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Old 07-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #11
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Don't bother with the pH or any other parameter till you are sure the tank has cycled. Regular partial water changes are all that you will need to maintain pH and other parameters. I would suggest getting a refractometer to test the SG (salinity). Swing arm devices are inconsistent.

I would remove all crabs. Take them back to the lfs and ask if they'll give you any store credit.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:22 PM   #12
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Hahaha, store credit for hitchhiking crabs. That's a good one.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:48 PM   #13
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I'll also be purchasing a additive to balance the pH at ~8.2
No. You don't want to do that. I made that mistake when I started up my tank and it took me a few months to get my water parameters back in line.

Your pH will swing all over the place when you first set up a tank, and definitely if it cycles. Just wait until a month down the road and after a few water changes. Most likely, your pH will stabilize where it wants to be.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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OK.. so no pH balancing. Phew, I'm glad I posted on here otherwise I would have wasted a lot of time and money.

I asked this one a little while back but I didn't get a response on this one. At what point do I invest in proper lighting, after the cycling?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #15
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You don't need "proper lighting" during your cycle. After that you will need the best you can afford if you want to grow SPS corals. I know its old school but you will need 4 to 5 watts per gallon. Now days it's all about PAR and I'll let Kurt explain that to you......
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:07 AM   #16
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...Now days it's all about PAR and I'll let Kurt explain that to you......


I'm not the lighting expert around here. Shoot... I just have sucky compact fluorescents, remember?! Plus I thought taking the crabs back for store credit was a pretty good idea! Doesn't hurt to ask...
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:36 AM   #17
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PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation)
This is used to measure the amount of light that reaches your target element. ie: how strong the light is. it is used now in the hobby to measure the different types of light. MH is the highest and then t-5 to~22" then your other types of light. LED's are gaining in strength and might be good enough in the near future.
PS: the crab idea was cool I must say.....
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:04 PM   #18
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Here's a PAR blurb from Andrew Trevor-Jones

PAR is a measure of the amount of light reaching a surface rather than the output of a lamp. i.e. the number of photons hitting an area over time. As such the PAR of a lamp is undefined.
PAR also treats all photons equally. Photons of a higher shorter wavelength (higher frequency) have higher energy levels than longer
wavelength photons. The differences in energy levels is not taken into consideration with PAR - although a meter may have to deal with it and normalise the readings.
Metal halide lamps are point light sources and so the further you move away from the lamp, the greater area over which the light is spread and so the lower the irradiance. If measuring PAR of a metal halide lamp, you will get different readings at different distances from the exact same lamp. You will only be able to compare the PAR from the different lamps if you are measuring PAR under the exact same conditions - i.e. the exact same distance from the lamp with the lamp in the same fitting and reflector. Even with these things being the same, there may be subtle differences in the readings due to aberrations in the glass of the lamps.
Another thing to consider is the PAR meter being used. Does it measure all wavelengths equally? The PAR meter I have (from Apogee Instruments) under reads blue light and over reads red light. If you are using a LiCor sensor, this may be less of a problem, but it is worthwhile finding out the spectral sensitivity of the sensor.
Yet another factor to consider is that different brands of lamps will have different output spectra and light output even if they are the same wattage and claimed colour temperature. You may even see differences between lamps of the same brand and same claimed colour temperature. Also,the claimed colour temperatures of lamps is only very approximate and gas discharge lamps don't really simulate theoretical black bodies.
Assuming that you are measuring each lamp under the same conditions and the sensor is not under reading blue light, you should still expect to see less PAR with lamps of the same wattage but with a higher colour temperature because there will be proportionally more photons with higher energy levels. As energy can not be created nor destroyed, the same amount of input energy (the wattage of the lamp) cannot produce more energy and so there will be fewer total photons produced by a lamp that
has more blue light.
If the new lamp looked more blue then it would have had a higher approximate colour temperature. Whether it was 20000K and the originals were 10000K is not going to be easy to measure. If you could measure the spectrum of each lamp, you could compare that to the spectra of theoretical black bodies at various colour temperatures.
I hope this helps.
Andrew Trevor-Jones

Now I recently read that cyano love the yellow-red spectrum, a portion of the spectrum not high in the LED output, so LED's theoritcally help eliminate cyano.

I read that soemwhere and then went to the source study which does seem to state just that.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:27 AM   #19
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Also forgot to mention, salinity is 1.025. Water flow and filter provided with eheim canister 2071 with 250gph flow
You are going to need more flow. maybe a 2 Koralia 1's or 2's.

I never saw a cycle in my tank. my 50# of LR came from an established tank and was transported in coolers under water. It is possible to start a new tank and not see a cycle.

Just go slow and make sure.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:52 AM   #20
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Yeah, Get a powerhead or two.

Remove all the filter material from the canister and put LR rubble in it. Or better yet. Sell it and get a sump. But if you can, try to use it to your advantage. Having the other material in it will just cause nitrate issues if not cleaned very very regularly.

As for lighting, Depends on the money you have. You could go T5HO, Get a basic fixture and could grow most things. But if you want clams, anemones and some high like corals like SPS and what not. Then go MH, Or LED.

Imo, LED is expensive to start up, But well worth it in the end. Brighter colours, Cooler, Alot less maintance costs. List just keeps going but you have to make sure you get the right LEDS.
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