Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by bigdubb, Jun 27, 2013.
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Has anyone had the AI Hydras or Vegas?
There is no one set 'best' across the board LED fixture. LED's are stiill very much so growing and developing that you can nearly get a fixture variation every month. The best fixture is going to be a combination of spectrum, coverage and light penetration. Price doesnt even matter cause you can compare say a reefbreeders to a $1000 fixture and see the same blub combinations, roughly the same drivers, etc etc. Just depends on how slick you can the outside to look.
I also have a 24"x24" tank and I have the radion and love it, my main reason to go with it was the mp10 compatibility and upgradability of it. If you want to go with AI I'll recommend the vega over the hydra because you also upgrade it(the hydra has fix lenses). I know a lot of reefers have DIY's fixture with great success so the final say is yours. I have to say that one if my local LFS had the razor for display purposes and some frag swap and he was not please with it. That fixture looked like a marine land "reef ready" LED when they came out and way underpowered for a 24" deep tank. But hey, I'm no expert at the subject, just another user that does a lot of research before making a purchase.
The whole upgradability of pucks thing sounded really good to me too and that's why I got Vegas too, but then I quickly realized that pucks are way to expensive to truly experiment with.
Another problem is LED layout. On Vega LEDs are large and spread out 5 LEDs across 4 pucks. Even if you do custom pucks, you end up adding certain colors only on certain pucks, making your tank coverage very uneven spectrum wise. If you make all pucks the same, you miss out on spectrum still as there's just not enough LEDs per puck.
To fix that you'd have to hang your fixture pretty high AWL to blend light better, but then you have to worry about light spill over tank edges as well as light hitting peoples eyes unless you have a canopy. With a rimless tank like mine and my personal preference that was not an option.
If choosing between regular Hydra and Vega, i'd go Hydra due to presence of near UV and violet. Getting Vega color and adding UV/Violet puck is way to much $$$$. But Par levels on Hydra are less than that of Vega/SOL. You might need more fixtures closer to water level depending on what corals you keep.
I recently replaced my Vegas with Hydra 52. Excellent light. Every puck has a ton of smaller LEDs (radion pro like) and includes full spectrum. It also uses frosted lenses to further diffuse/mix light. Overall PAR output is higher than Vega/SOL and a ton higher than regular Hydra. I've measured before and after with Apogee PAR meter. PAR levels were high, but more importantly much more uniform across the tank. With VEGA I had serious hot spots and low spots (when moving horizontally directly under the fixture, not talking about coverage edges). Spectrum has to be much more uniform too.
My vote would be: If you go AI, it's hydra 52 or nothing. If you can't swing Hydra 52, use any other brand that has a lot of tightly packed LEDs per single puck (ala Radion Pro).
I've heard numerous comment about salt creep issues on radion pros due to the fan location. Who thought it was a great idea to put the fan facing the water. AIs dont have this problem. Radion Pros are also more $$$. On larger tank you can get better coverage with Hydra 52s for the same money as Radion Pros.
I have two Hydra's that I cant wait to power up, Im currently rebuiliding my setup, and wont be up and running till may, I did use the Orphek PR156+UVB and it was amazing
I just purchased the radians for my 60 gallon cube that I am starting. I like the programability with the lights and the overall look of it is nice too. There should be no problem with any corals that i want to keep. Over time they should be more cost effective than the T5 i was running over my 155 even thought he up front costs are a bit higher. Cant wait to get the tank going and see what it looks like in real life!
I bought a aqua illumination by hydra 499 for the light 79.99 for the controller awesome light fully you can program the intensity of the light its awesome btw I have a 60 gallon cube aswell
AI hydra amazing
Good to hear! I'm getting two AI Hydras for my 90 as soon as I can afford them
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