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Zoo Med Aquasun LED HO 36 Inch opinions

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Post Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:15 am
yamachopper Level 1 Member
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Posts: 10
Location: Isanti, MN
Hey folks,

I'm looking to put together a 30-40 gallon breeder reef set-up with mostly entry level corals. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Zoo Meds LED lighting and if I'm going to be able to keep a softie, shroom, or polyp alive with their lighting. Or even live rock for that matter. I have a co-worker that went from T-5 HOs to Marinelands Double Bright Reef lighting and he's going back to his T-5 HOs. I'm not to impressed with Marinelands prices either. Any thoughts..... And money is an issue, I can't see spending over $200 on leds, I'd prefer to buy a second hand T-5 HO and throw bulbs at it for a couple of years and wait for LED prices to drop

Vashjir User avatar
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Posts: 1802
Location: Richfield MN
Anything under 200$ is going to be pretty worthless for reef leds, the zoo med ones only have about 7.5w of power per foot. Even with extremely efficient led thats not near enough power for good coral growth. The fact that they don't have any PAR or PUR information should tell you something. I also totally agree that the marineland fixtures leave a lot to be desired.

The closest you'll get in a decent full spectrum budget fixture is something like these http://reefbreeders.com/it2060.html for about $300. If that doesn't seem reasonable look for a used 4 bulb tek, ati or aquatic life t5ho fixture, they are the highest quality fixture brands imo.
Phil

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yamachopper Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 10
Location: Isanti, MN
Thanks for your thoughts on this, I sorta figured Zoo Med was to good to be true. Unless I ran two units or was somehow able to squeeze an extra LED board into the housing. Anybody know if it's possible to put an extra board into the housing?

yamachopper Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 10
Location: Isanti, MN
Wow, the Reef Breeders Value LED Fixtures are only $179 shipped. That really puts them at the top of the list. I'll need to find out if one will do on a 40B. I'm a firm believer that "The man who buys quality cries only once". I need to stop thinking like a cheapskate.

Vashjir User avatar
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Location: Richfield MN
With the value fixture I'd go with two, the spread on them isn't terrific (and the 120 degree optics look odd) which is why the 24" controllable fixture might work better for you at a lower total price (vs 2x 179). Plus you get the full light controller with sunrise/sunset, individual color channel control, moonlights and lunar cycle simulation.
Phil

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bigboss User avatar
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As a newbie who started saltwater a couple years ago, here is what I can say.

I would just stay away from ZooMed/odyssey and Marineland lighting if you planning to start into saltwater. I can vouch that marineland LED (any style) will not be enough for lighting for your tanks. Just because they put the word REEF capable, they still can't do their job. I never bought it but seeing people who got it and when compare to the other LED you can tell that the amount of lighting they output will not be enough for any corals. ZooMed T5 on the other hand uses cheap parts and the reflector is pretty bad when compared to others, but you pay for what you get. When I started, I was going buy a odyssey t5 mix with LED but with some chats with our local Guru, David Grigor, It made sense to just go higher end model.

LED is the best way to go if you planning to stay in this hobby for a long time. The startup cost will be huge but last longer than T5 or Metal Halide. I'm still using my Tek T5 4 bulbs for my 40 breeder. When I start my reef tank a few years ago I found out I like having fish more than corals so i went FOWLR and eventually barely turn on my t5, I bought a LED strip from stevesled to power it up so i don't have to turn on my t5 for a tank.

Things you should consider going all out on is Lighting, Skimmer, and return pumps. if any of those equipment goes out on you technically a $2000 tank becomes worthless. (yes it's easy to rack up $2000 when you start going saltwater ;p )

Bob1 Level 6 Member
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Posts: 593
Location: Farmington
TCMAS.org is a great forum also reef central great forum both also have great sponsors.


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