Shimmering light - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-25-2009, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Shimmering light

I came across a large tank in a store that had a blue color type light to it and it shimmered. I should have asked someone in the store but I was in a hurry. It was kind of like what you would see in a indoor pool with the pool lights on with the shimmering light on the walls but this reflection was in the tank.

Can anyone share how to accomplish this and what light they may have been using in order to do this?
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2009, 11:00 PM
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The light source has to be a couple of feet about the tank and the surface of the water has to have ripples
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2009, 11:08 PM
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Was it a saltwater tank?

Lots of reef tanks use Metal Halide lighting, which looks like what you described. Metal Halides can come in 14000K and 20000K color temperatures, which are bluish in coloration, plus most saltwater tanks use actinic lighting in addition to the "day" lights, which give a blue/purple color to the tank (and help make the bright colors of the fish and corals "glow" like flourescent).

As for the shimmering, Metal Halides contribute to that because they are "point" light source. Instead of being generated over a strip that runs the length of the tank, they are an extremely bright spot. The fact that the light originates from a single point causes the shimmering effect by casting shadows through the ripples on the surface. Assuming as the previous poster said, the surface of the water is rippling (which is also usually the case in saltwater tanks, as a result of the need for high flow within the tank and surface turbulence to increase oxygen levels in the tank).

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-25-2009, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conger View Post
Metal Halide lighting
Winner.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-26-2009, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Winner.
It was a freshwater tank to my surprise. Thanks for the info. Im going to try and accomplish this some how. The store I noticed this in was Fish Place “I think” In PA which is out of state for me but Im going to have to make another trip and have them point out what they did.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-26-2009, 10:38 AM
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interesting, that's cool that they'd put expensive lighting like that over a freshwater tank. Maybe they had live plants in it?

Unless they did something different to create that shimmering effect, I can tell you that if you invest in a metal halide light fixture, and a powerhead to put in the tank pointed at the surface (to create the surface turbulance), you'll get that shimmering effect .

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-26-2009, 10:46 AM
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By the way, if you do happen to go back by there and find out what they do, if you wouldn't mind come back and update this thread and let us know. If they did something other than the MH lighting, and have some cool mechanism, I'd be curious to hear. It's definitely a cool effect for the tank, myself and others might be interested to know what they did!

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-26-2009, 01:02 PM
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Many people use metal halides for hydroponics, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone keeping a really serious planted tank to use metal halides.

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-26-2009, 01:04 PM
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If the tank is deep or has some light loving plants MH wouldn't be to out there to use.

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-27-2009, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
Many people use metal halides for hydroponics, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone keeping a really serious planted tank to use metal halides.
Actually metal halides are considered extremely inefficent and out dated in the hydroponic world most people are using HPS high pressure sodium which is a better choice all around.
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