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Old 01-15-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
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Upgrading Lights

So, I've been operating with the standard T8 that came with my hood, and I want to upgrade to T5 HO for my corals, and also so that I can have a greater variety of corals.
My question is one of acclimation. Everyone in the tank is used to the T8. Is the switch from one 48" T8 to 2 48" T5 bulbs going to be so dramatic as to require moving the corals lower for a while, or should they do ok with the sudden change in intensity? I want to upgrade ASAP, even though there are more responsible ways I could spend my money. *sheepish grin*
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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What corals are you currently keeping and how long have they been under the current fixture? The short answer is "better safe than sorry".
How deep is your tank top to bottom and how close to the fixture are the corals?
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:31 AM   #3
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Ok, so first of all, the tank is not completely full. I have two fish that are known to jump, so until I get a versa-top or something similar, I'm playing it safe.
That puts the lights about 4 inches from the water's surface.
All the softies (zoas, mushrooms, nepthea tree) are about 8-10 inches below the surface.
The Bubble Coral, candy cane frag, and Galaxea are about 6 inches below the surface.
Torch coral and Duncan are in the sand, so about 13-14 inches below surface.
And... I was bad. I admit it. I bought a green Birdsnest coral *before* upgrading the lights. This does kind of light a fire under me to do so now, though. To compensate for the lower light, I have that one up higher. It's only about 4 inches below the surface.
They've been in there ranging from 1-6 weeks. Zoas and mushrooms were first, followed by the torch and duncan on the bottom. Birdsnest is newest.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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Oh yeah, tank is about 18 inches from lights to sand.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:35 AM   #5
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If you want to keep sps, I would suggest more than a 2 lamp t5 fixture. 4 or even 6 lamps would suit you better. I would move some of the higher stuff down just to be safe.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:39 AM   #6
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Yes, eventually, I hope to have much better lighting, but for budget reasons, a two lamp T5 will have to do for the moment. If I have to, I'll find a way to get the birdsnest higher until I can get a bigger fixture.
Thanks for the advice! I hadn't seen any threads about increasing the overall lighting for a tank without shocking the inhabitants.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Would one watt per gallon be enough to support anemones with supplements?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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Watt per gallon is a useless measure. Spectrum, spread & intensity are what matter.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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Anemones don't need supplements. Just good water conditions and quality lighting. I don't think spectrum matters much at all, except from an aesthetics point of view. All the lamps we use in the hobby are full spectrum, so photosynthetic creatures are able to get what they need from all the spectrums available for this hobby.
Intensity/efficiency and ability to penetrate, along with PAR is what's important as far as I'm concerned.
1 watt per gallon of any type of light isn't enough IMO/IME.
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