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I have been looking at optional marine lighting like LED's.

Age of aquariums has these ones. Age of Aquariums - Vertex Illumilux Marino Bianco 900mm 50/50 Royal Blue - White

My redseamax 250L 3ft currently has 6 T5 lights and the tubes have to be replaced every 9months or so. I just bought new tubes now so I have some time to consider the LED option.

Would that LED setup be wide and comprehensive enough to do my tank? I am thinking of just ditching the hood and suspend the LED from the ceiling.

Heres' some rough financial figures. What do you think?

Coral tank Watts 6 3ft T5 234 W

Hours per Day Used 8 hrs

Kilowatt Hour cost ($) $0.19

Days per Month Used 30 days

Daily Cost will be $0.36

Monthly Cost will be $10.90

Yearly Cost will be $130.81

plus pa replace bulbs 160

Total $290

Over 5 years $1,450

VRS LED Watts 51 W

Hours per Day Used 8 hrs

Kilowatt Hour cost ($) $0.19

Days per Month Used 30 days

Daily Cost will be $0.08

Monthly Cost will be $2.38

Yearly Cost will be $28.51

initial cost 439

total $468

Over 5 years $582

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They are so brilliant it's rediculas,the lack of that annoying radiation allowing all life forms together and the void of the heat that especialy haloid and tubes put out makes the result in my reef tank astounding and cool.

Ours cost $190 for a 90 watt fitting,tubes $21 each,all landed prices at my front door in 12 days.

i got 8 tubes,2 fittings at 90 watt and 2 bulbs at $29 of 15 watt high out put,they equate to near on a 400 watt metal haloid,the bulbs are so bright its amazing,the lumins are through the roof and the par is greater than the 90 watt fittings,i wish i got more now!

i got a couple of a 90 watt fittings in our club shipment from china with one spare for another tank later,both with cree blue and white 3 watt LEDS in them and LED tubs with blue and white LEDs over the scrubber and the result is,why the hell would you have anything to do with any thing else for lighting.

Sadly the ones we got have over powered fans and make a bit of noise.

I have many forms of corals under these lights,all responding wonderfully and some growing at an allmost an alarming rate!

The tank is powering on all levels!

Edited by liquidg
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Ah so you did the tubes of led's. Ordinary ones here (no clever light spectrum) cost about $60 each for the 4ft ones, then you need the starter removed and the ballast so the tube will work. I am not handy at all so I would need a sparky.

I assessed the costs of changing my 4 ordinary fishroom fluros to LED fluros and over 5 years the price with $63 lights and 18w each power (without modifying) was only $25 difference so not worth bothering with.

Maybe you could do an LED lighting post for absolute dummies like me lol.

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I was the same on LEDs,i had no idea, a diode, what the? but the bit i had herd of them got me interested and after 40 plus hours on the net over three weeks I had it worked out.

We have two sparkies in the club as well, so that was helpful, one of them knew how good cree products are.

The pluses on LEDs were, long life, no heat at all, low elec bills and none of that radiation that very few realise that it’s affecting their coral community and some other life forms in so many ways.

You see most corals collected for the shops do not come from waters where they have adapted to high radiation levels, these are normally from slightly deeper and more so pristine waters, so the incandescent lighting and tubes put out the radiation that they are not used to and that over time, can be quite detrimental.

I am not a tech person and I do not like to use Latin names or scientific terms unless absolutely necessary, that’s from way back, I’ll leave that one alone, I like to build or do everything myself, that can be done, but these Leds,they have changed everything with reef keeping.

I haven’t seen these types of results since back in the triton fluoro tube days until they got far to expensive, a few years before trickle filters became the thing to have on your aquarium, they didn’t work any way over the long term, most were never told how useless they become with out serious pre filtering, the same with canister filters in time,so you have a failure and need more money spent.

Now the spin is on spend and spend,because the old ways failed,when it could have been so simple and cheap and on no one was told how to use those things and not this forum,you guys seem quite good, but some others are running with this and also being run by shops more or less and it's a case of have to spend and spend and not understand your hobby.

Sorry to rave on,i just find it a bit sad.

Any way,it’s a shame here in Auz we are being ripped off with LED prices, just like panel TVs, plasma or lcd, we were ten years behind with them here and than ripped off for a while.

If it weren’t for the Internet and the subsequent ability to source over seas suppliers we would all still be ripped off.

The wiring of fluros to accommodate LED replacements is very easy!

Just remember they come ready for direct 240 volts and nothing in between, the power goes in one end at that tombstone and comes out the other end, you wire your batten or aquarium light fitting that way, it’s that easy.

Edited by liquidg
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I'd look at getting that led fitting if it was me,

a few years back I would have got a metal halide for a reef/marine setup,

but not now, LEDs have progressed massive amounts in the last few years.

The intensity they now possess is almost equal to a mh but at a fraction of the power consumed.

Here's an example

I actually installed 12 led downlights (15w each, so 180w total) in a reception area that was previously lit with 8 x 2x36w flouros (total wattage - 576w).

when I turned the power back on to the lighting cct, I was blinded by these lights, they where burn your eyes out bright and had a huge spread of light on them (4.0m dia @ 2.4m ceiling height),

in them end I had to put a dimmer on the LEDs as they were to bright.

It worked out well really, the whole office is getting retrofitted now as the running cost is a third of what it was, while at the same time producing more light.

The only real downside with the LEDs at the current time is the cost, the fittings above cost $300 ea, but give it some time and the prices will start to drop.


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I know what you mean,thats why we got ours direct from china.

The manufacturer we went through had LED down lights and all the lighting gear and when i compared the prices here of something similar it was up to 14 times the price here,that was far to much mark up in my opinion!

One of the club members has a lumin tester and a PAR tester and the lumins on the 90 watt fitting were the same as 3.30 pm per sunlight at 250 mill away from the fitting,amazing!!

The par was not something that is the best to test for these lights as they are designed to have less harmfull radiation from them than current old school lighting,as PAR means photosythetic available radiation any way.

So i agree the other forms of lighting are garbage now with the new LEDs,especially when you do a group buy direct from the manufacturer.

We have tried them against the metal haloid and they are far more power full,the 90 watt does what the 250-300 metal and far better.

See yah.

Edited by liquidg
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I put the buy up we had on here and i doubt if there will be another with us,except for the bulbs,i got enough spares to last me for around 12 years.

With anything that i am sure of is an excelent price,i always buy in bulk after i have worked out what will do what and for how long.

i have always been a planner.

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I'm still a bit lost on whats best for my particular marine tank, the long tubes of led's or one of the ready made jobs of single LED setups. The whole wattage thing has me confused as well. Theres 90w, 180w, 240w, 260w etc etc up into thousands of dollars.

I am going to have to figure it out soon as the exhaust fans from the marine tank are actually starting to heat my room. Room temp was 26c during winter but now its snuck up to 28c and its not even summer yet! My chiller is probably running for the entire time those lights are on too which is going to make a staggering power bill.

As well, my tank is in a room under the house and its amazing how much dust falls out of the floorboards above (not legal height to add a ceiling) onto the tank below so the hood is a good thing to retain if possible or I will have to somehow seal the floor from underneath which is a pest but do-able.

Question one: Would the new LED tubes fit into my hood which currently has 6 x 39W T5 Linear, 3 white, 3 blue tubes?

Question two: Would the LED tubes be so bright I would need less tubes and/or a dimmer?

Question three: Is it even possible for me to access the correct spectrum lighting of white/blue here?

Question four: Should I ditch the hood with its fans and timer installed in favour of a lidless tank with hanging LED lights?

Heres some pics of my hood setup.

As you can imagine, when closed the T5 lights are pretty close to the corals and they grow fairly well perched up high in the tank. There are two exhaust fans you can see on the back there and another couple actually in the hood at the side.


The hood has a timer which took me a while to figure out but now I wouldn't be without it as I am hopeless at remembering to turn on lights at a set time daily myself.


Other exhaust fans in the lid at the side. I have just enough room to open the hood fully if I fold back the first bit of the hood back first.


If the hood were ditched, the plastic runner pins either side and the brackets are easily removed. Not exactly sure where that wiring goes down into the tank though. Probably need a sparkie to disconnect it?


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Been doing more research and it seems the T5 in LEDs don't make them in the blue sorts yet so the idea of changing out ordinary T5's for T5 with LEDs is shelved atm.

I am still loath to cut off the hood altogether though as it might be able to take T5 LED white and blue in years to come so I will just fold it back and look into getting a couple of the hangy sorts of LED lights on offer.

Seems to be hella good demand in Australia atm for any lights imported and distributed to the aquarium shops. I'd like the prices to be a little cheaper myself and hear a bit more feed back from early buyers on whats good and not.

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i have been running a 120w led unit over my 2.5x2x18 tank for about 12 months and have pretty good

results i got mine sent over from china it cost me around $350 but that was when the dollar was about $0.85

but now its at $1.04 it should be cheaper or you can buy them from a guy down in Sydney who imports them from china and offers a 2 year warranty mine is made up of 119 1w leds 2 to 1 white and royal blue with 3 separate switches and a timer to set what times each light comes on and off if i was going to buy another one now i would defiantly go with the cree leds much better quality and light output if you are interested in the light i can point you in the right direction to get one ore more depending on your tank size

you wont need to go any stronger than 120w unless your tank is deeper than 2ft otherwise its just overkill

ive successfully grown both lps and sps under these light =s with good growth

ive uploaded a few pics of my tank with both daytime and night time shots

hope this helps with your decision to move over to leds

thanks matt



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Thanks hoppa. :)

My tank is 37"x21"x26" with a deep sand bed taking up a fair bit of the bottom depth depending on how the currents pulling it.

Since my tank is pretty used to just the T5's I won't be looking for monstrous lighting intensity as my corals don't want to be issued with a pair of sunglasses to cope lol.

Thinking a couple of the 3cree setups in 90w or 120w depending on price and availability.

Since they aren't fully tested over time yet, I don't want to outlay tons of money at this stage, just a moderate outlay will do.

Its not so much the wattage I will be saving, its the chiller hp cutting in all the time in combat with the lighting heating the water.

Thats where I might make the biggest power saving.

That and I won't have to pay $180 every 9 to 12mths on new T5 tubes.

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Mate,to be honest i have only had the LED lights over a tank for two months more or less and there is no way i would go back to other forms of lighting due to these things.

The LEDs do not put out harmful uv,you see corals do not utilize UV in the ways we have been told over the years,they use available light and its colours,the lights do not heat the room or the water and put out nearly four times the light of actual wattage used.

90 watts with 3 watt (degreed!!!!) LEDs,is equal to 300 watt MH in our testing with virtually no uv!

The biggy,and soon it will be all over the place,corals do not use uv in the ways we once thought!!!

The tubes have weak and tiny LEDs and no real directing degree,so they have quite a weak out put.

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And when I see the reef gurus I try to emulate swapping over to LED's I will follow. For now though I am most impressed that most of the worlds indoor pot growers are swiching accross to LED to get a more green green crop happening...... and avoid easy detection by authorities with regards to heat signitures and power use.

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I'm running 1200 LED's, $70.00 from Ebay, in my tank and I use a solar panel I got from Ebay. I plug it to a battery and a timer, also got the timer from Ebay. The timer turns on the lights and they run until power runs out. The total cost was about $400.00, not including the battery which came from my boat. You wouldn't need that many lights, which would reduce your power requirements.

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