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Old 04-05-2005, 08:01 PM   #1
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Can someone please explain lighting!!!

Well, I've done a search and was unsuccessful......I am looking at upgrading from FOWLR to corals and such....I know my lighting stinks, it's what came with the tank. I have a 55 gal. So, what are all of the types of lighting, their benefits, and what kind do I need. (I've read like 4 watts per gallon?) TIA
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:10 PM   #2
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Figure out what kind of corals that you want. The best thing to do is get the most lighting that you can afford then you won't have to upgrade. If you could get dual 175 halides there isn't much you couldn't keep. Metal halide lighting is the best lighting you can get. PC lighting is good as well as high output flourescents but nothing compares to metal halide. If you can afford halides get them.HTH
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:30 PM   #3
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Wow, what your asking for would take pages to fully explain. Lighting is the most complex and diverse options for saltwater reefs. Ill give you a very breif overview

You have four basic types of bulbs that fall under two classes.

Florecent
-Normal Output
-VHO (Very High Output)
-Power Compact
-T5

Metal Halide

Florecent bulbs will cast light over the lenght of the florecent bulb where as Metal Halide will be a single point of light that will only be good for approxmatly 2 sqft of tank so for a 55 gal tank you would need 2 metal halide bulbs. The classic WPG calculation is not valid for MH as a bulb on the left of the tank will hardly light the right side so you could have 5WPG on one side and effectivly 0 WPG on the other.

For the florecent bulbs you need special ballasts to drive the different types. Most PC ballasts for example will not drive VHO bulbs. The ICECAP line of ballasts are unique in that they will sense what type of bulb they are connected to and lap each type appropratly.

The acutal amount of lighting that would be best for your setup will depend on the types of corals you want. Its best to design your lighting around the desired corals vs design your coral around your lighting.

Describe the type of corals that would be on your "i must have' list and we can then give you greater hints as to what types of lighting and what ammounts would be best.
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:02 AM   #4
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Not to complicate things but most add true actintics bulbs to help in the lighting spectrum. Bulbs range on spectrum varying on type. The MH are 10,000 , 14,000 or 20,000.
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ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:56 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info...it is excellent. So how do actinics play into the different types you just talked about and more importantly, do I need those? I basically want the best lights I can get so I don't have to worry about what inverts I can buy. I definately want an anenome and several easy-ish corals.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:06 AM   #6
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actinic is simply a color specitrum (not really but im over simplyfing it) Just like the 10k, 5500k, 20k etc. You can find actinic bulbs in all the types of florecent. There is not an actinic MH but you can get MH bulbs with very high specitrum that will have alot of blue in the light.

Your honestly going to have to consiter the lighting you have with any coral purchase. If you have really high output lights then you will want to stay away from low light corals or know that they must be placed in areas of shade.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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In nature, at depths of typically 5 to 10 metres, where many of the corals and invertebrates are found, the visible light to be seen is basically only in the blue wavebands, thus the familiar blue appearance. All the other wavelengths, particularly reds have been absorbed and filtered out by the salt water. This remaining blue light is the light which invertebrates have evolved to utilise for zooxanthellae symbiosis.

Acitnic lamps provide the specific spectrum (400 - 480nm) necessary to achieve the blue chlorophyll absorption for zooxanthellae symbiosis to develop. This concentration of light energy in the so called 'actinic' range peaking at 420nm, is essential for the survival and good health of fish, corals and invertebrates in marine aquariums.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:32 PM   #8
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Wow, good info.....so in theory, couldn't you just use true actinic bulbs only?
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:34 PM   #9
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What midiman said is partly true. Most corals do like the actinic to a certain degree but the 10000k bulbs I think are more what they are used to. True actinic is very blue. A lot of corals that we collect are even closer to the surface than 5-10 meters. I'm not an expert just my opinion.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
A lot of corals that we collect are even closer to the surface than 5-10 meters. I'm not an expert just my opinion.
Which is why we use a mix of bulbs. Actually, we all agree on the lighting issue, if you combine the pieces! In addition, some are now advocating 20K bulbs to provide light to those corals which live at even greater depths)

(What I said was COMPLETELY true, however, it was only PART of the picture! Oh, and, none of my info is orginal, it is ALL the result of research and intense reading)
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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