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Old 01/12/2018, 12:55 PM   #1
JZinCO
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Upgrading Lights --Considering Rapid Led

Hey everyone. I am eventually upgrading my 125g (72 x 18 x 22ish ) to a 270g (72 x 24 x 36). The 270g will have seagrasses though, so the actual water depth will range from 24 to 34" (not sure yet). Currently I have four 165w marsaqua units but I'll be wanting to upgrade. I value multichannel control and programmability. This tank will be a biotope as well so being able to replicate day/moonlight cycles of a specific lat/long will be a small benefit, though not a requirement. My ideal color temp is somewhere between 7K and 10K. For example, the marsaquas are set at 70% white, 20% blue right now. Consider this photo: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NtoA55F4T...reef+light.jpg

I'm not the cram everything wall to wall type of reefer. I like ~50% cover of rock and sand.

My ideal budget is $1000, though even this is a challenge. I considered 3 hydra twentysix, 3 radion xr15w pro, 3 Euroquatics Angel, or 3 Rapid Led Corona (I considered other companies but rejected those). Since these are roughly the same tier of lights, I think the latter two are the best (most control). As I was thinking however, it seemed the only way to stay under budget was to get the 180 gallon DIY kit from Rapid Led and couple that with a Bluefish controller. Attached is the conversation from Rapid. I didn't ask if I could publish it, but seeing as how great their customer support is, this could only be seen in a positive light.

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Me: How many Corona units would you recommend? 3? How does that compare (PAR, wattage, light spread) compare against the 180 gallon DIY kit?
On another note, it looks like all controllability of the Corona depends on the Fishbit app. I'm concerned about that company based on responses of their initial backers and others who made pre-orders and have waited years with little communication. Is there anything to reassure me? Will Rapid Led help Corona owners if transition to another controller/app is required?

Rapid: I'd go with 3 units on a 6' tank, 2 if you really need to budget wise but 3 is ideal. It's going to be very similar to the 180g kit, benefits being ease of assembly, better looking (way less wires) and built-in wifi.

I understand the concern with Fishbit, and they would readily admit they haven't handled their Kickstarter/pre-order situation that well. That is a hardware issue they were having with manufacturers but on the software side (which is where they're helping us) it's been good. They've been very responsive to any app or connectivity issue that our customers have had with the Corona and we haven't had any issue with them. We definitely won't leave people in the code if something does happen with Fishbit, we've discussed this with them prior to beginning the project and have been reassured that our users would always be taken care of regardless of what happens to them.
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So what are your thoughts? Anyone here have experience with Rapid LED units? I'm pretty sold on Rapid LED. McPuff, on the forum, told me they would recommend 4 Corona units ($1500 yikes!). I could get a quote for a custom DIY kit to upgrade from 3 to 4 units, but whatever choice I make is likely to start with 3 and see if a fourth is warranted. My guess is 4 units would come in around $1200.



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Old 01/12/2018, 01:04 PM   #2
Cheapreef
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Have you looked into the Phton V2? They have all you want at a lower price point. They use the same diodes as the othes you hae listed.
https://www.reefbreeders.com/new-photon-v2/


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Old 01/12/2018, 01:09 PM   #3
JZinCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapreef View Post
Have you looked into the Phton V2? They have all you want at a lower price point. They use the same diodes as the othes you hae listed.
https://www.reefbreeders.com/new-photon-v2/
yeah. The benefit is they are on sale. They claim 2 photon v2 32 should be enough ($1000 right now).. just not sure. It is somewhat concerning that I can't compare the quality of components whereas rapid led lists them all. RB, being Chinese, may be quality or may be evergrow standard..
I do like that they have R,G and B on seperate channels. I have seen some amazing color rendition when R,G and B are used in lieu of white diodes.
Where's Ron when you need him..

also, if I get the diy kit with bluefish controller I can replicate real-time weather of a location, including storm light and sound synchrony. I mean, totally not essential, but cool factor, yes. And if I spend $1000 on lights, I better be able to get my giggles.



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Old 01/12/2018, 01:31 PM   #4
elFloyd
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I've used the RapidLED Oynx fixtures for over four years. Great company to work with (sales, warranty, etc.). Checked PAR in Nov 2017. Ranged 200-230 all across the bottom of my 24" tank (LEDs 7" above the water) at 100% power.

No experience with Fishbit. An Apex controls my Oynx fixtures.

The Oynx line was before the Coronas... I've heard the Coronas are brighter. I suggest three fixtures over a 72" tank.

My tank is 180g, 72" x 24" x 24".


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Old 01/12/2018, 01:42 PM   #5
biecacka
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I used the old fixtures from them too. They had the same diode layout as the radion. I switched back to halides...needed more light and too much controllability for me. I want to plug it in and use it. Not tinker with it, but that is nothing against the light fixtures.

Corey


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Old 01/12/2018, 02:11 PM   #6
Michael Hoaster
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JZ, that sounds like a cool tank! With seagrass! With a 36 inch depth, you've got plenty of room for a deep sand bed. If you're planning on Turtle Grass, they like seven inches or more. Regardless, you're going to need lights with enough power to penetrate some deep water. Best of luck with the project!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 01/12/2018, 02:32 PM   #7
JZinCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
JZ, that sounds like a cool tank! With seagrass! With a 36 inch depth, you've got plenty of room for a deep sand bed. If you're planning on Turtle Grass, they like seven inches or more. Regardless, you're going to need lights with enough power to penetrate some deep water. Best of luck with the project!
Thanks. The overflow is massive and in the middle, so about 1/3 of the tank is actually 20 front to back. I certainly can get 60 degree optics in the middle unit and consider a mix of 60 and 80 deg on the side units.
Quick story behind the tank purchase: I initially was looking for a 180 gallon tank but decided I wanted the depth to support a deep sand bed for turtle grass. And thankfully, that will offset the total water column depth, making water penetration less of an issue. Also the tank has one previous owner, a tank builder, who sold it to me for $500 so that he could upgrade. So, a steal. Lights will be the most expensive bulk purchase of the whole set up by far.


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Old 01/12/2018, 03:27 PM   #8
Michael Hoaster
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Nice! Sweet deal. Of course now you're going to have to invest in a lot of sand. But since you're planting true, vascular plants, you can just dig up some dirt from the yard as an underlayer, for free! That'll save some cash.

Can't wait to follow both your light and tank builds!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 01/12/2018, 03:41 PM   #9
JZinCO
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Bingo. Clean top soil and sand with aragonite cap with some florida sand to seed. It'll save an extreme amount of cash.
It's heretical! I know but, I'm not building an average reef tank...


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Old 01/12/2018, 03:58 PM   #10
Michael Hoaster
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How about you start a thread for it and tell us what you're thinking?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 01/12/2018, 04:35 PM   #11
JZinCO
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Too far down the road from now to warrant a thread, really.
But, I can buy lights now and use them on my current setup.


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Old 01/12/2018, 09:55 PM   #12
civics14
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I own 4 onyx over a 5’ 150g hooked up to my reef angel for controllability. I had concerns with one of them not as bright as the others a few months in and RapidLED sent me a replacement ASAP along with a return label for the one I was concerned about. The fixture wasn’t damaged, nor was it not functional, but they took the time to ship me a brand new one because of my concerns, that is customer service! Great people there and I believe they wouldn’t leave their customers in the dark if you went with the Coronas. FYI - I had my Onyx for 3 Years now, no issues what so ever !


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Old 01/12/2018, 11:10 PM   #13
Michael Hoaster
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Right on. I started my thread months before I got underway, and really got a lot of stuff figured out before I committed to anything. It was a good way to go for me.

Wow RapidLED sounds like a great company!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 01/13/2018, 03:26 AM   #14
JZinCO
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I believe I have made up my mind....I have put alot of thought into the overwhelming amount of choices.
So, I was just staring off into my tank today and really enjoying the colors. Lots of the pinks and browns that you get with a daylight spectrum
I figure, the mars aquas are fine and dandy. Maybe I don't need multi-channel control. And while the features on some of these controllers are amazing (has anyone seen how much the robo-tank controller can do?!), I am cheap. And I am lo-tech. So, mars aquas plus t5's it is. Lighting combos seem to work very well for others as well. If I was starting from scratch, I'd go with Rapid but I've already got four 165w boxes. And, it's cheap and simple enough to solder in new diodes or swap t5 bulbs to dial in the right visual appeal. Plus that $800 initial saving will give me some walking-around money to buy livestock.

I think I will grab the Miro 80w retrofit kit and start shopping around for bulbs...
Thanks for everyone's opinions and letting me think out loud (especially Michael) Always open to hear more input


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