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Old 05-08-2005, 02:04 PM   #1
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Star (Polyp) Wars?

One of these years (when I have the space) I plan to upgrade to a 75 Long tank. Since that's 60" wide, I was planning on using a 65W PC on one half of the tank for the corals that don't need that much light like my mushrooms. On the other half, either a double 65W PC or a 175W MH light for SPS/LPS corals (I'd like to try some Acropora/Stylophora).

But then I bought Borneman's Aquarium Corals book. Now I have some questions:

1. Would two 65W PCs for an 18" deep tank be enough for an Acropora if I place it high in the tank, or must I have MH? Could I do it with some aquacultured Acropora if the PC's are not enough light?

2. Since one side of the tank will be twice as bright as the other, will my fish (damsels) stay on one side of the tank? Do the fish care and will they notice the light difference?

3. I also have a Devil's Hand coral and some star polyps in the tank right now. Borneman's book says that Devil's Hand can cause damage to stony corals without contact taking place. I'm afraid to ask, but even in a 75 gallon tank with the Devil's Hand on one side and the Acropora 5 feet away, there is a danger of a stinging cell war in the tank, isn't there?

Thanks in advance for the info!
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Old 05-08-2005, 02:36 PM   #2
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I've read that too, but in a different book. Devil's hand, as well as certain other types of soft corals produce a chemical compound(s) that can apparently be toxic to other corals. I have a Devil's hand in my tank, as well as other types of soft corals (toadstool, finger) in with many types of LPS corals for almost a year now and have never had any problems. But, I do run a protein skimmer as well as activated carbon 24/7. I'm not sure about question 1 but I have read on these boards that most people seem to think that MH is essential for Acro. Not sure about question 2. Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-08-2005, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: Star (Polyp) Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leafyseadragon
But then I bought Borneman's Aquarium Corals book. Now I have some questions:

1. Would two 65W PCs for an 18" deep tank be enough for an Acropora if I place it high in the tank, or must I have MH? Could I do it with some aquacultured Acropora if the PC's are not enough light?
2x65w PC won't be a sufficient amount. It's not only the depth in this case but width (16") as well. The corals would need to be placed midway or higher and only directly beneath the light source. Anything on the outer edges towards the glass would receive minimal illumination. Acropora's specifically do really need MH to thrive, some SPS's do not but again 2x65w will not make much of a dent. As far as the single 65w on the other ¬Ĺ of the tank, I think you won't be able to keep anything. The 2x65w will be challenging enough.

If your not keen on the use of MH lighting, 4x140w VHO would be a much better route. If you can DIY a hood, the 3 PC lights you have now could be used for actinic supplimentation but you would still need 3x175w MH for the main lights source. 250w would allow for acro's.

Quote:
2. Since one side of the tank will be twice as bright as the other, will my fish (damsels) stay on one side of the tank? Do the fish care and will they notice the light difference?
They will most likely migrate to the brighter side of the tank.

Quote:
3. I also have a Devil's Hand coral and some star polyps in the tank right now. Borneman's book says that Devil's Hand can cause damage to stony corals without contact taking place. I'm afraid to ask, but even in a 75 gallon tank with the Devil's Hand on one side and the Acropora 5 feet away, there is a danger of a stinging cell war in the tank, isn't there?
As far as the chemical war, yes the leather can still be a concern. It may not be in direct response to a coral across the tank but it can be affected non the less. The best means of controlling coral nematocysts is through the use or carbon and aggressive skimming.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:00 PM   #4
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Steve,

I have a 65W PC on a 37 gallon tall tank right now. There is a striped mushroom and a bullseye mushroom in there, and although they have not multiplied at all, they are all flat and not cupping upwards for more light. Each polyp is also much larger than when I bought them.

Do I still need even more light for the mushrooms? I haven't had any problems so far...
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:00 PM   #5
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Shrooms are a completely different story. They can adapt quite well to a variety of light intensities, more commonly on the lower side. It also depends on elevation vs lighting to how well they might do. They lack of reproductive budding would suggest they are just "getting by" though. I would be wary about adding other coral species to this tank.

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Old 05-11-2005, 08:17 PM   #6
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Steve,

I didn't have my heart set on Acropora, so not being able to keep them is not a big deal. Is a 4 x 65W PC fixture enough for a Stylophora and/or a Velvet Finger Coral? He asks hopefully...
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
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The Stylophora should be okay if kept higher in the tank. Common names being what they are, I'm not sure what you mean by a velvet finger coral? If digitata, definately okay but again, midway or higher. Capricornus would do fine as would hydnophora, anacropora & porites to name a few.

4x65w isn't too bad for an 18" depth. If you could afford it, a 4x96w would rock. Less restriction on coral placement. The only thing you would have some trouble with are high light demanding acro's. You'd even have decent success with T. maxima's.

Cheers
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