Adding white LED's that won't cook my SPS

Discussion in 'DIY' started by kinetic, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    The AquaIllumination Hydra white LED's are really harsh. If you crank them up above 25%, SPS can't handle it. I'm not exactly sure about why, but everyone who owns the HYDRAs tell me the same story. Aesthetically, I really dislike the super blue that I would have to keep the fixture in order to keep SPS. I've been trying to crank up my whites, but I'd love a different solution.

    I'm thinking of trying to retrofit two Kessil a80 tuna white, or one Kessil a160 tuna white to my Hydra.

    1. Needs to look really good and simple
    2. Needs to be white to match... everything
    3. Needs to allow me to run my AI Hydra with all the blues, but give it enough white to look a bit better aesthetically (6500K range)
    What I need:
    1. Either two A80s or one a160 tuna white
    2. Brackets (white) that can be attached to the AI Hydra, and hold (balanced) A80s or one a160
    3. Patience in painting the housings white
    • Painting the kessil housing
    • balancing just one a160 tuna white without a counterweight
    • dealing with two extra cables if mounting two a80s
    • making the brackets seamless and nice looking
    • Extend my current hanging bracket with a longer bolt and attach an angled (15 degree?) bracket off both ends of it, pointing inwards, and attaching an a80 (on both ends)
    • Create one bracket that sits across the middle (shortest side) that is somehow fixed (jbweld? something less permanent but solid?) that will hold two a80s so it's balanced
    • Create a bracket similar to the above, but just mount one a160 to one side, and adjust the hanging kit cable lengths so that it counters the weight imbalance (the normal force will move the light forward/back a bit, which means I'll need to adjust the anchor points forward)
    • Just wait until AI or someone comes out with a new light that has better white LED's with a white fixture.
    • How do I go about getting brackets? Will I need a machine shop? Will I need some kind of AutoCAD program?
    • Is it even safe to spray paint the housings of the kessil? I was going to mask off most of it, and maybe even open it up and tape up the holes so the spray paint doesn't get inside. Probably use high temperature paint that might have some resistance to saltwater?
    • Will the Tuna Sun actually be good in place of the white LED's, or will they cause the same issue?
    EricM likes this.
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I suggest bumping up the whites a few percentage points every few weeks until you get to where you want it.

    Or add the white but drop the total intensity by 1/2, then work your way up.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    kinetic and Coral reefer like this.
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Maybe im the exception here, but I find that claim to be weird. I always run them around 40% whites. Which model and how far above water surface?
    kinetic likes this.
  4. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Bump them up by 2% every week across all channels is what I did when I first ran my Vegas. My current whites have been fixed at 76% for awhile now.
    Coral reefer and kinetic like this.
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Yeah maybe the claim is unfounded?

    I have the AquaIlluminations Hydra 52 HD. I'm running this "SPS AB+ with High Peaks" program, that seems to be the defacto in both AI and Radion circles. At the highest peak my whites are at 54%, and lowest (during the regular hours, not sunset/sunrise) is 25%. The blues of LEDs are about 85% and 65% at those levels.

    The light is 8" above my water level.

    I had measured PAR, and it was good, a bit over 400 over my Magnifica, and medium/high 200's on the sand.

    I also only have two frags of SPS so far, just worried they will be cooked by the light. I have an ORA Pearlberry frag from @tankguy, and I ordered an ORA Hawkins which was delayed in shipping and came in horrible shape (pretty sure it's going to die, but somehow the coral tissue is still holding strong, no PE). The Pearlberry looks like it's OK with PE, but some AI owners are telling me to turn down my whites.

    Maybe I'll be OK?
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I have AI prime, set to fairly normal white looking, and the few SPS I have are doing well.

    I don't really see how whites specifically would cause a big "cooking" problem for SPS.
    If you look at the spectrum of what a so-called "white" LED puts out, it is far from true broad spectrum white.

    The usual concern is that the more daylight white (red/etc), the more it benefits algae.
    Both nuisance algae, and the symbiotic algae in the coral.
    Obviously if nuisance algae grows faster, that is bad.
    Helping symbiotic algae is a debate. Coral grows faster, but generally ends up more "brown" looking,
    since that is generally the color of the symbiotic algae inside.
    kinetic likes this.
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Thank you guys for the info. I'll try to do more research on the claims before I do anything, but it sounds like I should be able to save myself the trouble and stick with my AI Hydra.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  8. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    This is really my time using LED's and Im using radions. They are only at 30% and it seems to be just fine. When we first hooked them up we did 100% just to see and it was hella bright. I am considering bumping it up to maybe 35%
  9. iani

    iani Guest

    Also, Art what are your nutrient levels. With higher nutrients the coral can take more light.
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    That's interesting. My nutrients are super low unfortunately. No3 is undetectable (2 different test kits), phosphates hovering around 10ppb.
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Here's some quotes from different people who have been using the AI lights:

    "The Cree XP2 Cool White diodes are very hard on sps for some reason"

    "...but I’ll wait until they change the white leds and also add warm whites like the radions"

    I guess AI uses a XP2 cool white, whereas others use the warm whites?
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Radion G4Pro = 4 cool white, 1 warm white
    AI prime = 3 cool white.
    Nanobox (semi-diy) = 2 warm white + 1 neutral white
    Maxpect razor = 6 cool white + 6 warm white
    Lumia (diy) = 3 neutral white + 2 warm white
    Aurora = 4 cool white
    reeflabs = all cool white

    (Some of those numbers are per cluster, not per fixture, but ratio applies)
  13. iani

    iani Guest

    That is going to be your problem. Might sound funny but maybe even dose nitrates into your tank. I bet the sps will handle more light.
    kinetic likes this.

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