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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is there anyone who has had experience with using leds together with mh im using 6 a.i. leds over a 72 x 36 x 27
tank I get good growth im pretty happy with them but maybe im being to picky but it seems like theres something missing I used to run 6 250w hqi. with those I think the tank had a more crisp looked look so ive been thinking about adding 3 mh in between the leds and putting the leds on a 10 or 15 degree angle so the light rays cross through if that makes sense any feed back would be great
 

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Due to their single point source and sharp spectral peak fall-off reef halides are tough to emulate with LED. While LED gets you closer than tubes, there is an aethestic, or what I call 'bite' with the better halides that LEDs have a tough time matching.

Growth with LEDs, as you've admitted is fine. The over all color balance is likely pretty good, if not deeper with LED (depends on the unit). However, it's not the first time I've heard this complaint that something is 'missing'.

When I build LED lights I try to avoid too many optics, and use tight clusters of LED with a mix of blue wavelengths. This gets me quite a bit closer to the halide look, although not exact. Stony corals like Acropora tend to always look a bit duller with LED while LPS and softies should improve.

I'm curious if the AI unit's you're using have dual blues, or are the single color unit. Otherwise, mixing some lower powered halides back into things is your only recourse. You might hear some advice about mixing funky colors like UV or red into the mix, but I've yet to see it solve this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the a.i. are the sol blue. they are position about a foot above the tank and eqaully apart. if I went with mh i was thinking 150w being I dont need the intensity so much. was thinking possibly going 14 or 20k
 

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The AI's are a highly rated unit, but I've seen some additional gripes on other forums about color as I looked around.

14000k halides will likely mix in fine and would be my first suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
blasterman thanks for your imput! like most reefers were probably looking for perfection or closest to our likenest one question as i stated before if i angle the a.i.'s 10 or 15 degrees on each side of the mh, if you can picture that, in your opinion is that going to change the intensity or par-spectrum . im asking because you seem to be pretty knowledgable on this
 

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I haven't but, Fish Docs of Canton has the Sunbrite LED strips and MH on there coral display tanks. It looks great and they say it has done well for them.
 

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Actually, I would try running a single AI unit and a single MH with everything else turned off, and try both in different positions and see what works. When you nail it, do the rest the same way. I'm real fussy about lighting being seamless, so what will likely end up working the best is parking the halides next to AI units and possibly raising the AI's a bit. The 20k halide is going have a very similiar spectrum to the AI's, while the 14k will give a more unique spectrum that you can adjust for with the AIs. So, my intuition is to try the 14ks.

On a broader scope I've spent many hours trying to quantify what this difference is, but I just can't put my finger on it although I have several ideas. Higher end LED units have a lot of advantages, but there is something aethestically missing if you really look close compared to halides, and it's driven us nuts trying to figure it out.
 
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