View Full Version : Lighting problem, please respond
09-29-2010, 12:31 AM
ok so instead of uprading my 75 fw, i want to do a reef in the 180 i bought. it is about 30 inches tall, and my question is: what kind of light do i need for some of the hardiest corals? my 90 gallon came with MH lights, but i am clueless when it comes to DIY lights. i have been looking at a model or two of lighting, but i really dont have alot of extra money right now, and if you could point me in the direction of a good, fairly inexpensive light system, or some cheap DIY plans, that would be great. BTW, im planning on an indo-pacific upper fore reef as of now, it might change.
09-29-2010, 11:16 AM
For a reef that size there really isn't a cheap way of doing lighting if you want a reef. You going to need halides with good reflectors if you want to keep anything more then softies and you will need 1 bulb/reflector for every 2 feet of tank length. I wouldn't go anything less then 400 watts a bulb. I know a few people who have gone with 250's on tanks that size and wish they had gone with 400's
09-29-2010, 07:42 PM
With a tank 30" deep, 250w MH lights are the minumum, if you are planning SPS corals. If you are planning on just LPS and some of the less demanding soft corals then you could go ahead and do a hefty T5HO system. The lighting you choose will depend greatly on the kinds of corals you wish to keep.
Now, you have mentioned a style reef that will consist of mostly SPS corals. You may also want to consider some of the other equipment you are going to need or at the very least, seriously consider. On a tank that size, with that kind of coral choice, you are likely going to want a calcium reactor. Water movement is also going to be an issue for you as well. I would recommend you look into the Koralia Magnum line. IME, the better the flow you have, the more polyp extension you tend to get from SPS.
09-30-2010, 12:53 AM
i may just go with some low light corals, and put the light loving ones at the upper 1/3 of the reef. there is a model that i have seen used in lots of other tanks, its VHO and PC, with LED nightlights, and looks like what i need. it isn't that expensive, but i forget the exact name of the light.
10-01-2010, 01:24 AM
pcs basically will only keep zoas and shrooms,and a few others if you put them high up and long light periods. I had pc lights on my tank, but things really weren't growing all that fast, I've switched to MH and T5s.
Check out eBay, Craiglist, and your local reef club for deals on lights.
10-01-2010, 01:35 AM
pcs basically will only keep zoas and shrooms,and a few others if you put them high up and long light periods.
I've got to respectfully disagree with that statement. That is a belief that has been batted around by a lot of people, but it simply is not completely true. My very first reef tank was a 60gal and it was lit by a 4x65w PC fixture. That tank didn't have any mushrooms in it, but it had a nice successful patch of Zoas, along with a few other leathers, and an absolutely beautiful Galaxia.
That all said, PC lights would be virtually useless in a 30" deep tank; they simply cannot provide the light penetration that is needed.
10-01-2010, 01:44 AM
not disagreeing at all, I was making my suggestions with his particular tank in mind.
My 50 is a deep rather than long tank. Things are already doing better under the Mhs and they've only been on a week.
Of course, that might be wishful seeing on my part, lol.
10-01-2010, 02:58 AM
No, it's not wishful. :) My 60 gal was deep too, 23" to be exact, and I eventually moved everything to a 75 and added MH lights and most things came out more. Polyp extension though is not usually a result of higher light.
The thing that people need to remember, is that there are a number of corals that do come from different lighted areas. For example: the Scroll Coral (has a few different name, see TFH October 2010 Marine Invert of the Month) comes from some areas of very high light, and also from areas of relatively low light and everything in between. You just need to do some research to find out where your specimen came from.
10-01-2010, 11:10 PM
there is a sort of sea whip near a froend of mine's charter company at the beach. i know they like high light usually, and specific water paramiters, but these grow under docks where there is very little light, and not particularly good water, but a pretty good amount of small nutrients. i have heard how some corals can adapt to different lighting conditions, and it appears these gorgonians have done the same. i know temperate and tropical creatures generally don't mix well, but the water is warm (75-80 degrees most of the year), so these may be an option. it won't hurt to try, i can get them for free when the docks are cleaned.
10-02-2010, 12:36 AM
Those sea whips are likely not photosynthetic. There are a lot of gorgonians out there that are not photosynthetic and need to be fed on a regular basis to keep them healthy.
10-02-2010, 01:25 AM
i can feed regularly no prob, i was planning on raising plankton in my sumb refugium anyway, and a squirt of nautoli brine shrimp or plankton every day is manageable, i already have the necessary equipment for that. not trying to sound cheap, its just that the fewer things i need to pay high dollar for, the more i save for livestock and supplies
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