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Old 10-03-2004, 04:35 PM   #1
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How much light is too much?

I've got an 80 gallon tank that I'm in the process of acquiring all the necessary hardware.

Next items on my list are lights. I plan to have a mini reef with LR and even coral (eventually).

I know that coral requires a lot of light, and I want to buy what I'll need right off the bat so I am not spending money on lights I'm going to replace within six months. I was thinking about something like this.

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewIt...5321&ast=&key=

That is more than 400 watts of VHO floro. Is that too much? Can you guys link me to some sites with better deals on lights, or instruct me on the proper wattage for my 80 gal tank? Thanks guys.
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:43 PM   #2
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It all depends on what corals you want to keep. I have 4x110 vho on my 125 reef and it works out great for the corals I have.
So first you need to research what corals you want..... Then list and we can help with lighting needs. Most of the web sites tell you wht kind of lighting the corals need.
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:49 PM   #3
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basicly if u have more intense light than the sun thats when ur in trouble otherwise your ok
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:48 AM   #4
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I see. So this amount of light could be overkill for what I want, or it might not be.

I just am not sure right now what kind of corals I will eventually be putting in. I guess I mean, is this something I can go with that will leave my options fairly open for various organisms, coral or otherwise?

I can always take bulbs out if it's too much, right? So do you think I'd ever need more than this amount??
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:06 AM   #5
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Dont worry. Thats not to much light. Thats probaly more realisticly in the middle of the light range for a reef.

Taking bulbs out may or may not cause others to light. Some ballasts require all 4 bulbs before they will work properly.

I have 440W of VHO over a 75 gal tank and everything is fine. If you wanted you could even do a dual MH setup with two VHO bulbs. That would give you at least 570W of light or 720W depending if you did 175W MH or 250W MH's.

Now if you had say a pair of 1000W MH bulbs over the tank then you might be a bit excessive. As you can see you really have to go crazy with lights before you have to much.
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input, fishfreek. Great site ya got here. I considered MH bulbs, but I know what a pain they can be to cool. Do you forsee me having heat problems with just the VHOs?

I figured that the 440w setup would be a good middle of the road light setup for my first tank, and leave my options open for a fairly wide variety of species.

Now that I know a bit more about what kind of lighting I need, can anyone recommend a good online shop to check them out?
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:48 PM   #7
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No real heat issues with VHO. While they are hoter than regular florecents they are not overly hot. You might see a 1 or 2 degree increase in the day but that can easily be counteacted with a small fan in the canopy or over the sump.

Of course I feel inclined to suggest you look at some of our sponsors when it comes to lighting or other aquatic products. Many of them will even give you a discount.
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Old 10-04-2004, 02:41 PM   #8
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I am planning on putting 400 Watts over a 40, so no, not too much light.
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:29 PM   #9
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If you really want to leave your options open then consider 2x250w MH.. it's the worst feeling when you really want to keep something but can't because you didn't go all out with the lighting.
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Old 10-04-2004, 07:30 PM   #10
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I have a 125 gallon with (3) 250 watt MH and another 160 watts of flourescents. Everything seems to be doing fine in my tank.

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Old 10-04-2004, 08:30 PM   #11
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What about 4*65watt for a 55gal?
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:05 PM   #12
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Hey Sparky. How do you cool all 910 watts of light? Do you have an air cooled hood? Do you use a chiller?

That's a lot of light! I'd like to go way overboard, but unfortunately, finances are going to limit me to about four hundred dollars or so for lights. Unless you guys think I really should invest in about 500 watts of MH. I'm just so worried about heat. I live in Arizona, so it's hot enough here already!
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Old 10-04-2004, 10:09 PM   #13
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I have a custom hood that I made myself. It has 2 vent fans that pull the heat out of the hood. Here is a link to the top I had built.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...hlight=#158338

I have really had no heat issues to speak of. I live near Chicago, so the summers can get pretty hot. We really didn't experience the "heat wave" we usually get in the summer, so I really can't say how well it works. But, on the really hot days that we did have I had no issues. But then again I have Air Conditioning too...LOL

HTH

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Old 10-05-2004, 02:21 PM   #14
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That's a sweet setup, Sparky. Nice job on the hood. I'm jealous.
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:43 AM   #15
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I just put 4X96 PC( for $225 thx ebay) lights on my 65 gal. After reading up I might have gone for MH as my tank is 24" deep and I have read that PC and VHO lose a bit much after 18". I have a 4" DSB so I'm close.

I have also read alot about the cooling problem with MH. Last you want is to have to buy a chiller IMO. Fans help alot too. Some retrofit kits leave some room. Maybe you could start with a couple Floresents spaced apart with room in the middle for MH down the line when you need them and switch the floresents to Actinic. You could do this when you would replace the bulbs so the ones you get don't go to waste.
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