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Old 07-07-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
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lighting question

i have been keeping a 10 gallon nano for about 10 months now...
i used tap water in the beginning...BIG MISTAKE! i had carpets of green algae for a couple months until i swtiched to nutri-seawater...which has no phosphates and all that good stuff algae LOVES!
the tank has been pretty basic....i purchased some mushrooms corals from my LFS and all has been well...i have a regular flourecent bulb on it now and my mushrooms are fine...i have been wanting to get a new fixture either power compact or t-5s so i could keep some different corals...

i have read that 4-5 watts per gallon will let you keep a wide variety of corals.... so i was looking for a 20in. fixture with about 40 watts...

is that enough watts? or too many? i don't to run a chiller or anything like that...
will 40 watts heat my tank too much?

also when i was looking i was seeing 80 and 96 watt fixtures...
isn't that way too much light for a little 10 gallon tank?

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-07-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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I'm not up on saltwater so bare with me. The watts per gallon breaks down for small tanks(smaller then 20G), so you need more light to achieve the similar results as 4wpg on a larger tank. Now I assume this is the same for SW.

You should not notice this size light heating your tank much, I guess it depends on your situation, as in is the house in a stable temp? like in the A/C?. What is your tank temp now?

You can have the hood left a little open and have a small fan blowing air at or around the surface to cool temps down if you have an issue(I doubt you will).

I know I saw a 65w setup for that tank size that is prob a good amount of lighting for it but I'll let the experts chime in with the "expert" advise. 65w on a 10G would be more like 3-4wpg compared to the larger tanks.

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Old 07-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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The watts per gallon rule has changed, with the newer more efficient bulbs and or reflectors, such as parabolic reflectors (these allow more light to reflect into the tank and not back on the bulbs) vs. 1 single reflector (less efficient light reflection). You have MHs, that penetrate deeper as opposed to PCs.
I'm not a reefer, but your best bet would be to tell folks what you plan on keeping and they can recommend lighting, based on their experience and knowledge.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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Im planning on some button polyps, some zoas...maybe some leathers...
i would really love frogspawn but i hear they can be agressive...
i am basically looking for a good medium light source...where i won't be quite so limited in the corals i choose...
How many watts would be good for a 10 gallon nano tank without having temperature issues?

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:38 AM   #5
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T-5 would probably be a good option for you tank. They have good intensity and don't produce much heat. Just make sure like roka64 said that you get individual reflectors with parabolic being the best of the best.

If it were me i would shoot for around 5 watts/gal of T-5. Although zoas and mushrooms don't need high light you will see better colors with the 5 watts/gal. This will also give you the option of doing some more low light SPS corals if your feeling adventurous down the road.

I'm no expert though and this is just my opinion. Lighting preferences seem to change drastically from person to person. Different color spectriums and different kinds of fixtures and all that so i would get a few more opinions and maybe look at a few tank shots to get an idea of what color the tank looks under different lights.
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:21 AM   #6
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Can't really comment about the lighting but I will say that you're probably correct in being concerned about putting a frogspawn (or any from that family) in a 10g tank. Those little guys can really stretch when they want to.
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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I will chime in on the side of 4 - 6 bulb T5 with individual parabolic or rounded reflectors. That should give you enough light for just about anything.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:21 PM   #8
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I agree with the T5 option. They generate excellent lighting and not as much heat as some of the other options out there.

Frogspawn can quickly out grow a 10g tank. I have a colony of frogspawn in my 72 that I just cut back, what is still in my tank would nearly fill a 10g tank.

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