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Old 12-29-2002, 08:51 PM   #1
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Lighting question

I've been rooting thru my extras since funds are tight right now. Currently I have only 2 20,000K Coralife lights running. My LFS said it was all I needed. Doesn't seem bright enough. I found a 29" strip light with just a GE bulb. Could I just get 2 glass tops and use these 3lights for now, or maybe replace the GE bulb with something else. I wasn't sure about the color needed. I've read to have a actinic bulb and a full spectrum. Do you use both at the same time. This GE bulb seems to override the blueness that the Coralife bulbs put out. I've attached 2 pics. All that I did was open the front hoods and placed the strip on top. I makes everything way brighter but it seems very white. Not sure if it is too white. I do not no anything about lights. Also I do not have much clearance from the top of my tank to the above wall.
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:07 PM   #2
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IMO more light is better. Forget about Kelvin and use what looks good to you. Another opinion... Coralife bulbs are really bad.

Guy
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:45 PM   #3
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lighting

I hate to even add this...but unless they have changed their ways, the GE bulbs aren't too great either...pretty low CRI. You might want to look into some of the NO bulbs that have an internal reflector...this might help direct more light down into the tank. I believe some of the Hagen bulbs such as the Life-Glo (6700k) and the Power-Glo (18000k) have this option. More light is definitely better, but I would hesitate about spending much money on NO lighting. Better to save it up for a good VHO, MH, or PC system. JMHO .
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Old 12-29-2002, 10:12 PM   #4
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As I stated above I didn't buy these, I had them. If this setup would work I would buy new bulbs. What are good bulbs. I have read that you should have a full spectrum and a blue actinic. Currently all my bulbs would be classed as more of full spectrum. Although the coralife's have a mixture of both.
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:57 AM   #5
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lights

Skip...the bottom line is you don't have enough light and you ain't gonna get it with normal output bulbs. So...what to do? Use what you have until you can afford better lights. That's what I'm doing and it's likely what a lot of us on here did. By better lights I mean VHO, MH, or PC. If it's gonna be a long time, maybe spring for a couple of bulbs like the Hagens with the internal reflectors. But don't waste your money on NO fixtures. Save it for the good stuff.
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:23 AM   #6
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Can I fit better light in the small space that I have. Where to you buy Hagen lights. The only stuff our LFS have are perfecto's, nothing with internal refelectors.

Is there a book about lighting?
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:28 AM   #7
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You could easily build a canopy to hold some PC or VHO florecents over your tank.

Its not near as hard as it sounds. All a canopy is would be just a box with the bottom missing, some braces to support the sides and top. Put the reflectors and bulbs inside and put the ballasts some place else.

Maybe fashon a door on the front to access the tank with out having to remove the canopy.

Quote:
Is there a book about lighting?
Not that I know of. Lighting is such a debatable topic that i would find it hard to see anyone writing a book and not having it so criticized. There are several lighting threads in this forum you should check out to get a basic working knowlege about aquarium lighting.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=177

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=12

Those are two threads in particular.
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:20 AM   #8
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I have only 8" from the tank to the wall. Is this canopy still capable to be built. I only ask becuase I don't know the dimensions of the lighting components.

Also where can I buy lighting components. What should I use VHO or PC.
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:45 AM   #9
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If you mean 8" from the top of yoru tank to the bottom of the wall. It looks like your tank is in a little cubby.

Sure 8" will work just fine. The canopy can sit on top of the tank and then build it 7" tall so you have 1" of room between it and the wall.

Then if you use 1" or 1/2" wood stock that puts your bulbs 6" above the water surface.

What are the dimentsions of the tank. Lenght and Width.

That will determin how many lights you can put under the hood of the canopy.

www.hellolights.com

www.ahsupply.com

these are just two wonderful resources for lights on line. Check out the General Retailers forum for some other links to lighting providers.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:09 PM   #10
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lights

Check out www.hellolights.com and www.ahsupply.com for lighting. www.il-solutions.com is another. You could build a canopy in the space you have. You probably won't be able to open the top or front. It would have to be a design that would slide off from the front. Wouldn't be too hard to do. Don't know what your woodworking capabilities are, but this could be built with basic hand tools. Actually, ahsupply has some enclosures already made...not sure if they will fit in your space though. 8" is enough room for the fixtures. You'll see more when you look at the above sites. Each has advantages and disadvantages. VHO tubes are the same size as your NO tubes. They use waterproof endcaps that will protect the ends of the bulbs from corrosion. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the bulbs every 6 months or so. PC's are a little brighter. They are mounted with spring clips which is not as secure IMO as the VHO endcaps although I have never had problems with them falling out. The endcaps, again IMO, do not seal as well as the VHO. Even the moisture proof ones. I don't see why they couldn't be taped with electrical tape to seal them up though. PC bulbs are good for about a year according to the manufac. You may need a fan in the canopy to help control heat. With only 8" to work with, I'm thinking that MH might not be a good idea but I would have to defer to those who have used them...I haven't. Take your time, read, research, and you'll come up with something that will work for you. I have been using two 15w NO bulbs on my 10gal for several months and, although I don't have the best growth in there, nothing has died either. I just ordered some 36w PC's from ahsupply so hopefully I'll have enough light soon. The point is that you have time to check it out thoroughly and make an educated decision. You might also try doing a search on aquarium lighting on google and about.com for more info.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
You probably won't be able to open the top or front. It would have to be a design that would slide off from the front.
I can see where you could use a hinge design either where the front had a frame and then a door cut out of that front frame that opened out like a door swinging open. Use hinges so the door can swing all the way open and you would not have to take the top off every time.
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:03 PM   #12
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My tank is 48x13x20

My tank is in a cubby because we built the wall to hold a 55 and 2-30 gal tanks. I definitley screwed up the size but its too late now.

I know ABSOLUTELY nothing about lighting so I will research, but I will refer back to here to make sure. I just want to get the setup correct the second time around. Since most of you may know my LFS has got me going in circles. I am almost done reading the new marine aquarium and found out alot of info. I've already asked my LFS what to do and he suggests just getting 2 glass tops and adding a 48 strip ontop to add to my other lights. Funny at first he said I already ahd what I neede. This does not seem to be enough according to you guys. Hence that's why I am asking you.

Could someone help in designing one for me components wise. It would help alot. Just want to get the correct stuff. I will post back my status of what I am checking out.

My stepdad is good with wood working. If I give him dimensions he builds it. How far can the light be away from the tank? Could I mount the lighting comp. onto the wall and then box them in with some wood from the front and sides. The wall is finished in drywall and painted. Maybe I could mount a piece of 3/8 plywood on the wall. I don't want to burn my house down either though. I could put a panel on the front with hinges to pull outward. I have 2-8' access doors from the back. This is how I do my maintenance. I can post some pics. later to show.

Not to change the subject but I ordered and received 45lbs. ($87.99) of LR from Liveaquaria.com on saturday. The fiji reef rock was very nice and hardly had an odor to it. So it seems to have been pre-cured good. I have it in the gabage can now curing it again as required. Just wanted to post that I have had good results from this site. Amazing to order something from CA and receive it in PA in 18 hours!

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:45 PM   #13
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Glad you like us..

Now I tried quickly rereading your posts on this thread to see what your ultimate goal is as far as what you want to keep in the tank. Usually this is one of the first questions we ask but it seems that we have gotten this far with out needing to fine tune what kind of lights you need.

So the question at hand is this.

What kind of tank do you want to keep? Do you want corals? If so what types? If you had to list one or two corals that you felt you had to have to be a complete system what would they be?

Once we know where you want to go with this tank we can construct our lighting advice correctly. There is no 1 best lighting setup to suggest for any and all users.
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Old 12-30-2002, 02:58 PM   #14
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If I get any corals it will probably be some type of brain. I would say I am more interested in Anemones. I would like to get a Long T. or Sebae.

I don't quite understand the difference between reef and non-reef. If you have corals is that then considered a reef tank? If so then I would say I am more of a FOWLR and some Anemones and inverts.

I want to provide adequate lighting but not the state of the art stuff. Just want a succesfull, healthy tank.

Currently I have 1 perc., 1 sebae, 1 yellow tang and a domino damsel. I have 8lbs of LR inside and 45lbs curing. Also 1 condy anemone. My future plans are probably some inverts like shrimp and more crabs.

My equipment is a 100w heater, whisper PF 5, 1 200gph PH, 1 100GPH PH (to be replaced with a MP900) seaclone 100 PS and DSB with LR and LS.

How do you know if you have adequate water flow. Everyone says 1 but does position in the tank mater. Currently I have a PF and PS hang-on type in the back and a PH's blowing Length wise. I would guess my total is 450-550. All of my circulation is from the top.

My initial measurements were wrong my clearance from top of tank to wall is 6 1/4". I have attached some close-up pics. for reference
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Old 12-30-2002, 04:28 PM   #15
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Since your on a budget, I always suggest going to www.ebay.com and search for "aquarium light". You can find deals here that no retailer can compete with.
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:48 AM   #16
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I've been browsing those websites and found this kit http://www.hellolights.com/lamps-now...retrokit1.html
Is this too much and is this what I need. Do I want to span the length of my tank? Could I mount the lights on a piece of plywood and then attach it to the wall above my tank. I assume the reflector is a protector of a fire hazard. This would give me probably a good 4" from the top of the tank. If the cords are long enough I could mount the ballasts on the wall behind my tank. Then I will panel them in.

Are the default bulbs what I want to get?
How many watts do I need total for a 55 gal. tank?

Or this kit http://www.hellolights.com/4lamvhoretki2.html
I would get 2 10,000k and 2 actinic 03 and it would total 260.00
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Old 12-31-2002, 11:01 AM   #17
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I don't think it's too much, but I run a 175W MH and 28W PCs on a 20g tank With that lighting, you'll be able to keep just about anything you want. You will more than likely have algae issues as well, tank maintenance and a good clean up crew are going to be very important. As for the bulbs, you would stagger them like was shown in the pic, this will give you a very intense section (middle 3ft of the tank) with it tapering off on the on the ends. As for mounting, from the pics, it looks as though you could mount the lights to the shelf above the tank, you could make a door that will swing down from the bottom of the shelf to the bottom of the tank trim.
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Old 12-31-2002, 11:24 AM   #18
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How about the VHO kit that I mention at the bottom of my post. I assume you are talking about the PC kit. The VHO kit is cheaper. The PC kit uses Panasonic bulbs? Are they anygood?
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Old 12-31-2002, 11:36 AM   #19
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OK, didn't see that link. IMO, you would be better off with the VHOs, you won't get quite as much intensity, but you won't be as likely to have an algae problem either. My first reef was a 90g (48 X 18 X 24) and I used 4 X 48" VHOs and kept LPS, softies and a couple of clams. I think you will have a very broad range of what you want to keep with the VHOs as with the exception of the most light loving SPS and clams. I think the bulb choice is fine.
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:00 PM   #20
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How about anemones?
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