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Old 05-10-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
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One more question about lighting!!!

I have posted about this subject before, but I just want to make sure I have all the info I need before I purchase. I am setting up a 150 Gallon (72x18x28). I am starting a FOWLR and not going coral anytime soon. The lights I have it narrowed down to are the Coralife Lunar 4x96 PC or a Hamilton 4x165 VHO. My question is with it being a FOWLR, does it matter which one I go with, considering the tank is 28" tall? I want to make sure the tank is lighted enough. Also, would I really need to change the bulbs as often as I am reading, considering it is just for looks and no coral?
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
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If you truely are going FOWLR only then you really don't even need that much lighting! FOWLR tanks are good with just NO florescents.

If you plan on doing some corals down the road, I would suggest the PC lighting.

I'm not real sure on the "life span" of bulbs, but I would imagine that the more you run them the sooner they will burn out! I would change them based on the illumination factor ... are they still bright, not flickering, or completely burned!

HTH
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:32 PM   #3
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What you need to ask yourself is "how soon are you thinking to add corals? how certain are you you'll add some? and if you think you will, what types/species?"

Reason is that you're setting yourself up to either make one light fixture purchase, or two. And one is plenty expensive.
400watts over a 150 isn't really a ton of light. Less than 3wpg, which limits you to lower light corals, and I doubt you could keep any sort of anemone (not a coral, but everyone gets the anemone itch at some point). 4x165 gives you over 4wpg...which opens up more corals, and you could at least keep a bubble tip anemone.

If you only ever wanna keep mushrooms, the 4x96 is cool. If you want to try hard corals and anemones, just get the 4x165, or look into metal halide with PC or VHO actinics.

If you have no corals, then the bulbs are mostly for looks. With corals, you need to keep bulbs fresh enough so the corals thrive. 9-12 months with normal usage (10-12 hours a day) is the spectrum duration.

Keep the old bulbs though...the daylights can still be used for freshwater aquariums, including planted tanks, until they no longer work. Plants aren't as picky about spectrum as corals.
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:02 AM   #4
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Do I need to have the lights on 10-12 hours a day with a FOWLR?
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:36 AM   #5
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I would say yes, only because you are trying to simulate a natural environment for the fishies ... as natural as possible! I may be wrong though
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:50 PM   #6
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Not wrong but you can alternatively cut down on power consumption some. With a FOWLR, 9-10 hrs a day would be plenty of light if that suites your viewing schedule. Once the lights are on, they should remain on, not on for 4-5 hrs off for awhile and then on again. They should run the full photoperiod once started.

What you can do is run the actinics as first lights to come on for a few hours, then the whites come on running both for a good six hours. After the whites shut off after six hours, the actinics run solo again until lights out for the night. The light fixture should have two seperate ballast switch's so it will make it easy on you by getting timers.

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Old 05-12-2005, 03:00 AM   #7
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Is there a heat difference between pc's and vho's?
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:50 PM   #8
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Very little really. They both get reasonabley hot and will require a built in cooling fan, although nowhere near as hot as MH. Of the two I believe PC's run a bit cooler.

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