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Old 01-25-2004, 12:29 AM   #1
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Lighting Help

I am looking to increase the lighting in my tank so it is more habitable for corals. My tank is 40" long and 30" high/deep. I have put in about 8-10 hours of research and have not found an unequivical answer as to the best lighting system. MH sounds great but the heat factor might make this impractical. I was thinking of going icecap 430 ballast with VHO 36" 10K (95W) and VHO 50/50 Actinic (95W) and keeping my NO 30W white and 30W Blue actinic. This would give me 250W. Is power compact better? Should I try and get the watts 300 or 350? Has anyone heard of blue reef lighting? If so, is it better than actinic? All help is greatly appreciated Thank you! Jim
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Old 01-25-2004, 12:44 AM   #2
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To best help you we need to know what you plan on keeping in the tank.
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Old 01-25-2004, 01:47 AM   #3
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I want to keep a wide variety of corals
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:45 AM   #4
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At 30" deep I would recommend you go with a MH setup. Try to get a pendant setup and this will practically elminate the heat issue. If you go with 250 watt lamps then you could keep just about any coral your heart desired...softies, lps, sps, clams. You may be able to get away with one but 2 would probably be better for 40" long. You could try 20K bulbs without actinics or 10K with fluorescent actinics.
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Old 01-25-2004, 08:01 AM   #5
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At 30" deep...I'd go with 400W MH, I think 250s would work but you would be limited to what you could keep in the bottom 8-10" of the tank. I agree, 2 would be best
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:01 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that your typical PC, VHO, and low range MH are only penetrating 24-26 inches of water. Stick in a DSB and your covered or do as RR said and get the dual 400s.
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:52 AM   #7
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More questions

First off I want to thank all of you who responded.

OK, now I have more questions First off what is a DSB? Can you get dimmers, timers, etc. for MH lamps? If not, can you use dimmers on NO? My tank is against an outside wall (brick) which absorbs heat in the summer and stays cold in the winter. I put R-32 insulation between the wall and the back of the tank and it has kept the temperature stable all winter. I am hoping it will keep the heat out in summer. Anyway, how do I keep heat from being a problem with MH if the tank is in somewhat of an enclosed space? Thanks again to all of you.....Jim
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Old 01-25-2004, 12:12 PM   #8
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A DSB is a deep sand bed, typically 4 - 6 inches deep. This would raise the bottom of your tank up and give you more options for lighting becuase you would be within normal light penetration range. (i.e. I have a 26" deep tank that I raise 4 inches with a dsb to ease the light requirements of my bottom dwellers) Also keep in mind that you will have options on where to place other light demanding species (non bottom dwelling) through live rock placement. You can always take a high light demanding coral and stick it high up on the rock (if it is a top / middle dwelling coral) to help with lighting requirements. To keep your MH cool make sure and get something with a remote ballast that you can keep away from the tank (mount under the stand, etc) or if you get a MH canopy make sure it has ample fans in the hood and a remote ballast. Also the addition of a sump with a fan on it will aid in water cooling. If you getting large temp fluxtuation over the day/night you can put your sump fan on a timer to shut off with your lights to try to stabalize it. Also remember that most MH lamps should be about 6" off the water surface. This will aid in keeping the water cool. Okay that was long and windey. I'll stop there for now.
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