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jtma508 01-08-2008 10:19 AM

A Lighting Quandrary - Suggestions Anyone?
I'm setting up a 90gal BowFront as a reef. It's a deep tank (almost 30") so I realize I need alot of light. I currently have a Coralife PC Lunar that is about 220W on my FW 72gal BowFront which I realize won't make it on a marine setup.

The problem I'm running into is that most of the fixtures I see are wider than the 90gal tank wich is 13" deep at the ends. Does anyone have a suggestion of more narrow fixtures that give me the light I need?


fish_4_all 01-08-2008 11:36 AM

If you are trying to maximize light and fit the tank, the best way I can think of is to get the kits from .

They have many different kits with different lengths that you can customize to fit your aquarium and get the wattage/lumens/spectrum you want and need. They are extremely easy to work with and willhelp you get the needed wattage.

Another way to go would be metal halide lights because of the intensity but someone will have to make recommendations as I don't know anything about them.

jtma508 01-09-2008 07:40 AM

Thanks F4A... but I'm quite sure I'll be needing MH as well. My current system has 260w of PC but I believe I'll be needing about 400w given the depth of the tank.

bettababy 01-09-2008 01:06 PM

is there any chance of hanging the light fixture(s)?

fish_4_all 01-09-2008 01:09 PM

Hmm, you are probably right because the MH will have a much higher penetrating power and get the light much deeper in the tnak at higher lumens.

I did take a look though again at the sizes of the kits and the 96 watt reflectors and they are only 4 inches wide. I think, if I remember my 55 gallon tank measurements would allow for at least 3 of them over a 55 lenghtwise. Granted they are only 3 feet long, or a little shorter but should still work. Might allow you to get unfirm light over the middle of the tank using 4 of them and then put MH on the ends for higher intensity.

Just a thought.

bettababy 01-09-2008 02:26 PM

One more thought, especially if working with MH is to remember heat can become an issue quite fast. Hanging lighting will help to keep the tank water cool in spite of the high temps produced from the lighting. I currently take care of a 175 bow that has that very same issue. The company that owns the tank doesn't wish to invest in a chiller, and even with top off and covers open, the average temp in there is about 80 - 85 degrees. They had originally wanted us to set up a reef tank, but it was impossible to do without a chiller because of the heat from the lighting. (yes there are multiple fans installed... just that room temp and lighting together create for a very warm environment)

jtma508 01-10-2008 10:50 AM

Yea I was afraid of the heat issue. You just can't win in this game. With an almost 30in deep tank I'm pretty sure MH's are a must. My current thinking is to replace the cabinetry I am currently using with a set that includes a canopy and go with a retro kit that includes 300w of MH and 2 x 96w of actinic. That would give me about 5.5 watts per gallon. Looks like a chiller gets added to the list.

fish_4_all 01-10-2008 12:13 PM

Whatever you wind up going with, lets us know. Pictures of the hood and the arrangement of the lighting would be cool to see. I like to see new setups and to see the finished product.

bettababy 01-10-2008 01:42 PM

1 more thought I'd like to add... While a chiller can resolve the issue of water temp from the heat of the lighting, the chiller won't fix the issue of melting plastic. I am thinking about the cover on the tank.
We have MH lighting on our 120, and in spite of the many fans Rob has installed, the tank cover is so hot that you can't touch it until the lights have been off for at least 10 minutes. He is also running a chiller, which keeps the water temp managable, but I have noticed that the plastic seam on the glass tank cover has shown signs of overheating.
This can be a huge fire hazard, and why we are working to fix this problem once we finish moving the tank to our new home. Hanging the lighting is one of the options we have considered. Another option is to move away from the MH lighting that is in there now.
Have you decided what is giong into your tank? Remember, there is no standard wattage until you know what animals will need what specifics. A tank full of mushrooms and zoas will require different than a tank with anemones, SPF's, etc. The other thing to take note of is decorating. Is it possible to build your rock structures high enough to get some of these types of animals closer to the surface? Sometimes it is possible to use placement of light sensitive animals to accomplish your goal without having to deal with some of the other "dangers" in such potent lighting. And, have you done any checking into the T5 lighting? I have run that on a number of large reef tanks and it works very well without the heat issues.

fish_4_all 01-10-2008 02:35 PM

I don't know how much it will help but this site helps explain the different bulbs a little better.

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