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Old 06-07-2004, 05:02 PM   #1
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Lighting Questions

How many hours per day should the light be on for a FOWLR tank? (about 12?)

And about how many wpg should I have for a FOWLR setup and for a reef setup?
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:01 PM   #2
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I have my timers set for 12 hrs a day. 2 watts/gal for a fowler. And between 4-10 wpg for a reef. with 4 wpg you can keep shrooms and other low light inverts.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #3
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WPG is a poor way to decide on lighting for a reef tank. You can get away with that for a FOWLR though, about 2-3 WPG for that is fine as darb2 suggested. Be sure you have true actinics, the coralline will love it.

With the reef set up, it will depend on the depth of the tank, height of the lights from the waterline and the types of light dependant animals you will be keeping. I would suggest posting the tank dimmendions along with what your end goal for the reef is so you can get a better idea of what you need.

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Old 06-07-2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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If you use florecent lighting then a WPG is an ok method but if you go for the more advanced lighting with MH then the WPG calculation goes out the window.
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:49 AM   #5
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What size tank are you looking at for a reef and what do you want to keep in it?
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:50 AM   #6
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Well, right now I'm still looking around for the ideal tank size for my available space. I'm really interested in the 72g Oceanic bow front tank.

SW is new to me so I will probably start of with FOWLR, but eventually would like to pursue a reef setup. I was not sure if it would be cheaper (or better) to purchase enough lighting for a reef from the get-go.

Would 4-10watts per gallon be too much for the fish in a FOWLR setup?


fishfreek - Could you please elaborate on why the wpg rule is useless with MH?
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:01 AM   #7
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Simply because the same wattage of MH will be much more intense than fluorescent. Think of it like AMD vs Intel
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:01 PM   #8
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WPG is an obsolete way of looking at lighting no matter what the format. If you choose based on that method you will likely end up doing it twice if a reef. If you stick with an FOWLR tank you can easily get away it using that rule with just 2-3w/gal as I said. Coralline does best in lower light settings.

If you intend for this to eventually become a reef tank, then that is the lighting you should choose from the start. As I said, before lighting can be recommended, you need to decide on what light dependant animals will be kept. Many do not need MH but some of the nicer species of coral do and quite a few people end up wishing they'd done it from the start.

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Old 06-08-2004, 01:26 PM   #9
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Here's my 2 cents on the lighting then...assuming you go with the 72g bowfront.
If you're sure all you want is soft corals and other low-med light animals, I'd go with a VHO retro kit with four 110w bulbs...you can get them in either 48" or 46.5" lengths. I would use only URI bulbs in the following combination...2 super actinic and 2 white actinic. I would power them with either a Coral Vue or Ice Cap ballast. PC's or T-5's are also an option.
If you want to have the higher light corals such as SPS and possibly anemones at some point, I wouldn't even look at anything less than a 2x250w MH (10k bulbs)with either VHO or PC actinics. I would either have a 2x110w VHO or a 4x65w PC for the actinics. This is by no means the only thing that will work or the "right" way to light the tank...it's just how I would do it. Perhaps it will give you a starting point anyway.
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