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Old 04-29-2003, 02:31 PM   #1
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YANLQ - Yet Another Noobie Lighting Question

Yet Another Noobie Lighting Question.

Little background:
(purposed tank):
tank:125gal 72x18x22
2 55gal sumps
AquaC EV180 skimmer
3 250W MH w/ 2 165W VHOs (still picking bulbs out for the MHs)

Wife told me that I should buy things 1 time and NOT to keep upgrading. So I got that going for me.

Livestock:
WAS: a few easier SPS, mainly LPS, nothing too difficult.


ok questions/story:
I told my wife that I had everything pretty much picked out in the way of hardware, but if she wanted to choose something to put in the tank that she could. After all its our tank. Welp, not sure how she did it but the VERY first site she went to was eastcoastclams.com

So guess what she wants now.

Doing some research I found out that most suppliers use 400W MH system for optimal growth of SPS and clams.

According to Hamilton Tech and a few other places 3x 250W MH is plenty to light my tank.

Quote:
For tank height 18" to 36" use MH 175W / 24" to 36" use MH 250W / 24" to 60" use MH 400W), 2 - 70" Super Actinic Blue 165W VHO Fluorescent Bulbs
BUT with what she wants to put in(clams and SPS) all I see is 400W systems as to what they are growing/keeping these in.

My problem is at 3 x 400W MH(with the same VHO setup as above), am I at the point where I start "burning" corals/LR if I put this in? or just a few inches close to the top? Tank remember is 22" tall - (6" DSB) + (8" hood)

What do you all think? go 400W or am I going to be ok with 250W getting clams/SPS to thrive?

if 400Ws is ok, my tank will be in the basement closer to the furnace, does anyone have a personal preference on a chiller they use?




Sorry thought I had all my inital questions covered. Wife just threw my for a loop TIA
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125gal Reef
55gal sump
AquaC EV-120 Skimmer
Arctica 1/4hp Chiller
3 x 250W MH 10K and 2 x 165W VHO Actinics
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:14 AM   #2
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I think you would be OK with the 250's. I think the 400's would be a lot better though. Some corals/inverts just can't seem to get enough light while some will do better at lower intensity. You would have to regulate that by where you placed them in the tank...as you have already figured out . Your tank will need to mature before adding clams, SPS, or anemones though. Hara recently installed HQI fixtures on her new tank and you might want to ask her about them...they might be an alternative for you instead of regular MH.
Logan J
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:11 AM   #3
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another suggestion would be to go with the 2 250's and then one 400 watter above the clam. this would allow you to maybe keep different kinds of corals throughout the tank. just a suggestion though
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:18 AM   #4
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oh yea, I know I am a way off before most of this stuff goes in but if I'm gonna spend the cash. /shrug I'll just be ok when the reef's ready for it.

I'll do some research on the HQI bulbs as well as getting in touch with Hara.


Thanks for the info!


EDIT: spelling
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125gal Reef
55gal sump
AquaC EV-120 Skimmer
Arctica 1/4hp Chiller
3 x 250W MH 10K and 2 x 165W VHO Actinics
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:40 AM   #5
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bah, didn't refresh.

I have concidered just getting 1 400W bulb but I don't know how it would look having a bright bulb in the center and to dimmer ones on the sides. I'll do a mock up here at home and just see. thanks!
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125gal Reef
55gal sump
AquaC EV-120 Skimmer
Arctica 1/4hp Chiller
3 x 250W MH 10K and 2 x 165W VHO Actinics
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
According to Hamilton Tech and a few other places 3x 250W MH is plenty to light my tank.
IMO, they are right. The tank is only 22" deep, 250W MH are plenty for all but the most light demanding corals and clams. Actually, I've kept clams on 24" tall tanks under VHO lighting, I doubt there are any you can't keep with 250W, however, I do like kribbz's idea, alot. It will give you a section that you can keep anything (although I think you can keep anything with the 250s).

Quote:
but I don't know how it would look having a bright bulb in the center and to dimmer ones on the sides.
I seriously doubt you would be able to tell if you didn't know it was done. with bleed from the 250s it will not dim, IMO, until the last 12" of the tank on either side.
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Old 04-30-2003, 10:04 AM   #7
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I went into the lighting situation with the same thoughts. I had asked these guys what they would do if they never wanted to have to upgrade and wanted to grow anything that they ever wanted to....

We went with the aqualine bushke spacelight. The specs being 3 250 watt MH and then the pc actinics. It was a toss up for about 2 weeks with research being done on the net every night. It was between the design it yourself stuff at marine depot and the spacelight at champion lighting. We are very happy with the lighting. Yes, it did run us a couple hundred more than the other way. but I was amazed at the coral growth we had. Then I got a baby clam, it sits on the bottom and is growing like crazy. Next test is a more demanding clam.

They do run very hot. Even with two walmart fans mounted on the wall behind, aimed at the water surface, we sit at 80-82 all the time.
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:28 PM   #8
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hmmmmm....

I have read that the 250W HQIs do put out about the same light as a "conventional" 400W MH. I'll have to do some more research as to what are the pros and cons of both.

If I don't go with the HQIs then I probably will go with a 400W in the center and 2 x250Ws on the sides.

Thanks for the information, it really does help when you have a bunch of people give their experiences with items.


HARA: Thanks for the heads up on the heat. I will definately need a chiller if they are running that hot. Since my tank will be close to the furnace area.

off to the web for research
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125gal Reef
55gal sump
AquaC EV-120 Skimmer
Arctica 1/4hp Chiller
3 x 250W MH 10K and 2 x 165W VHO Actinics
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