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Old 02-19-2006, 01:49 AM   #1
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planning ahead... (asking a lot)

Ok, so I'm putting an Oceanic 178 gal reef ready tank in the new house my family is building... Trying to get a breakdown of the stuff I will need so I can plan out the costs ahead of time. So far I have no idea what to do as far as lighting goes... Ive been trying to use the database on fantasyreef to figure out what kind of corals I want. As of now, im planning on things like Acropora, Xenia, Frogspawn, Kenya trees, some leathers and a BTA. Basically, I need recommendations on how i should run my lights

How many watts worth of metal halides am I going to need? maybe a 400 and a 250? or 2 400s?

I know a lot of people do a lot of different combinations with the 03 for an hour and then the full light spectrum and so on... and they also combine metal halides and pcs... what is the best way to do stuff like this?

And naturally I'm looking for the most cost efficient way to do this (not cheapest)

Also, if anyone with a similar size tank wants to map out their light scheme, it would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance! (I know im asking a lot, but I have a lot of planning to do, and naturally I want to do it well)

Beware the clapping monkey...
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:01 AM   #2
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MH and PC combos with individual on/off switches would be best. This will allow you to copy better the natural dawn and dusk periods of a reef. Being you plan for a variety of coral that have a variety of lighting requirements, strategic placement planning will be helpful. I find building caves in a step style arrangement allows for such a variety. Lower light corals in the caves. Medium light coral along the bottom and middle and higher light coral along the middle and top.

For tanks housing SPS, they thrive in systems with 7 to 9 watts per gallon worth of lighting. To save space in the canopy, have two MH take on at least half this amount. Each bulb should be equal wattage for light balance (one placed on each side). Use PCs for the rest. Half of them daylights and the other half actinics. Should be able to fit two daylights and two actinics 96 watt PCs. One set in back and one set in front. If the bulbs do not fit side by side along the canopy, stagger them.

Have the actinic PC bulbs go on prior to the daylight PC bulbs for about half an hour, then have the daylights go on. MH can go on a couple hours after the daylights and should probably run for about 6 to 8 hours. Then turn off daylights half an hour prior to turning off the actinics. Run a moonlight at night for maximum productivity of the system. This would mimic the natural lighting phases of the reef. Turn off the moonlight for the periods of a new moon. This can actually induce reproductive behaviors among the inhabitants of the reef.

Expect to spend a good amount of money in both a lighting system and electrical use. MH make meters spin a lot faster...LOL. They suck up energy like sponges suck up water.
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
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