made them 5 channel now, I just refreshed myself on the RC thread and see they are. I don't doubt they are probably the best multi-chip LED for the DIY crowd compared to the normal ebay ones. I think it all depends on the installation.

    At 50w for the small one, that is the same amount of power I use to light up my 4' 60G using 24x 3w LEDs @ 2.1w/700mA, and I know 1 50w multichip wouldn't be enough for the same tank. On the flip side I can see them more useful in cube tanks, 1 50w could light up a 60G cube.

    Ace25 - where did you acquire all your lighting knowledge? Are you in the field? I'm just starting to convert over to selling LED lighting in the commercial and industrial market. It's a hard sell...
    My day job is fixing computers and networks. I have tried to push LEDs at work and all I got was puzzled looks from everyone I tried to convince, even showing them the numbers and how quickly they will pay for themselves, so I know your pain. As far where I get my knowledge, just 20 years of being single and fascinated by the topic of 'light' and pretty much spending that time reading and experimenting with lighting on plants and corals. I also work at a college and have a lot of helpful people and equipment at my disposal. Basically I am just a geek. I go to work, think up new questions and tests and bounce them off colleagues and then when I get home I spend all my time implementing them. For me life is all about learning new things, and that is one area this hobby doesn't disappoint in. Working at a college and having so many resources available helps out a lot as well. My latest thing is trying to think of things to print on the super nice 3D printer at work.

    One of my predictions I made back in 2000 was LEDs would become the light of choice by the end of the decade. I made sure to switch all my lights to LEDs by 2010 just so it was true for me. By the end of the following decade LEDs will be a thing of the past. We will simply hang a sheet of OLED paper above the tank and it will mimic a true sky with all the colors and intensity required. We are finally getting close, there are some nice 55" OLED TVs out now (at a huge price), but as with LEDs and prices, I am sure OLEDs will drop in price a ton by 2020. Intensity has always been the problem with OLEDs, but they have started to make big strides in upping the intensity in the last couple years so I think we are on pace for it becoming a reality sooner than later.
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Wed May 15, 2013 1:52 pm

    OLED is an interesting technology and I'd agree probably the future as far as public acceptance. But, given the cost, we are a long way away from it replacing entrenched products like LCD and Plasma. Not just because of cost but complicated manufacturing involved.
    I sell mass flow controllers to the R&D lab guys at UCSB (and new start-up companies LED around them) that are researching various LED technologies. The short of it is that high power LEDs (including OLED) are not easy to produce. It requires very critical manufacturing processes very much akin to producing CPUs...very expensive machinery...and lots of folks in lab-coats in state of the art clean rooms.

    As far as the "hard-sell", I'm batting zero at the moment. I sell a lot of cutting-edge instrumentation to my customers but for some reason their eyes glaze over when I start talking LED lighting. Part of the problem is that LEDS went mainstream too fast and the quality and light output wasn't there initially. I get a lot of people have a bad taste in their mouth as a result. It doesn't help that Home Depot and Lowes keep switching brands because of high failure rates on much of the LED lights that they stock at an average of $20 per bulb! Not good...

    Anyway, I'm sure you've noticed that it's magnitudes better now than just a couple years ago. But convincing people of this is a challenge. Another problem I'm seeing is even "techy" people like "Reefers" don't have a full understanding of LEDs. This is not to speak badly of people, just to acknowledge that the technology is by no means simple. To put it in perspective, I can probably write 5-10 pages just on LED drivers alone, explaining features and benefits, comparisons, pro's and con's, etc. I'm thinking about posting small discussions on it. Perhaps starting with,
    "What is a LED driver and why is it necessary? Can't I use a current resistor to save money?




    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Wed May 15, 2013 3:57 pm

    I know what you mean with HD/Lowes selling 'junk' lights for the last couple years, in turn, turning people off of LEDs because of the low quality. I noticed HD is now selling Cree 9.5w LED lights for $13/ea which is what I have been recommending to everyone for their homes now. I experienced the 'junk' lights myself being an early adopter and impulse buying lights at HD to see how well they can grow algae. Some of them didn't even last 1 hour before they died, and they were $40 bulbs at the time. The CRI has also been terrible in the past with LEDs for general lighting needs, but I think all those issues are resolved today.

    I remember installing Plasma TVs at Vandenberg back in the 90's when they first came out, a 42" was $50,000 and came with at least a dozen burned out pixels on every TV. The weight and power consumption of Plasma is insane. I had a 60" rear projection TV at the time and it took 300w of power, the 42" plasmas used over 900w. Then the early-mid 2000's came and LCD replaced Plasma, but again, first few years 'burned out pixels' was very common and most Mfg had specific requirements in regards to fixing/replacing TVs with bad pixels (I remember Vizio was 10 dead pixels before warranty took effect, so if you had 9 white dots burning your eyes as you watched TV you were screwed). Today finding a bad pixel is pretty rare, which just shows how far they have come in the last few years in regards to quality control and manufacturing. Today though the general masses seem to be confused again about what is what. I see so many people telling me they have an 'LED TV' and it is better than any LCD. I LOL at that every time. I have an 'LED TV' but I understand the LED aspect is just replacing the cold cathode tube back lighting with back/side lit LEDs, the screens are still LCD.

    I agree that most people don't fully understand LED lighting. When I first swapped out all my lights for LEDs I thought I knew a lot about light, PAR, spectrum, etc... but I was shown otherwise. It actually took me a solid year of playing around with LEDs constantly to get a full understanding on what they can do and how spectrum and intensity differ so much. I initially did the 'PAR for PAR' replacement only to nuke my corals back in 2008. After many years of experimenting I feel I have a very good understanding now. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that 1000 PAR out of a MH can be equal to 200 PAR out of LED lights. Also, when using an Apogee PAR meter, you must use 'Sun' mode on LEDs to get accurate readings, the 'Electric' mode which works great for MH and T5s does not work for LEDs.
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Wed May 15, 2013 10:02 pm

    Not to keep beating on this subject, but what happened to your corals when you "nuked" them? Did you get bleaching like some others have experienced? The only time I've ever bleached corals from light is when I changed long-overdue MH bulbs with brand-new, higher-wattage ones. Upgraded from 175 to 250 on the same tank. Even then, everything came back after a month.

    Also, today I was at Home Depot looking at the new Crees they have. The price is much more tolerable and the light seems decent. I decided to pull apart one of the older off-brand demo LED bulbs and found the older models use cheap CMD arrays. No wonder there was early failure. I didn't pull apart the Cree but I'd bet it using their high-output LED chips that are much more resilient to high temps and unclean DC with current swings (the product of cheap, switching power supplies).

    By the way, my interest in LED is I'm determined to make it a successful part of my product offering...during my day job that is. Lastly, I'm toying with my own LED designs. I'm trying to get a LED manufacturer in the San Fernando Valley to fund it (most production is in India). At the moment, I've built all kinds of arrays, mostly small modules ranging between 3-21 watts. My kids each have their own nano, planted fresh-water tanks using my designs. My son's 10-gallon tank uses 21 watts of mixed royal blue, cool white, and warm white (7x 3 watt leds). My daughter's tank, which is smaller (2 gallon Beta tank), is running 4-watts of warm white and cool white (4 x 1 watt LEDS). Both tanks are doing great.





    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Mon May 27, 2013 11:29 pm

    Just saw this article on Reefbuilders for a new 5 channel 100w multichip. Looks even better than the 'Dream Chip' for overall colors.

    http://reefbuilders.com/2013/05/27/100w-lumia-51-multichip-led-diy-masses/

    http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/lumia-5-1-100w-full-spectrum-5-channel-led/
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    ericpkeith

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by ericpkeith on Tue May 28, 2013 3:14 pm

    Very cool. If I had a tall (deep) tank, I'd consider this...pending I could confirm the chip manufacturer. Any idea who the chip manufacturer is (major player like Cree, Bridgelux)? Without knowing, I'd worry about getting poor quality/reliability. Also, with the Luxeon M12 hitting the market, I would still favor this with combination of 3W Crees (and optics). I get a bit nervous with dense array designs as I worry that one or more LEDs could go bad - and these can't be replaced/repaired. I'm a person who will desolder and replace failed LEDs when needed.

    Ace25

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    Re: Growing thriving SPS Corals in my Nano with only LEDs. Anyone else?

    Post by Ace25 on Tue May 28, 2013 3:49 pm

    I completely agree with you about using 3w LEDs for the ease of replacement if/when one goes bad. On top of that the 3w LEDs are far more efficient power wise than the multichips. The LEDs used in the multichips are 'Exotic' LEDs, which seems to be the LEDGroupbuy brand. No clue if they are their own company or just a rebadged LEDs from some China company, which is what I suspect. On the flip side though, if I had a 60G cube tank and I wasn't much of a DIYer I would probably go with the multichip for its ease of install.

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