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Old 04-30-2003, 04:49 PM   #1
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Lighting Schedule for a reef tank

I'm starting a reef tank (it's been running for almost a year now), 55 gallons and have gotten 4 65 watt PC lights for the tank. Two are 10k and 2 are actinic. Right now the only thing in the tank is live rock, a percula clown, a yellow tail damsel and a couple stars. I hope to get some corals and anenomes in there once i have the thank the way I want it and the lighting and everything else balanced. My concern is that I may not have the lights on long enough, but I also don't want to have too long of a lighting schedule and rish harming corals or anenomes (once i actualy get them!).

Current Schedule:
two 65 watt PC Actinics ON at 9am
two 65 watt PC 10k ON at 11am
Actinics OFF at 1pm

10ks on by themselves for 6 hours

Actincs back ON at 7pm
10ks OFF at 9pm
Actinics off at 11pm

this is a total of 14 hours, 2 hours of all blue and 2 hours of mixed blue and white at the begining and end of every day with 6 hours of all white light in the middle.

any thoughts on this schedule? Am I taking the wrong approach with the mix of lights?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:24 PM   #2
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I would recommend actinic for 12 hours and 10K for 10. ( Actinics on at 10am and off at 10pm, and 10K on at 11am and off at 9pm). This will give the dawn for 1 hour / dusk for 1 hour feature and be less stressfull to the fish IMHO.
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:28 PM   #3
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That's how we have ours too, like Timbo's, we have our PC actnics come on first in the morning for about an hour and then the whites, then the whites off an hour before the actnics go off, kind of like sunrise sunset, oh no now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head

It has worked out real well for our fish also.
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks, I had a suspicion it should be more along those lines.

In terms of the amount of lighting, do you think 4 65 watt PC's is enough for a 55 gallon reef tank? I know I won't be able to have anything with very high lighting needs but it should still be sufficient for most corals and anenomes right?
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:51 PM   #5
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Well in our tank right now we have 2 55W PC's one white and one blue they seem to work great for our soft corals and anemone who prefers to stay at the back of the tank :/

We are currently putting together a 40 long and my husband wants to either go 4 55 watt PC's or 2 96 watts. I'm trying to talk him into trying different because we are going to have black sand and I'm not sure if the light will reflect off the black like it does the white, JMO.

Sounds like you have enough to me, but I'm sure someone else could let you know better than me.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:43 PM   #6
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In keeping with the rule if it still holds weight, it is 5 watts per gal. So in your case, 275 watts would be the suggested minimum. So with that said, 4-55's is close to that but 4-96's would be better.

I only have 160 watts right now on my 55, and I need more for the stuff I want to keep...$$ talks when it comes to lights....
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Old 04-30-2003, 08:52 PM   #7
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I'll have 4- 65 watters on my tank when I set it up. I plan on doing the same sunrise sunset thing too.
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Old 04-30-2003, 08:57 PM   #8
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If your 55 gal tank is full of LR you may only have 45 actual gallons in the tank.
So if to go 65 watt x 4 = 260 watts then divide that by 45 gal of water you have 5.7 watts per gallon. So I think you have enough.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:25 PM   #9
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I guess you could do that, but I also feel you would be cheating the tank out of light...I prefer to use the capacity of the tank dry to do the rule.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:56 PM   #10
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Yes you could be right. Either way I guess.
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