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Old 08-18-2003, 11:02 PM   #1
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Going REEF. OH NO!!

I'm converting my 75G FOWLR to a reef, slowly. I have about 40 pounds of LR that have been in my tank for a couple years or more. I swapped out my CC substrate with a 2" sand bed this weekend. I mixed in 20# of LS with about 40# of Aragonite sand, and also kept 2 small football sized stocking balls of my old substrate to seed the new sand. I will soon be adding an additional 10# of LR that I am curing now. Tested the water this morning (48 hours post-swap) and everything looks fine. Fish (3" yellow tang, 3" purple tang, and a 1.5" Scott's damsel) are doing well. I'll be doing a 15G water change this evening, just because it's time. I'm still running a large wet/dry trickle with a skimmer and a sump. I want to go ECO, but that's later.

My problem is lighting. Eventually, I want to go with 4x65w PC's. Custom Sea Life has a cool hood with moonlights I want, that I can get for about $270. That being said, I am going to have to stretch what I have for a month or two until I can purchase this new hood.

The fish were fine under a 48" 40w 20,000k single bulb fixture. I added a 36" 2x36w fixture with a 10,000k and 03 Actinic that I had on a previous tank, and the tank looks a lot better. Is this going to be enough light to prompt some coralline growth on the new LR? I'm not going to add any corals for a few months or so, just a cleaning crew and more LR. I want to end up with about 110# or so of LR.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-19-2003, 09:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Is this going to be enough light to prompt some coralline growth on the new LR?
Sure. Coraline does not need excessivly bright light to grow. In fact overly bright light can slow its growth down.

Quote:
I want to go with 4x65w PC's.
IMO thats on low end of where you probably want to be for corals unless your talking wanting only low light corals.

You can save some serious cash by building your own caonpy out of wood vs going with those prebuilt hood systems.

You say a 4X65WPC hood will run $270 where as you can get the ballast and reflectors and wiring kit for the same thing for $125 plus bulbs for $100 or so. That gives ya $50 for moonlights and wood.
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:03 AM   #3
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Those retro kits scare me a little. When you buy those things, do they come with a diagram of sorts to help you with installation? Opening a box with a just a bunch of parts is intimidating.

I thought the prebuilt hood was a pretty good deal, although I haven't priced out the DIY option yet. By your description, $50 savings DIY versus plug'n'play is a slim margin.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:17 AM   #4
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The wiring kits from ahsupply.com come with very well drawn out wiring diagrams. They also include everything you need to connect the wiring.

Well the pricing I gave ya was also on what you where looking at. But at the same time its still not going to be very much light for corals at the bottom of your tank.

For us to properly suggest lights we need to know what you want to keep.
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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I'm going to take this slowly. I want to see what pops out of my live rock, probably pick up a mushroom or two, star polyps, some feather dusters, mostly stuff that's not too light hungry.

I know that I will eventually have to go MH, but that's down the road a bit.
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