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Old 09-25-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
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beginner reef lighting

Hey everyone, right now i just have a standard bulb that comes with a tank when you buy it. I think it is a 24" bulb. It only has 17 watts . Do you guys know any good bulbs that will fit a standard 24" fixture? I am just curious because i'm looking to grow some beginner polyps and shrooms. Here's a link Beginner corals for a reef aquarium - Aquatic Connection Also if theres no good bulbs for my fixture what is an affordable route to take?
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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There is no "good" 17w bulb, at least as far as keeping any corals. Is this 1 bulb over the 38g tank you have listed in "My Tanks"? If so, there are no corals that can live under such minimal lighting.
If you want to keep soft corals, like mushrooms, zoas, leathers, etc look into power compact lighting. If you want to move up to hard corals, look into T5HO or MH.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:01 AM   #3
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as ccCapt said mentioned, there will NOT be any bulb for that fixture that will allow you to keep corals. However, that light will be fine for FOWLR. That's how I started my tank... I cycled the tank with my LR, added a CUC and some fish, then let it go for a couple months with the stock light.

When the time was right, I bought a T5 fixture and moonlights and have been slowly building my reef ever since.

I'll never forget the first time I lit the tank with the T5's. I was blown away with how amazing the tank looked compared to the "yellow" bulb that I was using.

So..to recap..LOL... You can get the tank up and running with your current fixture.. But will need to invest in a better light if you want a reef.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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What type corals do you plan on having? If you plan on having all kinds then as mentioned above I would consider T5`s.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
What type corals do you plan on having? If you plan on having all kinds then as mentioned above I would consider T5`s.
I'm not very specific about corals but i just want decent lighting that can grow a lot of things (doesn't have to be fancy corals). How about this one guys? Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures Tell me what guys think if its a good buy or not (just for future reference). Another question, I want some Coraline to grow on my LR right now but my tank is just at the beginning stages of cycling. IF its okay to promote coralline growth at this stage what are my choices? thanks in advance.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:01 AM   #6
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I'm not very specific about corals but i just want decent lighting that can grow a lot of things (doesn't have to be fancy corals). How about this one guys? Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures Tell me what guys think if its a good buy or not (just for future reference). Another question, I want some Coraline to grow on my LR right now but my tank is just at the beginning stages of cycling. IF its okay to promote coralline growth at this stage what are my choices? thanks in advance.

Not sure about that fixture. Might be better to hold out for a t5 lamp.

As far as Coraline goes.. All it needs is time. No Need to rush it. I remember being in your shoes. Actually, when my tank finished cycling, all the coraline that came on my LR actually bleached out. My Rock was WHITE. As time went by, it started to turn green..almost Neon. Then the Pruple returned EVERYWHERE.. MY tank is just a lovely shade of Purple now. So.. It will come back.

Oh yeah.. Now my sump is loaded with Coraline as well and I only have a CF Flood light there.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by goisles1 View Post
Not sure about that fixture. Might be better to hold out for a t5 lamp.

As far as Coraline goes.. All it needs is time. No Need to rush it. I remember being in your shoes. Actually, when my tank finished cycling, all the coraline that came on my LR actually bleached out. My Rock was WHITE. As time went by, it started to turn green..almost Neon. Then the Pruple returned EVERYWHERE.. MY tank is just a lovely shade of Purple now. So.. It will come back.

Oh yeah.. Now my sump is loaded with Coraline as well and I only have a CF Flood light there.
That's awesome is there a proven way to promotes its growth though or should i just wait? Btw back to the lighting any specific bulbs and fixtures?
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:49 AM   #8
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There is a bit needed to get coralline growth into your tank, The salt mix you are using is important as well as the lighting and time. You are going to have to maintain Calcium at 450 ppm, Magnesium 1350-1400 ppm, Strontium, DKH 7-12, good water parameters and lighting. The right salt mix should take care of the elements needed along with PWC's to keep those elements at their proper levels. One other little detail is coralline has to be brought into the tank, this is easily done by getting 1 or 2 pieces of live rock with coralline on it. Before going nuts I would sit tight, your tank is going to go thru quite a few stages of maturity. Patience is your friend in this hobby.
The lighting aspect of this hobby is by far the most frustrating, complex and costly part. There is an old rule (the dreaded watts per gallon) that is used as a guideline only, you can use it to get an idea of what you may need, this rule states to keep Medium light corals you should have from 4 to 6 watts per gallon and for high light coral it could be as high as 10. There are other factors involved such as the depth of your tank, rock structure etc. The type of lighting is also very important, I could go on for a long time on this topic but it would best for you to figure out exactly what you want to keep so we can better help you out with your lighting.
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