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A Lighting Quandrary - Suggestions Anyone?

This is a discussion on A Lighting Quandrary - Suggestions Anyone? within the Saltwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums category; --> That was a very interesting article. I'm still going over the numbers here to make sure his are accurate, but the overall point of ...

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A Lighting Quandrary - Suggestions Anyone?
Old 01-10-2008, 03:31 PM   #11
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That was a very interesting article. I'm still going over the numbers here to make sure his are accurate, but the overall point of that article was awesome!
Thanks fish_4_all, for posting that. One important thing to remember when reading that though... that article is based on freshwater requirements. When dealing with a marine environment, some of the animals have different needs than what freshwater plants would require.
This is the reason I mentioned knowing what you are planning to put into the tank before deciding what lighting to use. For marine, T8 works well, but the heat is still an issue. I suggested T5 because that eliminates that problem all together.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #12
Thanks for all the help and thinking. I do plan to do my rock work so it is fairly high in at least part of the tank. Although I havn't made any solid determiniation as to what will be in the tank, I don't plan on SPS... maybe some LPS and certainly some zoo's, polyps and such.

There is so much contradictory information floating around. I've been investigating MH's because so many articles say fluor simply doesn't penetrate (low PAR) sufficiently. If T5's were truly doable I'd much rather go that route. Why T5's and not CF's?

The tank is in our living room and I'd prefer not to hang the lamps to minimize light pollution in the room.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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Probably the heat issue. PCF get kinda hot and if you want the least heat for the highest light T5's would be the way to go.

As for penetration, I think it is a simple matter of lumens in a concentrated space. If you put enough lumens in a space them you can blast a ton of light in a 10 foot deep tank to the bottom regardless of what type of bulb you have.

The reflector is gonna make a huge difference so unless money becomes an issue go with the best you can find. What are the dimensions of your tank, just the top? Maybe I can help with figuring out how much light you could get over the tank if you went with PCF.

I will have to look up T5 lighting as I don't have a source to get them yet.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:39 PM   #14
Thanks F4A... It's a 90gal BowFront so it's 48in long x 13in at the ends bowing to 19in at the center.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #15
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Is this a flat bow or a corner bow? We've run reefs in both at the store, I can find out what my husband had over them and post it later tonight. When I mentioned this post to him the other day he also agreed that T5 lighting would be the most practical for what you're trying to achieve.
He also told me something else that was very interesting. He told me about a new LED lighting system that is now available (for a hefty price of about $5000), and it is much better than any of the others on the market. It is entirely programable and electronically controlled, has moon lighting and everything you can think of. The part of his comment that made me listen up was about how with technology what it is now, and with energy saving being so important to everyone, T5 and LED will soon become standard, and more affordable. Old systems will not only be discontinued, but impossible to get replacement bulbs for in a matter of the next 5 - 7 yrs. Some of them are already becoming obsolete and unavailable.
The reason I mention this is because if you are looking for something that is going to last you the next 5 - 10 yrs, what you choose now may make all the difference in the world later! I trust in what my husband says about this because he works for one of the world's leading manufacturers of all things aquarium!
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:49 AM   #16
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My husband's suggestion would be a 4 bulb high output T5 (48 inch) or power compact fixture for what you're trying to create.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:12 AM   #17
Thanks Dawn (and Rob) for your help here and through my other posts. You guys are becoming my personal consultants.

I've seen the LED systems and as nice as they look they're way out of my budget. But as you said, in the coming years they will likely become far more affordable. But not having to deal with heat issues, the longevity of the bulbs and the programmability of the system is too-cool-for-school. Maybe someday.

I'm currently using a Coralife Lunar Aqualight on my FW 72 Bow (yes, it's a straight bow). It has 4 x 54w PC's. My research tells me that's not going to be quite enough light (especially when I move to the 90 now which is deeper). So, I could build a T-5 retro into the canopy (i want to avoid MH's if I can and apparently Rob thinks I can). Or maybe modify my existing Aqualight with IceCaps?
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