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Hydra 32 vs. XR15? (1 Viewer)

SCUBAFreaky

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I apparently burned out both of my 150 watt metal halide ballasts with a bad bulb. Never had that happen before. I'm taking this as a sign to FINALLY switch over to LEDs. I am currently using a 48" IceCap Reef Illuminations fixture that has 2 T5s in it and I also added a single 48" Reef Brite Blue XHO strip as well. I'm considering just keeping this fixture and replacing the two metal halides with either two Hydra 32s or two XR15s?

So my question is, what do folks like? Hydra 32 or XR15? And why (or why not as the case may be)?
 

Cody

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I would recommend neither of those fixtures, but that’s just my opinion. Given a blank check, I would take black boxes over any of the more expensive fixtures due to the nature of the type of light source that leds are. I can draw up the illustrations tomorrow explaining why, but I need to go to bed now. I’m up way too late!
 

SWCRitt

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Between the two I prefer the XR15s. I have two tanks with hydra 32s and two with XR15 pros and I feel I have better SPS color and growth with the pros. Though zoas and other softies seem to be nearly identical under both as far as growth and color since its more than they need anyway id guess. I also like the modius app for the xrs better than the AI controls for the hydras, though you can honestly do the same with both, I just find mobius easier to deal with. The preset spectrums are nice and simple. Same with setting up things like photography spectrums. I have no experience with the black box LEDs so can't say about those.
 

second_decimal

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I have used neither the XR15 or the Hydras but I can say with certainty that LED are a sad, sad replacement for MH. LED has a lot going for it and checks a lot of boxes (energy efficient, low heat etc. etc..) but as far as aesthetics, MH has yet to find a real contender.
 

Cody

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The spread and par ratings that BRS tested for these light fixtures is great but their tests are not representative of a reef tank. They test flat surfaces for spread and par, but your reef tank is not flat. LEDs are cannons, or single point light sources. They do not spread light around very well and are much akin to spotlights.

The best theory with LEDs is to spam them over tour tank to insure the best coverage. Here is a comparison of a single unit versus a blanket of lights.

985E19BB-4E1F-4E22-8694-08466B4F4ABE.jpeg

When LEDs first entered the scene, it was all DIY and everyone spread the LEDs out as much as possible because of the understanding of how this light source worked. We ran into a problem though. You ended up with banding, aka the disco effect. Enter Radion. They put them all on a nice PCB, tight puck because it looked good to the user, but had nothing to do with light distribution. In modern days, you see Radions mirroring the Chinese black box more than their original design, and that’s for a reason. The wider spread, spammed, and lower powered individual LEDs make for a better light source for light spread in a reef tank. The difference is now that I can buy the Chinese black boxes at $130 per unit versus $840 per radion. Black boxes are proven and I can buy 6.5 or them per a single radion and they’re proven to grow and color corals very well.
 
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Cody

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I would also say that radions are much more powerful than black boxes, which is true. However, if your tank is 24” or less then your purchasing power that you can never use. There’s no level of PAR demand in a 24” or less depth tank that a black box can’t meet. Buying a radion for a 24” or less depth tank is like buying a Ferrari for the purpose of driving through the neighborhood to pick your child up from elementary school. I’d love to do it, but it’s not sensible or financially practical for most people.
 

SWCRitt

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I would also say that radions are much more powerful than black boxes, which is true. However, if your tank is 24” or less then your purchasing power that you can never use. There’s no level of PAR demand in a 24” or less depth tank that a black box can’t meet. Buying a radion for a 24” or less depth tank is like buying a Ferrari for the purpose of driving through the neighborhood to pick your child up from elementary school. I’d love to do it, but it’s not sensible or financially practical for most people.
Sadly I have no experience with the black boxes but would love to learn about them. Which black box do you recommend for a shallow tank? Have a 40 gallon breeder that needs a light and seems like a good chance to try something different.
 

second_decimal

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I would buy a Ferrari and drive it... everywhere. Drop the girls off at school (tuck and roll girls.. tuck and roll) and then head for a quick day trip to see the three sisters in the hill country (yes honey, the office very busy today. Yes of course I will curbside the groceries on my way home). Stop and get new tires. Head back to htown. You get the drift. Everywhere.
 

Cody

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I would buy a Ferrari and drive it... everywhere. Drop the girls off at school (tuck and roll girls.. tuck and roll) and then head for a quick day trip to see the three sisters in the hill country (yes honey, the office very busy today. Yes of course I will curbside the groceries on my way home). Stop and get new tires. Head back to htown. You get the drift. Everywhere.
What about your girlfriends? I thought those cars came with them.
 

Ross tha Reefer

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He was using the Vipra spectre...him and Dave both. Why I bought mine....can find em on Amazon


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