Possible Lighting Upgrade -- Opinions Please!

intenseimage

New member
Currently I have a 75g RR tank with an Outer Orbit 48” Fixture (2x150 HQI and 2x130 PC actinic) that is mainly zoos and LPS, plus a lone BTA. Recently I have gotten a few SPS frags and have them mounted high up on the rocks.

FullView05Apr2008.jpg


After talking to a local reefer (who I get most of my frags from â€"œ both zoos and SPS) he recommended I switch to the Nova Extreme Pro 6x54 T5 fixture, claiming that is why the corals have such amazing color in his tank but seem to fade a bit when placed in ours.


Could he possibly be right in this situation? Do you think this is a worthwhile upgrade or should I just stick with my halides?

Could a swap of the stock bulbs to 20k XM's help a bit?
 

JRaquatics

New member
You tank looks good but I think your local reefer might be right here. You can see by the photo that the spread from your MH are pretty weak. With the T5 you will get a better selection of color and an even distribution on light. If you stick with your current lighting I am afraid that the SPS might tend to grow towards the bulbs and have an unnatural spread of growth.
 

SHOmuchFUN

New member
I had a Sundial 4x54w T-5 setup on a 75RR tank that I setup about a month ago and my corals aren't coloring up the way I'd like. I'm moving to halides. I've had way too many misses with T-5's after having great success with halides.

I'm getting an Aquamedic Ocean Light with 2x250w Halides with 2x54w T-5's for actinics. I had great results with this type of setup in the past. I'm done experimenting with T-5's.
 

SHOmuchFUN

New member
Besides, there are way too many variables that could cause the fading in your tank. Have you tested your alk/calcium/mag/etc. in your tank and compared it to his?

IMO, the light you have on there is a better light than the 6x54w nova extreme.
 

intenseimage

New member
Maybe I should re-phrase ... the colors arent necessarily fading, but they are just more vibrant when in his tank (my guess due to more actinic)
 

intenseimage

New member
Its all the stock bulbs right now ... I do have some 20k XM's im waiting to put in ... guess ill try them before attempting T5's ... with the 30% off coupons I can get the Nova Extreme Pro for like $250 so its not a huge investment either way
 

qfrisco

New member
A definite advantage of T5s over MHs is the large variety of bulb colors available to you. The colors in your friend's tank are just popping more, most likely, because of the various bulbs that he has.

With MHs, you're a bit limited in terms of colors, but you can partially address that by adding a couple T5s to supplement them with. I used to run T5s but just switched the MHs. I use the Phoenix 14k DE bulbs (running off an M80, they're less blue than when run with an electronic ballast), and I have two T5s to supplement them with. With the T5s, I have a UVL Aqua Sun 10K (for additional par) and an ATI Pro Color (red bulb that pulls out the reds in my corals). I love the combination.
 

intenseimage

New member
Someone also mentioned that I might be running the halides too long

Right now I am running:

10 am - Actinics ON
11 am - Halides ON

9 pm - Halides OFF
10 pm - Actinics OFF

basically 12 hrs on the actinic and 10 hrs on the halides ... was recommened that I run the actinics for the 12 hrs but to drop the halide time to 6-8 hrs?
 

JRaquatics

New member
Without knowing your par levels it is very hard to advise. I doubt it is your photo period causing the corals to fade. I would look into high alk levels be for your photo period. How old is your tank and how stable is your parameters?
 

SHOmuchFUN

New member
That's a long time for the halides to be on, but again, hard to tell if that's the problem.

You don't NEED the halides on for that long. Do you even view the tank between 11am and 4pm? Why have halides on when you're not even home to view it? Assuming the tank is at home and you work elsewhere.

I'd move my photoperiod around to where it works so I can see it. 6-8 hours is long enough, but I'd make those 6-8 hours later.

I'd do:
12pm actinics on
1pm halides on
8pm halides off
10pm actinics off

Plenty of light and you actually get to see most of your halide photoperiod, even though it was cut 2-3 hours.
 

intenseimage

New member
Tank has been running since Feb and parts were transferred over from a smaller tank so there was basically no cycle.

Ill end up leaving the actinics run for 12 hrs but will drop the halides to 8 hrs and see what happens

All params are stable ... the corals all still have lots of color and everything has been growing VERY well ... just trying to match how vibrant they are in his tank vs mine ... and its not a gradual loss of color, im talking about straight from his tank to mine, the colors just have less POP to them ... i know its all in the lighting

Aside from that this tank has been a dream to work with!
 
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