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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 Kellsindell One of the things to keep in mind when doing your bulb configuration is, what are you going for? Do ...

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Old 03-31-2009, 02:01 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellsindell View Post
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.

Kells, for my own curiosity, I highlighted a statement above in red... is 20000K really actinic? I know they sell 20000K MH bulbs, but (to my knowledge) they aren't considered actinics. Just really blue. I thought actinics were something different all together, and instead of having a color temperature, they were specified in the wavelength of the light, e.g. 420 nm or 460 nm. Again, just trying to expand my own knowledge here... are you positive that 20000K is considered actinic?
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:21 PM   #22
 
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Yeah now I am kind of debating between making my own HID set up with a custom hood or going with a pre-packaged 6 bulb T5. I am not sure what I can get a better deal on and not sure what will be better in the long run.

Now as for wpg, if I get a HID unit, when I purchase a ballast what will its rating need to be, as well will the hood and bulb need to be rated for that ballast?

Now for a T5 set up, with 6 39 watt bulbs, I will get 239 watts. Is that enough? 239 / 40 gallons is only about 6 wpg. From what I have read, it should be up to 9 or 10 wpg, or am I missing something?

You guys are great, thanks for the responses
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:26 PM   #23
 
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Ok wait, I made a mistake on my last post just to clear things. For some reason I thought I needed to be at 9 wpg but apparently in the range of 6 will be sufficient to keep anything...?...yes?

lol, this is crazy...and I am happy I asked before dishing out the cash for useless products.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:34 PM   #24
 
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well this is where we begin to venture beyond what I know. I've HEARD that clams shouldn't be kept under anything other than MH. But I don't know that from experience, just what I've read when doing my own research.

As for corals, I too have "heard" that more than 6 wpg is better for some SPS, but then again check out Kells' tank. he said he has 350W over a 55, which is just over 6 W/gal, and he keeps all kinds of SPS and they look great and grow well. So maybe that's where the W/gal rule starts to break down, it can be used as a guideline, but peoples' own personal experience should override that. In this case, Kellsindell keeps an awesome reef tank under T5's at just over 6W/gal, so I think you'd be fine.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:47 PM   #25
 
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Ok sounds great, so I am definitely going to go with a T5 set up.

Now another idea/question. Could I get three separate fixtures, each holding 2 x 39 watt bulbs, to do the job?

I ask because I could get one fixture, 2 x 39 watt T5 HO, for under $100 bucks. Now if I slap three of them on the tank, I would have 6x39 W separately but would still get where I need.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:51 PM   #26
 
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I may just end up with this fixture.

It is T5 HO, made by Current, 6 x 39 watt bulbs, three 10 k, three actinic w/ bulbs included for 5 bills CAD.

If I can get something better in the same price range I will. My budget for a light is 500 after tax so its kind of tough. Well there is no real budget but I want to keep this expense down if possible, or at least get the best bang for my buck!

Last edited by Bartman; 03-31-2009 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:00 PM   #27
 
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cool, one last thing to think about for long-term, is how often the bulbs need to be replaced. With PC, after 6 months or so they start to lose some strength, and will also start to alter their color (you won't notice, since it happens slowly). If you keep old bulbs in there too long, it can encourage algae growth, which detracts from your tank's appearance. I don't know what T5 bulbs' lifespan is, so hopefully Kells or someone can tell you how often they replace their bulbs.

You'll notice a huge difference after you replace the bulbs. The first time you turn the lights on over the tank with the new bulbs you'll be like "whoa!"

In fact, some people stagger the replacement of the bulbs, so that all bulbs in the fixture aren't changed at the same time, potentially shocking the tank inhabitants. For example, assuming T5's are the same as PC and you replace them every six months, then for your 6-bulb fixture, you'd replace two bulbs, then two months later replace two more, then two months later replace two more, then two months later you repeat and replace the first two (six months after you first replaced them), etc... That way you keep a fairly consistent level of light over time, and also keep the fixture stocked with fresh lights.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:02 PM   #28
 
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Makes sense. Thanks pal
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:22 PM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conger View Post
Kells, for my own curiosity, I highlighted a statement above in red... is 20000K really actinic? I know they sell 20000K MH bulbs, but (to my knowledge) they aren't considered actinics. Just really blue. I thought actinics were something different all together, and instead of having a color temperature, they were specified in the wavelength of the light, e.g. 420 nm or 460 nm. Again, just trying to expand my own knowledge here... are you positive that 20000K is considered actinic?

Yes, i'm quite sure it's considered Actinic. Ther are other bulbs, but it's the blue 420nm or 20,000k that are true actinics. As far as MH go this # doesn't quite fit the scheam, but for T5, VHO and PC this will be the case. MH do something strange with the wavelength and won't be an actinic bulb. They are very blue but will have a different affect on your corals. There are some bulbs that'll be very blue but will be at 460mn and they are not true actinics and i belive that's what's happening with the MH. So ensure you have the 420nm for true actinics.
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