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Old 10-09-2004, 08:20 PM   #1
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Lighting for Dummies

I have a 50 gal tank that came with lights. I am wanting to have a FOWLR setup. I have been looking at all the post about lighting and its all over my head. So, could someone help me figure out what I need in non electricians terms. 8O
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:39 PM   #2
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Special lights aren't needed for a FOWLR setup. But high intensity lights can make it look much nicer and allow you add different types of inverts. You have to decide what you are interested in keeping before deciding what kind of lights you need.
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Old 10-10-2004, 02:30 AM   #3
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What is the wattage of the bulbs you have now and how many/what type? If you end up just wanting to stay with the FOWLR for the time being, as little as 100w would allow existing coralline on the rock to survive albeit there would be little if any growth.

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Old 10-10-2004, 11:50 AM   #4
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It has 2 15w florescents. I am sort of wanting to start out with a fowlr and then it move up to a reef tank.
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Old 10-10-2004, 12:37 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, 30w over a 50g will not grow much of anything except diatoms. If you have the money look at picking up around a 200w CF lighting fixture that you will be able to use for a medium light reef setup. Or as Steve said, 2 watts per gallon of NO lighting will at least grow some nice coralline algaes.
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:08 PM   #6
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what about 130 CF?
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Old 10-11-2004, 08:29 PM   #7
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If you can get it at a deal it's okay for the coralline on the rock but not much else. If you never intend going beyond FOWLR, then it'll do. As phase99 pointed out earlier though, reef lighting for corals and other photosynthetic inverts requires much more lighting and being somewhat costly is something you really only want to do once.

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Old 10-11-2004, 09:05 PM   #8
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I have a NO strip light on my fowlr and have a lot of coralline growth with only 80 watts. Maybe 65-70 % coverage on rock and starting to grow on glass.
I have the URI bulbs in there 1 actinic 40w and I white actinc 40w. Plenty of light for coralline and the spectrum brings out the nice color in the LR and fish. Cheap lighting system.
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Old 10-11-2004, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
as little as 100w would allow existing coralline on the rock to survive albeit there would be little if any growth.
i only have 80watts and my coralline is growing very nicely. Some people say that lower level lights are actually better to have in order to promote coralline growth???
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