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Old 08-26-2006, 12:46 AM   #1
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Lighting for a 150 gallon or 180 gallon

I am wondering what light would be sufficient for a 150 or 180 gallon tank? I was interested in purchasing either the odyssea 72" 4x96watt fixture (please inform me about these lights as they seem too cheap to believe) or 2 36" Coralife Freshwater Fixtures 2x96watts each or one 72" Coralife (4X96) but then I would have to replace 2 bulbs which would add to the cost. Anyhow, the total wattage would be 384 either way which would give 2.56 watts per 150 gallon or 2.1 per 180 gallon. Currently I have a 55 gallon with a 48" 4X65 Watt Coralife and everything is growing like crazy. I am not sure that would be the case based on the watts for larger aquariums and buying a 6X96 watt fixture is just too expensive. I am aware of AH Supply but would rather buy a complete fixture instead of making one myself. Please offer some suggestions.
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Old 08-26-2006, 10:01 AM   #2
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From my understanding the Odyssea is a reasonably good fixture for the money. If you go with this fixure there's a pretty good chance that you'll have problems with noise etc right out of the box. If you don't want to have to deal with this possibity you would be better off considering either the Coralife or the Current fixtures. Both are much better fixtures, but the Current fixtures tend to have slightly louder fans.

As to the amount of light for each tank the full 384watts would give you Very High Light over the 150 gallon tank and Medium High Light over the 180 gallon tank. In both cases you would need to have Pressurized CO2 and a full fertilizing schedule in place to avoid algae issues.

By playing with how much actinic light is over the tank you can tweak the amount of light to get to lower lighting levels if desired. For the most part Actinic light doesn't benefit plants although some have reported bushier growth. To get to higher light levels on the 180 you would need to add another fixture.
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Old 08-26-2006, 10:43 PM   #3
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Can you explain how 384 watts over 150 galoon tank would be considered "very high light"?
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Old 08-27-2006, 12:54 AM   #4
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Go here, input your length and width and it will give you a chart that calculated light levels.

IMO, I would go with 2 fixture if not 3 of them. That way if you want you can vary your lighting in different parts of the tank and put different light requirement plants in each section.
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Old 08-27-2006, 02:04 AM   #5
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Very interesting article. Thank you for your advice.
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Old 08-27-2006, 12:06 PM   #6
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I use 2 2x96w fixtures over my 125G and can tell you that it is plenty of light. I'm guessing that the same fixtures over a 150G or 180G would also be more than enough light to grow just about anything you would like. Just remember that, like Purrbox stated, you will need pressurized CO2 to avoid major problems with algae when running that much light.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:04 PM   #7
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Yes pressurized Co2 will be installed. I have a 55 gallon with 2 2L bottles DIY and 4X65watt light and people warned me about algae stuff with such set up but besides very tiny spots of that hard algae on glass in some places, I have no algae whatsoever and plants are growing like they are on steroids without any fertilization (besides laterite in the gravel). I am afraid to use fertilizers as I have some shrimp (1 bamboo and 6 amanos) and I have to find out whether Seachem Comprehensive is safe for shrimp?
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Old 08-27-2006, 02:28 PM   #8
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Dosing Traces (and other fertilizers) in a planted tank is a highly debated subject amoung Shrimp keepers. There are many that dose without any kind of problems and others that are quick to accuse ferts as the cause of sudden die offs that they have experienced. IMO you need to do what you feel comfortable with when it comes to the health of your shrimp, keeping in mind that if this means cutting back on ferts it could be harmful to your plants.

I've currently got a High Light 10 gallon tank for breeding Cherry Red Shrimp. I dosing a full complement of ferts and have yet to see any problems with the shrimp, but I've only had them for a little over a month. Several are carrying eggs, but I haven't seen any shrimplets yet. It's really too early to be able to tell for sure. There have been sufficient reports of people keeping shrimp successfully in high light full fert situations, that I felt it was worth the try. I have been running the tank a bit lighter on ferts to help hedge my bets and seem to be maintaining a balance between avoiding algae, keeping the plants healthy, and keeping the shrimp healthy.

While Flourish Comprehensive and CSM+B do contain copper, there have been reports from more knowledgable hobbiests that the levels are well within the tolerances of shrimp if dosed correctly. You may also want to keep an eye on the foods that your are feeding your shrimp, as many contain copper as well. While some people have reported no problems feeding these foods to the shrimps others have reported sudden die offs. Another possibility that I'm inclined to believe is that it could be that dangerous levels of copper and other substance were probably reached through a combination of sources including tap water, fert dosing, and food. Since I keep a close eye on the food and my tap water is in pretty good shape, I feel this gives me more leaway with the ferts.

In the end the care of shrimp is new enough territory that you will need to make your own decisions based on your situation and what you are comfortable with.
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I will not use them currently as everything is growing ok or cut the dosage by half.
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