Light for my <20 gallon hex?

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by Matt Rogers, May 22, 2003.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I have been struggling with lighting choices for my hex. Maybe you can help! ;)

    I want to keep a pair of sea horses with the option of growing some macro-algae or low-light corals like shrooms.

    The challenge is the odd size. I have 13.5 x 5 inches to work with.

    I want the light to be strong enough, but not a torch, since corals are not the primary objective.

    So this is what I have come up with so far:

    [​IMG]

    ^^ Sealight fixture: (1) 9W 7100K (1) 13W 5000K, 8.5&quot; x 4.5&quot; $55
    http://www.marinedepot.com/a_lt_pc_csl.asp


    [​IMG]

    ^^ Metal Lighthouse: 2x13 Watt Power Compact Bulbs (1) 6500k daylight, (1) blue
    It measures about 9&quot; long x 4 3/4&quot; wide x 2 3/4&quot; high. $35 ($60 woodgrain)

    http://www.petsupplyliquidator.com/htm/aprod_hood_metallighthouse.htm

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Hamilton Technology
    13.5'' RETROFIT 2 PC COMPACT FL 28W - PC KIT

    Features: 1 - 28 watt PC compact 6700K, 1 - 28 watt PC compact 7100K Blue, High quality polished aluminum reflector, Dimensions: L13.5&quot;xW5&quot;xH2&quot; $116


    The Hamilton gives me the most flexibility but it just fits, without a hood. Which means I would have to make one. Plus it is the closest to the 'torch' I am trying to avoid. I am tempted to get it and see though.

    Thanks to Wrassman, the Lighthouse from pet supply is really nice and I really like it. But the watts are a bit low if you do the math and you control both lamps with one switch. But I still think it's hard to beat for the price.

    If money and sanity were not involved, a 70w halide would be pretty cool.

    [smiley=stars.gif]

    So what should I do??
     
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  3. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Black, 1, 80%]Hey Matt,

    How tall is your hex? I think the biggest problem here is intensity, not wpg. The hex has a small footprint, I believe, but it is taller than 'normal' (correct me if I am wrong). This means that any light you get is going to have to be intense enough to penetrate to the bottom.

    I agree that the Metal Lighthouse is very tempting, price-wise. But, the Hamilton RETROFIT is probably more practical.[/glow]
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Good point. It's 20 inches deep I believe.

    Although there is something to be said for not penetrating all the way since, most likely, there won't be much down there except sand.

    Here is a pic again for reference:

    [​IMG]

    Hmm. Might be time to remove that big sticker temp the kid had on it. Anyway, I thought it might be cool to put some macro-algae on top of those rocks. Each pane of glass is 8&quot; x 20&quot; I think.
     
  5. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Green, 2, 80%]Depending on the macroalgae, most can grow with very little light. I have C. racemosa and C. serulata growing well in my sump with a compact 13w bulb on top of a 20g tank.

    But, you said you wanted to put some mushrooms in there, too. They might be alright if you moved them to the top of the water column, which doesn't look like it would be very difficult to do.

    If you are just going to grow some algae and keep the ponies, I would go with the Metal Lighthouse lights. They look good and you can get a variety of bulbs to make things interesting. You can always add to them later if they aren't enough.[/glow]
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Cool. That's what I am thinking. I wish I could test the two out on the tank, but I don't think they will let me do that. ;)

    I just saw that pet supply liquidator has new 10k daylight bulbs and true actinic. I sent them an email to see how much it would be with those bulbs.

    Thanks Wrassman.

    [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Anyone else have suggestions, let me know! I plan on ordering soon!

    :)
     
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  9. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I wrote a big long winded post but after reading it I don't think I was saying anything you didn't already know.
    But intensity is going to be your enemy in that tank I believe the only way your going to get the light intesity needed is to go with a MH pendant. But like you said you don;t need very much light at the bottom so I would go for the hights Watts, the Hamiltons

    J
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I hear ya J. But I can hear the Mrs. if it is really bright, can you? ;)

    And this Lighthouse deal just got better. The guy says he will throw in another ballast and switch so I can control the lights independently and 10k lamps for a whole $12 extra dollars. How this dude is making any money I don't know. It's not off this setup. I think I gotta try it. [smiley=drummer.gif]
     
  11. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    hiya matt

    hmmm i think it would be intresting maby get a christmas tree coral maby 2 or 3 colors put them around the top or down the center. with all there branches your seahorses could hang on to them. then i would put some mushrooms around the sides and bottom different colors maby purple, orange, green. and the macro plant in 2 of the back corners. thats what i would do with it i think.
    i kind of like the christmas tree corals i got that frag and its doubled in size i might stick with some of them but different colors. hehe ill be cuttin my halmedia plant if i lived by ya id give you the xtra pieces that be cool for seahorses. a nice thick plant to hold on to. plus its loaded with mini brittle stars
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    That's cool Karla! :)

    Tell you what, if this local weed doesn't take - right now there is a bit of die off - I'd love to take you up on that h. plant offer. :) [smiley=thumbs_up1.gif]

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep you posted.