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Old 04-08-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Question Lighting and coraline

I spent the big bucks on lighting when I started this hobby because I knew eventually I wanted corals that require very good lighting. I have a one piece light with five fans, 4 blue actinic lights ( I think 750wtt), 2 MH, and blue moon lights. The tank is a 72 gallon bow front with 30 gallon sump and refugium. My problem is that my rock is bleaching out. I took the advise of others on another thread I started about how my temperature was influenced by these light. I have been searching AA and researching on my own and I think my lights are too close to the water. I had cut down on the lighting to just 6-8 hours a day but I want to be able to run them the 12 hours recommended. I have not been using the MH at all. The light came with little legs to mount it on the edge of the tank. These legs are only about 5 inches. So I think my solution is to hang the lights from the ceiling at about 12 inches above the water. My Questions: Does that sound about right? How long does it take for the coraline to come back after bleaching? When can I find the hardware to change it to a ceiling hanging fixture? Could those of you with lights that hang post a picture so I can see how to go about this? I cannot find any pics. Thanks again for all your help
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:03 PM   #2
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While lighting does play a part in coralline growth, a more important factor is alk and calcium levels. I have MH lighting in my tank, but only a HD screw-in pc bulb over my fuge. I have coralline growing in both places.

The lights being 5" above the water is fine if it doesn't make too much of an impact on temp. If it does, you can buy a clip on fan for a few $ from Walmart to help with the temp. Or, raise your lights like you said. I can't offer any help with the hanging kit, but some lights do have optional kits for hanging them.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
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is 12 hours really what is recommended? My LFS said about 7 hours is ideal, but thats the LFS... sooooo haha
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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My VHO actinics come on at 10AM, daylight flourescents come on at 11AM and MH's on at noon. Then, MH's off at 9PM, daylights off at 10PM and actinics off at 11PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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I keep my VHO`s on 12 hrs but you really dont need it on that long. I would do as CCCAPT said and check your alk and calcium first.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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I will check those, CCCAPT had suggested that before, so I ordered a kit online. I am just waiting on the kit to get in. The book I have, Saltwater Aquariums ma a great hobby by John Tullock, states that around the world natural reefs area near the equator and get 12 hours of day light. CCCAPT is doing exactly as Tullock suggests with the gradual lighting to simulate dawn and dusk. I have 4, 65 watt true actinic lights that I am running about 6-8 hours but they are only 5 inches off the water. How far are your lights from the surface of the water?
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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I have my lights hanging over my tank, but no pics. Make sure you secure the screws in the wood joists. The way I decided on how high to hand them from the surface was by measuring the mounting legs that came with it and leaving it at that height. Bout 3-4 inches above the rim of the tank.
I have this:
Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting: Aqualight Pro HQI/Compact Fluorescent/Lunar Light Fixture
the 834W 72 inch one and the hanging kit is in that pricing box, at the bottom.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:23 PM   #8
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My lights are about 4" off the surface (3-150w MH, 4-96w actinic). Most people run this combination for 10 hours on the MH and 12 hours on the actinics for the dawn/dusk effect. For me it's '03 on at 11am, MH on at noon, MH off at 10 pm, '03 off at 11pm.

I had some bleaching when I first added this fixture. I have coraline growth all over the power heads, the corner overflows and the back glass. I do my best to keep it off the front and sides.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:46 PM   #9
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Cool

Well maybe my lights don't need to be hung then, if all of yours are that low with no trouble. I did notice some spots of coraline last night. I was so excited. I think I will just start extending the time and see if I can get up to 10 hours mh and 12 hours the others without bleaching again. Thanks for all of your help.
Roka64: thank you for the site. I saved it so that if I have to hang them later I will be able to order the hardware.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Usually MHs are suggested to be 10" -12" off the surface of the water. Mine are 10" off the water. I have the same tank as you 72g Bow. I have a total of 678w of lighting on the tank and have amazing coral growth (not too interested or worried with the coraline algae). CCCapt hit the nail on the head. Light is only part of the equation, water params are also a part of it. Doing regular PWCs to keep your Calcium levels up will make a big difference.
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