View Full Version : Lighting question...

06/27/2006, 07:47 PM
I just bought a 30 gallon hex tank. From flat side to flat side it is 17 inches wide. It's around 23 inches deep. Would a 150 W SunPod 14,000 K HQI Metal Halide fixture be adequate for this tank. I think I want to put a few SPS in the tank with some zoa's and mushrooms of course. Would I need actinic supplements? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

06/27/2006, 09:52 PM
Could I even go up to a 175 W or a 250 W?

06/27/2006, 11:30 PM
Hey Nano!

I havent used MH yet, but there seems to be a rule of thumb for them. most lamps and fixtures can cover a surface area of 2 ft x 2 ft. so you are ok there with one lamp. but the wattage determines the depth penetration and PAR at the distance from the lamp. i think the rule is 175 watt mogul bulbs at a normal 10 inches above the water are ok for up to 18 inches deep. and 250 watt up to 24 inches deep. 400 and more for deeper tanks.

a couple other things affect the choice.. a mogul lamp doesnt use a glass shield so must be about 10 inches above to prevent splash. but an HQI fixture has to have a glass UV shield, and can be mounted closer to the water. since it is splashed protected too. the basic problem is the light intesity or par decreases by the square of the distance from the lamp to the target coral.

also to consider is tank set up. will it be a bare bottom or thin gravel bed. in which case its 23 inches of water to go through. or are you going to make it a deep sand bed or plenum sandbed, which means you will only have 17-18 inches of water above the sand.

i use 4 VHO on my standard 75 reef with a plenum sandbed. 2 x 50/50 and 2 x actinic. that means i only have about 14 0r 15 inches of water depth in the 21 inch deep tank. plenty of light for the medium light acro's. like pocillapora, capricornus and hydnophora and others. the lamps are just 3 1/2 inches above the water.

i think the 14000K and 15000K halides are supose to have enough actinic spectrum to stand alone. butyou can always add more for the corals and for the appearance. and check your bulbs on Sanjays's spectral plots for blue content.


I'm sure there will be a lot more comments from those that use them. hope this helps.

06/28/2006, 07:39 AM
I have 2 175's over my 55, I only have 1 SPS but its doing great... I think its actually to much lighting for some SPS though, a open brain i picked up from that fish place didnt last very long, and i dont really have anywhere to keep it under shade...

Unless your going all SPS i would stay away from the 250.. But you should be good with a 150 or a 175.

06/28/2006, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the input guys. Kaptken, if I go with the SunPod fixture, it will be used with mounting legs so technically it will be about 4 - 6 inches from the water's surface. I will have around a 3 inch sand layer in the bottom making it about 19 inches from top to bottom. I like Montipora, Hydnophora and Acro's. I have had Hydnophora do well in my 16 with PC's so I'm sure it will be okay. Like I said, I want some SPS near the top then some LPS and then ric's, zoa's and whatnot. That SunPod fixture is $260. That fits well into my budget, but does it fit with my ideas for this tank and the livestock?

06/28/2006, 12:47 PM
Ok Nano. i wasn't familiar with the sunpod unit. so i looked one up. pretty cool features. i like the programable moonlights. it seems like a good lamp and reflector. it should give adequate light for SPS in the top half of the tank and plenty for other types of corals you mentioned farther down. it sounds like the tank is taller than wide. so a single spot in the center should cover it. far as i know. sounds good to me.

06/28/2006, 01:37 PM
i love my sunpod. i think it will work with keeping the higher light needin doodads up top. You can come buy to check out my sunpod on my cube.

06/28/2006, 02:42 PM
Hey kav, do you have the 150 watt SunPod on a nano cube or on an Oceanic 30 cube? The more I read about the light, the more I like it.

06/28/2006, 06:28 PM
Didn't Nick (MadTownMax) go through this process?

Something else you might want to do Nano is to acclimate your light using dark pantyhose stretched across a screen (layered) betwen the light and the tank to better allow your current corals to adjust.

I think it was Nick that did this?

06/28/2006, 07:09 PM
I have it on the 37 gallon cube. Its npt oceanic, but perfecto. it is 24 inches deep. It is really nice, especally for the price

06/28/2006, 07:25 PM
Oh no wds21921, this is for a whole new set-up. I got a 30 gallon hex with a stand and all from a guy for $40. I'm going to set it up at the shop. My hex isn't even as deep as your 37 cube kav so I think I'll be fine then.

07/02/2006, 09:59 PM
Well a little update guys, I got a PFO mini pendant, a 250 W ballast and a 250 W 14,000 K Phoenix bulb for $160 delivered to my door from a guy on Reef Monkey. Got to look for some good deals on live rock now! Going to try out the SPS, saw a guy with a purple Monti cap with blue polyps that was amazing, so I'm sure I'll be asking questions. Thanks for the help!

07/03/2006, 09:48 AM
Cool Jay, hope this looks as good as your home nano and with similar results :).

07/05/2006, 10:09 PM
sorry guys - I was out of town :(

good choice w/ the 250W - that's what I have now on my 65 - 22" deep, and I've noticed that zooanthids need to be a little higher than directly on the sand - so the 150 and 175 might have been a little weak (as I know you'll probably have the bottom covered with your addiction :lol: )

keep an eye on the heat - you'll probably be fine in your place (AC) but I definatly have gone to extreme measures to keep the heat down in my 65 w/ just one 250W.

IME - when I was running a 250W DE fixture over a 30 oceanic cube I had a 4" fan at a 45-degree angle at the top of the tank - pulling in air and blowing it directly at the surface - it evaporated about 3/4-gallon a day, but kept the tank at about 80F - that was in a house with the AC set at about 76-78 (if I remember - it was a year ago)

BTW - those aqua-marine zooanthids from the florida trade I'm holding for you have now doubled from 4-8 polyps (maybe more) :lol:

07/05/2006, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the input MTM. My addiction will be all over the place I'm sure. The new addiction is rics, but that's another more expensive story. Anyway, the AC is usually kept around 72 and I will have a fan blowing on the surface of the water that I'll hook into the light timer so hopefully I'll be okay. You have to let me know when you can get over here. I have a frag of my pink zoa's with a couple of fire and ice polyps on it for good measure with your name on it.