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Old 10-23-2005, 12:14 PM   #1
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Metal Halide!!! woohoo another lighting question!!

This lighting thing just blows me away, I can build a computer blindfolded and deal with cisco routers all day long but I cringe and my brain becomes mush when it comes down to lighting my tank, go figure.

I want to get an anemone for my clown later down the road, and possible get into some corals after I finish adding the rest of my livestock. The main reason I'm wanting to get new lighting now is because I want that deep purple coraline algae back instead of the light purple I have right now.

This is the one and only time I'm gonna buy lighting for my tank so I want enough lighting to grow anything I might run across in the future. My tank is 30 in long 12 in wide 18 in tall. So my questions are:

1. When I buy the ballast what wattage does it need to be? How do you figure it out?
2. How many MH bulbs will 1 ballast power?
3. How many bulbs do I need?

I'm leaning towards the DIY kits mainly because I'm going to build a nice wooden hood for my tank, which of course leads to more questions:

My tank runs hot (80-83 daily temp)as it is due to the AC having problems cooling my side of the house.

1. So how high do the bulbs need to be above the water line to minimize heat transfer.

2. Will it melt the molding on the tank and HOB equipment I currently have in the tank?

3. How many fans do I need to install in the hood.

4. How do I power the fans? From the MH ballast or separately?

Sorry for so many questions. I've learned a tremendous amount from this site, which I do thank yall for, and my fish do too as I'm sure they would have died along time ago without this site.

On another note I have noticed ALOT of lighting related questions here lately. Perhaps the MODS could create a forum spacifically for lighting questions with a few sticky posts up top answering most lighting questions.
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29 gal tank since June 2005
40 lbs of LS
36 lbs of LR
Maxi-jet 1200
Aqua C Remora Skimer
Emporer Bio-wheel (not sure what model but big enough)
1 Pygmy Angle
1 Ocellaris Clownfish
2 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs
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Old 10-23-2005, 04:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. When I buy the ballast what wattage does it need to be? How do you figure it out?
The ballast has to match the bulb. If you get a 175w bulb you need a 175W ballast.

Quote:
2. How many MH bulbs will 1 ballast power?
1 ballast for 1 bulb

Quote:
3. How many bulbs do I need?
For your tank, 1 175w is plenty.

Quote:
1. So how high do the bulbs need to be above the water line to minimize heat transfer.
Around 10" above the water is normally pretty good....give or take an inch or 2.

Quote:
2. Will it melt the molding on the tank and HOB equipment I currently have in the tank?
No

Quote:
3. How many fans do I need to install in the hood.
I have 1 on each end of my DIY canopy. One blowing in, 1 sucking out.

Quote:
4. How do I power the fans? From the MH ballast or separately?
Seperately. You can get pc fans and mount them in the hood, wire them together and plug directly into the wall.
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:13 AM   #3
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Not to knit pick, but most PC (Computer fans) run off 12v DC. If you want to plug them into the wall directly you will need to make sure you use 120V fans (Designed so they do not need the step down transformer). Sorry, just hate to see them go 'poof' when you plug them in...

GL!
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:22 AM   #4
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I've had good success running 220V computer fans, but feeding them with 110V. They run slowly and silently, but still move enough air to cool. You have to purchase good fans so they will start on the low voltage.
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:27 AM   #5
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You can always get a setup that has MH and PCs built in. Granted, it's more expensive, and not DIY, but it looks sleek IMO. I have the Corale HQI Pro for my 29, and couldn't have been happier with the purchase. Might be a good idea to at least look at the setup.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:04 AM   #6
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you wire them up with a ac/dc inverter.. he just forgot to mention it :P
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie
You can always get a setup that has MH and PCs built in. Granted, it's more expensive, and not DIY, but it looks sleek IMO. I have the Corale HQI Pro for my 29, and couldn't have been happier with the purchase. Might be a good idea to at least look at the setup.
How do you mount them? Do they sit ontop of the tank? I've got a glass lid for my tank now, and I don't want the plastic strip (acting as the hinge) to melt under the lighting. I'm not willing to hang these lights from the ceiling at least not yet, I'm planing on getting a larger tank eventually and probably put it in the same spot.

ETA: No worries I know most computer fans are 12v, I wasn't about to plug one directly into the wall
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29 gal tank since June 2005
40 lbs of LS
36 lbs of LR
Maxi-jet 1200
Aqua C Remora Skimer
Emporer Bio-wheel (not sure what model but big enough)
1 Pygmy Angle
1 Ocellaris Clownfish
2 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:28 AM   #8
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youll need to be carfull about salt spray.. it will muck up that glass hood were youll be cleaning it alot.. not to mention it will block light..
the kits he's talking about alot of times attach to the sides of the tank with sleek looking clamps..
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
youll need to be carfull about salt spray.. it will muck up that glass hood were youll be cleaning it alot.. not to mention it will block light..
the kits he's talking about alot of times attach to the sides of the tank with sleek looking clamps..
So if you don't suggest the glass lid then what do I use? I loose about an 8th of an inch on my water lvl every day due to evaporation as it is with my lid.
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29 gal tank since June 2005
40 lbs of LS
36 lbs of LR
Maxi-jet 1200
Aqua C Remora Skimer
Emporer Bio-wheel (not sure what model but big enough)
1 Pygmy Angle
1 Ocellaris Clownfish
2 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs
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Old 10-24-2005, 04:05 PM   #10
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The kit that I have came with mounting legs, and I have it about 10 inches above my glass top. I've had no problems with the heat melting the plastic.
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