I wish some one would come up with a better formula than the watt per gallon

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by guidedbyechoes, May 28, 2011.

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  1. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Spaghetti Worm

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    I'm currently in the process of setting up a 55 gallon. 48 1/4 x 12 3/4 x 21 I was planning on moving all the stuff from my 29 gallon into it and have some upgrade to do. The 55 was previously a cichlid tank and I had 130 watt pc lighting on it. I moved its lighting over to the 29 gallon and used t8s on the 55.

    Now its empty and I need to figure out what kind of lighting I will need to either supplement or replace the pcs. My plans for coral stocking are mostly going to be zoas, mushrooms, leathers, xenia, and a couple lps( frogspawn or hammer and foxglove.)

    My biggest concern is my electric bill and the heating it will produce so metal halides are out so its pretty much down to another pc fixture, t5 or a diy led kit.

    I read the thing with led vs mh and the biggest thing I still don't understand is how many LEDs I would need on a smaller tank like mine. It seemed everyone in that tank had an odd sized tank or a 90 gallon or better. LED would give me the most options but would be the biggest pita to do.
     
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  3. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

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    Since your sticking with mostly softies/lps that makes the LED count a little easier on you. I woould think you would need around 30 total with 15 each side. I would imagine evolved will be around at some point and can give the best advise, or just shoot him a PM.

    to compare I was recommend to go for 48 led's on my 75 gal. using 2 x 20" heatsinks, bit that was a full blow up to SPS & clam level lighting. (75 gal = 48 x 18 x 21)
     
  4. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Spaghetti Worm

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    Using the single or tri led setup? The only coral I currently have, is a zoa frag. It should be ok with the pcs until I get more power added. Even if I have to work its placement around a little until its happy.
     
  5. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

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    Thats using single cree led's, with optics.
     
  6. sostoudt

    sostoudt Giant Squid

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    people did its called lumens per gallon or foot.

    then some said I wish some one would come up with a better formula than the lumens per square foot?

    people did it's called Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density.

    then some people said how the heck do I figure out what my fixture is on that scale?

    people got a par meter and it was good.


    The end?
     
  7. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

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    Yeah but from what I have seen even Par dont apply much either. There is no set Coral X needs Y PAR to survive chart. Its all dependant on alot of other things.

    Add in the fact that so very very few people actually know what thier par levels are nor do they know much like the first part what the corals in thier tank need for par.

    Unless its one of the very expereinced members you can write off a fair amount of par conversations imo.
     
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  9. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Spaghetti Worm

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    Probably not. People will still find ways around that rule. "Now If I use this kind of bulb, with this kind of ballast, and this kind of reflector and mount it this high from this angle, I will be wasting 20 less watts of lighting and have better growth."

    I'm not too up on lighting but why didnt anyone ever design something like a MH with a longer bulb sort of like a t5? Sort of like a middle ground. With t5 you end up using a lot of bulbs and with the MH you have all that heat concentrated in one spot. Plus that it uses a lot of power to maintain its brightness.
     
  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    2 48" T5HO bulbs will work fine for your tank and its needs. Contact of LED sponsors and see what they suggest.
     
  11. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Spaghetti Worm

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    A friend(with electrical expirence) and are are planning out a build. He needs to illuminate his back yard and I need enough to keep lps. IF I do go this route I think I will run it at a much lower wattage than peak and slowly raise it if I plan to get the acropora that I've been eyeing up in a year or so.
     
  12. sostoudt

    sostoudt Giant Squid

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    With PAR or PPFD its pretty much end, the only way you can go deeper into it, is to know exactly what wavelengths inside of PAR your corals actually use. Which is very tricky although there is some commonality.

    because it's a limitation of bulb technology, with these bulbs you are arcing electricity across different gases to get the illumination. It's like saying why don't they make a car that gets 500 gpm.

    T5, Led, and possibly plasma are the successors to halide. T5HO is essentially what your looking for based on your complaints.