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Old 01-07-2004, 05:53 PM   #1
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How long should my lights be on?

Hello,

I have a 225 gallon tank and I have decided on the lighting for it with the help of AA

Tank dimensions are 72x24x30tall

To start I will have 4 6' VHO bulbs. The tank will be a FOWLR until I have it stable and am confident to keep corals and the like.

Once I am ready to add corals I will be getting 4 400w mh bulbs.

Can someone help me with how loong the lights should stay on? Thanks.

Do all the lights need to be on at the same time or should they be on separate cycles. I understand that I will need at least 4 ballasts to power all this light (another reason to wait $$$$$$$)
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:01 PM   #2
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You should run them a minimum of 10 hours per day. 12 is better. I run my lights here 12 hours. You can start the actinics about 30 minutes early if you want and let them run for 30 minutes after the white lights cut off. You don't have to do that, but some folks like to for the aesthetic effect...kind of like a sunrise/sunset.
One thing I should point out is that you'll only need 3 MH bulbs on a 6' tank. Each MH bulb will cover 2' of tank. Once you add the MH, you can convert all your VHO to actinic if you still have room for all of them. At that point, I'd either have them all come on at the same time or do the 30 minute sunrise/sunset thing. You can get dual and triple ballasts for MH. I kind of like the singles as I think they would shed heat better. You might want to look into the electronic ballasts that are available for MH now. The aren't as large as the core/coil ballasts and run much cooler. The manufacturers claim the bulbs will burn brighter and last longer on them as well...I'm not sure about that.
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:53 AM   #3
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Heat may be a problem. I would recommend 3 MH. I may just consider 250's as well. What kinds of corals would you do? Also I would put all the lights on a timer. I run my Actinics 13.5 hours a day and my MH's 11. I have the actinics coming on first and turning off last. 3 6'foot VHO actinic should be plenty and maybe 3X250 MH that are 10k.
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:55 AM   #4
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Do you have a chiller? Are you mainly going to have SPS or clams? Let us know what corals your going to have
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:54 PM   #5
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I do not have a chiller but assumed that I would need one with all the heat the lamps will be putting out.

I would like to have clams eventually. Other than that I have not looked into the corals yet. I will start with easier to keep corals and work my way to the harder types. I am new to the hobby so this is my first tank. I have read a few books that were recommended here and plan on reading more.
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