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Old 12-20-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
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I can't stop dreaming of a reef - Lighting advice?

Hey everyone,

My tank specs can be seen in myinfo. After looking at all the reef tanks I can't help but want one. I know currently with 260w/120g = roughly 2w/gal @ 2 feet deep. I was thinking of adding another PC fixture (rather than MH) and wanted some opinions.

If I added a 4x130W Orbit fixture (total 130x6 = 780 watts / 120 = 6.5w/g @ 2 feet) do you think that would be enough? My tank is 24" deep and the light fixtures are 8.25" and 12" deep each. I would have them up on legs.

This, of course, would be very expensive. I doubt I could handle any corals with my current lighting so what would be the minimum I could add to just have a few of the corals that don't require much light? I'd like to see what the cheapest route would be to have some corals also

Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:16 PM   #2
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WPG isn't the best method for figuring out if you have enough light.

For example a 80 gal high tank which is 48X14X30 with the same lighting as yours is 3.25 WPG. A 55 is 4.7 WPG.

The 80 gal being 30 inches tall would have to use MH to house most corals while the 55 can house medium light corals with the same lighting since it's only 21" high.

Your tank is only about 3 1/2 inches higher then the 55 gal tank and with additional lighting you are considering it would be fine for medium light corals IMO. If considering high light corals I'd use MH.

Sweet looking tank by the way
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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Iagree. I believe light starts to become effected after around 20 inches, some one please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #4
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First off, decide what you would like to keep. For the most part, the appropriate amount of CF, VHO or T5 lighting will allow you to keep a wide variety of softies and LPS corals. If clams and SPS corals are popping up in your dreams, look toward MH.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:22 PM   #5
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I agree that you`ll have enough for softies and LPS corals. Almost all of them are medium light corals.You can check out my gallery for the types you would be able to have. If you decide on clams or SPS corals then most of them take a MH system. Hope all goes well
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:06 AM   #6
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I posted in my other thread but I'll add it here as well.

Cam is a 30d with various lenses. mainly pics taken w/ 24-70 f2.8 and 135 f2

Thanks for the input everyone. I went to the LFS today to look at corals and stuff and I can't stop thinking about them. The guy there told me with my current lighting I could get away w/ mushrooms/a brown polyp (I think that's what it was?) as long as I keep them in the top half of my tank.

From the sounds of it, getting a second PC setup would be the weaker choice, and the only advantage might be cost? (heat?)

I've tried looking at some MH setups and I'm just concerned about the width of them. My tank is 24" wide, and the current PC setup I have is 8.25" wide. It looks like a double metal halide+actinic setup would be about 15.5" wide. That's 23.75" which worries me. Also, the lights would obviously be spread out unevenly (ie; MH not in the center of the tank). Would this weigh into the decision at all?

I also noticed a 300w metal halide only fixture here:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Current-USA-48-30...QQcmdZViewItem

This one is narrow, so I could easily fit both of mine and have some room infront/behind, but it'd only be 560W.

I guess what I'm asking is, if I decide to go MH because it's better, and get this:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/48-529w-Current-U...QQcmdZViewItem

or this:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/48-560w-Current-U...QQcmdZViewItem

Would the uneven lighting and having the MH either more toward the front/back of the tank be a problem?

Also, would I be better off getting the MH+t5 since it would allow me to have MH+T5+PC or should I stick to just MH+PC?

Thanks a lot everyone!!
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #7
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If you go with MH then you definitely want two. MH only covers about 2 feet of tank. Could you hang them and use a couple of 250W pendents. (They are 10.25" wide)

That would give you enough light to house just about anything.

Whatever you do I'd try to use the current lighting you have as well to save costs.

fantasyreef.com has a wonderful database on corals and their needs.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
If you go with MH then you definitely want two. MH only covers about 2 feet of tank. Could you hang them and use a couple of 250W pendents. (They are 10.25" wide)
Thanks tecwzrd, though I'm a little confused now.

The fixtures I listed have 2x150w 10,000k metal halides + 4x65w t-5 actinics. I don't know if it's possible to get 2x250w metal halides in there but I thought the 2x150w would be enough?

My concern was for the width of the tank - my current fixture is ~8". That leaves the MH fixture either covering the front 16" or back 16" of the tank only, rather than the middle 16" (with 4" infront of it and 4" behind it, if it were centered)

Hopefully I've made myself clearer?

I also have another concern - I want to be certain that this tank size/shape is ideal for a reef tank before I go buy more lights etc. 4x2x2 could be 5x1.6x2(2 tall) instead, which gives an extra foot of viewing area, but is of course less wide for rockwork. Do you guys think the 4x2x2 shape is good?



Maybe this picture will help. The yellow block = MH, black = my current PC. The yellow has 2x150w MH + 4x 65w actinic.





Also, can I ask what opinions are on running the tank without a sump/refugium?
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:42 PM   #9
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Why run the PC lights at all? You can just use the MH lights. That will give you plenty of light. I don't understand why in your picture it says "too late!". Sorry, I think I'm just missing something that maybe you already mentioned. Positioning the MH fixture over top of your tank should give you plenty of light.

If you want both fixtures on there, I would do MH in front, PC in back.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishturtles
Why run the PC lights at all? You can just use the MH lights. That will give you plenty of light. I don't understand why in your picture it says "too late!". Sorry, I think I'm just missing something that maybe you already mentioned. Positioning the MH fixture over top of your tank should give you plenty of light.

If you want both fixtures on there, I would do MH in front, PC in back.
I already purchased a 260W PC light fixture planning to do FOWLR.



I've decided on this light: (in total I'll have 2x150wMH, 2x130w PC, 4x65w t-5 -- all kinds of lighting)

http://cgi.ebay.ca/48-529w-Current-U...QQcmdZViewItem

I will place this light on the front of my tank and have the 2x130 PC at the back.

HERE IS THE BIG QUESTION::

Can this setup be successful without a sump/refugium? I don't plan to add an overflow/drill this tank. I guess the Fluval FX5 sort of acts as a sump, though not entirely.

Thanks all!
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