Mr. Saltwater Tank’s Review of EcoTech Marine’s Radion Generation 2 and Radion Pro LED Fixtures

Say the words “lighting” and “saltwater tank” and LEDs will be one of the first things to comes to my mind.


Because LEDs will undoubtably grow coral and they have unsurpassed controllability. I’ve used EcoTech Marine’s Radion fixture with great results and with the release of the Radion Generation 2 fixture and the Radion Pro, I had to give them both a try…with a couple of twists that you’ll see nowhere else online.

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Comments for this article (103)

  • Jason says:

    If budget is an issue you should get a Gen 1 and throw on some TIR lenses

  • Sunny says:

    Thanks Jason, does UV or yellow makes a big difference in look wise, and is 300 more for additional 10 lights worth it?

  • Jason says:

    I wouldn’t think so.

  • Sunny says:

    Thanks Jason. So I guess gen2, as I don’t want to go with gen 1 and TIR, as I read bad reviews regarding gen1.

  • Jason says:

    What bad reviews have you heard of Gen 1 Radions? If there are any legitimate complaints about them they would probably apply to the Gen 2’s as well.

  • Sunny says:

    Oh I don’t mean to offense anyone, I read on other sites as comparison, that gen 2 is better than gen 1 an people who bought gen 1 sold them and went back to MH and etc. so that’s why I said that, plus gen 2has higher watts leds and TIR pre installed and etc. I maybe wrong as I m so new to radion stuff.

  • Jason says:

    The only complaints I could find were light intensity and programming interface complaints.

    As far as the light intensity it only goes up with the Gen 2 and Pro. If Gen 1 is too much than Gen 2 and Pro will be worse. As Mark pointed out you are better off NOT running any Radion at full capacity. As such there is no reason to get a Gen 2 over a Gen 1.

    All versions of the Radion use the same control interface now. If you don’t like it don’t get any Radion.

  • Jason says:

    No offense taken. Gen 2 does have more power than Gen 1. But if you have to run it at 50%, or less, of maximum intensity the intensity increase is irrelevant. The intensity increase is only worthwhile if the Gen 1 light isn’t giving you enough light. Based off of Mark’s comments I don’t think that is a problem.

  • Jason says:

    I would say my only complaint about the Radion is applicable to all current versions: currently you have to connect a unit via USB cable to a computer to program it. If you don’t have a long enough cable this is a pain in the butt. I would think that since they are marketing the wireless functionality they should go all the way and make the Radions able to connect to your local wireless network. Then it would be perfect.

  • Sunny says:

    It does make sense, thanks Jason.

  • Sunny says:

    Yes I talked to ecotech, they said they don’t know when, but they are working on going fully wireless. Again, don’t quote me on it. Jason what radions do you have and how many and what size tank and what is the apx spread you get, I know it says 24×24 but some say its little more than 24×24

  • Jason says:

    I have a Gen 1 and had considered going to Gen 2 but I realized I was overpowering my corals when the light was at 100% so I decided to stick with Gen 1 unless there is a new version with full wireless capability that isn’t able to be added to the Gen 1 with firmware updates.

  • Jason says:

    Currently I have a single Gen 1 over a 36″ x 36″ x 18″ cube. I prefer LPS and softies over SPS so it seems to be more than enough. I have considered getting a second unit but if I do it will be Gen 1.

  • Shari says:

    Looking for some advise on LED lights for my tank. Currently it would be considered a FOWLER tank, however, plans are to switch to REEF if I can get the LEDs figured out.
    I like the EcoTech Marine but am unsure how much lighting I need. My tank is 100gal (60″ long, 18″ tall, 18″ wide). It also has a glass bridge on the top with two side glass covers that measure 22″ with a 2″ glass bridge/cover overlap.
    Would appreciate any help I can get on figuring out what to buy. I want enough light to hold SPS (not sure about a mixed reef yet) but would like to keep my options open.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • Lecter says:

    So, if I took a Q-Beam spotlight and suspended it over my tank and obtained good PAR values, the I could be assured that my inhabitants will flourish? tsk tsk.50% of the light emitted from the original Radions is unusable for marine photosynthesis. PUR is the factor! They use unbinned led’s not -high end onesl Fads do not grow reefs. Evironment does.

  • Kat says:

    Jason, what do you run your radions at, intensity wise? I am looking at the same tank as you and thinking on gen 1

  • Jason says:

    Right now I am running at 55%

  • Jason says:

    I forgot to mention that I am running the “Radiant Color” program which is not set to run at the same intensity as the “High Growth” program by default. Thus my 55% would be closer to 30% if I was running something like the “High Growth” program.

  • Jeramy says:

    Hello I just bought 3 gen 2s for my 180 72x24x24. I am replacing a current usa fixture with 3 250s 14k and 8 T5s ATI blues. At the present i am running the T5s for 10 hrs and the 250s for 5 hrs. What would you recommend i start with for power 25% also should i keep the same 10 hr cycle with the Radions? Thanks

  • Grant says:

    If you shouldn’t run these lights at more than 30%, then why would Ecotech have all of there presets set for way higher?? To kill the customers corals?? I would think not, so something has to be off here between either this experiment or the companies settings….I am just confused now…

  • Grant…different people run different run their lights at different settings. I chose to turn mine way down. Other people might want to chase PAR numbers and turn theirs way up. Other people might have a very deep tank so they’ll want to turn their lights up to get the look/penetration they want.

    Keep in mind nearly all people in the saltwater tank world first look at PAR numbers when deciding if they like/don’t like a fixture. Since most people think high PAR numbers are best, EcoTech likely made the Radion produce a large amount of light to be in line with customer desires.

  • Grant says:

    Thanks for answering my post…Yeah I definitely see what you are saying with that PAR stuff….I have a 180 and similar tank as you with a lot of different corals, along with the rose bulb anemone….Is there any way that you could email me the light schedule you use for your tank? Since I have the 180, I am assuming you still don’t recommend me running anything above 30% correct??

  • Jason says:

    I have to second what Mark is saying. When I had my Radion at full blast my corals were withering. It might be good if I had an SPS tank but I don’t.

  • Jeramy says:

    Hey grant check out Jon’s graph at reef central. Mark if your emailing your graph ill take one also.

  • sunny sharif says:

    Hey Mark, if you are sharing your graph settings, could you please email me a copy of it as well please…
    thanks in advance.

  • Terry says:

    Mark, would appreciate if you include me on the email for your graph settings also. Thanks

  • Hi Mark,
    If you send out graphs I would also appreciate it. If not, pls let us know whether you have a concern in sending these out so that people will not keep asking…
    Thanks a lot,

  • Sunny says:

    Yes mark, if you can’t send it , please let us know as we are all waiting for it thanks

  • Jordan Brown says:

    Looking for any help with scheduling for my lights. Just upgraded to 3 radion gen2 lights from a 3x150w HID system. Could you possibly email me any of your schedules. Thanks a ton! I am currently using Jon’s program but it seems to never hit a really high growth point around the 12k mark or so.

  • Pam Nachel says:

    I am trying to figure out how many LEDs to go with my tank
    Is 72″ l by 29w by 31d . I have been told I need an led every
    2 x2 . So how many fixtures do I need to grow my corals mixed
    Reef thanks Pam

  • Ryan says:

    I have 2 gen1 fixtures over my 150 gallon mixed reef 60x24x24. The intensity is set at 72% on the radiant color graph. Long rail kit,lights attached length wise.

  • Mike says:

    Are you keeping the radion pro at 20-30% in an sps tank?

  • Mike…currently yes. I also have a 90g client tank with the G1 radions, no TIRs that we have 40% max and we’re growing SPS corals well. In time we’ll turn his lights up.

  • mike gosselin says:

    I thought u said u would never get a rimless tank ever again what changed your mind on getting one again.

  • Mike…the tank is not rimless

  • Ed Thompson says:

    I am a little confused on your Radion settings. On your gen 1 review you displayed the settings you used. i.e., At 12:00pm you used the 14k preset with the brightness at 100%. But in the gen 2 and pro review you stated to turn them down not up. Did you change your mind and turn your brightness down, or I am confusing something. Please advise.

  • Ed Thompson…I’m lost. When did I say I used 14k @ 100% @ 12pm?

  • Ed Thompson says:

    Sorry – I was looking through the site and came upon
    which indicated that it was the Radion settings for a 90G SPS Heavy mixed Reef tank. I was thinking of using these settings but then watched the review of the Radion Gen 2 on the site which stated to turn the intensity down not up. Then I starting thinking that I was getting confused.

    I have a Radion Gen2 over a 24 Gallon tank with a Tridacnid clam and some softies and was looking for some recommended settings…

  • Pam says:

    I have tal toyou about get radions for my 240 tank 72l24w31d I would like to no if I could go with 3 to start with and and more if I add hard corals. i havw mostly soft corals that i will move from the 90. All the corals I have are growinf good under t5’s. Also i want to put 150 in the bedroom behind the 240 as the reguim. my husband says we only need vavle to adjust the flow, the 150 will be a lttl lower than the 240. Any advise to make this work or should we just put the 150 floor level. Could you send me a private e-mail on the cost of the 3 light, may be ready to move on them tks Pam

  • Bill Ruddle says:

    I have a 4-5 month old 400 litre (105g) reef aqaurium which has 2 Radion Gen 1s about 9inch off the water. I was wondering how many hours should I be running the lights per day? Over the last month we have had green hair algae start getting out of hand! Obviously an increase in algae means that our phosphates and nitrates aren’t perfect and we have been making changes to get this in check but seeing little change! However, the increase in algae seems to also coincide with playing with lights and changing programming. Lights are coming on at 7am and off at 8pm ( we uploaded a recommended program from the ecotech forums). I know lighting can enhance an algae problem… What would you recommend?

  • Bill Ruddle…water changes won’t do much for your nitrates/phosphates unless you large (50% of better) water changes. On @ 7 and off at 8 isn’t an overly long photoperiod and the intensity of the lights over the photoperiod will drive algae growth. More intense lights = more available light for algae growth.

  • Melissa says:

    Mark I have a 120 gallon reef leathers, mushroom blasto, acans, zoa, dragon soul faviam meat coral stuff like that also 2 clams. My tank is 48x24x24 and has 2 radions gen !. Set on radiant color at 40%. Was thinking of turning it down a bit to 35% some of zoas and not opening well and I noticed some not all of the star polyps are closed. Other zoos and star polyps are opening fine? I read that you would keep gen one between 40-50% is running at 35% or lower okay to grow corals?

  • Kelly Hannigan says:

    Hello mark, I’m upgrading to a 180 gallon 6x2x2 tank and I’d like it to be a mixed reef. There’s a sale right now on the ecotech radion gen 2s and I was going to purchase 3 of them. My question to you is would this be enough for SPS? Should I buy more or should I go with radion pros? Or are the radion pros only for deeper tanks? Thank you

  • Melissa says:

    Mark this is your post doing you mind sharing this program? The 90 is close to my tank and I have gen 1 thank you!

    currently yes. I also have a 90g client tank with the G1 radions, no TIRs that we have 40% max and we’re growing SPS corals well. In time we’ll turn his lights up.

  • Steve says:

    What I do not see is any measurement of PUR via a Spectrograph.
    While PAR certainly is important, PUR is even more important as this is the Photosynthetically Usable Radiation.

    Since the Radion uses Cool White and Green Emitters this is going to naturally be lower.

    As an example, two lights can have equal PAR readings but not be equal in PUR.
    If one light has much more unusable green or yellow light which both still fall under PAR, this light is going to have a lower PUR and thus be the less effective light for our aquarium

  • WL Gracey says:

    Hey Mark is there any way you can post an update to the radion program you currently run?I just got two gen 2’s and I’m looking for a template to guide me in the right direction.

  • Coey says:

    46 gallon bowfront: 16″wide (bow to back in center), 36″long, 18″deep. Currently running 2x150watt Pheonix 14k Metal Halides over a full reef lps-polyps-sps. I’m going to upgrade to LEDs and wondering would a Gen2 or Pro model XR30w be the best – is the Pro way overkill for my tank? Would I basically be paying more money for for UVi/indigo supplement lighting? I’m only going to purchase one unit. I hear they are also coming out with wide angle lenses soon to distribute the spread. Please let me know your opinions! Thanks!

  • Athanasios says:

    Hi Jason,I’m still hesitating to change from the 2×250 watt Iwasaki metal halides plus three VHO actinics and go with the Radion led lighting system? I have a 120gal reef tank with mostly sps corals.There’s also Orphik that compares to the radions which makes it more difficult for me to decide.What’s your take on this?

  • adam says:

    How come the single g1 puts out more par at 1718 than a g2 which puts out 1434? How can a g1 do more and this site says it doesn’t What do they do ????

    On this reef central they show the g1 doing 660 at 100%

  • Frances says:

    Hi…can you use the radion with MH 250w on 105 gallon tank with good results?


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