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Best LED solution for a Dutch style aquarium (budget 1000 $)

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by brrrpr, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    Hallo everybody, I am new here, I was wondering if anyone can suggest me a TOP solution for my complex and terrible case.


    Last year I bought a 100 US gallons aquarium with the purpose to have it heavily planted and with difficult species.


    The lights equipped with the tank were not powerful enough to deliver 2000 lux on the bottom at 27 Inces of depth for the fore ground plants.


    I decided to save money and buy an inexpensive 50 w LED headlight on a budget....my biggest mistake !


    The 6000 k light was outstanding for human eyes, and even the plants were happy, but that was just the beginning of my nightmare; after 2 days Volvox started to show up and since then I had to spend a lot of money and try ANY possible solution which eventually was an UV lamp to cool them down but not to solve it definitively.


    I tried all the most valued solutions like Twinstar Nano+, Sochting Oxdator, hydrogen peroxide, Ozone, all sort of chemical stuff to kill Volvox but the situation since December has never settled, all solutions work for a while but as soon as I stop them the algae come quickly again.


    Now I am exhausted, I want to try my last chance before giving up, I will pour some radioactive stuff into the water and after that may be a bomb.


    This time no cheap stuff any more, my budget is 1000 $ I hope it should be enough to have the best quality.


    I have investigated about many solutions around but for what I've seen the majority are made for REEF aquariums.


    What do you think is the best solution on the market for a fresh water plant aquarium ?
     
    #1 brrrpr, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2016
  2. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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    First, I think you should spend a few bucks and get a par meter-its the only way to knowingly measure light. Most people use an Apogee like this and mount it on a yard stick (so you can measure the depth).


    http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/mq-200...eld-meter.html


    I used to use 2 Catalina 36w T5HO's on my 46gal (great light but since discontinued). I went to 2 36" full spectrum Ecoxotic LED's, which were the hot new light several years ago.


    At the same approximate PAR as the T5HO's, some plants grew a lot better, others died. Greens looked a lot better but the reds were almost non-existant. I even bought some supplemental 490nm LED's but they made everything look red.


    I spent about $800 on a full spectrum DIY LED with very disappointing results.


    If I get the energy, one day I am going to switch back to the T5's, overall I liked the light and growth better. I think Tom also was using LED's at one time and went back to florescent.


    Main advantage to LED is you don't have to replace bulbs every 6 or so months and the footprint is very small and unobtrusive.
     
  3. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    Thank you for the answer but WOW ! I am astonished about what you say; I thought that this was concerning only the first LED generations; we are now in 2016, many years of steady growth and development, I was thinking that LED light technology for aquariums could be officially declared mature enough to be superior (or at least equal) to fluorescent and metal halide lights.


    I believe that for reef aquariums they have now reached the highest results but for the fresh water planted aquariums the offer is much less. At present I have many smaller aquariums (with a minor depth) all having the old T8 lights, which is still a good light but now I want to pass to LED. Electricity here is very expensive and having all my tanks with T8 or T5 also means that you have the stress of changing the lights all the times, I'm a bit tired of it, besides I don't have the time to build a DIY LED which still will cost me time, money, knowledge (that I may not have) with uncertain results.


    I prefer to pay for something made by a well known manufacturer.


    I have seen Maxpect has a model for fresh water, Vertex and Kessil (but only spotlights). These are well known manufacturers but who else has quality ceiling lights ? Other "big" ones on the market like AI Aquaillumination or Ecotech or ATI don't have fresh water (I think).
     
    #3 brrrpr, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  4. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    Hydra HD looks promising with its adjustable spectrum. You might need one or more of the 26 or 52 depending on the length of your tank.


    the one I am really looking forward to is the yet to be released Lupyled
     
    #4 rajkm, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  5. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    AI Hydra HD is one of my favorite led lights ever, I emailed them more than three months ago asking the same question or if they had a fresh water version of their main model, but they did never answer me.


    Even without answer I was almost about to buy it, do you think that I can get the correct spectrum for fresh water in PAR ?
     
  6. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I don't know the PAR details. Recently Aaron Dutch II posted on facebook Planted Tanks group that he got it.


    Might want to reach out to him.


    I think the PAR might be decent given they are mostly 3 watt LED and it allows you to control individual channels.


    They have some PAR comparisons here http://www.aquaillumination.com/science/par.html
     
  7. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    So far I made a list with the most important lighting system manufacturers that have models for freshwater, I want to compare the following lights:


    1) AquaIllumination Hydra HD


    2) Vertex


    3) ATI


    4) Kessil


    5) EcoTech


    6) Maxspect


    7) Sfiligoi (the most expensive I've ever seen)


    One questions that comes to my mind is: does price matter concerning quality ?


    If I spend 4,500 $ for the most expensive model of this unknown name "SFILIGOI" do I have the best product on the market or not ?
     
  8. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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  9. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    So, I can start giving some answer to my same questions. I posted the same questions to all the manufacturers of the above list and the answer is:


    1) Aqua Illumination and EcoTech are the same joint company, that's why they look so similar, possible to tune it very well for freshwater.


    2) EcoTech: they have a model specifically made for freshwater and they are the same as AI above.


    3) ATI: their answer was negative only marine lights and not possible to configure.


    4) Kessil: they have something but not an entire fixture, just a single beam light.


    5) Vertex (still waiting the answer but they are a bit overpriced)


    6) Maxspect: they have a model specifically made for Freshwater and they are cheap but still I didn't read good reviews and it looks it has less features than the others.


    7) Giesemann: they have two models but not the TOP of their line only the cheaper which means for me that I will not consider them as a possible candidate.


    8) Sfiligoi: it was considered the most advanced company of all and at the same time the most expensive but they produced the WORST fixture ever seen, they have already closed the aquarium chapter.
     
    #9 brrrpr, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2016
  10. Jessy2363

    Jessy2363 Junior Poster

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that Echo Tech have a freshwater light that is the same as the AI hydra? as in the exact same light? Would there not be less blue chips if that were the case? What is the Maxspect freshwater model you are referring to? I'm after somethign with some grunt. None of this .5watt led strip stuff. My tank is deep.
     
  11. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    No as I told you, having the same problem, I need to provide at least 3.000 lux at the bottom of my tank, light energy for my Glossostigma, Micrantemum, Elatine etc. All the dwarf foregroung plants. Those lights on the list they are supposed to be fine and if you go on the EcoTech site they only have 4 models one of them is for fresh water but the ones from their partner associate AI is having similar lights that can be tuned to fit the freshwater spectrum. Please give a look yourself and read the technical data even from the other manufacturers than we are going to confront our results.
     
  12. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    No they are not the same but they are similar and they are also partner associate, hence I gather that they might have the same quality standards. All those lights are powerfull enough to reach the bottom of our tanks.
     
  13. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    Look at this video comparing the two different models of Maxspect Razor 8,000k and 16,000k:




    I actually thought that the Razor model was the Top end but apparently it is not, the very Top end of Maxspect is: Mazarra.


    ...besides I cannot find any more on sale the 8000k model.


    What happened ? Was it dismissed ?
     
    #13 brrrpr, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2016
  14. Jessy2363

    Jessy2363 Junior Poster

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    I probably wouldn't buy the 8000K model anyway. It doesn't look very customisable really. Im leaning towards the AI hydra 26. Two of them. Or I considered maybe buying 4 of the AI prime models and spacing them evenly apart over the tank instead of two hydra 26. Still I am looking for concrete confirmation that they will make a great freshwater planted tank light. There doesn't appear to be many people with them. Beamsworks make a powerful freshwater light that is 6500K made up of 3 watt chips with 120 degree lenses so you get a nice even spread although depth penetration is compromised due to the lenses. Still they are powerful. Myself I'd go with 90 degree and buy two instead. Just they lack the ability to dim them which is a turn off for me and also no night lights.
     
    jasonevans likes this.
  15. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    Ever looked into the Aquatic Life Halos?
     
  16. Jessy2363

    Jessy2363 Junior Poster

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    Thanks I am going to check these out!!
     
  17. Peter Moran

    Peter Moran Lifetime Members
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    From AI:


    Thank you for contacting AquaIllumination.


    The Hydra 26HD units can be configured for fresh water tanks. With the Hydra units, you can alter the levels of the individual colors, which would allow you to alter the settings to fit your set up.


    Thank you,


    Rebekah Querfeld


    Customer Service Agent
     
  18. Peter Moran

    Peter Moran Lifetime Members
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    I'll tag in on this thread too as I'm in a similar boat. My new tank will be essentially a 60cm cube so I am looking for a light that can be attached to the back of the tank 'pendant fashion' rather than resting on the tank itself.


    I was originally planning on the Kessil but then spoke to Jessy2363 and she suggested looking into some others and now I'm thoroughly confused (thanks Jess :) ).


    After reading some comments on here about the Kessils being weak in the red spectrum I'm a bit concerned about those. I want to make the right choice the first time. At these prices it's not likely my partner is going to allow me to change my mind and try something else.


    I have a similar list to you guys:


    EcoTech Radion XR15 Freshwater


    Kessil A350 WE Tuna Sun


    Aquatic Life HALO LED Freshwater


    ELOS PlanetCompact


    AquaIllumination Hydra TwentySix HD


    Anyone got any preferences?
     
  19. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    For the comparisons I've been doing so far, I have almost decided to go for AI, the other ones on the list are also good but I like to have an advanced lighting system that can be changed-tuned according to needs. AI are also competitive for the price. I did not receive any answer from VERTEX which as I mentioned before are much more expensive than the average, I don't know if this extra cost correspond to quality or it is just for their brand and reputation.
     
  20. Peter De La Rosa

    Peter De La Rosa Junior Poster

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    You could consider reef breeders photon v2. They are designed for marine use but they will customize the colors for freshwater use (actually change out the led colors) just adds 2 weeks to shipment time. Each color is on its own channel so its fully adjustable. You can ramp it on 1 hours intervals to set whatever kind of settings you want.


    https://www.reefbreeders.com/new-photon-v2/
     
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