Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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conger 01-14-2009 09:40 PM

new light! what to do with old light?
I just bought a Current USA Outer Orbit Metal Halide + PC fixture! 8) I've currently got a 48" Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x65W 10000K, 2x65W actinics), that will no longer be used for my SW tank (obviously).

However, I have a 55 gallon freshwater aquarium as well that it would fit on... its an African Cichlid tank, the current only inhabitants are a Julidochromis Transvestus and an Albino Zebra. Would it be a bad idea to use the Coralife fixture for my 55 gallon tank? Like, would it be too much light? Or, would actinics freak out freshwater fish? I like the idea of having a 24-hour light cycle, with LEDs at night, actinics for dawn/dusk, and the 10000K for mid-day, but I don't want to burn up my cichlids!

Any opinions, experience, or other advice would be greatly appreciated!

onefish2fish 01-14-2009 10:22 PM

you can get 6500K bulbs for the coralifes.

im not 100% but i believe i read that actinic lighting only is bad for fishes eyes same goes for blacklights. again i could be wrong.

why not sell it and recover some of that money spent on the halides? do you have corals in your tank? your prob. going to want to put a layer of screening or two on the top of the tank because going from PCs to halides is a big jump and might bleach out corals.

conger 01-14-2009 10:50 PM

cool, thanks for the info. I don't have any corals in my SW (FOWLR, plus a colony of zoas). I've been practicing keeping high-quality water for the past year, clean and properly supplemented, before actually purchasing corals. I'll be moving within the next 6 months to somewhere more permanent, and once I do that, I'll look into starting to keep corals.

As far as the FW goes, I've got a really cheapo light on it right now, and instead of selling the Coralife for $100 or whatever I could get for it, I considered it as a high-quality light for the FW tank. Do you think, in terms of wattage, it would be too much? 260W with all on, for a 55 gal tank, that's almost 5 W/gallon :shock:. I don't currently keep any live plants in it.

Also, as far as 6500K bulbs, wouldn't that encourage algae growth? More so than 10000K anyways? I keep the nitrates in the FW under 10 at all times, usually under 5, so it's pretty clean right now. I wouldn't want to start an algae outbreak by going overkill on the lights. If it turns out to be a bad idea for the FW, then I probably will consider selling or trading the Coralife fixture. I'll put up a post in the Buy/Sell/Trade forum if I decide to go that route!

onefish2fish 01-14-2009 11:57 PM

i am absolutely impressed. im sure you are aware that the worlds coral reefs get over harvested as it is. this is great that you are providing a perfect enviroment for what you are planning for. and key words are planning. i love to hear things like this. do you have an idea as to what kind of corals you wish to keep? softies, lps, sps, mixed reef? what fish do you currently have?

i thought the FW tank was planted, so that is why i suggested bulbs in the 6500K range. i am familiar with this fixture and it has 2 switches correct? one for daylights and one for actinics? you could always run one switch. new lights/bulbs on a tank seems to grow aglae anyways. i think if the lights you have now are working for you why change them esp if you dont have plants.. thats my opinion. on my planted freshwater i used the general flourescent light fixtures with bulbs being 6500K and full spectrum and my plants did just fine. granted everything was considered easy growing anarchis, java moss, something unknown, amazon swords so is this fixture needed, no. would it work, yes.

ever planning a frag tank or additional saltwater?

conger 01-15-2009 08:50 AM

Thanks onefish2fish :-). As far as corals planned, I wanted to start with easier-to-keep softies and LPS. I don't know if I'll dabble into SPS at all, but I say that with only the slightest surface understanding that SPS are tougher to keep than LPS (general statement, I'm sure there are some 'easier' SPS and 'tougher' LPS). I'll get into coral keeping slowly. If I can get good growth out of a couple of the easier softies and LPS, then I'll start to fill out my tank with more variety.

My stock of fish right now includes 1 midas blenny (my favorite!), one maroon clownfish and a RBTA (it was shipped to me very sick/starving, so I'm nursing it back to health right now), 1 firefish goby, 5 blue/green chromis (I'll probably get 5 more to make a school of ten), and 1 4-stripe damsel. I'd actually like to give the damsel back to my LFS, as he's a bit aggressive. But I gotta catch the sucker first! lol. Then my CUC consists of 4 turbo snails, 10 blue-leg hermits, 10 cerith snails, 10 astrea snails, a peppermint shrimp, and a coral banded shrimp. I thought the peppermint might turn into dinner for the coral banded, but after 3 months or so the peppermint is still around. I might should add to my CUC, but there's no hair algae at all in the tank, and diatoms don't build up on the bottom, so I don't want to starve anything if there's not enough food for a large CUC.

I've tossed around the idea of getting a 10- or 20-gallon nanocube, but getting one of those with the upgraded light fixture, along with stocking it would start to run up another grand. Instead, I decided to use that money to upgrade my equipment on my existing SW tank (new light, planning on upgrading my skimmer to an Aqua-C EV-180). I've currently got three tanks, the 90 gal SW, then a 46 gal FW and a 55 gal FW... My maintenance routine is bearable, fun actually as I enjoy the couple of hours I set aside each weekend to clean the tanks and equipment, but I'm worried if I keep adding tanks (saltwater at least), it will become a burden to me and take the fun out of the hobby. As far as a frag tank, I hadn't thought much on that, but time will tell!

Thanks again for the opinion on the light :-D. I think I'll just stay with the fixture I have for the 55, I may try to look in to selling the Coralife fixture or trading it (I'm a pack-rat though! Its so hard for me to get rid of something that I think I might use later, lol).

Kellsindell 01-15-2009 09:01 AM


I wanted to start with easier-to-keep softies and LPS. I don't know if I'll dabble into SPS at all, but I say that with only the slightest surface understanding that SPS are tougher to keep than LPS (general statement, I'm sure there are some 'easier' SPS and 'tougher' LPS).
Another reason you won't want to do SPS is because they can be addictive;-). i Know this one guy that has a tank that's got about 20pices of coral in it and he's still wanting more...

I've actually have never kept any LPS. I want to upgrade my tank to T5's or get the LED light that's awesome, i'm actually thinking about building my own... With the extra ballist and lights and all i'm wanting to do a propagation tank. It's actually quite handy and helps other hobbiest from pulling from the ocean.

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