Marine Aquarium Society of Ventura County

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    t5 LED combo, or other possibilites


    Posts : 117
    Join date : 2013-11-25
    Age : 35
    Location : Ventura, California

    t5 LED combo, or other possibilites

    Post by Lido on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:16 pm

    Hey guys,

    I am looking to upgrade my lighting system. I am currently running a 48 inch 4 lamp t5 made by WavePoint. I am looking to change/upgrade it. I want to do a t5/LED combo. I know it is really impossible to do but I am hoping to accomplish the best of both worlds.

    My tank is 50 inches long and 30 inches tall.

    Here is my hope, I can find a combo that provides ample lighting and penetration to grow SPS coral but also have the pop you get from LED fixtures. I am sure that there is a whole slew of opinion and preferance involved. But i really want my colors to show in my corals, right now they just look a little drab. I am running 2 12k and 2 460 actinic lamps. I do have some blue led strip lights for moon light but my color just lookes washed out. Very Few corals actually pop in my setup.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on having a fixture and lighting controller and light set up that will provide the "morning to night" feel i'm looking for and still have the power to grow the nice SPS coral?

    Posts : 2356
    Join date : 2011-08-07
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    Re: t5 LED combo, or other possibilites

    Post by dwolson2 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:38 pm

    ATI has a fixture. Also, you can DIY a T5 retro kit and LED kit.

    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)

    Posts : 99
    Join date : 2013-05-07
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    Re: t5 LED combo, or other possibilites

    Post by ericpkeith on Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:56 pm

    I think what you have planned is completely doable and a great idea. Then again, I am biased. I'm slowly (and I mean very slowly) putting together a DIY T5 + LED fixture, which I think is a very way to go. The design includes actinic white and super actinic T5s but Royal Blue, Blue, white, and warm white LEDs. The idea here is you get the best of both worlds: shimmer, efficiency, and good color rendering.

    After a lot of testing, experimenting, reading forums on similar attempts, and plenty money wasted on well-known brands of "actinic" spectrum LEDs (more commonly know as violets/true violet) IMHO they are not there yet. Don't get me wrong, they're really good, but not not in the same ballpark yet as good as quality, actinic T5 bulb on a good E-Ballast; the rare earth phosphors of T5s get are much more efficient (and reliable) at producing wavelengths of light from 380-460 nm, peaking in the 420-430 range.

    The point(s):
    The actinic white and super actinic phosphor T5 bulbs will give your corals great fluorescent pop and good distribution of visible band light so the corals look natural.
    High power LEDs will provide shimmer and very efficiently drive the Royal Blue spectrume, which is where we get our best SPS growth, e.g. 450 nm range. Like many people, I use the Luxeon Royal blues, which pump more blue light than anything else...and probably more than even the most demanding SPS needs.  
    In my experience, blue, white, and warm white LEDS should be on dimming drivers so you can dial in a color distribution that is pleasing to your eye.        

    Anyway, as far as coloration, I got very good coloration from nailing down my alkalinity to within 0.5 DKH drift per day and no more, e.g. locked in between 8.0 to 8.5 dkh. Also, I have a hell of a lot of circulation and that helped a lot. I used to dose a lot of magic in a bottle but clean water, solid dkh, and lots of flow seems to have made everything pop more than ever.

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    Re: t5 LED combo, or other possibilites

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