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  1. #11
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    ABout the cash thing.., understood. However there will still be problems with what you're asking when it concerns a reef. Firstoff, a 1000w light would have to be on a pretty deep tank because even the high demanding corals for light would be overlit. Next, as I mentioned lighting is also for viewing pleasure, you'd need a long enough period of the main lighting to be on to enjoy this because on a properly setup system, the main lighting is what shows off the colors the most. It wouldn't look the same under just flourescants. I think what you're wondering about here wouldn't happen because it's already expensive enough to just get the needed light done, so people won't dish out more money just to have 3 or 4 different lighting setups installed just to have those different viewing time setups running. Not that it won't work, I just think that it is money people would never want to spend just for that purpose. I know I wouldn't as there's enough "other things" to spend money on ( like more nice SPS corals.., heh,heh...). Lastly, about the moving light might make corals grow more straight, I don't know if this is true because in a tank filled with water, current is the major factor in coral growth and lighting is secondary. Yes all corals need light a lot but the water flow is really what dictates the forms corals grow in.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    Just beacause the light may be stronger doesnt mean they need less hours of it. I dont believe that corals can go into overdrive on the stronger light and stock up for later. especially keep in mind that it takes them time to open up and adjust themselves. If you wanted to have such an effect, then i would say light up the whole tank regularly, and put something else on the track that will move slowly and cast a shadow under the lights. then again, that would probably be a pain to set-up and why block the light the corals love so much.
    Albert
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  3. #13
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    To be honest, the number I'm pulling out of the air.

    Water current affecting the growth is a very good point & not something I had initally considered.

    I'm still wondering though since this does more closely mimic the movement of the sun if it would be better for the coral as it is for plants. (Watts & other numbers aside.)

    Light phases do seem to affect aquatic life, if you take into account how many people report better spawning & growth after setting up moon lights in the correct spectrum. Is it just the light or the timing of the light that creates this result?

    Additonally, I've also read that it's desirable to have "phased" lighting for lack of a better term. In essence a more subdued dawn phase, an intensive afternoon phase, back to a more subdued dusk phase, then a moon light phase, and finally allowing a couple hours of complete darkness.

    Is this for the health of the aquarium or the view pleasure of the owner, or both?

    Cheers!

  4. #14
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    When you talked about mimicing the sun's movement, I originally thought you meant a track which would move a light from one side to the other over a 10-14 hour period. From later posts, I'm not sure that is what you mean. If you want to mimic clouds and varying light conditions, that might need a different approach than track lights.

    Phasing seems quite common for larger set-ups. I guess you could also try to simlulate the phases of the moon by varying the moon-light intensity (new moon to full moon and back). Haven't read of anyone doing that though.
    Nick

  5. #15
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    I agree with Nick.
    Many people (myself included) use phased lighting for different reasons. Some it's simply for a dusk/dawn effect ( which I do with my actinics before and after the MH lights come on). One of the biggest reasons is because of the sudden "shock type" change in lighting if you didn't. You have to remember that most bigger setups are running much more lighting which means brighter and for a tank to be in complete darkness as in the early morning in the winter then to have full MH lighting come on all of a sudden is kinda a rude awakening for the fish on a daily basis. Likewise for nighttime. Full lights, then wham!! ..., sudden darkness with no time for them to settle down.

    Moon lighting is used by many people but most of them don't have it properly setup. Moon lighting was first used by people who were trying to actively get animals and inverts to spwan/reproduce. Most life is in some ways triggered by the monthly lunar cycles for spawning and to properly do this you need the right equipment to turn off/on the moon lights at the right intervals on the daily basis. Otherwise, your really just running avery dim light at night with no real reason except ot be able to still see in the tank a bit.

  6. #16
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    The one advantange to track lighting (that I didn't see mentioned - sorry, if it was) is that the corals will have a more natural (rounded) appearance. Corals, like plants, grow towards the light. We are used to seeing corals grow more up than rounded in our aquariums but with track lights they grow with a bushier appearance because the lower parts of the corals are not always shaded from the lights. This info is not from personnal experience but from a thread on Reef Central discussing the pros and cons of track lighting by those that had it.

    Vickie

  7. #17
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Cool, Vickie do you have a link? I wouldn't mind having a look at those articles.

    The track I was initally talking about would be similar to the one I use for my trees and it's on an approximate 14 minute cycle end to end not 14 hour. It's still slow enough that you don't notice it moving unless you actually look for it.

    As to my intentions, I need another complex lighting set up like a hole in the head I'm just curious.

    I'm thinking for my nano I'm going to use phased PC lighting and when I get to converting my main tank I'll still use phased lighting but with stationary MH.

    Moonlighting I've just scratched the surface on for my reseach so I'm not sure what of if I'll use it.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  8. #18
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    Sorry Krugar, I didn't bookmark the thread and now I can't search (search function seems to be down due to equipment problems). I have started bookmarking a lot of these interesting threads because they are a pain to locate again. End of last year/beginning of this year we were looking into upgrading from VHO to MH with possibly going to a track system. Johnny Rock put his lighting up for sale and we grabbed it (thanks Johnny) and haven't looked into track lighting since.

    Vickie

  9. #19
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    Concerning Vickie's comments about the shaded areas and bushier appearance.
    On a reef tank, if the lighting is done properly, you should have any shading. MH lights are supposed to cover a 2'x2' area. If you use the proper amount of lighting and have these area edges overlap, you shouldn't be getting shadows. If you are still getting shadows, then the branches are literally growing over and covering the others. This also happens on a natural reef and is "one" of the ways corals compete with each other. Corals will "always" grow towards the light whether there is sufficient light or not. If there is not enough light, they will grow longer and skinnier while spending most of their energy trying to get closer to the light. If you have sufficient light, they will then grow fuller and bushier. It's not because the undersides are not getting enough light. This will always happen depending on the amount of light available. IMO, this is a hobby that is expensive and it's a given that people come to terms with this. They know the costs of MH lighting and so for that matter they will buy the necessary amount of lights to cover their tank. Track lighting is used a lot more for plants and indoor gardening which, while is still a full-time hobby for many, is not usually expected to involve as much money. Therefore the track lighting is designed for people to be able to use only 1 light. Comparing a land environment with the ocean environment cannot be done because there are too many different variables involved. Besides, on land you are growing a plant, but in the ocean it is an animal that has very different needs. Using a bulb on a track will basically boil down to simply not enough lighting for corals ( I'm talking about high light demanding corals now). There is many reasons why track lighting is not a big thing in reefing. Believe me, you are not the first one to bring up the subject if this is good or not, yet it always stays as an unpopular alternative for lighting. It usually seems to be the newer hobbyists that think about this..., wondering if it would be a good and "cheaper" way to run a lighting system, but once they get more experience and knowledge about the hobby, they realize it won't work well for this application.

  10. #20
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    This thread on RC has just started up on the same topic:

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=399795
    Nick

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