Best LED for Coral Growth

Discussion in 'Nano Tanks' started by 6stokes, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    Hey everyone, I've been out of the game for a few years, but starting a 24-gallon nano now. I know that nanos are a little more difficult than larger systems, but I have lots of experience in the trade.

    I want to have both SPS and LPS in this tank and don't want to deal with the heat of MH. I would really like to make the leap to LED and wanted some advice on a good system out there that can support my corals. My tank is about 17.5 inches wide, so I need something that won't overhang the tank. I don't think that will be an issue, as I've been looking at various models and they all seem to be pretty small. I just don't want something that is too strong to avoid burning/bleaching or something too weak that won't support good growth.

    So who has something that they really like and has done a good job for you? Money is not a factor, but I do appreciate saving...

    Thanks in advance for your input!
  2. florida joe

    florida joe Well-Known Member

    what is your budget
  3. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    Not a factor, but I do appreciate saving a little dough!
  4. 2quills

    2quills Administrator Staff Member

    I have a couple of aqua illuminations hydra fixtures I'm pretty happy with.

    You may want to check out their Prime HD fixtures for nanos.
  5. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    That is a good price! Does one have enough intensity? Looks like I can control dawn and dusk? Do I need a separate controller?

    I was looking at the Radion XR30W Gen 4, but that is real pricy and a controller on top of it.
  6. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    I guess I should have asked if I need the 26 or 52 light system.
  7. 2quills

    2quills Administrator Staff Member

    I think the prime would be fine but the highest par is going to be centralized in probably a 12"×12" area.

    If you want high light demanding livestock in the sand bed around the outer parameter of the tank then the hydra 26 should be more than plenty of coverage.

    I got mine a few years ago when they had the optional wireless control.

    From what I understand now is you download a app to your phone and control them that way.

    They do everything the Radion fixtures do. Dawn to dusk, cloud and thunderstorm simulations and all that jazz.
  8. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    I really appreciate your input. Do you think the 52 is way too much? Just thinking down the road if I decided to get a little bigger of a tank. Also, if an LED goes out, is it easily replaced or can it be sent in for repair? Have you had any burn out? I'm handy enough to solder new ones in if necessary.
  9. 2quills

    2quills Administrator Staff Member

    No soldering necessary. If a led goes bad just change out the whole puck. Very easy to do which was one of the biggest reasons I went with them.

    I have the original hydra fixtures. They're a little over 3 years old and haven't had a led burn out yet. Had some problems with the fans not working right for a while. Turned out I needed to do a firmware update on the wireless control. But I don't think that's anything to worry about with the new HD versions they're using now since there is no controller. Just keep the app up to date on your phone.

    The 52s are way over kill. But you could use them on very very low intensity until you're ready to upgrade.
  10. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    That's good to hear. I suspect they don't lose any of there effectiveness like PCs or VHOs after a while since you've had them for three years???
  11. 2quills

    2quills Administrator Staff Member

    Most of the higher end fixtures use leds manufactured by Cree. They make the most efficient and reliable diodes in the industry.

    If memory serves me correctly they may lose up to 10% of their output over their 50,000 hour rated lifespan.

    Fluorescent bulbs can loose upwards of 50% of their output after their first year of use.

    So if conditions are optimal for your led fixture they can provide you with upwards of 10 years of use before having to replace them. That's if you're running them 12 hours a day 365 days a year.

    The lower end led fixtures that use cheap Chinese leds from what I have seen don't tend to make it half as far before they start burning out.
  12. 6stokes

    6stokes Member

    You're a wealth of knowledge sir!

    Anyone else have a favorite brand?
  13. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Active Member

    If money is no object then the Ecotech Marine Radion XR30 Pro would be about the best commercially available LED light you can buy. You will spend $800 on one though. If you are okay passing on the most difficult to grow corals, but still wanting to have the ability to grow a wide variety then an AI Prime should do the job just fine and at $199 is much cheaper.
  14. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    I love my Kessils.

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