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View Full Version : Switch to LED from T8 tube lighting



Waitejk
11-20-2012, 02:07 PM
Hello everyone!

Currently I have T8 tube lighting on my 55 gal tank (not sure if I should call it a reef tank yet, as I only have a few corals and 2 anemones). I want to switch to LED lighting soon and wanted some opinions on which kinds are best and what wattage I should go towards.

Stock in tank now:
Yellow tang
2 black and white clownfish
1 firefish goby
1 algae blenny
1 emerald crab
1 hermit crab
2 condy anemones
a ricordea of some sort
fuzzy mushrooms
kenya tree
polyps (can't remember exactly what kind)

All the corals in the tank I've had for several months and they are doing great with the T8 lighting and growing/splitting. I've only had the anemones for about a week. They seem to be doing ok so far.

I know nothing about lighting and what would be best for my tank. I would very much love to get everyone's opinion on what I could look into. I am still a newbie at keeping a saltwater tank. I was looking at the LEDs that PetCo has--Marineland brand, can't remember wattage. Would those be a good start?

stacy_vennes
11-20-2012, 02:21 PM
Please remember tank coverage when getting led lights. What i did was to go around and look at diferent members tank lighting and research. I have a 125 tank and i needed 2 evo 150 wat lights. Try looking at these sites. www.reefkoi.com www.aquatraders.com www.marinedepot.com www.aquaillumination.com. also you can build your own led light there are diy kits available too and hooked has done a few along with a few others on here Be leary of petco lights in my opinion I wouldnt have those on my reef tank

reefmaster719
11-20-2012, 02:29 PM
Go diy. The benefit to it is that if a led goes out then you can pop it off after slap a new one on because of the daisy chain technique. It's a simple process if your familar with soldering. Best bang for the buck.

reefmaster719
11-20-2012, 02:33 PM
Also. If you go with Petco leds ask questions. How many watts? How many leds? The marineland reef capable imho really are no good for reef. Better then t8s for sure but I would go with the Chinese fixtures. Or wait for someone to sell there's and pickem up cheap.

stacy_vennes
11-20-2012, 02:45 PM
Even if you buy them and something happens just like a diy led you can fix it as well. ask about warrinty too. just do your research and look around and research lol remember coverage is the important thing. but also it depends on what your price ranges are too.

reefmaster719
11-20-2012, 02:50 PM
With diy for coverage you can cover as much as you want with OPTICS. Just fyi.

stacy_vennes
11-20-2012, 03:02 PM
you can have coverage with both diy and regular fyi

reefmaster719
11-20-2012, 03:15 PM
Lol.. Yeah.

Waitejk
11-20-2012, 03:17 PM
Great information guys! My husband is an electrical engineer and has worked with LED set ups before with wiring and circuit boards and such. He might be able to do something. What kind of coverage are you talking about? What is good/bad coverage? And is wattage a huge deal to think about?

reefmaster719
11-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Coverage = How much of the tank it covers. Some do 18*18 others do 24*24. All depends on what you want. A 55 is easy to cover with the Chinese leds. On a bigger tank like staceys she runs evos with a 24*24 footprint.

Wattage is usually around 2-3 watts to grow corals. Depends on how many leds your using and how deep the tank is to get more penetration.

Murfman
11-20-2012, 05:43 PM
Coverage = How much of the tank it covers. Some do 18*18 others do 24*24. All depends on what you want. A 55 is easy to cover with the Chinese leds. On a bigger tank like staceys she runs evos with a 24*24 footprint.

Wattage is usually around 2-3 watts to grow corals. Depends on how many leds your using and how deep the tank is to get more penetration.

As a lot of the DIYers have found out, 3 watt LEDs are too much for most corals. They end up having to use a dimmer and hiding a lot of the Zoas and LPS under over hangs to keep from bleaching them. Even with SPS this has become a problem. I run 1 Watt LEDs in the EVO 120s and it gives me PAR of 90 at the sand bed. As to those who have seen my tank, they can attest to the colors and growth, on the sandbed. If you do change to LEDs, keep an eye on your corals. Browning, not enough light. Lightening to bleaching too much light. My tank is 30" deep, much deeper than your 55, when it comes to light penetration.

stacy_vennes
11-20-2012, 06:45 PM
actually with my evos its 36*36 coverage i have. both are 150 watt and i have to have them dimmed. I have a 6ft. long tank 18 inch across and 21 inches deep.

hooked
11-21-2012, 04:12 PM
On a 55 gallon tank. 1watt LEDs will be fine. If you can still find them. Most are using 3watt led's and pushing less current throught them. I have a 25 inch deep tank and am driving my 3watt LED's at 520mA. Your husband will understand what I mean. If you decide to go DIY, I will be happy to help get you in the right direction.

Waitejk
11-26-2012, 10:54 AM
Thanks guys!! My husband is thinking about making the light strip himself. I told him that I will give him my login information to this forum so he can look at all this stuff. He may chime in here eventually. He will definately understand all this stuff much better than I can. I have been passing on the info to him though and he's also been looking online and doing a lot of comparisons.

Thanks again!

Jamie