Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)


John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

GHL LED Mitras 6200 HV quick Review and Comparison

30 Jun 2014 21:14 - 01 Jul 2014 13:23 #1 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey guys

I wanted to write a little review regarding this LEDs. I am hoping it will help people decide whether or not to move from T5 or HQI to LEDs and are not sure how will they perform or even if they are worth it. There will be a small comparison between this LEDs and my previous Light Fixture (Metal Halide and T5HO combo), this will give you an idea of how this lights perform compared to HQI&T5s.

Now, I had thought of getting one of those cheaper LEDs from fish-street (like the K5 LEDs) but in the end, I decided for the GHL.

The main reasons were:

- LED performance (there are a few GHL reviews out there and lots of people have been using them for a while now with great success, no reviews out there for the other LEDs), so while I know how the GHL perform, I am not certain of the performance of the other.

- LED Software programmability/Functions (a must have for me)

- Full GHL Profilux compatibility

- Excellent built quality

- Reliability (muy importante for me as well)

- Customer support (again another must)

- Size/weight

- Ability to program the LEDs from the light itself (great option)

- External display (as before, great option)

- Heat control/dissipation (I wanted a unit that will run cool)

- Plenty of reviews out there

Whether or not these reason are enough to spend almost 3 times the money well, I will leave that for you to decide.

The reason why I didn’t go for the AI Hydra 52 or the Radion G3 Pro was mostly because I could only find these LEDs on line, and, although the lights are cheaper (around 600 pounds each) when you add things such as the remote control, hanging kits and shipping the price came very close to the price I would get the GHL lights in the shop. Another reason was coverage, the GHL can cover a great area compared to the AI and the Ecotech, this means that for my new tank (not my current one) I would need 3-4 AI/Ecotechs for 2 GHL. So, even if the GHL lights are more expensive (per unit) in the end, it would end up being cheaper. If you go online and type Radion vs Hydras or Hydra vs Mitras etc you will get mix answer, some people prefer ones, others prefer others.

Anyway so now lets talk about the light.

The lights came well packed although you would expect better packaging considering how much you pay for this lights.

In the box not much, just the light, power supply, hanging kit, quick start guide, usb cable (to connect the light to the software) and a pair of sunglasses!

The fixture also comes with a hanging kit, easy enough to install.

GHL recommend you install the lights at least 20 cm from the edge of the aquarium (not the top of the water line). The light is meant for open aquariums and must not be used in enclosed tanks.Light coverage is 86 cm x 65 cm to a depth of 70-80 cm (depending whether the light is on high efficiency mode or high output mode, more explained later). If you require deeper penetration the is a lens you can install that will give you another 10 cm of extra depth although this will affect the light spread.

The light has 6 puckis with 12 LEDs each giving a total of 72 LEDs with 9 separately dimmable colors:

12 x Cree XP-E blue
12 x Cree XT-E cool white
12 x Cree XT-E royal blue
6 x Cree XT-E neutral white
6 x Osram Oslon SSL true green
6 x Osram Oslon SSL sky white
6 x Osram Oslon SSL blue white
6 x Osram Oslon SSL hyperred
6 x hyper violet 425 nm

The are several ways to configure this light, on the light itself, via a USB cable (included) connected to a PC and via GHL Profilux controller (with the wireless expansion module).

I personally like the display menu, in here you can, not only change the light setting but you can also see the current light LED performance/temperature/moon cycle.

So once the light is set up I downloaded the software and installed it in my PC, connected the light to my computer and started up the program.

The light control software is decent enough, it will allow you to configure each of the 9 different channels individually, different intensities and will be able to cover ranges from 420 to 660 nm, 1000 - 24000 K, create up to 24 programs per day, the dimming also occurs smoothly (3000 steps), the light can also simulate clouds, storms, rain and full moon cycle (29.5 days). I will cover the software in a few days when I feel more comfortable with it. At this point I am only going to do some basic comparisons.

So it is time to compare this light par performance vs my previous HQI/T5HO combo.

So for I while I have been trying to find time to use my seneye to monitor PAR/light intensity. It can also measure Kelvin and wavelenghts but I will probably test it in a few days.

So what I did is measure the PAR of the light at different heights/positions. Try to start measuring at the top (water level), and then the center of the aquarium, back and front, and then move to the middle, and again place the sensor in the center, back and front, and then move to the bottom and to the same. Also move the sensor a bit to the left, and measure (center, back and front), etc until I reached the edge of the aquarium.

My old fixture is a Giesemann 4 x 24 W T5HO and 250 W Metal Halide (14K). The light is 60 cm wide.

It is important to note that the metal halide was only 8 cm of the water level while the GHL was over 22 cm. I will be using my seneye to measure the PAR given (cannot comment on how accurate it is as it is the first time I am using it and I have no other device to measure light intensity). Also, the tubes were 7 months old and the Metal halide around 5 so this would have had an effect on performance. Also, the tubes were 7 months old and the Metal halide around 5 so this would have had an effect on performance. And regarding PAR, remember that high PAR readings doesnt necessarily means adequate lighting, you could have a light putting out 5000 nm of PAR but 0 PUR of coral usable light! In aquariums, PAR is not important, PUR it is! So when we look at a light and say, wow that's bright, this has to be great for corals, well that's not necessarily true as the lights that corals need are not within our spectrum ;).

Let's start with just the 4 24W T5HO on their own, no metal halide

Now lets turn on the metal halide, sun glasses on!

I have to say I was very impressed about the PAR output on the HQI.

Now the GHL, the LED has two modes, High efficiency and High output. In High efficiency mode the light power consumption is of around 120 W, on High output mode the light power consumption is around 190 W

The below test was run on high efficiency mode at approximately 35-40% of total output power

Now the lights on high efficiency mode at 100% of total output power

And now the lights on high power mode at 80% of maximum output power (100% brightness). Also, I have increased the height to 34 cm from the water level

One of the most impressive things I notice is not the max output of the LEDs but how the PAR is higher at the bottom of the tank than the HQI.

I will run this test again during the weekend and try to get kelvin temperature as well as wavelength as I find it hard to believe that an LED could get more light penetration than a Metal Halide. I will keep you posted

Hope you enjoyed this first part, more will be coming soon... maybe
Last edit: 01 Jul 2014 13:23 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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30 Jun 2014 21:24 #2 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
oh just one thing, the lights have been on for only 1 day, so I can't really comment on how well the corals are doing but the tank looks fantastic (specially at night) and I can see colors that I havent seen until now.. I had to remove a lot of blue of the original pictures but the results are fantastic!

I few pictures below (I had to reduce the size them to half (can't wait to have a scratchless glass lol)

Mad looking arent they???

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04 Jul 2014 12:09 #3 by JohnH (John)
That's a superb and very comprehensive review Bohrio - thanks very much for taking the time to do it and post it for us to read your observations.

Although I fear it's a little 'above my head' (the only thing I know about Marine keeping is that the water's salty) :S - for anyone considering purchasing this unit I would say you have made a very persuasive argument for it.

Thanks again,


N. Tipp

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.

ITFS member.

It's a long way to Tipperary.

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05 Jul 2014 07:30 #4 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Thanks John but I think you are the only one reading this reviews lol ;)

So far though all I have proved is that the lights have a lot of PAR (basically that they have a lot of kick) but now I need to figure out the PUR (which is the part of the spectrum that corals use) is adequate. To understand what PAR is, PAR is the part of the spectrum between 400 nm to 700 nm that plants, corals, etc need for photosynthesis. However, only certain parts of this spectrum are used by the corals, others are used by other living organisms such as nuisance algae etc. Anything below 400 is below the UV spectrum (actinic) and it is dangerous to corals, this is why you never see bulbs go below this range (normally the lowest it goes is 380 nm). Light above the 720 nm range is considered infra red. Our visible spectral range (humans) is between 400 - 700, although our perception is much stronger between 550-620 (yellow and green spectrum). This means that, coincidentally, the light that we see most is the less usable for our corals, so if you hear someone assume that his new lights are going to be great because of how bright they are this isnt necessary true, as the spectrum that the corals need to survie is not the most visible for the human eyes.

Anyway you probably know more about light than me and I rather expand on this part when I have read more about light and photosynthesis.

Just remember, it is similar for freshwater. You could have a light that is putting up a lot of PAR (very bright) but almost none of the light is usable by the plants as it is in the wrong spectrum!

Chat to you later!

At the moment the corals are doing great, I am hoping to start taking some reading today or tomorrow

Thanks again

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