Lighting Advice

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Fishfood, 25 May 2009.

  1. Fishfood

    Fishfood

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    My tank is 80cm (l) x 45cm (w) x 43cm (h)
    My current lighting is a unit containing 2 x 55w 10 000k + 1 x 55w Actinic power compacts.
    I would basically like to eventually be able to grow anything in my tank but I have been getting some conflicting info about the lighting.
    I have asked at 2 LPS's and both told me that for a tank my size which is also quite shallow that the lighting I have would be good for pretty much anything.
    Then other people have told me that I should upgarde to metal halide.
    According to the LPS's I cannot put metal halides over my tank as the temperature would shoot through the roof. At the moment my power compacts keep the tank at 26 degrees so I can see the reasoning for this. I am not sure I have the additional money for a cooler just yet.
    A lot of people with tanks deeper than mine are using 150watt metal halides with success. Surely my 150watts would then suffice in my shallower tank. Am I correct in saying this?
    Also would it not be better to replace my actinic with another 10 000K?
    I know the actinic softens the light but without the actinic on the colour still looks very pleasing.
    The reason for me asking this question is cos I want my life in my tank to flourish not just be holding on.
    SO should I upgrade to metal halides, stick with what I've got, swap my actinic for another 10 000k or maybe add on 1 or 2 t5's if I can find the space?
    One more thing - how often do power compacts need to be replaced?
    And do they fade out slowly or just die a sudden death?
     
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  3. Tony

    Tony

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    The three bulbs are fine for softies and LPS corals. You must remember that watt for watt metal halides give off the same amount of heat as fluorescents. It's just that the heat is more distributed on a fluorescent than the concentrated beam of a halide. The halides do penetrate more deeply than fluorescents. You can add on another white and blue T5 to upgrade your lighting which will be more than enough and have the blue tubes on a seperate timer for sunrise/sunset effect and the white lights coming on in between
     
  4. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Very helpful advice.Thanks :thumbup:
     
  5. Tony

    Tony

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    If you go up to about 7 bulbs you could probably keep most SPS's
     
  6. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    7 bulbs! :nono:
    No thanks I think I'll rather just switch to MH and save myself the hassle.
    If anyones selling MH150 or 250w please let me know
     
  7. mookz

    mookz

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    Sorry to hijack the thread...but what would the minimum wattage be for keeping softies?

    I am thinking of doing 2 x t5's and a 150w MH...would this be enough?
     
  8. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Mookz - that would be enough to keep SPS..... but, this is all relevant to the tank depth...
    So, how deep your tank?
     
  9. mookz

    mookz

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    It is 50cm deep, do you know if anyone has had success with power saving bulbs say 6 of them running with a 150 MH or is t5's the best way to go?
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    No - if you want to use blue/actinic power saving globes, TOGETHER with the metal halide, then by all means. Go ahead.
     
  11. mookz

    mookz

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    Thank you once again for the good advise, your tank is looking awesome by the way, cant wait to get my tank in that condition!! starting from scratch as i have no algae or micro bacteria left.
     
  12. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Update:
    Having a lot of success now that I added an extra 2 t5's so I have 3 x 55w PC's and 2 x 24w t5's.
    Acro is growing like mad! and has coloured up very nicely!
    Personally I think that those PC's are underated. Also have some zoa's under them which have grown huuuge and are really intense green.
    Shallow tank - I believe that if I place my light hungry corals up quite high in the tank I get good results.LPS is on the bottom and also doing well.
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Many thanks for the great comment, Mookz. Much appreciated.
     
  14. Tony

    Tony

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    Glad to know things are looking good
     
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