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Old 01-28-2008, 11:02 PM   #1
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Lighting Questions

Alright-I've had enough!! I currently have a coralife power compact lighting system (4 bulbs - 65 watts ea). I'm finding that I'm VERY restricted as to what corals/clams/etc that I can have. I've stayed away from the mh's because I don't want to have a fixture dangling from the ceiling. I'm seriously thinking of doing a mh pendant (and keeping my power compacts) http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2&pcatid=13922 or http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...27&pcatid=3827 . Or perhaps one of the lighting guru's here can suggest something else.

I really would like to have a fixture that can sit on the top of the tank rim and will be able to give me enough light to have a clam and keep my rtba happy.

Thanks folks!
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:08 AM   #2
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You can use the Nova Extreme Pro T5HO's if you want to go with a whole new unit that sits on your tank. These light are getting pretty good reviews with their individual reflectors for each bulb. I personally like MH because you have no limit on what you can keep.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
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Let me offer up this to consider when feeling a little boxed in by our setups...I have 440W of VHO over a 75G tank. I recently added some SPS to the tank, though many would scoff at the idea given Im not using MH. MH, after all, is the 'holy grail' of reef lighting...or so some believe. Once I added the new SPS specimens to my tank, they grew like a freggin' weed. Wow, I thought, I did something right. What I did not count on as time went by were the *other* expenses I was now going to incur due to my desire to branch out to new corals. Sure, softies are "easy" (ya, right, if your growing a xenia patch) but the allure of more complex SPS corals draws us into this 'money pit' that only seasoned SPS reef keepers can identify with. I almost feel that the ideal of 'elitism through halides' is merely misery begging for company. Any way, as time progressed my SPS collection seem to cease growing. What is this?, I thought, everyhing took off so nicely and now, after all this, a dead end? After checking, I began to realize why all those wonderful tanks we see in mags and on the internet displaying colors of purple, electric green, yellow, and orange, a virtual SPS coral rainbow, also had these equipment albatrosses around their collective stands. It turns out that its not always just a display of money, and reefing power! No, indeed there was a real need behind a lot of this technology. A need driven by the mistake(?) of leaping blindly into the money pit of SPS corals. As my SPS frags grew and prospered among the lowly LPS and softies they also began to soak up a lot of other chemicals, previously transparent to me, the LPS/softie 'newbie' (of 3 years). Indeed, new problems with alkalinity, calcium, magnesium and other chemicals I still can't say or even spell, began to arise. Sure, for a while I struggled, dosing this evey week, then every couple days, then every day until I was practically tied at the hip to my tank and its evil test kits. Until I realized that maybe this isn't why *I* got into reefing. Maybe this was more time and effort than I could afford. Maybe what I had wasn't so bad and suited my 'style' of reefing more comfortably. Indeed, take this, if only this, away from my long drawn out rambling of a post...Make sure you are ready for the hidden expenses of expanding your hobby. Every new fish, every new coral, ever new desire for something living requires your time, effort and wallet. ENJOY!
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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Wow..hehehe. Maybe keeping the "more complex SPS corals " isn't for you. You know, different strokes for different folks. As someone who has had a reef tank set up for close to 20 years WITH metal halide lighting, I don't know where this "elitism through halides" comes from. I am more elite because my tank runs MH? Maybe is some eyes, but I sure don't feel elite...lol.

Is a reef tank more costly than a FOWLR? Absolutely. But what's all the "equipment albatrosses around their collective stands"? I don't think the equipment under/around my stand is all that different than a non-reef tank. Sump, lr rubble and protein skimmer. Oh, I don't want to forget my high tech $30 phosphate reactor. Can I run an ozone reactor, or calcium reactor, or denitrator, etc etc? Sure, but it won't hurt, at least it hasn't hurt me yet, if you don't.

Chemical additive and tests....whew. Let's see. 50lb bag of DowFlake for my calcium. $14 and should last me about 5 years if not longer. Arm&Hammer baking soda for my alk. 4lb box...maybe $3 and lasts about 6 months. Epson salts for mag. I think it cost like $3 for a couple lb box and has lasted me about 8 months. If this stuff is too pricey, a reef is not for you.
Test kits can be expensive...until you learn what your tank requires. I know, without testing every week what my tank consumes and whats needed to replenish it. Once you learn the same, testing is only necessary monthly..if that. It makes the test kits seem a little less expensive.

You make this hobby out to be what you want it to be. You can spin it to look like it's not worth the time, effort and money, or spin it so it's the best thing you can do with your time and money. I perfer the latter.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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I also have the 4 VHO lights(6 ft)and I have found that I can keep a few of the hardier lower light sps corals but the majority of the SPS corals will have a hard time with VHO lighting IMO. I would consider the T5`s as mentioned above if you want anenome`s and higher light SPS corals. JMO
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Just want to echo cccapt with the T5 suggestion. With individual reflectors you get about the same PAR as MH (not THE same, but close enough) and the cost and electricity used is much much less. AND, the Nova fixtures sit right on your tank too.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccapt View Post
You can use the Nova Extreme Pro T5HO's if you want to go with a whole new unit that sits on your tank. These light are getting pretty good reviews with their individual reflectors for each bulb. I personally like MH because you have no limit on what you can keep.

I've looked into these and I'm almost 75% sure I'll switch over to the Nova Extreme Pro T5HO. I just have two questions...

1-are the bulbs usually separate on these fixtures?
2-I will be able to have derasa's or squamosa clams with this lighting correct?

Thanks folks!
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
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Yes and Yes

Lemme edit this...hehehe. When you say seperate, do you mean they are sold seperately from the fixture or you can replace them seperately? You can mix and match color bulbs if that's what you mean.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:00 PM   #9
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Yes and Yes

Lemme edit this...hehehe. When you say seperate, do you mean they are sold seperately from the fixture or you can replace them seperately? You can mix and match color bulbs if that's what you mean.
Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. When I initally purchase this fixture, do the bulbs usually come with it or do I need to purchase them seperately?

Thank you!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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Looks like that particular fixture includes 3 10k bulbs and 3 460nm (actinic) bulbs.
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