Lighting research nightmare, please help

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by TheMarine, 6 Aug 2015.

  1. TheMarine

    TheMarine

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    Normally I research anything I decide to buy, and I am very paranoid with my tropical tanks, so I have looked over, what must be 100 or so pages on "correct lighting" in marine reef tanks and I have asked numerous stores and others, as I posted a thread about my new tank (My first marine tank), and someone asked me about my lighting, now I am concerned it isn't efficient. I haven't a clue what I have now, other than it is a sun bulb... Idol marine recommended it to my fiancé, but in all honesty, my fiance didn't tell them that we wanted corals...

    Sooooo.....

    Everyone seems to have different opinions on lighting, and so as a noob to marine tanks, I am left completely dumbfounded and in a more bamboozled state of mind than before... :eek:

    The general theory, or rather, guideline, is 3 - 4w per gallon for low-light reef, 5-7 watt for medium-light and 7-9 watt for high light, minimum, but even this fluctuates from site to site.

    I have a 26.41 gallon tank, 100 liters. It is 36 cm deep.

    Please please help me, I would really like to get this right third time around, as I have now got bulbs sitting in my living room doing nothing...

    I currently have the sun bulb, I don't know anything else about it...
    I also have a 30w uv light that was sitting encased above the tank, as to break up the uv a bit before it hit the water. (Apparently this gave the right blue spectrum with a fluorescents red spectrum to be sufficient, but alas, I was told that it is not later on by a few others)

    My lighting budget was low to start with, but now R1300 later and lighting that won't work, I am getting a bit frustrated.:m27:

    So, Sun bulbs, Glo reef bulbs, Led, Halogen or metal Halide? How many watts per bulb and how many bulbs, or anything that isn't going to make me bankrupt over the weekend. I can fit in a bulb length of 90cm x 2 and a bulb length of 86 x 3. I don't have much space in my lid.

    I have access to idol marine, dorry pets, builders, macro and a small place in waverly (forgot their name):m33:
     
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    First question is what corals do you want to keep. Some corals dont need much light at all (like mushrooms, xenia etc) while others need lots (sps etc).
    Another thing to consider is the length/width of your tank. What size T5 flourescent tubes fit, etc?

    With the advancement in light technology, the idea of watts per litre doesnt really work anymore.
     
    TaahirS likes this.
  4. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    The width is 33cm and as previously stated I can fit up to a 90cm bulb, the tank is 92cm in length, but I have a 90cm bulb in at the moment, not a T5 though, as far as I am aware...

    I want a Kenyan tree, which I am actually going to pick up this weekend, so the lighting is important.
    I would also like some mid-light frags...
     
  5. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    T5 (if you going flourescent route) is better becasue of their higher output and they are narrower than t8, meaning you can fit more in.
    Problem with your current hood is that it only has space for one light (which i assume is T8). Also not sure how many lights id want to put in there without causing heating issues.
    MAybe look at doing a diy hood (possibly even LED), or look for something like the Odyssea T5 Units. Have a chat to @Secondwave, he might have second hand ones at a decent price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    A 2X39W T5 light setup should be fine for medium light corals. Does the tank have a canopy or can you fit a third party light unit?
    do you have a specific brand and model of tank or just a normal glass tank?
     
  7. Mr Dan

    Mr Dan

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    Hi @TheMarine have you set yourself a buget? personally i think that you are over thinking this a bit (as did I). Your tank is not that deep so going t5 might not be such a bad idea but just remember that in a year or so time you will have to replace globes(can add up $) so right now if you are not intending to upgrade in the next year or 2 i would go for a decent LED unit. The basic thing you need to know about lighting is that your zooanthelia in your corals need a light spectrum of between 455-465nm (I think) to photosynthesise which you will get from an actinic blue or coral grow t5 bulb (as said your tank not deep). So as a start I would go for 3 38w t5 one 14000k white and two blue . Just my 2c
    remember that if you are going diy that globes are about R250 ea ,electronic ballasts are about R260 ea and then swich and moding hood and and and rough price R1300
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. Mr Dan

    Mr Dan

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    Btw uv lights are used for sterilizing pathogens (and every other good living micro organism) get it away from your dt .Good luck and keep posting
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    on that depth, a dual T5 39W will work. if you can get a Quad unit, that would even be better. 4 globes and you can use different color globes as you like it, But simple 2 * 10000K and 2 Actinic would be OK.

    Odessea units are not that expensive.


    what do you mean here?
    Is this a proper UV lamp? or just a 20000K or actinic tube? UV as in real UV should be protected and it can damage your eyes and even burn the corals and fish. They are normally enclosed in a tube and are used as sterilizers.
     
  10. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    I would go for a dual T5 unit. 39 watt. One ATI aquablue special and one blue plus globe
     
  11. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    I can fit in 3 or 4 T5 lights, depending on their length, I can fit in two 90cm bulbs on a single ballast on each side and two 86cm bulbs on a double ballast in the middle, I used cpu computer fans that extract and input air into the tank constantly, so heat isn't an issue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    I have a normal glass tank, with a lid/canopy but I can work around whatever you guys suggest for me, I have time to do DIY...
     
  13. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    I literally bought an actual UV light, like an absolute chop. As for the previous post, the UV light came out very quickly, it was only in the tank for a very very short time, it was encased, though I had to buy that separately for the tube.
     
  14. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    Okay, so from all the posts, I am thinking either a DiY LED unit(Would have to google more, lol) or a Dual T5 unit with the ATI aqua blue special and blue plus globe.

    Is a T5 similar to a normal fluorescent bulb from a hardware store, how specialized are they?

    I think the Quad unit would be a bit extensive, and I don't think I could get it to fit, unless I build an overhang and create a mesh "lid" for any potential jumpers, so that said, I would be spending even more money. I need some money to feed my other animals too, haha.
     
  15. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Buld is thinner and have higher light output than regular bulbs. You dont need ATI to start, those bulbs are over R300 each, reeftec are a lot cheaper and do the job
     
  16. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    The UV light was R550, and the other was R375, isn't that the normal price for bulbs? o_O
     
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Thats a bit expensive.
    ATI will be about R340 (i think)
    Reeftec will be around R180
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2015
  18. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    Where can I get them at that price?
    I'm googling now... Can't seem to find anything, I'm slightly freaking out, And my research skills are failing me, haha. ^^

    Dorry is away to expensive, they told me it was R790 for a single sunbulb tube of 50cm... And they have been giving me non stop problems and bad advice from freshwater to marine, so I am trying to avoid them for a bit...

    Will VIP pets have them?
    Idol marine is great, but they are quite a distance away...
     
  19. Willie85

    Willie85

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  20. TheMarine

    TheMarine Thread Starter

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    Thank you all very very much, you have been very helpful, and I appreciate it to no end. The lighting nightmare will be over this weekend. Finally all the pieces of the tank have fallen in place, and now it's just maintenance and stocking... Yay! Thanks again.
     
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What is a sunbulb?
    If MH, then that can be the price yes. Or is the price with fitting?

    See you are not too far away from me. You are more than welcome to come around. if interested, just PM me. Just around the corner from Mall@Reds
     
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