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Old 08-01-2003, 11:17 AM   #1
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Lighting Problems

I have successfuly established my 72 Gallon freshwater aquarium thanks to the many advice from this forum.

I am now interested in setting up a saltwater aquarium.

I bought a 37 Gallon Tank (30" X 12" ) and 24" Height, Visi-Jet PS100 Protien skimmer, Fluval 303 (Without Media), DIY Canopy. I am planning on using 4" DSB (Crushed Coral Sand , seeded with some Live Sand) and about 35 lbs Live Rock.

Since this is my starter saltwater tank, and since I had blown up a lot of money on my FW tank. I am being a bit conservative with my spending.

The Question relates to the Canopy. I am building a canopy with 4 - 24" Fluorescent 20W (2 Marine Glo 20000K and 2 Sun Glo 4700K bulbs). I bought a ballast that lights all four bulbs (QT4X32/120/IS). I have bought all the raw materials, mylar for reflectors, pine wood cut to the right size for the tank, etc.

I tried connecting one of the fluorescent bulbs to the ballast and power it up, but it did not light up. I took it to the dealer I bought the ballast from, though he said he was not a electrical person, he suggested that connecting all four would rectify the problem (The ballast states insulate unused leads, and is a parallel connection one). I dropped the bulb as I was leaving the shop. I now have only three bulbs. I don't want to keep spending money if this setup will not work. Any suggestions?

Will the 80W be sufficient for polyps, brain, and or pulsing xenia?, with the 24" deep tank.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:02 PM   #2
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I tried connecting one of the fluorescent bulbs to the ballast and power it up, but it did not light up. I took it to the dealer I bought the ballast from, though he said he was not a electrical person, he suggested that connecting all four would rectify the problem (The ballast states insulate unused leads, and is a parallel connection one). I dropped the bulb as I was leaving the shop. I now have only three bulbs. I don't want to keep spending money if this setup will not work. Any suggestions?
I'm not a DIY guy or electrical guy, might try posting this portion in the DIY forum

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Will the 80W be sufficient for polyps, brain, and or pulsing xenia?, with the 24" deep tank.
It may be sufficient for some polyps or shrooms, but I would stay away from much else. For softies and LPS, you want to look for closer to 3-5 WPG (loose figure), and preferrably from a higher intensity bulb. NO bulbs will not penetrate very well in a tank with an effective depth of 20". Look more towards PC or VHO.
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:23 PM   #3
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Thanks reefrunner for taking time to read my post and respond.

I called up Sylvania Osram the manufactures of the ballast and they indicated that I need a minimum of 3 bulbs connected and the a specific colored wire capped to operate the ballast, will test it this weekend.

If the depth of penetration of light determined by the bulb type?, I thought I had the correct color spectrum and lumens, that I could get away with it.

Meanwhile, in my quest for southdown (it is not sold in Canada), I came across several post that indicated a product called BOMIX play sand(www.bomix.ca) sold in Canada may be the closest thing we could get without having to drive south of the Border. I bought 2 bags of the sand on my way home (CAD$ 5 each). I hope it'll work, I read that it is another crystalline (almost like sugar) form of CaCo3, so is Argonite so I am hoping it'll be OK.

Since it is a DIY hood I am going to leave room for a 175 Watt MH/ or a 65 Watt PC, which one do you think may be the best option?. My lights will be 4 - 5" from the water surface, and is going to be cooled by 5 Fans (5" Muffin), further more I live in Canada ( for the 2 months of summer we have here, we maintain the house at 72 deg F) so I guess Heating may not be problem.

I hope the Visi-Jet will do the Job (it is much smaller than the Seaclone 100 Model), but they claim that it can handle upto 75 Gallons.

I am experimenting a lot with this tank, I hope it all works out OK. I am putting in a lot of effort into this.
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:43 PM   #4
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If the depth of penetration of light determined by the bulb type?, I thought I had the correct color spectrum and lumens, that I could get away with it.
Hmmm, think of it this way, you have 80W across a surface area of approx 24" X 4.5" as opposed to having the same or more wattage in 1/2 (or less) the surface area. To use a different analogy, take a needle and push it into a melon, one swift push. Expand the surface area of the tip of that needle to an inch or two, using the exact same amount of pressure in your one swift push, which one will penetrate further? Intensity is what will determine light penetration, which is why you can only do very deep reefs with a high intensity pin point source of light like MH.

Quote:
Meanwhile, in my quest for southdown (it is not sold in Canada), I came across several post that indicated a product called BOMIX play sand(www.bomix.ca) sold in Canada may be the closest thing we could get without having to drive south of the Border. I bought 2 bags of the sand on my way home (CAD$ 5 each). I hope it'll work, I read that it is another crystalline (almost like sugar) form of CaCo3, so is Argonite so I am hoping it'll be OK.
I too have read about this, I have no idea what the consensus is, but if it is a calcium based sand, I imagine it will be just fine

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Since it is a DIY hood I am going to leave room for a 175 Watt MH/ or a 65 Watt PC, which one do you think may be the best option?.
I think a single 175W MH would do a fine job on your tank, although you will want to leave a min of 8" from the bulb to the waters surface and most go from 9" - 12" from the surface. With the 175, you will most likely still not be able to keep the most light dependant corals on the bottom of the tank, but from midway to the top, there are few restrictions as to what you can keep, with the exception of lower light corals

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I hope the Visi-Jet will do the Job (it is much smaller than the Seaclone 100 Model), but they claim that it can handle upto 75 Gallons.
I hope you haven't spent the money on the visijet, itis a very long stretch even calling it a skimmer. IMO, it's just a really wierd looking powerhead. I also would not recommend the seaclone for a 75, you should look into skimmers like the aquamedic turbflotor, red sea berlin, aquac remora pro Euroreef, etc...

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I am experimenting a lot with this tank, I hope it all works out OK. I am putting in a lot of effort into this
With research being the first effort, you will do well
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