Small tank lighting on a budget.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Wetty, 29 Apr 2009.

  1. Wetty

    Wetty Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    A friend has started up a quarantine tank as a small display tank, spose its bout 100l at the most.

    Can u guys advise me as to simple yet effective lighting on a budget....nothing fancy like MH of T5s. Maybe like energy savers, T8s and so forth....i dont think she going reef. Shes only gona have a nenny or two and SPS
     
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  3. crispin

    crispin

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    WTF....you pulling my leg arent you wetty. Red rag to a bull.......anything at all strike you as out of whack in that post of yours?????

    nothing.

    clue look at the red sections....YOU CANT ADVIUCE A FRIEND TO HAVE A NENNIE OF SPS UNDER CRAP LIGHTING!!!! ESPECIALLY TWO NENNIES>>>PROB DIFFERENT SPECIES IN A 100L.

    oh stuff it, tea time!
     
  4. crispin

    crispin

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    why do you think we use fancy things like MH and a bank of T5's wetty? i promise its not to waist money.....its cause the things under them NEED them to live. without them you are murdering Gods creatchures and i take a dim view (pun intended) to that!
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hiya Wetty.... Crispin might be a wee bit "crisp" in his wording....BUT, he is 100% correct.

    Anemone's has the SAME AMOUNT of lighting and water prestine'ness requirements, as SPS do.

    Have you EVER seen a SPS tank with energy saver globes on?

    Have you noticed how MOST of the successful Tank of the MONTH have either 250 watt metal halides, 400 watt metal halides, or at least a HUGE HUGE bank of T5's?

    Have you EVER seen a successful marine tank, where the reefkeeper has SPS AND ANEMONE's, who only uses CF globes?
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

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    sorry about that, i just umm wanted to make sure the message went out...and you steal the right to post IN CAPITALS all the time so I had to do something different :)
     
  7. Wetty

    Wetty Thread Starter Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    Ok well after wiping off the spit from the spitting match... :lol:

    Wot im trying to get at is.....being a small tank I thort that a person can get away with minimal lighting, most of the big display tanks have major systems coz they are like 5 times the size of this lil tank. And im asking for advise....not stating a fact. :razz::lol:

    what are the Kelvin ratings for normal light bulbs thru to MH lights? Or is there a link I can look at?
     
  8. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Wetty, lighting is a terribly complicated subject..... MH and T5 are well proven to provide the lighting requirements for our inmates..... it is much more about the PAR of the lighting that the types of lighting..... PAR basically refering to the amount of light available at a specific wave length for use through processes such as photosynthesis.

    If you think about energy saving bulbs..... some of them do come out at the best PAR rating for coral growth ...... but their wave length penetration into the water column is dismal at best ..... the light is not focused anough.

    You have to realize the emotive responses you recieved are a result of extremely experienced reefers taking exception to a suggestion of putting a nennie in fact a nennie or TWO.... with lighting below standard ...... 2 hornets nests in that first post.

    Lighting on a budget .......... troll the 2nd hand forums, and buy a 2nd hand 150w MH... depending on your nennie selection this should be OK.

    I assume your friend has a sump etc planned !
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Wetty - sorry man.... I did not mean to sound bad..... It is just that it must be made clear.... SPS and Anemone's are some of the hardest of marine species to keep alive.

    The lighting requirement is EXTREMELY high.....

    Look - you don't need to specifically use the "marine aquarium" product lighting.
    You can use a "cheap, off the rack" type metal halide..... BUT, you will still HAVE to compliment this with a lot of blue light....
    This could potentially reduce the cost a LOT...

    BUT, that will be if you want to keep SPS and anemone's.

    IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT A FISH ONLY SYSTEM - now THAT's a WHOLE other ballgame...
    You can them get away with just energy savers..... as the fish is NOT dependant on the light..... :thumbup:
     
  10. Wetty

    Wetty Thread Starter Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    So do I look at the kelvin rating or the PAR rating on a light source? I understand bout the extreme lighting...and more or less how important it is, but its sort of a vague subject. Everybody has their own story and opinion...and Id like to hear as many of them as I can
     
  11. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    The two are linked, but no globe will say what the PAR reading is with any accuracy as it depends on the distance from the source and the medium through which the wave length travels!

    Kelvin Rating is just as problematic..... a energy saving globe may have the correct Kelvin rating, but its penetration through water i.e. the amount is is focused is no good for sps or nennies........

    there is nothing vauge about the lighting requirements of these organisms.... the zooanthilia (sp) in nennies require light for photosynthesis..... some species start dying after only a short time without light (as seen in the majority of white nennies for sale in LFS)..... please be under NO illusions as to the requirements of nennies ans SPS..... what may be vauge is exactly why one light source (MH or T5) provide this light source and other lights eg energy savers do no !

    Do yourself a favor, look at every forum out there ........... find one outstanding SPS and nennie tank run on energy savers........... I have never seen one..... and there are reasons for that !!!
     
  12. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hi Wetty

    The face that the tank is such a small size unfortunately makes it even less suitable to SPS/Anemones.

    Everyone may have their own opinions etc but I think everyone can agree that SPS and Anemones need decent light to thrive. The debates come in around whether 400W MH's are that much better than 250W MH's etc. Not sure if it's still the same but irie ivan has brilliant SPS under (a few) 150W MH's and T5's but he certainly isn't running energy savers... He also knows exactly what he is doing etc and everything else is pretty much perfect in his tank.

    Kelvin ratings aren't a very good indicator as they are more like the "average" of the spectrum produced by the globes. If you can get hold of a spectral analysis it will show you the full graph of the output of different wavelengths from the globe so you can see exactly what the globe is outputting. Kelvin is just an indicator of the sort of "total" colour produced.

    Rory
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Wetty - just to add to Neil's post:
    The Kelvin rating, refers to the color spectrum which the light supplies.... meaning, that the lower the kelvin rating, the more yellow and red you will get from the light. The higher the kelvin rating, the bluer the light will be... ie. a globe with a Kelvin rating of 4700K, will give you a very yellow/red look in the tank.... now - even though the corals and all other plant life will most likely LOVE this color spectrum, it will look VERY bad for a human, looking at the tank. On the other end of the scale, ie. a 14000K or 16000K globe will give you a MUCH more bluish crisp white look - leaning towards a blow hue.... a 20000K or 22000K globe, will have a VERY blue (BUT NOT ACTINIC) look..... It will still look white, but with a very blue or even purple hue.....

    The info that I read, taught me that the PAR rating (photosynthetically available radiation) is MOSTLY at it's highest between 5500K and 6700K (this is the kelvin rating of clear blue sky, and sunshine)..... Meaning, that the corals and anemone's can produce the absolute MOST energy to live and grow, using this "PAR" (photosynthetically available "light" radiation).....

    So - what we as reefers TRY and do, is achieve a balance, between making the tank LOOK nice, and what's good for the corals and anemone's we try to keep.....

    A higher PAR rating can also be achieved with VERY STRONG (in wattage) lighting - therefor the 250 watt and 400 watt comments I made earlier.....
     
  14. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Rory - at a stage Ivan had 6 or 7 x 150 watt metal halides over his 1.5 metre tank. The last I visited him, he had ALREADY upgraded to 3 x 250 watt metal halides....

    So - there goes the theory again - of more light is better.... ;)

     
  15. Wetty

    Wetty Thread Starter Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    Fanx guys...im learning so much here. So whats the bench mark Par rating to look for....or So that I know I can stay with that and over?
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Wetty - unfortunately, PAR is a very difficult measurement. Because it can ONLY really be determined by a PAR metre..... The globes' packaging does NOT state PAR values. Neither will the salesmen even KNOW about PAR.... believe me...

    The better gauge, would be to get as strong lighting as possible - with a Kelvin rating of between 5500K and 6700K - a new globe on the market, is a T5 from Osram, called Natural Daylight - it has a Kelvin rating of 8000K. The cost is relatively low....

    Investigate going "normal" lighting - in the 5500K to 6700K range, then just add a huge amount of blue globes (of whatever type - can be energy savers, T8's, T5's, etc)....

    This will/should allow you to keep SPS, if you can high enough total wattage of light over the tank..... The coloration of the SPS corals MIGHT not be as nice as the guys who have 250 watt or 400 watt metal halides, but, the SPS should still be happy and thrive....
     
  17. Wetty

    Wetty Thread Starter Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    lol...what I was trying to get at is....

    If a newbie to the hobby goes to a LFS...and he has a std 4ft system. How will he know what lighting he needs if say the salesperson is a moron?

    How can he determine by a simple calculation or benchmark how much lighting he needs? He might think hes satisfying his future system with 10 000k mixed lighting equipment...when he actually needs 20 000k....for example. He didnt know the average was so many kelvin x length of tube x litres? Etc....or am I missing my own point here? :lol:
     
  18. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Ouch Wetty - unfortunately that is EVERY DAY FACT..... this EXACT THING happens every SINGLE DAY.....

    Unfortunately, that would be the MAIN reason I would say NOT to buy the lighting from a LFS, but rather from a lighting shop, or from a marine specialist shop (ie, from one of our sponsors).....

    I MEAN: At least 90% of the LFS's I have EVER been to, does not even KNOW what T5 is....... and never mind asking them for Metal Halides!
     
  19. Wetty

    Wetty Thread Starter Rockford Fosgate Fish

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    See....:lol:

    So lets make a forum sticky going to a database. How many watts PER LITRE, and so forth
     
  20. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thing is Wetty, its not as simple as watts per litre .......

    take this example.....

    a 300l cube vs a 300L shallow rimless vs a tall 300L cylinder ....... ALL completely different lighting requirements.... the cube may call for a 150W MH, the tall cylinder a 250WMH and the shallow rimless 6 x T5's........ but they are all 300L.....

    And then to confuse matters even more...... a 250W 20 000K MH's output is completely different to a 250W 10 000K MH ...... and the same with T5's.....

    Use the forums and research, its the only way to get it right.... relying on a LFS aside from our sponsors is dangerous at best !!!
     
  21. crispin

    crispin

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    Wetty have you read the sticky theads started by Copperband in the beginning of the lighting forum? there are some good pointers for you to be starting off with...
     
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