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Old 10-31-2003, 11:48 AM   #1
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Minimal lighting for soft hardy corals

In a 54 gallon corner tank with hardy mushrooms, polyps and leathers, here are the light bulbs I have, both 24 inches:

blue (slightly fatter bulb) Coralife Actinic 03 F20-T12-BP

white AllGlass Aquarium 20w

Id appreciate suggestions for improving the lighting but in a modest way. I would like to not throw off much more heat. Also, let me know if a special or different fixture or ballast is needed.

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Old 10-31-2003, 08:14 PM   #2
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There isn't any way to really improve using the current fixtures. The cheapest and easiest way to up the lights would be to use a pair of 65w PC's. You won't be able to use the ballasts you have because they won't drive the PC's. The 65w PC's will fit in a 24" space and will triple your lighting. You could go with 24" VHO's but I think that will be a more expensive option and won't net you any better results. Even with two 65w PC's, you're still at the bottom of the curve with lighting. If the leathers and polyps are close to the top of the tank, you'd probably be OK though. The shrooms are very light tolerant and should be fine. Depending on what you want to keep in the future, you may want to get a MH fixture. Another option that you don't see mentioned much would be a couple of 96w PC quads. All of these are going to run hotter than your NO bulbs...no way around that. Nothing a fan won't fix though. Decide what you're going to keep in the tank and light it accordingly the first time...it'll save you a lot of money in the long run.
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