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First off - Hello to all...

I have been reading things in this forum for a while now, Seems to be an excellent source of information - I have been very interested in this lighting forum and have some questions I was hoping to get answered...


I recently bought an Eclipse 12 (did not do much research on it prior to purchasing so have run into some of the issues others here have with customizing) But that leads to some of my questions...

I have had FO Salt Water tanks for years... Never a reef before due to the cost of the technology until the last few years or so..

Anyways so I got the tank, set it up, took out the Bio-Wheel and swapped the stock 5,000k 13w compact flourscent out for a corallife 50/50.. (also installed a maxi-jet 400 just for water movement)

I started reading about some of the issues with the amount of lighting in these tanks and began pondering...

I really do not want to tear up the tank to modify (as this not only increases cost - but takes away from the sleek looks of the unit) - I want to keep it as stock as I possibly can so it can be possibly changed out for another use at a later date - so cut up hoods and HOB filters are not a real option

So here is where the opinions come in (and I have had many):

LIGHTING>>>>>>>>>>>>...

I was concerned about using the SunPaq 32 watt update as it is close to the water and has the potiental to create a heat issue......

So what I did was as follows:

I went out and bought the Coralife Mini-Aqualight With 1-9W Actinic / 1-9W 10,000K Lamp

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=ES53120

(It comes in a nice black housing)


I took off the feeding hood part (put it in a drawer) - I cut a piece of clear acrylic (very thin) to the shape of the hood (so it was still enclosed) - drilled a few holes in for air and cut out a portion of this lid to make a clear opening for the area the lights are... Now with the stock filter system in this you do not get all of both lights - You get 100 % of the front light & about 90 % of the rear (as part of the rear light is blocked by the built in filter)

I switched both the stock 13W 50/50 as well as the 9w so that the Actinic light is in front - daylight in rear.. AND to top it off - I am getting around 12-13 hours of indirect sunlight into the tank (A bay window in the room - so from about 7:00 - 7:00 indirect bright - 7:00 to 9:00 dimmer till dark)

I currently have some zoo's, a sinularia frag, some green/star polyps and some yellow polyps as well as some Blue Ridge that hitchiked on some LR - All open and seem to be doing well, The Blue Ridge has even had it's polyps out a few times (though not regularly). I see no sign of problems as of yet - And there even seems to be some amount of growth (not a lot but some).....

I have heard tons of opinions on lighting - And in fact I read an article on one guy lighting his tank with only sunlight... Lot's of people push MH as a minimum or some superhigh wattage.. Others have claimed that corals will not live without "mega-watt per gallon" this information is always subject to authors opinion...

Since the tank seems to be working in this "semi-stock" configuration should I upgrade it to the 32W SunPaq - and the potiental heat issue, should I leave it -

I do not intend to raise any hard corals or any delicate softies.. I would like to add some mushrooms, some more sinularia (or other finger / leather coral) maybe some xenia (I know about the death or weed issue) and possibly some kind of gorgian (if they are photosynthetic)... I do not want to try and specially feed anything - Since I have a couple damsels they get fish food - some of that gets to the zoo's, the rest feeds the hermits and worms... This is not meant to be a "stupid" question as obviously the more light you can get the better.. I was more wondering about whether the need was important - I was trying to prove to myself (and my pocketbook) that this can be a succesful hobby without costing tons of money and that you could have great corals with the lighting as described and not have to buy stadium lighting to do it...

Any comments, input, flames (whatever) would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks in Advance
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ONE VERY BIG FISHY
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If you are getting noticable growth why switch? IMO the heat will become a much faster problem then the light. Heat will kill fast...and you described getting growth, so your far from dying corals. Just my 2 cents.
 
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