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Old 07-22-2003, 04:34 AM   #1
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Confused about lighting

I have been searching and reading about lighting for my 175 gallon bow front FOWLR. I am more confused now . Actinic, daylights, 50/50 I am just not sure what I need. I currently have 2 - 36 fluorescent units with 2 X 40 watt bulbs in each. My tank is currently cycling and I want to start to add about 50 75 pounds of LR to the 100 pounds of base rock that is in the tank. Can I still use these units and replace the bulbs or scrap the whole thing and get a new lighting system or a little of both? Recommendations on wattage and /or brand would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:22 AM   #2
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If you intend only to keep fish and inverts that do not require much light, you can probably use the fixtures you have. I'm guessing they are 48" instead of 36"? 36" lamps are 30w. Four 40w bulbs should be OK for a FOWLR and will give you coraline growth as long as you keep calcium/alk levels up. I have had good results using a combination of PowerGlo and MarineGlo bulbs in an even mix. Another, and probably the best solution, is to get URI bulbs. I'd go with 2 White and 2 Actinic bulbs there. If you wanted to keep some soft corals, mushrooms, and other inverts with fairly low lighting requirements, you could upgrade to a VHO or PC system. Four 48" or 46.5" VHO tubes would give you 440 watts as opposed to 160 watts with the other system. For stony corals, anemones, and other high light critters, you'll need MH lighting...possibly with actinic supplementation depending on what color temp your MH bulbs are. You really need to determine what your goals are for the tank...that way you don't have to spend money twice on the lighting. There is also T-5 fluorescent lighting available. I can give you a contact for T-5 fixtures that are built on a custom basis if you want. PM me if you want the email for that. If you can give us an idea of where you want to go with the tank, we can make more specific recommendations. Welcome to AA.com!
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:23 AM   #3
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I think with the height of your tank you will want to go with some higher intensity lights to give more penetration. If I were doing this I would look into 4 X 96W PC and I'd probably go with 2 X actinic (true actinics) and 2 X 10K (crisp white spectrum). The spectrum of the bulbs should be something that is visually pleasing to you, to maintain the health and growth of the coraline algae, a bluer spectrum (like what I suggested) will keep the coraline happy and growing.
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:49 PM   #4
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me bad it was late when i posted this and forgot to change it prior to posting they are 36" but each has 2 X 25 watts in each.
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Old 07-22-2003, 05:55 PM   #5
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100 w? an a 175 gallon tank will do little for the coralline (except mabye green or orange). If you're lucky it might maintain some at higher elevations in the tank, but most will not get enough light or the correct spectrum to do any good.

As already stated above, you have alot of options but before you make a purchase I would first decide the types of corals you wish to keep. Lighting is exspensive enough as it is, you don't want to do it twice... 8O

Coralline can always be re-seeded later on...

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Old 07-23-2003, 01:43 AM   #6
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hmmm... Just went thru roughly the same thing a few weeks ago with my lighting. From pricing PC vs. VHO I have found that PCs are pretty expensive. And MHs are above that.

How tall is your tank and how much sand/cc/etc will you have in it?

Also much of the lighting dilema comes from what you really want to put in there. IMHO - VHO. Depending on height and your pocketbook.
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:11 AM   #7
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Dave

the tank is 72 X 24 X 28
I currently have approx 150 pound cc if i can find southdown i will be switching to a DSB.
I am looking at some prices online and may have to put adding the LR off for a few weeks till I can get some better lighting.
Big thing for me is what ever I get I want to be able to use, in conjunction with other lights, in a reef setup if I decide to go to a reef down the road.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:35 AM   #8
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OK...for some reason "175g" didn't click in my mind as being a 6' tank...duh. You don't want the 48" bulbs for sure. The 4x96 setup that was suggested by reefrunner should work great. I'm using 4x160w VHO's on a 180 and getting good results. Two Icecap ballasts with 2 URI white actinics and 2 URI actinics. You might even have room for a 6x96 PC setup. Check out the following links for lighting:
VHO: www.championlighting.com and www.hellolights.com
PC: www.ahsupply.com
The most important thing is to decide what you're going to keep in the tank and get the lighting you're going to need to start with.
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:29 PM   #9
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I know a lot of folks on here use PC lighting. Personally I just don't like how they look. That aside using 4 VHOs will allow you to move to a reef environment easier. (IMHO)

I do agree with many of the above postings to decide what is going in the tank. Better to make the purchase 1 time then to have to make another costly purchase later.

I still do suggest the VHOs (Logan suggests a good setup) for your system because if you did want to upgrade to maybe MH, you can still use the VHOs on either side of the MHs.

Just do some shopping around on prices.
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