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Old 04-19-2006, 08:36 PM   #1
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need some suggestions

Hello all. First a little info on my tank. I have had my 40g tank setup for a little over 2 months now. I started out with about 50 pounds of cured live rock from the LFS. I had a short cycle time since the rock was in very good condition. I added a maroon clownfish as my first fish and he has been doing good. A few weeks ago I added some hermits and snails to start my cleanup crew. And last weekend I added a fire shrimp which is fun to watch.

I have a heater, a hang on back filter and 1 powerhead curently. About a week and a half ago I went ahead and removed the filter media from the HOB filter since I couldn't keep my nitrates under 20 and read that could be the cause. So far it has been a noticeable improvement and I plan on adding some live rock rubble in its place now.

I plan on picking up a protein skimmer in the coming weeks. I am leaning towards the Aqua C Remora Pro as I can easily see myself upgrading to a bigger tank once I get my own apartment =)

The real question I have is in regards to my lighting. Currently I am using the basic hood and light that came packaged with my tank. It is a single bulb fixture that came with my All Glass aquarium. I am looking to upgrade this so I will have enough lighting for corals down the road.

A friend I work with told me he has a spare 36" coralife 200watt light that has the actinic and daylight bulbs(no moonlights) that I could have. He said the bulbs would need to be replaced but otherwise I could have it. Would this be an ok setup for most corals or should I look into something better? I figured with it being pretty much free I'd get some info. If it is not a very good setup though I have no problem getting a new setup. I would probably just use that in the mean time though.

The other question is in regards to covering the tank if I do go with the new lighting. The hood I have now is really only meant for a single bulb light fixture so would need to be replaced. Do they sell other style hoods that would fit the better lighting or do I need to go DIY? I've read about using glass to cover the top but read that can be bad for the air exchange. What if I used plexiglass and drilled some vent holes all down the glass for ventilation but still allows me to keep fish that like to jump?

Thanks for any responses, look forward to them =)

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Old 04-20-2006, 12:48 PM   #2
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If you have a skimmer running on normal air, you don't need to worry about air exchange. A glass hood can cause heat buildup under bright lights though, so that's something to consider. If you're heater is coming on frequently, a glass hood could be a big advantage for you.

Popular Options:
Glass hood - insulative, keeps condensation in the tank so you don't have to top-off as frequently.
"Egg Crate" - This light diffuser grid, commonly seen in industrial celing lights will keep fish from jumping out, and you can rest your light fixture on it. If your tank is too warm, this allows evaporative cooling, which of course means more top-off is required.
Open - A hanging pendant fixture or fixture with legs that rests on the tank does not require a hood of any type. Does not do anything to keep jumpers in the tank.
DIY wooden - build a hood to suit your own tastes and needs.

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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5 Watts per gallon shoudl allow you to do quite a few different corals. If it is free take it cause it is worth it. YOu will definitly be able to do low loght corals and even some medium light corals just keep them high in the tank.
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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what is your budget? This is the setup I would go with if you can afford it.

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Old 04-20-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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I was looking at a setup like that but the issue I see right off is that my tank has a brace going across the middle so alot of the light would be blocked from the MH bulb in a setup like that =( I got the light from my friend today, he said I could check it out for now and if I like it he will give it to me very cheap. So far it looks pretty good. If it allowed up to some medium light corals I think that will be fine. I probably wouldn't get into anything more than that in this tank, I'd wait till I get a larger tank.

I just need to get a new cover for the tank now. I will check out that egg crate stuff mentioned above. Thanks for the suggestions.
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