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  1. #1
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    Lighting Question

    A couple of questions about lighting. Iíve just put some egg crate over my tank and noticed an immediate loss of light, so am thinking that now I must get another set of lights.

    I currently have these - (1) 10000K 39 W T5HO / (1) Actinic 03 39 W T5HO

    Is the blue mainly for looks or does it have colors in it that the corals actually need? Would I be better when getting another set to get one with 2 of the 10,000K or get the same as I have already.

    Also about the lighting, I notice that some things look to be a different color in my tank than they did in a store tank. For example a zoa looked to me (I might be a little bit color blind so this doesnít help) dark brown with yellow eye, at home it is purply brown with green eye, and another small coral looked to be yellow in store tank but is green in mine. Iím thinking it must be the lights that are different.

    If I went with 2 10,000K lights (making a total of 3) would that be overdoing it? Itís a 40 gallon tank. 36 wide by 18 deep and 15 high (its taller than that but I only measured the actual water holding area)

  2. #2
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    From what I understands the blue (actinic) have two purposes.

    The first thing is it simulates deeper water conditions and also early/late day lighting. As sunlight penetrates water it will lose part of its spectrum (white light is composed of many colours-think of a light prism that separates the light into the different colours ROYGBIV). Deeper in the water it becomes closer to the indigo/violet spectrum. Some Corals like this spectrum of light.

    The other thing the actinic light adds is colour to corals. 10K is pretty white (which gives it a bleaching effect). Add a bit of blue and some colours will pop out more vibrantly. I personally like the blue-ish light more than the white.

    Lights come in different colours (temperature Kelvin). If you want try 12K, 18K or even 20K bulbs to add more blue but still the VHO "punch". When buying corals, I usually ask what type of lighting that they are under (wattage and Kelvin/colour).

    Of course beauty is in the eyes of the beholder- you have to enjoy your tank too!

    My 2 cents

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, I knew the lighting could be complicated and will take some time to try and make a good decision.

  4. #4
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    Most stores have a display of different lights. When I bought my lights I was able to place different fixtures on the same tank and compare (but I think they knew I was BUYING that day so they pampered me). This was great because I was able to compare "apples to apples". Differing lights styles (VHO MH, or LED), intensities and now colour??? I know, it is pretty complicated ( even the same bulb from differing companies have slight appearance changes). Don't look at as a bad thing, think of it as a way to "tweak" your tank. Bulbs have to be changed eventually so when they expire change to something else until you are happy.

  5. #5
    Moderator ShipWreck's Avatar
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    I assume you put egg crate over to prevent jumpers. The problem, as you have seen, with egg crate is that it blocks a lot of light. Another option to stop jumper and not block light is to buy a window screen frame kit from the hardware store. These come in a variety of sizes and can be cut to fit your tank needs (larger tanks may require 2 or more panels). Now don't use the screen just the frame and go to a pond store and you can but mesh that is about the same hole sizes as eggcrate but will block hardly any light.
    Rob
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    Upgrade in the works! Keep looking for an update.


  6. #6
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    Hey, the screening sounds like a great idea, thank you. Yes, the egg crate is mainly for jumpers but it's also helping with my very small very curious cat. So far she only puts her paws in the tank but she is there every time I am as she is a bit of a dog cat and follow me everywhere she has managed to fall into a bucket of water though - a tall 5 gallon one. Luckily it was not salted yet as she might have got sick cleaning that off herself. I thought it might teach her to be less curious but not yet.............

  7. #7
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    jumper

    Have you had a jumper or just being prepared. Because jumpers are relatively rare, and some hideous contraption over your tank is not an easthetic answer. I have had marine tanks since about '88 and in all those years I have had 2 jumpers. Pretty low probability.
    Just keep in mind some fish are more likely to jump than others. IF you keep them, protect them. Otherwise leave the top open.

  8. #8
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    Hi Jaden, no I have not had jumper so just being prepared. I would like to get some kind of gobie and was told that it would likely jump.

    Something about the egg crate that I read in several places on line but am not sure about is that some say it actually improve lighting distribution as long as u are using tube lighting and that u have the thinner sharper edge of the crate facing downwards. The articles I looked at were from people who used light meters to detect readings. For lighting that is not tube it apparently does reduce but they said for tube it actually made a better distribution. I'm not sure what to think. To me it looks like less light but if it is more evenly distributed then I might not see that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BethOttawa View Post
    Hi Jaden, no I have not had jumper so just being prepared. I would like to get some kind of gobie and was told that it would likely jump.

    Something about the egg crate that I read in several places on line but am not sure about is that some say it actually improve lighting distribution as long as u are using tube lighting and that u have the thinner sharper edge of the crate facing downwards. The articles I looked at were from people who used light meters to detect readings. For lighting that is not tube it apparently does reduce but they said for tube it actually made a better distribution. I'm not sure what to think. To me it looks like less light but if it is more evenly distributed then I might not see that.
    The type of eggcrate you're referring to is a shiny type. I remember it when I worked in construction. It looks gold or silverish, it's the one that apparently helps distribute the lighting downward by it's shiny reflective surface, but the ordinary plain old black/white plastic eggcrate doesn't do this for obvious reasons.
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  10. #10
    liv
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    Hi Beth,
    definitely less light.. but your right.. it will provide better distribution.. ( evenness if thats a word ) I believe they put these screens in the building to diffuse the light.

    someone on here had recommended to me in the past a special netting. it was sold at canadiantire i believe.. I never picked it up. but it seemed like a super idea.. it was transparent and had small holes.. and wasn't cutting the light as much.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

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