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Old 05-20-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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help modifying lights (now with pic)

I thought the most difficult part was done. I retro-fitted two lights to a 13" square top for my nano tank. The top lies flush with the sides of the tank and the lights hang down from there. Only problem is, I am getting too much condensation on the lights! Now, I have a couple options...


1. cut two pieces of glass that will rest below the lights but above the water on a natural edge around the top of the tank.

2. lift the hood so it will not be flush anymore.


While #1 will look better, I am thinking lifting the lights will be the best option even though the tank was originally made to hide the lighting. But, when I have both lights on, the top inch of water gets pretty hot. So, I am operating at 50% capacity at the moment. It works because there isn't so much condensation on the lights and the water temp remains normal. I do have to keep the "feeder door" open though. I guess technically I could supply a small computer fan but I am still not sure this will work as well as lifting the light 2-4 inches up.

So, what says you? And, if it is option #2, what could I use to lift the lights? I have been picking my brain for two days trying to think of common house hold items or something I could use from Lowes/Home Depot. Hanging the lights is not an option.

Thanks!

*edit* Here is a picture of the tank, I am holding up the lights, but the top of the lid lays flush with the top of the tank.

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Old 05-20-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
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I'm guessing this is your 15g SW nano you are talking about.

Glass tops is not a good option for a SW tank. You need good gas exchange for SW and you wont get it with tops on the tank. With a tank as small as yours you are going to have issues with evaporation as well so you need to keep that in mind while getting this tank up and running. Stability is the key with a SW tank and keep the temp, SG, PH and other parameters in check on a smaller tank is more difficult then larger systems.

I would figure a way to raise the light instead of using the glass tops. Even if you were to get some sort of pendant style light for the tank and have it on a "desk lamp" type stand behind the tank would work. What kind of lights are you using on this tank?
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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They are 32 watt compact fluorescents (2) with both the actinic and the regular light, with reflectors behind. I can't remember if it was 10,000K or something lower for the white light.

The tank itself is doing very well. I have been changing about a gallon every day or so to keep water levels and salt levels in check. Although, it is primarily precaution because I know how quickly a new nano can spiral out of control.


*edit* to do the glass tops, I would include the fan to help with the gas exchange, but I still feel lifting is the better option.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Are you using RO/DI water? Is this your first SW tank or do you have another as well?
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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using water from the LFS, not my first saltie tank - technically - but it has been a while and I've never done a nano. So I do consider myself a newbie
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:07 PM   #6
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What LFS are you getting the water from?

The biggest issue with smaller tanks is keeping them stable. If you have the time to invest into checking them daily then you will do just fine.

What kind of filter are you using? How much LR do you have in the tank and how long has it been set up?

If you have 25+lbs of LR in the tank and it's been up and running for a while (post cycle) then doing daily water changes isn't that important. I would do maybe 2 per week and top off with fresh RO/DI water to keep your SG stable. Evaporation is going to be the daily challenge you face.

Is this a hex shaped tank?
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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The tank has been set up for almost a month now. At the moment I only have 11lbs of live rock, with plans to increase upwards of 18-23. I have a fluval 105 canister filter. Really, the maintenance I have been doing is preventative and the changes range from 1/2 gallon to 2 gallons. I also top off when it is only a small amount needed. So far levels are looking great. I've been taking it really slow because 1. $$$ 2. I didn't want to rush this tank 3. Waiting on the lights took two weeks 4. waiting to figure out my final solution for the lights is taking longer.

The only inhabitant other than worms, a brittle star and a bristle worm, is a red rock crab who will be getting his OWN lovely tank as soon as I can catch the bugger. Tonight I am using the "tilted glass" method.

*edit* it is a rectangular tank in height so the top is square. and the water has been coming from the Centreville Aquarium
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:18 PM   #8
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Ok sorry about that...back to the topic at hand.

If you can post a pic of how you have the lights set up now on the tank and a pic of the lights off the tank it would help. There are several ways of raising your "hood" a little which is the option that will best suit your tank.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:19 PM   #9
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no problem

I will upload the photos tonight
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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added picture
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