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Old 01-28-2009, 01:27 AM   #1
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Lighting How high and placement

My 125 g reef tank has a hood that measures appr. 10 inches.
Currently my light setup is:
3 175 14k Coral vue bulbs are about 6 inches from the water. The reflectors are standard but are not the fancy ones that are out now.The bulbs all face length wise toward the right. Here are the questions that keep bothering me and I need help with.
1. Is this hood too low for these lights?
2. Should I be worried that the bulbs being so close to the water cause harm to the corals?
3. Should I change the direction of the bulbs and place them from back to front? Will this produce less shadowed areas? Or will my current setup be fine?
Finally I am considering adding wood to make the hood stand higher. Adding an additional 4 inches. ( 2 x 4 x 24 ). Since I am getting 4 more inches I plan to add 3 better, more advanced reflectors.

4. Will adding the extra height improve overall lighting? Or will this make the animals that are on the lower parts of the reef strave to get the beneficial light?
5. Will the lengthwise or widthwise placement of the bulbs matter?
6. Do I really need to spend the money on fancy reflectors?

Thanks guys in advance for your opinions and advice,
Juan
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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1- No, not as long as your not having heat issues and the bulbs aren't getting lots of water splashed on them.

2- See 1

3- It depends on the reflectors, but they are fine as is.

4- Depends on the reflectors.

5- See 4

6- You get what you pay for. A Lumenarc reflector for about $115 will give you aprox 300% more light in the tank compared to a batwing style parallel reflector for $30.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice.
I have been battling as to what to do.
Thanks, ccCapt!
Oh by the way any other brands besides Lumenarc?
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:53 PM   #4
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The only 1's that will fit a 125 (18' wide) are Lumenarc Mini's (14.5x14.5x6.5), LumenBright Mini Wide (16x16x7) or LumenMax Elite (17.5x14.5x5.3).

Sanjay just published his tests on these reflectors.
Product Review: Analyzing Reflectors: Lumenbrite III, Lumenmax Elite, Lumenmax, and Lumenarc III
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:52 AM   #5
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Wow! Thanks for the info! Do you think in your opinion that having better relectors will color up acro millioporas and some of those acro torts?
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Lighting does play a role in coral colors, but just changing the color spectrum of the bulb can also have an affect. Flow and water chemistry are just as important, if not moreso.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:04 AM   #7
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I am going to get first a more effective protein skimmer rated at least twice the gallon capacity of 125. Get my water quality in the best shape by making sure my RO/DI unit has the filters and membranes all changed. I will take note of coloring on some of my current sps. If I notice after few weeks that the coloring is A+ then I will stop. If they have not colored up, then I will add a reflector to each MH and this should finally give me what I am looking for. An aquarium where I have given those animals as much of the necessities that they need to thrive and survive.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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Sounds like a plan. Good luck.
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