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Old 08-16-2005, 09:53 AM   #1
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Basic Lighting Questions

I have a 90 gallon sw aquarium and currently I have two 175 watt 10,000 K MH lamps lighting it. I plan to begin adding coral soon, but I really haven't considered the type of corals yet. My lamp box/holder has two mounts for 48 inch fluorescent tubes, but I don't have a ballast. I have read in a couple of books what seems like the standard lighting set up is with MH and Actinic 03. I think the idea is that you start the actinics 1 hour before the MHs in the morning and stop the MHs one hour before the actinics in the evening. How do I make a decision on what fluorescent lighting to purchase.

A few of my basic questions are:

1) Should I get 2 VHO actinic 03s at 110 watts each?
2) Can I get by with NO actinics at 40 watts?
3) Steve-s mentioned T-5s but Marine Depot told me these are a new type of 'unproven' lighting. I don't think my current fixtures are for T-5s. What are T-5s and what advantages do they have over VHO?
4) Is there anything else I should be considering?
5) Where do you draw the line on personal preference over what is good for your aquarium, i.e. I realize the actinics are blue which looks cool, but do they have functionality as well?
6) I priced the Icecap 430 Ballast at Marine Depot at 139.00. Is this a good deal? It seems like this should be my next purchase.

Thanks in advance for any advice here.

Willem
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Old 08-16-2005, 11:11 AM   #2
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I would get the vho. they are the most favored. Plus they pump out more lght.
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:09 PM   #3
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Why are they the most favored? What wavelength? What wattage?

I'm still confused.

I don't want to purchase something because it is recommended. I want it to make sense.

Willem
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:54 PM   #4
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O.K here it goes.
1. 10,000K is the accepted wavelength for non actinic lighting.
2. For anemones and most corals MH lighting is a must, however for some softies VHO, PC, or T5 lighting is acceptable.
3. T5 are capable of delivering better light with less consumption, but VHO's are tried and true.

Depending on how much money you have, there are several options
1. 2 low wattage pc's with actinic bulbs + 2*110 watt VHO's with 10,000K light.
2. 2 low wattage flourescents with actinic bulbs + 2*110 watt VHO's with 10,000K light
3. 2 low wattage pc's or flourescents with actinic bulbs, and 2*150 watt metal halide with 10,000K light.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:05 PM   #5
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Seafan:

Thank you for the help.

However, I am starting with 2 x 175 watt 10,000 K MH bulbs and wondering what I should have in addition to this.

My lamp holder has fixtures for 48 inch tubes. I am not sure what type of fixtures, but I assume it is something standard. So one question I would have would be if I were to go with 2 x 110 watt actinics could I run these without the MHs assuming I didn't have any coral that required the extra intensity. I might want to do this to save on electricity and save on heating my house. Could I do the same thing with just NO actinics? Or would I need some different wavelength light for them to run on their own, i.e. would the actinics be too blue?


Thanks in advance.

Willem
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