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Old 03-27-2003, 05:35 AM   #1
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Lighting question

I'm pretty new to salt tanks and I have an 18gal Eclipse system. I bought a 32 watt SmartLite retrofit kit that was recommended to me. I recently had a bubble anenome that died on me , and when I asked advice from an aquarium retailer he said I don't have enough lite and that i should have 3-5watts per gallon.
I have a sebae anenome, mushrooms and a mystery anenome (see identification forum to help) and I don't want them to die from this. Is what he's saying true? Should I upgrade?
So confused.....
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Old 03-27-2003, 08:27 AM   #2
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I'm thinking that two of the 32 watt bulbs will be the least you can get by with. I don't know a whole lot about anemones. I do know that they, like many other creatures we keep in SW tanks, are photosynthetic and will die without proper lights. There may be a couple that are not, but the majority are I believe. Anemones are really best left alone until you have gained SW experience and have a mature tank for them. There are a few other critters you can keep in the low light. Mushrooms should do great. You could put some zoanthids in but I think they would need to be close to the top. Most kinds of star polyps seem to tolerate low light very well.
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Old 03-27-2003, 09:34 AM   #3
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I dont have one but I have seen the Eclipse systems and I find they look rather hard to light properly for a reef with the standard canopy.

With anemones its hard to get to MUCH light.
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Old 03-27-2003, 06:20 PM   #4
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lighting question

I read in a book that if you have a ballast (which i do) for your lighting system, that it puts out more wattage than it says. ex: for a 55 watt it will actually give off 110 watts. So by what this book says mine should be fine. I don't know.... i'm so confused 8O
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Old 03-27-2003, 06:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
I read in a book that if you have a ballast (which i do) for your lighting system, that it puts out more wattage than it says. ex: for a 55 watt it will actually give off 110 watts.
Sounds like baloney to me
Do you know what book or have a direct quote? Maybe you misunderstood or there is more to it. The recommendations you got here are good. What you have is a 32W light, not enough for a reef tank, although what you have is known as a Nano-reef tank. You tank is considered subminiature in this hobby. It is actually quite difficult and maintenance intensive to keep a reef tank that small. Anemones are among the riskiest animals to keep. Their survival rate even in established reef tanks is close to nil. You haven't got a lot in your favor here. Before you think about upgrading your lighting you may well consider upsizing your tank. Used 55-90 gallon tanks can be had regularly in the paper classifieds. There isn't a lot of resale value in used tanks so there is a lot of bargaining room. Going to a bigger tank will help your success rate enormously as well as allowing you to get serious with your lights (MH or lots of VHO or PC).

(a little off topic but I wanted to give you some ideas)
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Old 03-27-2003, 09:15 PM   #6
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OK , now we're on a subject I do know something about. You can't get 110 watts from a 55 watt bulb. You can overdrive a bulb to a certain extent and probably get a little more light from it than what it's rated, but not 100% more. I'm not familiar with an 18g tank...what are the measurements on it? A 55w PC bulb measures about 23" with the endcap. You can get a ballast from Home Depot that will run one 55w bulb or two 32w bulbs. If you want to try to put a DIY lighting system together, I'll help you anyway I can. Let us know what you want to do.
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