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Old 01-15-2012, 03:59 PM   #11
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What type of anemone? Things like maxi minis don't need nearly the light that a bta does from what I can tell in my tank. You will get better light if they bulbs have individual reflectors too.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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I don't know what your budget for lighting is but this site has reasonable quality lighting T5-HO Light I went from compact fluorescent in my tank, I used screen over my frogspawn because it was to close to the light I felt in the beginning. I started out with 3 and every week I took one layer off.
Thanks, but I'm *hoping* to find something a little cheaper, just to start off with. Summer is the busiest time for a landscaper, so I'll be able to get all sorts of fancy fish toys then. For now, I just want to increase the lighting as cheaply as I can. I've found a few fixtures for under $100, and I'm going to look into them. Quality is obviously a factor at that price, but again, it only needs to last a few months.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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Ok, so what I ultimately decided to do was upgrade the lights one bulb at a time. So I have a T5 fixture that currently has only one bulb in it. Should be a gradual enough increase not to shock anyone. Then in a few weeks, I'll add the second bulb. And so on. So far (less than an hour) the corals seem to be digging the new light.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #14
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Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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Just be careful, different technologies generate more or less light for the watts they burn. LEDs are the most efficient, followed by florescent technology, then metal halide. Using MH numbers, many say as much as 6 watts per gallon for clams and high light SPS corals. As little as 2-3 for many soft corals. So for a 50 gallon tank that is for SPS, that's up to 300 total watts of MH, or about 150-200 watts of fluorescent, or as little as 100-150 watts of high output LED. Using broad spectrum lamps , tubes or emitters with spectrums in the 10K plus really don't need actinics except many like the way their coral glows. Most reefers do use quite a bit of blue light to color balance their systems as everything tends to a yellow cast without them. Reflectors and lenses (in the case of LEDs) really make the difference if you have a deep tank. Just IMO.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:56 PM   #16
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When I get the second bulb in, that will bring my total wattage to 108, and it's a 45 gallon. I really need to get a PAR meter eventually, because the wattage per gallon formula has some severe limitations, some of which you very effectively illustrated!
For the moment, this T5 bulb (increase to 54 watts over the previous 32 watt T8) seems to be doing quite nicely. I'll see how everything reacts when I get the second bulb in.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #17
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I think you may be okay except for some SPS and clams if the tank is deep.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:07 PM   #18
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Thank you. That's my hope. The tank is about 18 inches deep. I do eventually hope to have a collection of SPS and at least one Tridachna (I like blue). However, this is in the future. For the moment, I'm going to dabble with a few SPS that are suited to moderate or "moderate to high" lighting, and keep them high in the tank.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #19
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At that depth I would guess you are fine.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:53 PM   #20
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Thanks. Next question on this topic. For the second bulb, I want something actinic to bring out the colors, but as I understand it, actinic bulbs don't really do anything for the corals themselves. Would a 50/50 bulb (half full spectrum 6,500k, half actinic) provide the desired effect of assisting photosynthesis and helping the colors pop?
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