This is Part #12 in a series of blog posts about my 225 gallon peninsula tank build.
I have never, ever used LED’s over any of my SPS dominated reef tanks but that is going to change with this peninsula tank. I have had great success with metal halides and supplemental T5’s and, as a result, have stuck with what works.
So I am both a little nervous but also very excited to try something different. I settled on the GHL Mitras since I have had great experiences with GHL products.
The first thing I noticed when unpacking the Mitras is the excellent build quality. These German engineered lights are solid, high end pieces of equipment, similar to the other GHL products I own. I do believe quality equates to longevity and that is important since money can be saved over the long run.
What about the light spread? For this model of Mitras, the LX 7206, the spread is thirty inches of coverage on the sides and twenty-eight inches of coverage front to back. Given that my tank is 36” inches wide, I went with six fixtures, two rows of three, to make sure I had complete coverage on the sides of the tank.
On a purely observational basis, the coverage of my lights is excellent. There is no shading in the tank and I do like that fact that there is no disco effect, a criticism I have heard about other LED’s.
In terms of PAR, these lights performed really, really well. During my initial tests I was seeing PAR values that ranged from 400 at the lower part of the tank to 500 near the top of the rock. And some of the higher values were registered in between the fixtures, a testament to the great light spread and coverage I was getting with the lights.
Interestingly, the PAR values generated by the Mitras were actually much higher versus the readings of 200 to 300 I was getting under my halides and T5s. As a result, I did crank down the intensity on the Mitras to lower PAR to the 300 to 400 range. This was done to avoid stressing out any frags I wanted to add in the future from my 187 gallon tank.
Ok, now onto the spectrum. My goal with these LED’s is to find a satisfactory spectrum and then stick with it. I do hear about folks making changes and tweaks to LED’s to chase colors of certain corals so I am really going to try to avoid tinkering with these lights.
Given my success with 400W 20K Radiums, I thought it would be a great idea to try and replicate that spectrum with these Mitras. A fellow reefer known as Telegraham on Instagram and YouTube is a Mitras user and also has data he captured on 250W 20K Radium bulbs and 400W 20K Hamilton bulbs. I reached out to him to see if he could create a replica Mitras spectrum based on those bulbs.
Below is Jim’s new Mitras spectrum. The ghosted spectrum behind it is for the Hamilton 20k bulb with an electronic ballast. Note the spectrum for the 400W 20K Hamilton bulb is nearly identical to the one for the 250W 20K Radium bulb.
It is also interesting to note that the spectrum of the 400W 20K Hamilton bulb is very similar to the Ecotech Radion’s AB+ spectrum, a popular spectrum used by SPS enthusiasts. The ghost in the picture below is for the 400W Hamiltons.
Replicating the Radion AB+ Spectrum
So in essence, this Mitras light profile created by Telegraham is a replication of the Radion AB+ spectrum that covers the spectrum you would expect to see from a 400W 20K Hamilton bulb and a 250W 20K Radium bulb.
Yes, the lights do look blue to me but I really like the fact that they mirror the spectral output of 20K Radium bulbs. Hey, at least I can hold on to some part of my metal halide roots.
Of course, it is all about results and time will tell on how well SPS do under this setup.
If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.
As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.
Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.