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Old 08-11-2004, 03:47 PM   #1
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Tank lighting

I'm considering a 135 gallon tank but before i buy i want to determine each component i need and then buy it all at the same time. I want it to be a reef tank and i understand pretty much everything but the lighting. I have decided that PC is probably what i'm going to go with. I'm having a really hard time finding information on how much lighting i really need.

How much PC wattage do i need?
Do all lighting components come as a package or separate?
How do i find components that fit my tank?

I have a 20 gallon tank FOWLR right now. I'm only running 15 watt fluorescent. If i want to upgrade so I can add corals, what is the easiest way to do this. Will PC lights fit on the socket that regular fluorescents use?
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Old 08-11-2004, 04:18 PM   #2
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You would probably be better off in the end if you went with halides on the 135. They are more expensive, but with the depth of the tank, halides would be about the only thing that would penatrate to the bottom. For your twenty gallon, you will need to buy new ballasts and bulbs and probably reflectors. You can do that two ways: a retro kit or a light strip. The retro kit will be cheaper, but you would need a canopy to put it in. The light strip will just sit on top of the tank. HTH
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Old 08-11-2004, 04:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
How much PC wattage do I need?
That all depends on what you want to grow in your tank. You have to decide what you want then figure out the lighting it requires


Quote:
Do all lighting components come as a package or separate?

You can buy lights that you can just plug in and your good to go or you can buy retro kits or you can buy them piece by piece and build your own. It all depends on what you want and how handy you are

Quote:
How do I find components that fit my tank?
Once you decide what you want then I would start looking on the Internet for the size you need. I got my lights from Darin at Captivereefs...I just looked for a set up that was 48" like my tank and put out the amount of light i desired


Quote:
Will PC lights fit on the socket that regular fluorescent use?

I don't know the difference electrically what the florescent and the PC's take, but the pins on a PC bulb will not allow you to just stick them in a florescent fixture

HTH some, sorry i couldn't answer everything
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Old 08-11-2004, 04:25 PM   #4
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I agree with flamron, you would definitely want MH on a tank that big if you want to go full reef, unless for some reason you don't want SPS corals or clams then PC will do.
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:20 PM   #5
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I've read that MH must be suspended 12 inches above the tank water due to their high temperatures. I think that wouldn't be very attractive.
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:05 PM   #6
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PC bulbs MUST have an electronic ballast...and the pins are on one end only, totally unlike a NO fluorescent.
SO you'll need a new fixture, or a retrofit kit (so you'd completely gut the current strip and re wire it from scratch with all new components)

MH gets hot. Fans can help with that to a degree.
PC's get warm too.
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:41 PM   #7
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I've read that MH must be suspended 12 inches above the tank water due to their high temperatures.
This actually isnt that much, if you buy or DIY a canopy they can come sort of pre-set so the lighting is this high off the water. Mine actually comes out to about 7-8", but close enough.

The canopy can also have dual fans, one blowing air out and one blowing air in, to help with the heat.
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:49 PM   #8
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I'm starting to think this big of a tank is just a little too much for me to handle and pay. What is the largest tank I could use PC lighting with.
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