Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jesterns2 03-19-2009 06:28 PM

DIY Lighting
I have a tank/stand that came with a canopy. If I buy a light I willl not be able to use the canopy any longer. I was thinking in order to save money and be able to use the canopy that i`d make my own lights that will be attached to the canoopy. Would this be alot cheaper than buying lights? Is it not too terribly difficult?

Thanks in advance

onefish2fish 03-19-2009 09:38 PM

i use retrofit lights. icecaps to be exact.

are you planning all 48'' T5s, metal halides or a metal halide/t5 combo?

you can buy a whats called a retrofit kit that includes everything ( usually without bulbs ) and you have to put it together. you can also buy the seperate pieces. your going to need ballasts, wiring harness, end caps, stand offs, and reflectors. as for setting it up, its basic wiring esp. if you have a setup that comes with a wiring harness which will plug in to the ballast and then you have to wire the individual endcaps.

jesterns2 03-20-2009 02:06 PM

Thankyou, as far as the lighting type i`m not sure but what I do know is that I don`t wanna be very restricted on buying corals/anenomes and I would like a clam or two(if you can do more than one, I have`nt researched all that yet). If you have any suggestions then please lay them on me, I also want moonlighting.


onefish2fish 03-20-2009 03:07 PM

i dont suggest anemones which would mean more then one. the issue is that they walk until they find a spot they like which means they will sting eachother, possibly kill eachother which will "nuke" a tank. another problem is if it crawls into a powerhead getting shredding into a million pieces causing the same issue. nems are inverts which means they are sensitive to water conditions. at the very least i would hold off for a good while before adding one to your tank. i have heard that in the wild they live 200 years and i have also heard they are eternal in proper conditions, meaning they dont die. either way thats a long time.
you can have more then one clam for sure. these are inverts too so again make sure your tank is stable.

i suggest metal halides since you dont want restrictions and you want clams. as for moonlights you can get a pre made fixture or DIY some low watt LEDS into your canopy.

jesterns2 03-20-2009 03:35 PM

Yea see thats what I mean, I have`nt researched the reef portion yet because I know I need to let that tank mature a good while. I definetly have looked into things to know i`m gonna need atleast 300watts and that without Halaides i`m pretty much will never have clams so that is why I wanna go with a combo. I did find a light on craigslist that is a comb of MH and t5 actinics that has never even been taken outta the box. It`s been on there a while and he can`t get rid of it. He is willing to take $400 which is a great price but i`m gonna let him wait and see if I can do it closer to $300. I`ve seen things reposted time and time again on there, nobody around here is buying there aquarium stuff from out this way. I did`nt realize you can`t have more than one anenome, I did know they walk around, I will have to be real sure as to which one I get when the time comes as I will be getting two Ocellaris Clowns bred captive when I get my first fish. I appriciate any advice you have on the lighting, Thankyou. Bill

onefish2fish 03-20-2009 05:23 PM

well, you can have more then one anem, its just more of a risk esp in a 75 gallon. people even do anemone only tanks, but as they need a reef enviroment your still learning about it so i recommend only one after a good mature tank and lots of reading on proper care.
just for the record clowns do not need an anemone for their well being. infact its not a guarentee they will host it. they host anything and everything they feel safe/comfortable in. when i say everything, i mean corals, powerheads, rocks, you name it.
your signature has a canister filter on it, is this for carbon only? these trap debris causing issues.

jesterns2 03-20-2009 05:51 PM

As far as the clownfish I knew that just figure i`ll take my best shot. As far as the filter goes 3 of the 4 drawers have carbon and one has de-nitrate. I just got my skimmer on today a coralife super skimmer 125 and I am not going to focus on making a sump out of a 20g tank with refugium. Once that sump is in place that Fluval is gone.. The guy i bought the tank from when I tested the water had a nitrate of 160ppm. I have no clue how his gouper and lionfish were alive in that tank. I cleaned that Fluval with hot water and a sponge before I put it on my system. His fish were taken to the LFS by me for a proper home. I like lionfish but this one was way to big for that tank. Everytime he turned some part of his body was touching something. Hey if I can get rid of the Fluval now I will let me know. In about a week it will be coming down for a good cleaning again and new carbon.

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