Aquanauts 250 Deep Dimension Tank...growing since '99

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Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
It was time to begin another thread since my 250DD is turning 1.5yrs and well beyond the SPRING UPGRADE. You can recount my older thread for older histories...lol.

Older tank LPS dominant pictures by djglenn7601 - Photobucket
125g reef since 1999-current pictures by djglenn7601 - Photobucket
http://photobucket.com/aquanaut


Be sure to try the HD1080 viewing choice



I felt this was a good time to start with my tank getting its upcomming LED upgrade using Ocean By Design. Mike has enlightened me on the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls that can happen with such a big change. Mike is finishing up the parallel wiring functions of 3 Helios 180's and a 120w unit for an impressive 22 puck coverage of my 60x36 foot print. In addition to still writing APEX programming functions that I installed last Friday, only to control nearly every possible function and hopefully remotely. Although I must wait longer than my Apple counterparts...eventually we are promised the Android function sometime...

With Mike's help he was able to identify specific PAR areas in my DT. I have felt under lit in my lighting scheme with only two 250w 12k Reeflux in Lumitek II housings over driven by two HQI ballasts. Plus flanked by two 54w ATI Blue T-5's. Yet still explosive growth which has been seeing slowing from over-shadowing SPS.





Here's a side view w/o the numbers just to complete the view scheme

 
Last edited:

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
Announcing the Helios 180's are fired up!

Starting out in baby steps w/ acclimating Corals...So even with 10% power the PAR meter is noting a staggering 1152 PAR just 7" below the waterline, 900 on the main reef, and 350 on the sand bed! So before I could continue the ramping up of the fixtures I added 2 window screen kits to the belly of my canopy. Enjoy the eye candy.



Absolutely top notch service and builds by Oceans By Design, thank you Mike, Becca and Eric.





 

Ilovereef

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Aug 30, 2007
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Renton
Stunning SPS tank! Wow! Largest blue tort colony I have seen. Love to see another mature sps tank and your tank is awsome!
 

blk822822

It's only money, RIGHT?
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Mar 28, 2010
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Black Diamond,Wa.
Stunning SPS tank! Wow! Largest blue tort colony I have seen. Love to see another mature sps tank and your tank is awsome!
Large tort colony.....hahaha...if you only knew how many times thet colony has been fragged. She's really great at growing that coral. And it's sooo healthy and nice.
 

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
More like manicure gang. A trimmed 20" across. Can't let it overtake the new tank in only 1.5yrs. Family says no bigger system lump it. Can you get away with trimming 4-6" stems 3x year. I've cut perhaps 34-40 this year to the areas hobists. Really I am not complaining, it all goes back into the hobby equipment and supplies.
 

aaron1987

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Sep 13, 2012
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Location
Seattle
Looks fantastic! Thanks again for the piece of the beautiful tort. And by the way, the harle's are doing great. They've spawned 3 times already in the short period I've had them!
 

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
Update on par comparisons....amazing par on helios

That looks so awesome. The LEDs are very well done. I think I am sold on the Helios 180s.
Colors are vibrant and crisp with stunning detail of corals. Sad to say my camera doesn't show the jewel and glitter of the dancing LED's. Even in the heavily shaded areas of the reef the LED's can be seen penetrating and dancing on the sandy bottom.

KEEP IN MIND THAT WE ARE RUNNING THE LED'S AT BARE MINIMUMS OF THE DRIVERS. DON'T WANT TO FRY MY TANK. We even had to be creative in adding two DIY screen kits to the underbelly of the canopy to intentially drop PAR for acclimating my tank. The APEX controller has a doubling effect on the power of the fixtures. APEX operates 0-10V and Helios is 0-5V. Therfore if Apex set is 5% @ .5V = Helios 10%, 10% @ 1V = 20%, 20% @ 2V = 40% and so on. Any ideas on how to be able to get control of greater dimming than having my ramp totally wink out since minimum volts are in play?

 

Maxx

Staff Housemonkey
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
2,935
I dont know that you need to do anything different?
I've been running LED's since March of this year.....I'm not getting the growth you are, but I suspect that's because I dont have the time to devote to my tank like I used to...
(3 little girls under the age of three).

If you're PAR numbers displayed on your pictures above are correct.....why change anything?

With two window screens covering your lights, and only running the LED's at 10%, you've already got more PAR than you did before with significantly less energy usage, and you wont have to spend money on bulb replacement for a long time.....

Have you run a Kill-a-Watt meter on your new LED's to see what they're pulling compared to your previous set up?
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Feb 8, 2004
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Columbia Falls, MT.
Beautiful tank, what is even better is that I am picking my new lites up next weekend. I can't wait to see what they do for my tank. I am really impressed with the PAR readings.
 

mojoreef

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Sumner
Any ideas on how to be able to get control of greater dimming than having my ramp totally wink out since minimum volts are in play?
You could leave the canopy at that height and keep the screens in and then through the acclimation process just raise the end ramp voltage setting? So right now you are at a setting of starting at 0% and ramping up to 7%. So when your ready to push the acclimation up a bit then you would ramp it up to 10%? To stop the wink Just have the leds start at the lowest level the driver allows, so if say 5% is that mark the start you ramp up at 6% and go to 10%, make sense?


Mojo
 

mojoreef

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If you're PAR numbers displayed on your pictures above are correct.....why change anything?
They are correct Maxx, when we hung the lights we set up the intensity using a Apogee Quantum light par meter. So the white numbers are with the halides, the red numbers were with the lights about 24 inches off the water?? I believe and then through a 1/4 glass (salt covered) covers. and then the Green numbers were at the lowest setting we could get, at the same height but with two screens covering the lights.
[h=1][/h]We have to remember that the leds spectral light wave pretty much all fall between 400 and 500nm's which is right in the sweet spot (PUR) for zoox intake, where as MH's and Flor's show their par as all light between 400 and 700nm's. Aquanaut could have gotten away with less light, but because of the shape of her tank and those fricken amazing coral colonies we needed to get a better overall coverage.


Mojo
 

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
You could leave the canopy at that height and keep the screens in and then through the acclimation process just raise the end ramp voltage setting? So right now you are at a setting of starting at 0% and ramping up to 7%. So when your ready to push the acclimation up a bit then you would ramp it up to 10%? To stop the wink Just have the leds start at the lowest level the driver allows, so if say 5% is that mark the start you ramp up at 6% and go to 10%, make sense?


Mojo
Perhaps in my future I may add an extra VDM module and run more VAR channel cables to change-up my light emission so I can have the moonlight glimmer effect that I would like to get. Or does the Sunrise/Set on the APEX offer a more stepped ramp of the LED's. Some way if the volts are at a high enough level that the controller may be able to then tell the LED's to only display the correct visual ramp I'm looking to obtain.

Yes, I'm being picky, and perhaps premature on getting what I want, but it is one of my goals. Honestly folks, these Helios fixtures are incredible to have over a system, and I trust Ocean By Design to help me experience exactly what I want to achieve in the end. Heck, my hubby can't wait to see how much my power bill will be going down.

Aquanaut
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
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Columbia Falls, MT.
Got a Question.................................. What has the temperature of the tank done after the installation? Have you had to add any heaters to the system?
 

Katchupoy

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Jul 9, 2003
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Location
Kent 98031
Subscribing here Deb... I need to visit your tank again....

In terms of lighting. It should be dramatic. I have almost the same setup as yours before. 2x250 watt then went to 6xT5 to cut cost. Now Im down to 3watt x 24 crees. That is just 75 watts of LED.

Congrats again in your new lighting.
 

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
Location
Renton, WA
Amazing to Frag it that many times a year and it keeps growing. What is your secret?
Hmmm...keeping good chemistry params level and not swings. And doesn't hurt to become a "Coral Whisperer"...chuckle. Be vigilant at what your corals are or aren't doing in balance with chemistry (Alk/Mag/Calc/Sal/Iodine). I have found greatest growth occuring with PAR 300-500.
 
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