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  1. #1
    Senior Member tiffany's Avatar
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    Power Compact Qn

    If most corals can live under NO, and those that can't need MH, then where do the PC's come in??
    May seem like a naive question but I've been researching coral options at the moment ( to do or not to do that is the question.....with studies) and PC seem to be limited.
    Are they worth the investment if I'll need MH anyway eventually? The only benefit seems to be the electricity bill.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  2. #2
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    Tiff,
    They tend to fall in the "in between" category. I think one of the main selling point of PC's ( aside from the prices) is their size and the ability to fit them into a smaller tank's canopy to be equivelant with perhaps HO or VHO flourescants. They're not called power COMPACTS for nothing!! :

  3. #3
    Senior Member AJ_77's Avatar
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    I've found that my PCs use less energy than MH and generate way less heat. They are safer to DIY, and come in a broad range of wattages, sizes and K-colours. The only hard corals I'm unable to keep in my 20" deep tank are the more demanding SPS. That is something for when I have a lot more time and money... and even then...
    - Alan

  4. #4
    AC Partner Reef Crew's Avatar
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    We use PC's on our test tank. it is a 45 and is 24" deep

    We have the lights about 1" off the top of the water and the tank temp raizes by 1.5 degrees over a 12 hour photo period.

    we have the following:

    2 55w 03 Actinics
    2 55w 50/50
    2 55w 10k

    We are able to grow most corals including, montipora, blue tip acropora, lime green acropora and pink birds nest without any issues. All our SPS is sitting about mid tank.

    Depending on who big your tank is you can use PC's or MH lighting. If your tank is more than 3' long then in all honesty the MH lighthing is the way to go as you will be able to cover a greater area on the tank with fewer bulbs.
    Your Source For Live Marine Food

  5. #5
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    reefcrew,

    how many fans do you have if any to keep the PCs cool? and at 1in do you get a lot of salt splash?
    thanks.
    thien

  6. #6
    AC Partner Reef Crew's Avatar
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    I run 2 1" fans but not to cool the bulbs rather for evaporation as I dose Kalk. Without the fans there just is not enough evaporation.

    As for the splash... they actually have a thin piece of glass that is inbetween the bulbs and the surface of the water. The glass needs to be cleaned about once a month but only takes about 2 min to do.
    Your Source For Live Marine Food

  7. #7
    Senior Member tiffany's Avatar
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    I need to buy new NO' tubes and for the $150 I was wondering if PC"s were better as I get the complete set-up for $137....
    I'd then have 175Wat's of daylight, compared to 60wt now.
    I assume I'd still need the NO for actinic.
    Do PC's give the coverage as the NO's do? Or will I have dark patches?
    The tanks 36" so MH's are probably an overkill since I don't want the hard to keep stonies, as Uni limits time, as the stress is plenty as is.
    Putting the hood back on would look nice in winter.
    Reef Crew you pre-answered a qn on the glass coverage. Good to know. I've Had too many bulbs blow from salt creep before I bought the Aqua-one.
    What wattage would be recommended for the 36"? I'd most likely want an anemone down the track again when I have the time, the E.Quad I had did well under the NO, but they limit the choice of clowns and I believe the magnificas need MH,and they're the best choice for perc's and Ocillaris.
    Would I need fans to keep the PC cool?
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  8. #8
    AC Partner Reef Crew's Avatar
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    With a tank that is 36" in length I would say go with the 96w power compacts. they are 33" long and would put out a lot of light.

    Depending on your budget I would get at least 1 of each bulb type.

    1 PC 03 Actinic
    1 PC 50/50
    1 PC 10K

    You will need 3 different ballasts in order to step them on over time but thiss will give you the best result. You can get some Workhorse 7 ballasts, they are electronic and I know in the Toronto area you can pick them up for about $50.00 per ballast. If you decide you want more light like 2 of each bulb type the ballast will handle the additional lights.

    going with the 96w PC would give you 288w of PC lighting and 2 sets of everything would give you 576w of light more than enough to support SPS in any case.

    As for placement over the tank... put the 03 Actinic in the middle, the 50/50 in front and the 10K at the back but you can always mix it up until you get the look you are looking for.

    We use the Coralife bulbs

    http://www.esuweb.com/cardfile.asp?I...elationship=31
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  9. #9
    AC Partner Reef Crew's Avatar
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    PC have as wide of a coverage area of a NO bulb bu tI would tend to say they provide a much wider coverage area. These things are very bright.

    AS for fans, depending on the clearence in the hood they may not be required however if you pick up a couple of 1" x 1" fans like the ones we use then it will keep the bulbs cooler as well as help with evaporation.
    Your Source For Live Marine Food

  10. #10
    Senior Member tiffany's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help.
    I didn't think that PC needed ballasts.
    The hoods already been raised 2.5cm and I'm having it raised another 2" so I can have the space and fit any lighting on it, and any mosaic I want on it.
    I'll have to go to the hydroponics store to look into them as the RS don't sell them, may be a week before I can but I'll try get there faster.
    Good to know that I am free with coral choices down the track.
    Though one would think being PC that I'd save more than 3"!!!!
    I'll have to get back to you on this after I've been to the hydroponics store. So you can re-advise me on their advise.
    thanks again for the info. Much appreciated.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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