Lighting

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Lighting

Postby Fishfirst on Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:34 pm

Which should I go with for lighting my 125 gallon tank... VHO's PC's MH's or a combination of them? Also how many watts of each? I want Soft Corals, Mushrooms, Leathers, and other low to moderate light corals.
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Postby tapper of spines on Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:51 pm

Refresh my memory: what are the dimensions of the tank?

TOS
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Postby causeofhim on Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:13 pm

I'm setting up a 125 now also. I'm putting on (3) 150 Watt DE halides and (2) 48" VHO antics. With this I should be able to keep all types of corals and some clams.
Also, putting together this set-up is pretty inexpensive.
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Postby Fishfirst on Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:54 pm

72X18? I don't have the tank right here... but I think thats the length and width. I'm gonna take a stab at the height and go with 24-20. Thanks for the recomendations... how much is that for a setup like you've got causeofhim? also keep the suggestions coming! :)
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Postby BraenDead on Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:53 pm

I would recommend using 3 10k MH (250W or 400W SE) and 2 6' VHO actinic bulbs. Can be done rather cheap if you don't mind buying the parts and putting them in a canopy.

Bob
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Postby Fishfirst on Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:13 pm

what do the abbrivations mean??? SE? 10K? whats the difference between antic and other kinds of bulbs? Sorry I'm really new at the whole reef/coral thing. :roll:... I just don't want to go wrong, and then have my corals die on me right away after spending so much on them.
Last edited by Fishfirst on Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby causeofhim on Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:16 pm

My 150's are XM 10K and were under $100 a piece, brand new, for everything (DIY from RC) and the VHO's complete were $100 from hellolights.com.
I wouldn't go with more wattage myself unless I was running a sps dominated tank (which I am not).
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Postby BraenDead on Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:18 pm

SE is single ended. There are two types of metal halide bulbs, single ended (mogul socket) and double ended (referred as HQI). The 10k refers to the color spectrum. 10k(10000k) is a bright, crisp white. 6500k has a strong yellow tint and doesnt look as nice. 14k(14000k) has a sligth blue tint, and 20k(20000k) has a strong blue tint. Actinic are a very blue bulb which will help bring out a lot of color in the coral and fish, and help make the tank look a little "nicer".

I would recommend looking at a few systems first hand to see how the different types of lighting actually look.

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Postby BraenDead on Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:20 pm

Matt,

I am curious how you got everything for a 150 (ballast, bulb, enclosure) for $100 a piece?

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Postby Fishfirst on Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:25 am

Okay... so I decided that I want VHO's and maybe a metal halide... but why is this so cheap? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 92890&rd=1 And would it work if I got two and staggered them?? that is 440 watts, and that would probably be enough for everything I want...
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Other considerations

Postby Toddah on Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:18 pm

Hey FishFirst,
The question of lighting is not an easy one and should not be taken lightly(sic). The unit you showed uses 4 CF lamps which will need repalcing every 9 to 12 months depending on the amount you run them every day. thats 8 CF lights you will need to buy every year. if you buy low end bulbs they will be 20.00 Plus S&H and if you go for designer (or LFS) CF bulbs they could go to 50.00 each so the TCO (total cost of ownership) just went up considerably and then you have 2,4 or 8 ballast systems to power the bulbs and their associated cost.
IMHO I think in the long run The MH are more cost efficent and provide the penetration required to allow growing whatever coral selections you desire in the future. MH can be run in a pendant suspended above the tank thus providing greater air circulation and cooling to keep from warming the tank water to undesireable levels thus requiring chillers ($$$$) to be added.
I started with CF hood on my first tank with a series of 96 CF Watt lights and after the first round of bulb replacements I started looking for MH systems.
I have run both types of systems and the higher startup cost is quickly lost in the TCO over a couple of years.
The cost of lighting is one of the most expensive parts of Reef keeping and if the lighting costs are to steep start with Fish Only With Live Rock and after you have that working branch out and upgrade to some more appropiate lighting, You can grow lots of colorful and beautiful low light critters under Normal Output Flouresent lamps.
Do you ever wonder why the only thing common in all your dysfunctional relationships with others is you?
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Postby causeofhim on Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:07 pm

150 watt Magnetic Balast - e-bay $20
150 watt XM bulbs - Fellow Refers $45
150 watt socket - Dr. Fosters $20
Regent 500 watt enclosures - Home Depot $20
Total - $105
Everything was new and prices include shipping. Put them all together myself.
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Postby Bela on Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:19 am

When you suspend the lights over the tank, how high above the tank are they and do you cover your tank? I also don't see much about moon lighting. Gimic or does it have its uses.
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Postby Mark on Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:55 am

Mine [MH] are abouy 6-7" up from the tank [kinda low] with the VHO's about 4" [about right].

I don't have a glass cover on my tank ... just have a DIY canopy I built.

Personally - I've very happy with the VHO actiinic upgrade I just did - would recommend that every time over a PC fixture [or actinics] which just like Toddah said - gets expensive in a hurry once you start replacing bulbs.
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Postby causeofhim on Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:06 am

Moon lights are great! Give a good night time viewing ability and everything "glows" nice. I personally have DIY moonlights that are very inexpensive, do a seach on RC and you will find many links.

I have (2) 70w DE halides stitting directly on the glass tops of my 27 gal bowfront (1"-2" off the water). During the day, I have a small computer fan blowing down on my HOB fuge and my water temp doesn't go above 79.

On my 20 gal I have a 150 watt 6" above with no glass cover and my temps remain constant.
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