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Old 08-30-2006, 03:02 PM   #1
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Why is my new LR and its plants are turning crusty white!!??

My new Florida aquacultured rock and the plants on them are turning white and 'crusty'. The LR is all purple, pink, and some orange. Now there are spots of white on them!

I only have two 36 inch flourescent bulbs, 60 watt total. Is that it?

If I get a lighting upgrade ASAP can I save my plants and the colored algae or will it grow back?

If lighting IS the problem...What can I put in my ywo 36 inch hoods with at least 150 wattage?
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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It's common for the coralline and sponges to die off but the coralline should recover. The plants may not survive in that low lighting. Upgrading your lighting may help.

Not sure I understand your last question. You can only use bulbs designed and sized for that hood and ballast. Light bulbs are not interchangable with other ballasts.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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I think that a ballast is a hood?

Yes, I have two hoods that hold 36 inch lights and my question is...

Are there bulbs out there that are a high wattage that will fit into what I already have?
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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No, the lenght of the bulb determines it's wattage. In order to increase your wattage you would have to get a different light fixture. power compact fluorescents have more watts for a given length, but they use different end fittings and different ballasts than a regular fluorescent bulb.

FWIW, my macroalgae (Caulerpa) is growing quite happily under a 15 watt, 10000K bulb in a 10 gallon tank.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
I think that a ballast is a hood?
It's the little metal thing (usually silver in color) that fires up the bulb.
Quote:
Are there bulbs out there that are a high wattage that will fit into what I already have?
Possibly, if you could find some that will fire up using those ballasts, but I would imagine they already have the highest rated bulbs in there, but I could be wrong.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:38 PM   #6
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I was told that I need to get 150 watts for an anemone. Is this true even though my tank is only 15 inches tall? (82 inches long)
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:37 PM   #7
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An anemone will need more light than that. I would try for no less than 240w of compact fluorescent lighting to house a low light anemone like a bubbletip. The normal NO lights you have on the tank are just not enough. Even putting a larger bulb in there, the light is only gotta push as much as it's designed for the way I understand it, so it's a waste.
Remember though that it takes a tank about 9 months to mature before you should think about adding an anemone. HTH
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:40 PM   #8
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Oh ya...two vets on another aquarium chat room said that I need to test for
calcium, magnesium, phosphate and that is why my rock is turning white..because I don't have enough of those things in my tank to grow my colored corraline algae on the rock.
(i never knew this..i have just been doing my oher tests!)

Ahh..im getting confused with all of this info!
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:47 PM   #9
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Much of my (brown) live rock eventually started turning bright white. Within a few weeks the white areas had tiny pink dots all over them. The pink is spreading and will cover the white areas.

I can only assume that this is coraline algae beginning to cover the rock.

You should have your water tested for calcium. I bought a kit and found my level to be rather low. It took about 2 weeks of dosing to get the level up to 400. If you buy a kit I would recommend the SALIFERT kit. It seems to be more reliable than some others. A kit that isn't reliable isn't really worth anything and may cost you more money in the long run.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:10 AM   #10
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Weird. I did a calcium test and it said my calcium was around 580?
\
I couldn't find the brand you said, so used the 'saltwater master' kit.
I had to add 32 drops until the test tube turned dark blue, then look on the chart? Maybe it was old or something because I haven't added anything to my tank and it is only 2 months old?
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:54 AM   #11
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I doubt that it's 580 because before that I believe that it would presipitate out of solution.

Take a sample to the lfs and have your level rechecked.

Salifert kits are available @ marinedepot.com
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:04 AM   #12
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Hmm..checked it again today and its still high. I called the LFS and they will do a calcium/alkalinity test for me this week.

IF I really do have that high of calcium without adding anything extra to my tank..is that bad for my fish or LR?

Could excess calcium cause my LR to turn white?
(bare rock with not many goodies has white with some greenish spots AND aquacultured rock, colored coralline has white overtop of it)
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
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Courtneyclv,

#1 the wattage of your bulbs is determined by the size of the ballast running them. A larger ballast will run a lower wattage bulb higher but it will not last as long. The rating at which the bulb manufacturer publishes is that at which the buyer will receive the most bang for your buck.

#2 What Charlie suggested is accurate yet you may have the wrong approach. You need to return to the LFS that you purchased your rock from and ask for a sample of their water for you to inturn take home and test with your kit not have them test with their kit. you need to establish a control which will then in inturn help you determine if your test kit is accurate or not. ie if the LFS water tests at 500 and they indicate that their test kit showed 400 then you know that you are most likely 100 off. Also remember that with a young tank you will encounter diatoms and some other occurences with a new tank that you would not see with a used tank.
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