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Old 04-10-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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lights for a refuge

I have set up a 20 gallon tank for a refugium I am letting all the silicone cure. What are the minimum light needs to grow the correct algaes. Also any ideas on what I should put in there sand algae etc. new to refuges. I figure I had the 20 gallon already and just the extra water volume could not hurt. But little idea how to make it even better. I plan on lighting opposite the tank lights for a easier to manage temp . Thank you for any help
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:21 PM   #2
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any cheap old normal output light will do. Most folks use just the cheap old metal cone shaped fixture with a flood lamp in it. That will be plenty of light and inexpensive too!

My sump space is small and so I couldn't go that route. I jut bought an inexpensive work light and my chaetomorpha grows like crazy.

HTH
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
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Well many people are successful with compact flo. bulbs from the hardware store. I have found that either a small T5 or Compact Flo. fixture works best. Over my fuge I have an AquaLight 24 inch with a 10k White and Actinic Mix bulb installed. Typically 1.5-3 watts per gallon is enough to grow various Macro-Algaes like Caulpera.

I would recommend first adding Mineral Mud, then Live Sand on top of that, Then Live rock rubble over that. I typically fill the fuge with those items until there is only about a 6 inch area that is water. A quick internet search for "refugium macro algae" will turn up lots of options for what algaes work best for nutrient export. Adding some Mangroves can help with this as well.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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Here is the light I use- http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/Merc...Category_Code=
Very simple, and effective. I have a clip on light socket, commonly used for iguana set-ups, etc. Macro's seem to really appreciate light in the 5000-6500+ k. Many bulbs are a little too yellow. I get much better growth out of cheato w/ this 5100 k compared to a "standard" flood lamp. HTH
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:17 PM   #5
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Thank you
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:18 AM   #6
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The gang offered great advice!! On the lighting schedule....if you are going to go with a reverse schedule (good idea btw) you really should overlap the schedules...I have gone back to that on my fuge as I'm reworking my undercabinet mess...I have my fuge light come on 2 hours before my last MH goes out and goes off 2 hours after the last MH is on. By doing this you will keep your PH stable.

Happy Reefing!!

Oh and here is a pic of my 20gTall Fuge!
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:00 PM   #7
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If you plan on having calerpa you`ll need to have your lighting on 24/7. They have a way of going sexual if you dont. I have grape calerpa and feather calerpa in mine so I have to keep refuge lights on 24/7.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:00 AM   #8
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Two questions. What does going sexual mean and what is the adverse effects?
What does the lighting do to the ph? Thanks for the help , just want to educate myself.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:39 AM   #9
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Whenever your fuge has light over it the algaes within are photosynthesizing. This means they are taking in CO2 and releasing oxygen as a bi-product. Basically that process can interfere with your ph by either raising or lowering it depending on the context. That is why many people have their fuge lights kick on just after their main tank lights go out, in hopes of minimizing or even eliminating ph swings.

I personally run my fuge lights 24/7 and have found that this works with very little shifting of ph. I have a pinpoint ph monitor on my aquarium and during the day my ph is about 8.28 and at night drops to about 8.12 and this does not seem to have an adverse effect on the fish. As for caulpera going sexual I am not sure what he means by that. I would recommend, lighting wise, either a reverse lighting schedule or a 27/7 arrangement.

I almost forgot to mention dissolved oxygen levels as well. You can imagine that dissolved oxygen levels are much higher when your fuge is working away crunching in all that light and releasing 02. The oxygen levels drop when your fuge has no light since the algaes are not releasing as much 02.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:55 PM   #10
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Caulerpa will go "sexual" and release gametes and large amounts of nutrients back into an aquarium. That can lead to a tank crash if PWC's are not done, GAC etc. used, and water params monitored. By using Cheatomorpha algae, for example instead, you can totally avoid the risk. FWIW I run my fuge light for about 18 hours a day. I have it go off for a few hours while my main lights are on to give the animals in the fuge a dark period. Many animals release eggs, etc. after dark, so IMO it provides a little more natural environment.
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