Need help lighting frag tank

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by mkdsjones, Dec 9, 2008.

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  1. mkdsjones

    mkdsjones Plankton

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    I am about to begin a frag tank for soft corals, green star polyps and mushrooms. I am in need of advice on lighting. I have been considering the 30 inch Current USA Nova Extreme 2x24 watt T5 HO 10K/460nm is this light capable of doing what i need for a 20 long frag tank?
     
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  3. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I think so, but you may want to get something stronger in case you decide to try LPS or stonies. Luna
     
  4. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    Even if you just do soft corals, they will grow faster under stronger lights and can usually handle fairly high intensity lighting. For example, if you don't want a huge toadstool, keep it lower where it will grow slower. I'm assuming you want the frags to grow quickly, if you don't care then the lighting should be fine, but as Luna said, if you want to get into fragging lps and sps, you should probably get a stronger lighting system.
     
  5. JohnFritts

    JohnFritts Peppermint Shrimp

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  6. mkdsjones

    mkdsjones Plankton

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    thank you all for your help one more question

    Is the 65 watt compact flourecent that was suggested a good choice that could work for hard corals later on down the road?
     
  7. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    No. I had a 45g tank with 2-65w bulbs and I couldnt keep any SPS's and some LPS's. You would need at least T5's. Luna
     
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  9. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    I was told by many sources that if you want hard corals to go with MH. It's not worth risking the livestock over a few watts short of what they need. Frags are delicate and need all the help they can get to grow and survive. PCF lights are generally good for FOWLR systems. It's hard to keep any coral with that type of lighting, they just don't penetrate enough into the water. If you have a very shallow clam tank, like 10" deep, you can get away with PCF and T5s.
     
  10. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    You'd be surprised what you can have with PC's. My 45g tank was on the high side, like 24"-30" H, I really dont remember and I kept a LTA for over 8 yrs. Here's a pic the the tank and the LTA.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the LTA on the right side of the tank. It was the size of a basket ball. Luna
     
  11. baugherb

    baugherb Giant Squid

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    I agree with luna.. I've kept many different kinds of coral under pc's...
     
  12. Dr.Fragenstein

    Dr.Fragenstein Panda Puffer

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    I've kept SPS thriving under PCs in my 75! Water quality and movement are also important in growing coral. Also, the whole, only MH can grow SPS is out the window, also the 10" deep penetration of T5s is bogus as well!! I have seen PAR tests on T5s over deep tanks (24") and they were NICE!! I am still waiting to get my quatum meter over here and then I will test my PAR levels and I can show that T5 is MORE than adequete for deep tanks, as long as you have good reflectors and bulbs. On a 20 l growing softies you could easily do a 30" PC fixture, a 30" T5, but don't skimp and get a cheap one, get a Tek or something, or you could do a single MH on a clamp or hanging over with a pendent.

    Good luck and happy fragging!
     
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