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Old 06-05-2006, 01:14 AM   #1
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how to setup my lights?

On friday i'm going to get a light setup from a guy that i'm buying it from...its a 4x96w retro. My tank is 48 inches, but the bulbs he's got on are 36 inches...do i need to get all 24 inch bulbs, and have them so that they are similar to this crappy sketch?


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or do i just get 4 48" bulbs, and have em like this?

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I"m really confused on how i should have them. Its on a 55 which is 48 inches...or should i leave it w/36's, and have it something like this...


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I would think not this way, but idk...
also, what bulbs should i avoid, as far as brand/kelvin/other...I know i should get at least 10K right? and should i have 2 daylights, and 2 actinics? I think they are square pins by the way, but i might be wrong. But i havent seen a 24 inch, 96 watt bulb, and i didnt really notice if there were 48 inchers.


Please help me out on this one!!!
thanks
mike
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:58 AM   #2
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If I am reading it wright the retro you are getting should be correct with the 36" bulbs. They should be arranged in a staggered pattern. Two of them will go on the left side going toward the middle and two will start on the right side going toward the middle so that you can take advantage of the higher watt bulb design. The 36" is a standard square pin configuration for the most part and yes you are correct two 10k's and two actinics should do you just fine.
As far as brands the two main bulbs manufacturers out there right know are esu (coralife) and currant, both are really good, and sometimes you can get them on sale at a decent price. There are others but have no experience with them.

Hopefully this works (Bulb layout)

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Old 06-05-2006, 02:10 AM   #3
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ok thanks. and i should put them like that even tho they're short for my tank? I'm really kinda clueless on them so ya. The guy i'm gettting it from has the 36's on right now, since thats how long his tank is, but he said that i could put whatever on there, as long as they're the 96 watts each, which is what it runs. Is that correct? And do they even make 96 watt, 48" bulbs? if so, why wouldnt i just run those, as my tank is 48 long?
oh and where abouts are you at in az?
thanks
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:30 AM   #4
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If I am not mistaken the longest 96 watt they make is 36". A lot of fixtures that are for 48" tanks use a 21" bulb so that they dont have to stagger them. However dropping down to that size also drops the watts down to 65 I think. On the other hand if you want lights that would go the entire distance of the tank without staggering them or running two side by side a company called Current came out with a new PC a while back that is, have to refer to my referance, 44/1/4" long that pumps out 130watts. This fixture by Current is called the extreme orbit uses 4 of those bulbs at 130watts each with moonlights and is somewhere in the $550 range. That retro is looking a lot better in my own opinion. Another option is using using standard flourescent tubes, either HO or VHO but I dont know what type of ballast you got and it sounds like it is prebuilt for PC 's anyway.

I'm just south of Casa Grande in the dustbowl of Az called Az City. LOL


Addition*****
Hey sorry I totally spaced there for a second and overlooked the previous owner had them on a 36" tank. Everything I have said up to this point will still work however you will probably need to get a new reflector. The one your getting is only 36" and will not fucus all the light completely into your tank. Here is a link for a brand new reflector that is 48" long to fit your canapy just right. And as an added bonus the company that sells this can also rivet the bulb holders into it so all you have to do is screw the reflector to the canapy and put the bulbs into the pre-installed bulb holders. Then just hook up your wireing and secure it so that no wires are drooping turn it on and you should be good to go.

http://www.hellolights.com/ref48in.html
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:34 AM   #5
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ya, he's got it set up for pc's now. i'll prolly just stagger them...overlap by like 8 inches or something like that (i havent done the math yet!) That wont cause/be a problem will it?

wow, you're way out there. i'm in mesa
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:45 AM   #6
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No staggering them wont be a problem. Coralife sells the 48" lunar aqualight plus that uses 4 96watt bulb staggered without any problems.

Yeah tell me about it, the job market stinks out here aswell.
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:33 AM   #7
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and would these bulbs be any good for it?

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-x-96-W-POWER-C...QQcmdZViewItem

i'd get 2 of the 10k daylights, and 2 of the 03 actinics...if those are good. for the 10k's...would like 14k or 18K or something be better? i guess i'm asking if the higher k is better. I know at least 10, but idk much after that. And what do for actinics? are 03's good, or are the 420nm or 460's better?

thanks
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:42 AM   #8
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On the lighting anything over 10k starts to become a personal preferance issue however finding PC lighting over 10k becomes hit or miss. Yes I agree with you in that if I could find PC bulbs in the 14k or 20k range would be awsome just because I personally like that blue look to a reef tank a lot better than the standard look of 10k but unfortunantly I think the only way of acheiving that is with a MH set up. I'm not sure which one the 420 or the 460 is considered the 03 actinic but one is blue and the other one has a slight purplish tint to it. Some manufacturers make a 50/50 actinic that combine both spectrums together. As far as the bulbs on the website wait before ordering those things to makes sure they are compatable with your wiring harness on that retro. That looks like those are a straight pin setup while the retro will most likely be a square pin setup.

You saw my edit on that post right?

HTH...............Dave
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:49 AM   #9
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yeah i saw your edit. thanks for the link. I forgot to add that i will be getting a new reflector. And i saw that those were straight pin ya. They also have square ones on their ebay store, but the ones i put up were just the main ad, and i didnt feel like lookin for the squares right then. But they're the same exact bulb i think, other than one is straight and other is square.

As for the reflector, the guy i'm buying from says he's gonna give me a piece of plywood to screw it into (i havent got a canopy or anything over my tank) and then i'm just gonna rig up some wires on the wood to hang it.

So the higher kelvin rating just adds like a blueish light color? i'll def. try to find higher ones than 10K then (i love the blue look)

thanks again
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