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View Full Version : Lighting a prop. tank. Quality or Quantity??


jdthomas
02/08/2000, 12:39 PM
Now that it is tax refund time :D, I am going to change my lighting in my propagation tank(and add a second one). The current setup, 2-175watt MV lights, just are not giving me a very good growth rate. The tank is a 40-breeder.
What I need some opinions on are this: I either going to use a single 250watt bulb with a 6500k Iwasaki bulb and a spiderlight reflector, or 2-175 watt 4300k bulbs and a flat reflector. That puts the two lighting choices about the same in initial cost & yearly bulb replacement costs.
The 2-175 would give a better light spread, plus (probably) more intensity. The Iwasaki bulb would deliver a better spectrum, but the outside of the tank might suffer for light.
This is for a propagation tank, so looking good is NOT an issue, just growth rate & maintenance costs. Any opinions???
TIA, jon

psychocoralchopper
02/08/2000, 02:44 PM
personally i would put a 400W iwasaki on it. have it perpendicular to the back of the tank. i have one on my 65g wich is also 36X18 (but taller), and the light coverage is great!
cost of setting up the 400W iwasaki is almost identical to the 250W. and you get so much more light.
i have a MV on my 10g prop tank. the color grosses me out everytime i look at it :( but, i guess it's functional.


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have a nice day
psychocoralchopper

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billsreef
02/08/2000, 03:13 PM
I've got 400w 6500k Iwasakis on my 40 breeders, 1 each. Gives good spread and with a multilevel rack lets me grow different corals at different light levels, I have toadstool leathers growing like weeds on the sand under the racks :D


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Bill

If damsels grew as big as sharks, the sharks would run in fear!
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dresch
02/08/2000, 07:32 PM
How about a 30 breeder tank (36x18x12deep)? It will be part of a growout system of 2 30gal and 1 50gal tanks, stacked 3 high. I want MH on the top 30 gal. I'll be running VHO's on the middle tank (30), and I'm not sure yet on the bottom 50.

Would it be better to go with 400W 6,500K or 400W 10K on the 30gal?

Thanks,
David D.

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David D. http://members.aol.com/drdresch/aquarium

[This message has been edited by dresch (edited 02-08-2000).]

billsreef
02/09/2000, 05:10 PM
David
The 6500k bulb actually puts out more blue than the 10,000k. The trick to the high k bulbs is that they reduce the amount of the other spectrums of light, not increaseing the output of blue.
If you're getting halides why bother with the VHO's? More light for the same money out of the halides, makes them more cost efficient.

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Bill

If damsels grew as big as sharks, the sharks would run in fear!
My dive photos (http://hometown.aol.com/billsreef/)
ICQ 56222784

jdthomas
02/09/2000, 05:58 PM
David,
I wouldnt spend the money on the 10k bulbs for a grow out tank. The profit margin on a coral that you will sell for $10 is pretty small, once you take out the initial & maintenance costs. The 6500k will grow just fine, but so will even lower k temp bulbs. The high color temps actually cost you a fair amount of intensity, they just look good.
btw, is anyone actually making any money with their small scale coral farms?? What have you done to keep the costs from over running anything that you produce??

Jon

billsreef
02/10/2000, 04:12 AM
I'm not making any profit yet, but then I'm concentrating more on increasing my broodstock to the point of hopefully sustaining a serious bussiness effort in a few months.

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Bill

If damsels grew as big as sharks, the sharks would run in fear!
My dive photos (http://hometown.aol.com/billsreef/)
ICQ 56222784

jdthomas
02/10/2000, 12:34 PM
ctenophore,
How large of a setup do you have?? What were your initial setup costs? Has the setup paid for itself in the first year, 2years, 5, etc... The reason that I am asking is that to expand my existing setup, I WILL have to at least somewhat justify it to my wife :).
The 75gal show tank is completely full, the 40 breeder is full (but growing poorly). At least she is showing signs that I will be allowed to put lights on her 180 and start putting SOME corals in there. But not many as our trigger(his name is happy), is a whole-family pet.

smpolyp
02/10/2000, 07:59 PM
Little twist for ya.More bang for yuor buck in the long run.Use one halide on a track light system for 2 tanks.Since corals are use to clouds they will be fine when it ges from one tank for 30 sec then back to the other for the next 30 sec.Use 250 or 400 wat 65k.The 25 and up bulbs keep thier spectrum longer and keeping the k down will let you keep more of the same spectrum longer.This will be your growth bulb.Then you can go with vhos straight actinic for your color.Use the actinic for only a month before you are ready to sell.This will let you keep the bulbs longer,save electric,and the corals will not need all the blue until you want to color things up.making resale easier.

MegaDeTH
02/10/2000, 08:44 PM
smpolyp if you have enough halides vho actinics makes no difference in coral color

smpolyp
02/12/2000, 09:11 PM
MegaDeath no I do not have alot a couple of 400s.But I tell you what when I put some frags under 8 month old 175w 10K and 2 new 6' VHO the color on the frags colored up bright in a few weeks.This way you save money on elec and still get the same results.

CleveYank
02/15/2000, 12:44 AM
If a coral frag is sold as just that and is a smaller piece then why do you need to have this huge light system on it?
If you had very shallow tanks say 4 to 6 inches water depth by 12 inches wide with 40watt flouro's at 6500k wouldn't they lend you similiar results with a larger surface area to grow the coral and get the proper colors from the start. You build a rack that holds 5 rows by 2 of these tanks and with 400 watts of flouro you would have much more real growing area. I mean 10 tanks with this up close and cooler light source in the correct K value you need. And the stuff that needs more or less light wouldn't you just plus or minus the photo periods? Well that's what my grow out setup is going to be like. And it will still only take up 4.5' wide 6'high, and 2.25'wall depth and will be linked as part of my 8 section 600 gallon system. Plus I love to build stuff rather than buy it. Custom built is the Custom for me. Oh yeah I forgot the 3 kiddie pools on stacked shelves for growing/seeding dead into live Coraline rock as well. I figure I can make about 600 to 1000 lbs of the stuff every 3 to 4 months. Again shallow with a couple bulbs and lots of kalk in the total system. :)

jdthomas
02/15/2000, 02:51 PM
Yank, I am mainly doing soft corals right now. The size needs to be fairly large to be able to compete with wild caught. To me, that is one of the big problems with captive grown, the wild caught will usually be larger for the same price. So a very shallow grow-out is not for me right now. Also, a place to put all of this without a new building will get to be a problem VERY soon.
One thing that I have noticed about the bulb color temps is that it doesnt seem to matter much. I have used 5500k, 6500k & 10000k bulbs(in my show tank), and everything grew well anywhere in the tank that I put them. I couldnt tell that anything except my anemones had ANY preferance.

CleveYank
02/16/2000, 01:23 AM
I see that makes sense then.
So I guess when they ban it all we can sell small frags and noone will mind at all by then LOL.