Tag Archives: TMC

TMC AquaRay NUV 410nm LED

AquaRay Logo
Revised 1/7/16

1380542_595504497173285_1626878484_nTMC AquaRay has finally granted the AquaBeam NUV 410nm LED to be released to the US market. The LED was released to Europe back in 2013 and only to the UK, for quantity control issues. The LED has the same design as the rest of the Solid State AquaRay line, with 5 SemiLED x 410nm near-ultra violet (NUV) didoes, 120 beam angle. It has the waterproof rating of IP67, no fan, shimmer, low carbon output/watts, PWM dimming, and the 5 year full replacement warranty.


At this point of 2016, American Aquarium Products is the only supplier of these LED to the Western hobbyist. The point of a emitter in this range is to enhance the colors of corals, fish, and plants.

TMC States:

This 410nm wavelength will make corals fluoresce (as well as some other critters and fish) and has been shown to improve the red pigment ratio of certain deep water coral species such as Lobophyllia and Trachyphyllia.

“The addition of this wavelength makes LED lighting look even closer to natural sunlight, truly the true to nature lighting solution you can buy!”

Resource: AAP AquaRay NUV LED


Since this lighting spectrum is in the far side of the lighting spectrum, which also dips into the UVB range, limited quantity/amounts of the light is suggested.

TMC rates on strip of 5 emitters to light up to 170gals/650 litres, and is best seen when the tank is extra dark, say at night, when daytime lighting is off. The LEDs can be used during day lighting hours, just the recommendations of one strip per 170gals has to be considered for true coloration and amounts of UVB provided.

There are other Ultra Violet LEDs out in other commercial fixtures to date, but nothing up to TMC standards of quality of build, and also as a stand alone fixture. Some marine fixtures do have a couple NUV emitters in their fixtures, but separate controllability is not an option, which is why a separate fixture is preferred.

TMC does not give a rating on how long to run the fixture, say all the way threw the night, so caution is advised for health in mind. Start slow and work your way up and also know, limit amounts of this lighting type (more to the UVB range) actually reach the Earth surface.


TMC NUV with Reef White Combo

Watch your eyes, as it can be quick to try and blind you. UVB is harmful, so consider safety.

The fixture could be considered for reptile use, but keep in mind, it has a purple/blue look and since this is a new technology, reptiles would really need to be watched as far as health, as no reptile UVB LEDs are on the market as of yet.


Standard UVB Fluorescent


NUV Spectrum

Considering the amount of energy used by both fixtures, the NUV could be used as a supplement UVB light, to be ran all day during normal daylight hours for reptiles. For reef tanks, volume of water needs to be considered. The supplement light can be ran all day on 170 gals of water.

Guest Authored By: Devon Trigg


TMC GroBeam 1000, & New 600/1500 Ultima Review

Revised 2/27/14

20 Gallon Planted Aquarium with one GroBeam LED and one T2 Light20 Gallon Planted Aquarium with one GroBeam LED Light
The above is a couple of 20 gallon planted aquariums that the pictures were forwarded to me that has been using ONLY ONE American Aquarium GroBeam and ONE T2 Aquarium Light.
She told my friend this about these aquariums with a GroBeam LED this:
“The plant production out of these two small tanks has been amazing. I trim about every 2 weeks and sell the excess at my LFS.”
This pictures can be enlarged by clicking on (photos by Patricia Grice).

Product References:
American Aquarium GroBeam LED Lighting
American Aquarium T2 Lighting

Section 1; Customer Review
This is a consumer review sent to me (by a friend of a friend).
The output is similar to the GroBeam 500/600 since the emitters are identical (although there are differences in the drivers), so those looking into a GroBeam 500/600 can certainly find this review useful as well.

GroBeam 1000 LED Planted Aquarium Lighting“1. – Extremely well packaged and arrived in perfect condition. I’m only using one light for the next two weeks until I get my big tank set up.

2. – VERY WELL MADE lamps from the water resistant covers to the sockets. These are very sturdy lights. You get what you pay for.

3. – I LOVE these Gro-Beam 1000 lights! I may have been using an old 175w metal halide bulb, but these lights are every bit as bright and concentrated as metal halide. I love the “beam” effect it has when punching through the water. The color is beautiful, and it truly looks like my tank is in the sun.

4. – NO light pollution – the light goes where it is directed. I had light going everywhere with my metal halide. It is a more calming light. When I’m on my couch starting at the aquarium, I don’t feel like I am looking into stage lights.

5. – Have you done a PUR study on these? My plants have NEVER pearled as much under halide as they do with this light. It’s kind of like looking through a weak glass of 7-up. Outstanding! So, I know my plants are loving it if they pearl within and hour and oxygen saturation has occurred within that short time frame.
Reference: Aquarium Lighting; PUR, Photosynthetically Usable Radiation

6. – The dark corners when the light is close to the water (for the next few days, it is sitting on the glass canopy) gives a beautiful appearance of great depth or distance to the tank. It isn’t a light explosion like with UGLY fluorescent lighting. Extreme lighting in all areas which can be accomplished through HO fluorescent is far from calming to look at. With the GroBeam 1000. It looks like I am underwater looking at the items – there are shadows, glitter lines, and a sense of depth which is natural in nature.
See product link: American Aquarium AquaRay Lighting; GroBeam

7. – These two lights will pay for themselves in 3 years vs. metal halide or other LED systems. I ran the numbers, and with the amount saved and the 5 year warranty, they can’t be beat. After seeing and experiencing the build quality, I can now certainly confirm this.

8. – Bye Bye to my metal halide, the heat, the very warm ballast, and the feeling I was always under a sunlamp when working in my tank.

9. – Bye Bye to the expensive bulb replacements and the special handling they require. You aren’t supposed to touch the halide bulbs with your fingers – hmmmmmmmmmm, how do you replace them then, with gloves? If oil from the skin can damage a metal halide bulb, why are we using such “delicate” things? I always used my bare hands but always worried too what would happen.

10. – and finally, HELLO to the LEDS!!! Welcome to the new technology and the safety of them. They are worth every penny. I’m looking forward to having to prune my planted tank often. That’s what makes the hobby fun.

GroBeam 1000 Video



I decided the plants take precedent over my preference of color which is why I went with the appropriate lights rather than the XG1500 9000K. I had a 175, 6700K Metal Halide over my 22 gallon cube, and then switched it over to a 14K bulb I had when I used to do saltwater just to see the difference. I didn’t like the blue appearance nor how it made the plants look odd. True, my neon tetras glowed more blue as did my beta, but the plants looked weird. I went back to the 6700K last night to make my final decision. Everything looked much better under that light. It is under 6700K that I got explosive growth when I added a good, CO2 reactor (I use the Red Sea Reactor 500 – although some don’t like it, I think it is wonderful!)
See product links:
TMC 1500 LED Lights
CO2 reactors, economy

P.S.I purchased some fish magazine off the shelf and was looking through it last night. There were bunches of ad for LEDS, 155 1 watt bulbs!, etc. I just had to laugh when I read them 🙂 I hope people truly do their research!!
Reference: Aquarium Lighting Facts & Research

By Gary S.

Section 2; GroBeam 600 & 1500 Ultima

Please Click pictures to enlarge


• The New (as of January of 2013) GroBeam XB-D Ultima 1500 Tile & 600 Strip is an over all wide angle 65K High Light Planted or Fish Freshwater Aquarium Light.
See this product link: Aquarium LED Lights; 1500 Tile & 600 Strips

These new emitters seem to run even cooler than earlier emitters with a voltage variance that likely will be less sensitive to voltage spikes that moisture in an aquatic environment can cause.
As well the PAR is higher than that of the previous versions

• These newest adaptation of the Natural Daylight LED, aka the GroBeam now has the patented Cree Natural Daylight XB-D LED emitters

• The 1500 consists of 10 x 6,500K extremely high output NEW patented Natural Daylight XB-D LED emitters while the 600 strip utlizes 5 of the new patented emitters
The 600 Ultima consists of 5 x 6,500K XB-D LED emitters.

Please see the picture above for a 45 gallon “Cube” planted freshwater aquarium with two GroBeam 600 Ultimas

• For “High Light” Planted Aquariums, best results achieved under 25 inches of depth (the Marine White can be supplemented 1 to 2 for deeper planted aquariums)

• Excellent for Marine Refugiums as large as 38 gallons for the GroBeam 1500 or 15 gallons for the GroBeam #600

• The 1500 tile achieves 2058 Lumens, and a PAR of 148 uEinsteins/sec/m2 @16 inches.
The previous 1000 GroBeam Tile has a PAR of 123 uEinsteins/sec/m2 @16 inches

Please Read/Reference:
Aquarium Lighting; Facts & Information

For Marine Reef Aquariums, see the related:
American Aquarium Reef Lights; Ultima 600, 1500, 2000

Also see:
Product Feedback @ American Aquarium Products

Copyright 2014
By Steve Allen


For Help Finding a High Quality Hot Cathode UV-C Replacement Bulb:
UV Bulbs; Guide

Photosynthesis and PAR; Planted & Reef Aquarium

These are important aspects of both high end freshwater plant keeping and symbiotic Zooanthellae living within Photosynthetic invertebrates.

By Steve Allen

Revised 2/28/14

I will discuss each of these related aspects of Aquarium Lighting in a little more detail:


Photosynthesis, Aquarium, ReefPhotosynthesis is the synthesizing by organisms of organic chemical compounds, mainly carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light rather than the oxidation of chemical compounds.
Put another way, this means photosynthetic plants, algae, and similar use of energy obtained from light to produce cellular chemical energy and carbohydrates when combined with carbon dioxide necessary for life processes including nitrogen processing for growth.
Further Reference: Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle, Cycling

In order for the photosynthetic process to take, the organelle of the cell where light the energy to chemical energy takes place (named the chloroplast), must receive sufficient PAR (photosynthetic active radiation).
Often in aquarium environments the compensation/saturation point is not met within the chloroplast, this results in the organelle not producing the optimum amount of carbon bi-products (carbohydrates), and this excess energy will not be transferred to the host Photosynthetic Invertebrate..
The other side of the coin (more common in the ocean, tropical rivers, etc.) is photinhibition, which is the result of an excess of light energy causing cessation of photosynthesis altogether. Photosynthetic invertebrates as well as many higher plants have many light inhibiting pigments to protect themselves from tissue damage caused by photinhibition (hence the green and other colors that are often more vivid in higher light).

A myth of reef aquarium keeping is that Photosynthetic invertebrates such as corals only need the “correct” light to survive, however this is incorrect as no known animal can survive solely on light energy as there must always be a source nitrogen and other minerals for growth and reproduction.

PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation);

PAR, photosynthetic active radiation diagramPAR is the abbreviation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation which is the spectral range of solar light from 400 to 700 nanometers (some resources/research indicates up to 750n) that is needed by higher plants & symbiotic zooanthellic algae.
This is found from actinic UVA to near infrared. UVA is the bandwidth found between 400-550nm which is the absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a, c², and peridinin (the light-harvesting carotenoid, a pigment related to chlorophyll).
For our discussion of PAR, near Infrared is defined as the bandwidth found between 620-750nm which is the red absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a and c² (true infrared is beyond 750nm).

Light sources that emit mostly actinic light will often have a lower PAR (although actinic Violet-blue still occupies an spike in PAR as seen from the graph and improve the PAR of your lighting), bulbs that occupy mostly the middle spectrum (yellow-green) such as “warm White (2700K) will produce little necessary “Useful Energy” spikes (PUR) within PAR, while bulbs that produce UVA and yet more infrared will produce more important PAR light energy (as seen from the graph which shows the UVA spike and two infrared spike required for PAR).

It is noteworthy that most symbiotic zooanthellic have evolved/adapted to the lower blues of the Ocean Reefs need more of the blue/actinic spike than “higher plants”, hence the popularity of actinic lights for reef aquariums (this is true of other green algae).
However the optimum nanometer range is about 465-485nm (with some corals requiring more 420 as well), not the ONLY the lower 420nm many actinic lights produce or the more broad range many “blue” aquarium lights produce of 400-520 nm. This is where the latest technology LED lights “shine”, having a more precise 465-485nm blue as well as the lower actinic blue found in the Fiji Blue LED.
For this reason it is a good idea to have extra actinic for corals/clams that depend upon zooanthellic algae, while at the same time limiting blue/actinic in freshwater aquariums to avoid excessive green algae growth.

With he above in mind, the addition of lights that product more near infrared light spikes or the use red LED emitters does not help most photosynthetic corals and in fact some studies indicate to much red light can hinder acropora growth.
This of leaves me scratching my head why one oddly popular Aquarium Reef LED manufacturer adds red emitters to their LED fixtures (& worse, green emitters)?

Source: AquaRay LED Aquarium Lights, Lighting; Including Fiji Blue

PAR is the simplest, albeit not the most accurate way to measure light energy and quantity for the home/office/commercial aquarium. PAR is more simple to define and measure than any other forms of light measurement. However it is noteworthy that PUR is the much more important measure for saltwater reef aquariums.
The facts are you can have a light with a higher PAR be a considerably lesser PUR and thus inferior light.
Important Reference: Why PUR is more important in reef aquariums

For the aquarium keepers purpose, PAR is the number of photons per meter squared per second of light that falls between 400 nm and 700 nm in wavelength with the better PAR meters measuring the important spikes.
The meter displays these numbers in µMol•m²•sec (“mmols”), with currently accepted numbers measured as µMol•m²•sec at 50 mmol for most plants or low light corals such as Nemezophyllia, while Acropra can require PAR outputs as high as 300 mmol (any higher is simply a waste of energy/light)


To bring this concept of PAR vs. PUR to live for a real world example is a high end LED fixture compared to low grade (low PUR) fixture. Two fixtures could have the same PAR, but one could have a higher PUR. Like I’ve said in other lighting articles before…Just like there are multiple ways to add up to 10 (5+5 or 2+8), both will give you the same appearance, but one might be more beneficial to the overall tanks needs.

I strongly recommend taking a look at this additional article to help understand this concept more. It’s a shorter read, but if you digest the information in the post, it will help make this a concert idea.


PAR vs PUR AquaRay Readings

PAR vs PUR AquaRay PAR reading

Here is a quote from a professional in the aquarium industry that grows only SPS Acropora Coral. The hardest in the world…

Around 150 (PAR) at the sand and I could keep clams, grow sticks or anything on the sand…

This professional was not taking into account PUR, but was proving that most of what we can put to our aquariums can be grown with a lower PAR. Having a high PUR fixture will only enhance the growth of the coral or plants. A cheaper LED could have a higher PAR, but not allow for corals or plants to thrive as much as a higher PUR fixture. In this case, more PAR is required to make up the lack of PUR.

Remember: PAR varies fixture to fixture and all depends on the tech. used, mounting height, and spread. A PAR meter can be used, but it is just a tool and does not show the whole picture. It leaves out the important concept of PUR.

References; Further Reading/Information:

*Aquarium Lighting; Facts & Information

*PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting; why PUR is more important in reef aquariums

*Reef Hobbyist Magazine; Understanding Lighting and Photosynthesis
3rd Quarter 2010, By Mike Maddox

Copyright 2015, By Steve Allen