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Old 09-21-2005, 05:00 PM   #1
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dumb question needs smart answer

I have a 40+gal long tank full of live rock and wonderfully healthy everything else. Fish: Clowns 2 and one baby yellow damsel. I want to put things in like anenomes, feather dusters etc etc etc. Now the last time it was full and beautiful the hurricane(S) got them(all inverts, and most fish). Got them all.. all but the last three mentioned above. I was told that I would need to get better lighting than the 48" blue actinic that I keep on them about 8-10 hours a day. Now hear me out, I have this friend who has anenomes, featherdusters, everything invertabrate that you can imagine growing and doing well in his tank and he doesn't have a light on it at all.. Except he turns on this "garage light 48" flourescent stick" to show off his tank when company arrives(he got it for $14 at wal-mart, hell my bulb for my tank light is $29.00). Now when there is no one around, he doesn't put any light on these things, I guess except the light coming in from a window across the room. So what is he doing that is so right and why is everyone at the lfs out of town telling me that I can't get these inverts to thrive without this expensive lighting kit he's been trying to sell me for 18 mos now? Is this purely a scam or do you really need all those lumens? Someone needs to cut through the bs and give me some help. I want beautiful anenomes again for the clowns but I don't want to invest in expensive lighting. They didn't seem to need the lighting the last time but before they could grow and live, the hurricanes got us. Which looks like might happen again soon, but until then, I want inverts.. And pretty ones..Thanks out there for all and any help you can give me.
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:45 PM   #2
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How long has your friend had his tank with the anemones set up? Feather dusters don't require light so your ok with that. The anemones need light to manufacture food, while some may live in low lighting, it's not always best for them. They will eventually loose all their color and possibly die. I don't know what your friend may be doing that is keeping the animal going unless it is the fact that it's not been with him long enough to do any real damage yet. That and if you cross the road with your eyes closed, it doesn't always mean you'll get hit. Could just be he's been lucky so far. I'm not familiar with your lighting, what is the wattage of your 48" light? Is it a PC light? Two bulbs?
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:52 PM   #3
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Maybe they are tube anemones? I've read these can do well with low light. I also read in a book that some soft corals from the genus dendronephthya don't require special lighting either since they are nocturnal and come from deep waters. From what I understand there are a few mushrooms that do well with low light. And of course the featherdusters and christmas tree worms don't need light. You should talk to your friend about the specifics of what he has in that tank. As far as an anemone for the clownfish.....I wanted one too but from everything I have read the kinds of anemones that can do okay without intense light are the kinds that a clown won't chose to host anyway. As far as advice from the stores....I've run into a similar problem. They will tell you that all coral needs light and it's not true. I think it's "mostly" true so that's the answer they stick to.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:57 PM   #4
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Oh I forgot to mention liveaquaria is a great site to visit. They list the lighting conditions required for their stuff as well as how difficult or easy it is to take care of. So you might want to check them out.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/
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Old 09-21-2005, 10:19 PM   #5
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Allright, well heres a shot in the dark. Now I dont know the exact demensions of a forty long, but if perportioned the same way as a twenty long than it is not a tall tank at all, but rather short. Well I still dont see how your freind gets away with not having any light but just for showing and the window in the garage, but since there is probably not that much depth in your tank you could get away with standard flourencent lighting providing you have the right spectrums. It sound like you have a good start with the actinic, but probably one or; wouldn't even hurt to have two in the 10k range. If space an issue go with the T-10 powerglo's. They are smaller than T-12's and still hold 40 watts of juice instead of 32. There only about 10 bucks a bulb at my lps and at homedepot that got twin 48" light setup's minus bulbs for 8 bucks.
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Old 09-22-2005, 01:25 PM   #6
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that helps more than you all will ever know.. thanks for such educated replies.. And as far as how long this friend has had these anenomes.. well over 18 months each.. thanks !!!!!!!
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Old 10-08-2005, 02:46 AM   #7
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would it be better to use natural light, i.e have your tank near a window (as we have great light were i live) or use an exspensive lighting setup. As far as i can tell all your doin with the light is trying to simulate sunlight, arnt you? please correct me if im being an idiot
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Old 10-08-2005, 04:47 PM   #8
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The only problem I have heard with sunlight is it could create an algae problem. On the other habd lighting is only one of the criteria for algae to flourish. It also needs the proper elements to grow. I have my tank that gets a couple hours of sunlight every morning and there has been no excess algae growth and the fish really seem to like the natural sunlight.
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