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This is a discussion on Need advice within the Saltwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Bartman Ok I'm understanding a bit more but the first three are T5?! not PC. I think I need to do ...

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Old 03-30-2009, 10:23 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Ok I'm understanding a bit more but the first three are T5?! not PC. I think I need to do alittle more research on these lights

haha its cool man. What follows is purely based on the Watt/gallon rule. The first 3 are indeed T5, but they are four 39W bulbs... that's 156W total, but only 3.9 W/gal for your tank. #4 and #5 are 192W total, giving you 4.8 W/gal, but they are PC. Any of these fixtures will be fine more most softies probably, but not for clams and more demanding corals.

One other thing to keep in mind (which relates to your question about arrangement of bulbs to put in the fixtures), is that bluer lights aren't as good for growth as whiter or yellower lights. But, they look much better . You've probably seen the color temperature of the bulbs, for example 10000K for the "daylight" bulbs. The higher that number, the bluer the color is, and the lower the number, the yellower. 10000K is pretty much white. Actinic lights are something different, I'm not sure how much, if any, benefit they give to coral growth. I believe they are used for looks (because they make the tank look really cool!). So, keep that in mind when you consider how you'll arrange the bulbs (I don't have any suggestions, unfortunately... someone else will though I'm sure). If you used a two-bulb fixture, with one daylight and one actinic, then you're getting even less "useful" light since half of the wattage is in actinics.

If you have a tank with a bunch of 6700K bulbs, you'd probably get good growth, but the tank would look ugly lol. If you go with 14000K or 20000K bulbs, the tank would look pretty cool (bluish tint), but growth would be slow. I don't even know if T5 or PC bulbs come in color temperatures higher than 10000K, but metal halides do. The typical arrangement of T5 and PC fixtures is some 10000K and some actinics, half-and-half. Maybe with a 6-bulb fixture, you'd use 4 daylights and 2 actinics?
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:57 PM   #12
 
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I agree,

The reason i said maybe is because it looked as though it had more wpg and i was at work and didn't have the time i needed to locate the fixtures.

Conger is right, none of them are very good especially if you are wanting to "not be limited to what you can keep". You are going to want a 5-6bulb configuration to not be limited. You may be able to get away with a 4bulb config if you are going to just keep Soft Corals and some (very few some) LPS corals. You'll need to make this decision before you start purchasing the corals and do much research, if this is where you are heading instead

As for PAR... Yes it's a wonderful # to know and have, but we don't know what corals demand. Does a Bali slimer like 400 or 200par? It's getting 600 is that good? or does it cause damage should it be lower in the tank? We know some answers with PAR... but we don't know what effects it has on corals. Also, if the vendor were to sell bulbs with PAR measurements, it doesn't tell how much surface penetration your are getting or what reflector or ballast you are using, these all affect PAR.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:03 AM   #13
 
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One of the things to keep in mind when doing your bulb configuration is, what are you going for? Do you want a blue look? or more white? perhaps a yellow look? This is going to be all up to you. Now, understand that the flavor of the bulb will dictate the growth and coloration of the corals so rather then telling you a config, how about a flavor overview?

20,000kelvin (will be "k" from here on out) is going to be very blue and is also called true actinic corals get little growth but good coloration
14,000k (is going to be shortened from here on out to "14k") is blue but has some white in it gets ok growth with ok coloration
12k is said to be very blue in comparison to the 14k for some reason, corals get ok growth with better coloration
10k is pure white gets great growth and poor coloration
7500k is yellow and corals get great growth and ugly (to many) coloration

They better mix is going to be something like a 10k 20k 10k 10k 20k 10k but that's just my preference.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:13 AM   #14
 
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Here's another fixture
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:53 AM   #15
 
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Very informative, now I understand a little more.

So how about this metal halide lamp? It looks far less bulky than some of the other fixtures. Is it any good?

AquaticLife LLC | Live It Today! Premium Marine Aquarium Products

It is a metal halide lamp, three lamps accross.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:19 AM   #16
 
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With this fixture, you are only going to be getting just over the 4 wpg line and it'll limit you to some Soft corals and to a Few (very few) LPS. I don't think SPS is an option.

What i've done with my tank is, i have 2 175watt bulbs and got 2 reflectors and use 2 ballast.

He's a setup you can do 2 of each

Ballast

Reflector with Mogul
Bulb

If you get 2 of each and you can get actinic supplementation if you wish (most do if they have MH. Will use 2 T5) you'll get 350watts with just the 2 bulbs and that's enough to keep anything... you add one actinic and you're looking at 389w. More then enough

Another option is to get This fixture and then purchase the bulbs seperate. Icecap has the best reputation when it comes to lighting and are very trust worthy.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:25 AM   #17
 
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You could even just get

Reflector


Ballast

Bulb

That might be cheaper and because you only have a 40g should be enough for most anything. I personally have 350watts over my 55g and keep many SPS corals.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:38 PM   #18
 
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Now how much power do these 175 watt bulbs take? In terms of hydro costs. Will the T5 or MH be more expensive to run?
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:43 PM   #19
 
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Ok one more shot at this...I was suggest this fixture.

What about this one?
Aquactinics LLC | Marine Aquarium Lighting Specialists
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:55 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Ok one more shot at this...I was suggest this fixture.

What about this one?
Aquactinics LLC | Marine Aquarium Lighting Specialists

That looks like it has only four bulbs. They don't give the Wattage (that I could see), but assuming they are the standard 39W T5 bulbs, that's not really gonna be much different than options #1-#3 in your original email.

Using metal halides as you suggested would indeed be good, they're just typically the most expensive, and can transfer a low of heat into your tank. The particular fixture you listed only had a single 150W MH bulb in the 36" fixture, so wattage-wise that's probably not high enough. Yeah you get some more wattage in actinics, but as pointed out earlier that actinic lighting isn't as beneficial for coral growth. If you want an all-inclusive system that uses metal halides, check out this unit:

Current USA 36 inch Outer Orbit 2x150w 10K HQI-MH w/ 4x39W T5 HO & 18 Lunar Lights

its pretty pricey, and you might be able to find a better deal on a similar setup, but that will give you the kind of lighting you need no doubt. Otherwise, why not one of the 6-bulb T5 fixtures suggested earlier in the thread?
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