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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone school me on putting together my own led set up for a reef tank. I can not go out and spend 200 - 800 $ at once. I was checking out rapid led - I am confused, are the par 38 bulbs good for reef tanks 24" deep. I would like to own a clam. Can buy these and put them together myself so I can buy a little at a time? Does anyone know if this company is reputable and the lights are what they say they are?
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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RapidLED is a good place for DIY LED. However, I would not really expect the PAR to do very well on 24" or deep tanks. I dont think they have the intensity and would require many PAR bulb to even get sustainable par at the bottom. Those PAR bulbs are more for nano and spotlighting. Unfortunately deep penetrating LED are going to cost 300-400+ per 2' spread to even support clams at 24". If cheap lighting (upfront) is the goal, the you can not beat Halides for intensity and the ability to get higher par deep in the tank.
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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+1 to furturedoc but you should have no issues with rapidled LED's (with lenses) getting 24" down. I have 7 LED's per sq foot in my tank and my PAR at 20" is really high. In fact I would like my LED's to penetrate less good because my low light corals on my sanded hate it. The LED's are already dimmed to 40% max power.

If you go with 7-9 LED's per sq foot and put 55deg lenses on them I feel that you should have no problem getting great PAR on your sandbed.

the PAR 38 bulbs are not really an option since they each have their own AC/DC converter and that produces a lot of heat as wasted energy.
 

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Another Crazy Reefer
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I have PAR bulbs and I keep sps up to 13 inches below the surface and keep lps and softies on the 20 inch bottom. The key is to spot light them and keep the corals that are in high demand of light in the center of the light beam. There is exponentially more PAR in the center than the outsides, I have seen graphs somewhere on it...
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Rustl3r, 7 led per sqft is 28 per 2x2' ... about $170-$200 worth of leds and then a few more bucks for the heat sink. I think my earlier estimate was about correct give or take a small amount depending on the accessories. I have no doubt that LED can penetrate 24 inches (afterall, I did have an AI SOL) but rather the $200 limit does not really allow for spread, spectrum, and penetration for LED lights right now for a Clam (Clams need a minimum of 400PPDF or there about, more than most SPS) ... the OP's wanted more than what is available for the price (IMO). Even halide would be tough for 200...
 

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rapidled.com is awesome!! Par bulbs would not be the best choice for your tank. They are more suited for systems that would require 1 to 2 of them.

Alternatively, people have had very good results with aquastyleonline.com LED setups. If anything it is worth a look.
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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Rustl3r, 7 led per sqft is 28 per 2x2' ... about $170-$200 worth of leds and then a few more bucks for the heat sink. I think my earlier estimate was about correct give or take a small amount depending on the accessories. I have no doubt that LED can penetrate 24 inches (afterall, I did have an AI SOL) but rather the $200 limit does not really allow for spread, spectrum, and penetration for LED lights right now for a Clam (Clams need a minimum of 400PPDF or there about, more than most SPS) ... the OP's wanted more than what is available for the price (IMO). Even halide would be tough for 200...
Agreed on the price. SPS have expensive requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have flouresent compacts right now. I plan on keeping them in there until I can reconstruct my set up. I am wanting to add LED's a little at a time though, if at all possible. I didn't know if I could buy the diy kits to go a little at a time.
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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I have flouresent compacts right now. I plan on keeping them in there until I can reconstruct my set up. I am wanting to add LED's a little at a time though, if at all possible. I didn't know if I could buy the diy kits to go a little at a time.
Yeah you can do one heatsink and string at a time. Each string+ heatsink will probably be around $100.
 

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Another Crazy Reefer
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BGJ, here is one of many examples of reefs with PAR 38 bulbs of tank sizes much larger . http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t228330-200.html
People have no experience with PAR bulbs and shoot them down immediately when in fact they are so much more powerful than expected. Three watt LEDs can penetrate a whole lot more than your standard 1 watt LEDs.
 

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Brutal Reefer
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rapidled.com is awesome!! Par bulbs would not be the best choice for your tank. They are more suited for systems that would require 1 to 2 of them.

Alternatively, people have had very good results with aquastyleonline.com LED setups. If anything it is worth a look.
i went thru aqua styles led, they are cheaper then rapid and i have been very happy with them. there shipping is kinda high, since they are from china, but i got them quickly, they thru in 3 free led lights and a led fan. i have 12 over my 7.5g nano and have had no prob at all so far, ive been thinking bout trying a small clam, cuz i can always move it to my bigger tank if i need too.
 

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Brutal Reefer
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Aquatic Philosopher
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BGJ, here is one of many examples of reefs with PAR 38 bulbs of tank sizes much larger . http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t228330-200.html
People have no experience with PAR bulbs and shoot them down immediately when in fact they are so much more powerful than expected. Three watt LEDs can penetrate a whole lot more than your standard 1 watt LEDs.
does it look like he has 18-19 PAR bulbs (may two arrays that are 3x4 bulbs... which makes 24 total)

That is about 2 grand on par bulbs... I rather tank 4 AI sol pendents. wow
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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