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goblin072
08-18-2006, 09:53 PM
I have a lighting question.

I purchased a 330 gallon tank that looks like this one.
http://www.livingcolor.com/pop/large_image.cfm?src=img/aquariums/gallery/residential/4_lg.jpg
Its almost square and you can walk around it as it has a center overflow.

Its a fish only tank so the lighting is more for looks than keeping anything alive.

The lights that came with it are.
http://www.hellolights.com/362xcoluaqde.html

The people that are going to be stocking it and cleaning it want to use better lights. they don't like the coralife because they have 3 plugs comming off each fixture. I have two fixtures so 6 plugs. They don't want all the wires above the tank but would rather make a custom hood for FL or even M Halides. That way they can keep the ballast under the tank and run the wires up through the overflow (it has a dry area for wires) to the lights. They said it will make it much easier to clean the tank as the lights will be out of the way

The tank is cycling with new water. No fish yet. To see how the cora life lights I set them on top and plugged them in. Wow! The 10k with the Actinic really look good. The tank is super bright too. The only thing missing is the shimmer effect that you get from M Haides.

If I go with Metal Halides can I get the same look? I want the shimmer effect but don't want to loose the nice color of the actinic/10K cora lifes.

I tried a 10K sample they had but it looked too white, no blue. The color of the artificial reef was muted.

Would 2 175K 20k lights do the trick?

Some concerns on the metal halide.

1. Cost more to run vs coralifes
2. Not as bright (I don't think I want to go to 250watt)
3. Wasting electric. I'm thinking they will heat up the water more which in turn will cause my chiller to run more. Maybe 50.00 per month more.
4. Grow unwated algae. More cleaning time vs cora life FL lights

Since this is fish only will the Metal Halides cause more problems vs the Cora lifes?

And will they look as good in terms of color?

Thanks!

CarmieJo
08-18-2006, 09:58 PM
Hi Goblin,

:welcome: to TR. I don't have the experinence to answer your question but I know that one of the other members will chime in soon.

pham411
08-18-2006, 10:41 PM
If I go with Metal Halides can I get the same look? I want the shimmer effect but don't want to loose the nice color of the actinic/10K cora lifes.



Would 2 175K 20k lights do the trick?

Some concerns on the metal halide.

1. Cost more to run vs coralifes
2. Not as bright (I don't think I want to go to 250watt)
3. Wasting electric. I'm thinking they will heat up the water more which in turn will cause my chiller to run more. Maybe 50.00 per month more.
4. Grow unwated algae. More cleaning time vs cora life FL lights

Since this is fish only will the Metal Halides cause more problems vs the Cora lifes?

And will they look as good in terms of color?

Thanks!
This is going to be a fish only tank right?
if you want the shimmering effect, only mh bubs will do this. as for coloration, 10k with no suplimental actinics will be somewhat yellow. with actinics and i think that would be a nice combination. if you dont wanna go with actinics and just mh's only, then id suggest going with a higher temp bulb. 20k perhaps might give that bluer color your looking for. as for wasting energy, a 175 bulb uses a bit more than a 96w compac floresent but i think you find it worth it.

one thing though, if you decide to make your tank a reef tank later. 175 might be a little weak to reach the bottom of that tank. just something to ponder.

good luck

Rob
08-18-2006, 10:54 PM
it really is up to you..
if you go with MH, you will have added heat and electrical bills associated with it, but would get full light penetration to the bottom.

going with VHO's o T5's might be a good option to look at

goblin072
08-18-2006, 11:53 PM
Yes it is fish only.

I don't think I can go with coral in the future. My insert is a hand made reef from a Disney artist. Its fooled a few divers walking past it. They said adding real coral might make it look goofy. I'm fine with the looks as it is. Its so tall I don't know that I could get enough light for coral to grow at the bottom.

Here is the place that made the insert.

http://www.acrylicaquariums.com/coral_incerts_gallery.htm


The 96w 10k/actin combo look brighter than the 175W 10K Metal Halide. Not sure how they pull off more brightness with almost half the power drain.

Probably the only thing the M Halide have to offer is the cool shimmer effect. I would get them if they could look similar in color to 10k/act. I only have a 10k M halide to test though.

goblin072
08-19-2006, 12:50 PM
I just read that MH lights will destroy a plastic tank. My tank is sealed all the way round. Even on the top there is no way in unless you pop one of the 2x2 cut outs.
There are just a few 1 inch vent holes on top.

From what I have read the MH will crack the plastic over time.

Looks like FL 10k with actinics has too may pros

FL light Pros
1. Cheaper
2. Brighter per watt
3. Better color (I like blues)
4. Less UV damage to plastic
5. Less heat
6. Less chiller run time
7. Less algae growth (good for fish only)
8. Longer bulb life
9. Cheaper per bulb (12.00 vs 50+)

MH Pros
1. Shimmer effect
2. Can grow things faster


Unless I am missing something Its hard to make a good case for MH for a fish only tank.

Rob
08-19-2006, 06:21 PM
nope, i think you are best to go with a good set of T5 fluorescence

goblin072
08-19-2006, 06:44 PM
What is the difference between the coralifes below

http://www.hellolights.com/362xcoluaqde.html

And T5 lights?

Rob
08-19-2006, 07:06 PM
the coralife lights are regular PC lights.

T5s are smaller, more effecient, adn brighter.
there is a bunch of info in our FAQ's on T5 lights
http://www.talkingreef.com/forums/faq.php?faq=lighting_faq#faq_lighting_t5_faq

goblin072
08-20-2006, 01:48 PM
So if two 192 watt Coralife compacts are plenty bright enough and I decide to get T5s what watt would be the same?

150 watt T5 = brightness of 192 watt PC?

I like the 50/50 blend of 10k/actinic. Do they need glass in front of the tubes to cut down on UV? I noticed my PCs all have a glass shield, maybe thats to protect from breakage.

kj_yoda
08-20-2006, 01:57 PM
You shouldn't need any glass shields in front of your T5s b/c you have a top on your tank. you can alternate the 10k and actinic in the T5 fixture and they can turn on/off at different times to give your fish the illusion of sunrise/sunset.

Good luck!

Amphibious
08-21-2006, 12:11 AM
http://www.theculturedreef.com/welcome.gif To Talking Reef Community and Podcast, goblin072.

If you are not confused with all the lighting options above your a better man than me. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the new Solaris LED Illumination System by PFO. Adjustable from 6.5K to 20K, 250 Watt, programmable to give sunrise, day light, noon brightness, afternoon light and sunset. Has actinic blue and moonlights. They burn 40% less energy than equivalent MHs. This is an option I think you will want to check out before making a decision.

If you want more information go to - Solaris LED Lighting (http://www.theculturedreef.com/pfo.htm)

The first units are due to be shipped out this coming week. If you have questions there's a toll free number on the web site.

Dick

Reefbaby
08-31-2006, 05:57 AM
Dick - have you tried out yours yet? Or are you still waiting on the same shipment?

Amphibious
08-31-2006, 09:12 AM
Hi Christi, Pat from PFO called me Monday of this week and told me they had gotten some bad controllers from China and had to find a different supplier. The new units are br=eing tested in the lights now and shipping will be any day. I'm anxoiusly waiting as are several customers that bought them from me. I'll start a new thread with pictures as soon as they get here.

goblin072
08-31-2006, 07:01 PM
Wow those solaris LEDs sound promising. I wonder is they can produce the shimmer of MH though? Shimmer is produced from a point like source of light. PCs don't give it. Individual LEDs do as I have 4 moonlights. You only see the shimmer with all the other lights off as they are too dim.

I had some people look at some different lighting combos for my tank.

The best looking was a combo of MH and PC. 1 & 2 below.

1. 2 175 watt MH 10k (one at each end) They gave nice shimmer. They could not fully light the front of the tanks coral, some dim spots.
2. The Cora Life 10k/03 actinic combo 192 watt total one on front and one on back side of tank. (Its a walk around tank)

The PCs brighten up dim areas of the coral without totally washing out the shimmer from the halides. To cut watts and help the shimmer I think I will drop cora lifes (which have 1 96w 10k and 1 96w actinic, 2 leds) to one dual function PC. One bulb (96w) that is half actinic and half 10k). That will still fill in the areas the halides miss and since they will be dimmer the shimmer will be more pronounced.

The dual bulbs don't seem to come in 03 actinic/10k. They are either 03 420 actini/6k or bluer (460 actinic/10k.

The o3 actinic alone looks purple like a black light. The regulars look light blue with no purple. The 10k/purple combo looks great. Never really compared the 420 to the 460 actinics head to head. But the 460s don't seem to have any purple to them.

Now I'm wonding if those 250w LEDs are just made from a few hundred individual LEDs. If thats the case they would be like 200 point sources vs 2 from the halides. I don't think the LEDS would produce good shimmer vs the halides but I will have to see.

Has anyone seen these new LEDS in action???

Amphibious
08-31-2006, 09:58 PM
Wow those solaris LEDs sound promising. I wonder is they can produce the shimmer of MH though? Shimmer is produced from a point like source of light. PCs don't give it. Individual LEDs do as I have 4 moonlights. You only see the shimmer with all the other lights off as they are too dim.The LED lights do produce the shimmer effect but not as well as MHs. I saw them at IMAC in Chicago in April. I immediately ordered a 72" unit that should be delivered next week. Watch for a new thread on them as soon as I get them.
Now I'm wonding if those 250w LEDs are just made from a few hundred individual LEDs. If thats the case they would be like 200 point sources vs 2 from the halides. I don't think the LEDS would produce good shimmer vs the halides but I will have to see. Has anyone seen these new LEDS in action???As mentioned above I saw the proto type in Chicago. To answer your question about the LEDs, each foot of fixture has a bank of 25 LEDs. My 72" fixture will have 125 LEDs mixed white and blue. These are not your standard LEDs. There's a picture in the thread below.

Here's a link to my thread on the LEDs from Chicago with pictures - http://www.talkingreef.com/forums/showthread.php?t=850

Dick

goblin072
09-01-2006, 01:57 AM
They are a bit pricey up front. 1,900 for a 36 inch. But they will save on energy, and bulb replacements. In the long run probably would save some money.

I probably will go with the 2 MH and PCs. I think they will be around 600.00 or so.

I already have 15k into this tank with no fish. It keeps bleeding me :)

Amphibious
09-01-2006, 02:14 AM
They are pricey no doubt. They reportedly use 40% less energy than equivilant MHs, plus you don't need the PCs for actinic. Bulbs are supposed to last for 50,000 hours compared to MH's what 2,400? These things will pay for themselves in a short period of time.

I hear you on the cost of our reef systems. I'm glad my wife pays little attention to what I spend. She loves the tank but doesn't have a clew about cost.

By the way, you can find a better price on those LED lights. We have them for less. I know you are going the MH route but, check them out - LED lights (http://www.theculturedreef.com/price.htm). There's some interesting information about them on our web site.

Reefbaby
09-01-2006, 06:27 AM
goblin - even if you're not able to make the move to the LEDs yet, have you thought about MHs and T5s, rather than PCs? They're more energy efficient (3-4X) and can produce more light with less wattage.

goblin072
09-01-2006, 11:32 PM
I asked a custom tank place about them. They sort of snubbed it off and said something like they were for amatures. They really did not say why they did not like them.

We have them in our office and they are almost too bright for room lights. They really kick out the light.

I'm having them make my hood. Two MH 14k and two dual bulb PCs each dual PC is 96 watts. The arrangement is something like this.

---------36"PC------------
MH=========== MH
----------36"PC------------

I want the PCs a little dimmer than the 192w Coral lifes to show off more shimmer of the MHs.

Do they make T5s in actinic 420s? What length would I need?

Reefbaby
09-02-2006, 05:46 AM
yes, T5s come as actinics as well. I'm not sure what the 420 means though...

amateurs?? well, that shows their ignorance...sorry...but, there's more than one way to stuff a goose. T5s are becoming super popular here in Europe, probably primarily because they are energy saving and are able to pack a punch for low wattage.

Here's (http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_lighting_fluorescent_geisemann_powerchrom e_t5_high_output_lamp.asp?CartId=) an example of some of the bulbs available:

T5 Aquablue
http://www.marinedepot.com/IMD/lighting_sunlight_geisemann_powerchrome_aquablue_g raph.jpg

Midday 6000
http://www.marinedepot.com/IMD/lighting_sunlight_geisemann_powerchrome_midday_gra ph.jpg

Deep Ocean
http://www.marinedepot.com/IMD/lighting_sunlight_geisemann_powerchrome_actinic_gr aph.jpg

Pure Actinic T5 High Output Lamp
http://www.marinedepot.com/IMD/lighting_sunlight_geisemann_powerchrome_pure_actin ic_graph.jpg

Here's (http://www.reefgeek.com/products/category_indexes/1-15_lighting_bulbs_-_t5_fluorescent.html) another example of some of the bulbs available...there's quite a variety!

goblin072
09-02-2006, 12:52 PM
420 nanameter vs 450 or so. 420s or O3s look purple while the 450s look blue.

The purples make things sort of glow. By themselves they look like a blacklight. The purple with 10k looks really good in my tank.

Judging from your charts the Pure Actinic might look purple.

This retro kit might work for me.
http://www.reefgeek.com/products/categories/lighting/104063.html

two 38W T5s. That way I don't have to use dual colored bulbs.
I wonder how many lumens the would put out vs one 96W T8 PC.

Reefbaby
09-02-2006, 06:09 PM
oh...the T5s are much much much better than the T8s....

but, I'm not sure about the lumens...