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Novel Responder
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Discussion Starter #1
I have my 175g bowfront with a DIY set up for the lights (I didn't do it...got it second hand). It has four 6' VHO's today (2 blue, 2 white). I am due for new lights and may change out to something else for two reasons. I may want to add some SPS and the DIY set up has some salt creep getting into the wood. I am concnerned about it getting to the wires and being a safety issue.
The tank has a black canopy that sits on the tank that I'd like to continue to use. My question is a recommendation for lighting that would have an assembly allowing it to sit on the outside edge of the tank so i can use the canopy (cheap light weight plastic so can't hang lights from it).
Lighting isn't my forte, so not even sure what questions need to be answered to get suggestions?
 

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Novel Responder
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Discussion Starter #3
175g is a 6' tank. The front "bows" out in front. I just measured it for a new piece of glass for the center cover and the corners are about 22", so the tank is probably 24" there and then another 3-5 inches in depth at the exact center. The canopy on it today is a lightweight black plastic with three sections in the top that can lift off. Each "cover piece" is black reflective on the bottom of it to keep light in the tank. I'd like to reuse this canopy (it looks good with the rest of the tank and matches the 55g FOWLR sitting next to it). Unfortunately, it won't support hanging lights (too flimsy) and fits pretty tight so I would need something that would literally sit on the edges of the tank and hold the lights in between.
I thought about hanging lights through the three panels in the top of the canopy, but I can't reach the bottom of the tank to clean it without removing the canopy. My hand barely reaches the bottom with the canopy off and I have long arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Exact dimensions are 6' long, 16" at the ends and 24" in the exact center. Depth is 30".
 

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C'est la vie
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what about removing the canopy completely, and hanging pennants from the ceiling? thats what i would do, maybe 3 400w halides suspended and LED's for actinic supplementation. or you could buy LED's from rapidled.com and do just about anything with them. you would need a lot of LED's though, id probably go for the 3 pennants and 48 blue LED's to supplement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How heavy do they get and how hot would something like that be? It is a finished ceiling in an older house so not sure on stud availability for hanging linghts. I don't have a chiller and the fish tank is in the same room as all of my computer equipment so the room can't get too hot. It is also in a very visble area, so appearnace is a major concern. Have to satisfy the wife :) I know very little about lighting so am a bit lost here. Come to think of it, I don't know much about electricity and plumbing either, so I figured this would be a great hobby for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it is a reef today with softies. Zoo's, akans, frog spawn, shrooms, GSP (**** weeds), fox coral, monti, open brain, two clams...I'd like to add some harder corals, even if it is just stags and birds nest for now. I do want to add a bubble coral, a doughnut, and more ephyllia. I also don't want to have change lights out every 6 months...Right now, I have to either pay $70 for lights, special order them, or drive about an hour to get them....6' VHO's are getting harder to find and I don't want to trust on line shipping for them. I have found them to be too fragile so figured if I need new lights and a new assembly anyway...now is the time.
 

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C'est la vie
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id recommend halides then. im no halide expert but if it was my tank i would go with either 3 250's or 3 400's. these are some fixtures that sit on the tank and would replace your canopy

http://www.aquacave.com/belize-sun-...ng-system-br-by-hamilton-technology-2556.html

http://www.aquacave.com/60-deluxe-3...t5-fixture-brby-hamilton-technology-1835.html

and im not sure how heavy pennants are. i think at HD though you can get something to suspend a light from the ceiling without having to find a stud but im not sure about that. you could also find studs in the wall behind the tank and have metal arms come out and suspend the pennants from there.

halides do produce a fair bit of heat, but if you have fans they will disperse the heat to the room rather than into the tank.
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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Maybe take a look at some LED cannons. One 12k and one actinic can supply Light for a 240g. The nice ones are dimmable and lightweight. However they do need to be hung from the celing and should be 24" off the water to get the right spread. Check out marinedepot.com, they carry some.
 

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Since you can't hang them from the canopy, you could build a light rack like mine. It attaches to the back of the stand using a pair of 1x4's. The frame is hinged and that allows me to push it up out of the way if I need to get into the tank. I just used some aluminum channel and a rivet gun to pop the whole thing together.

My canopy installs over the light frame. This allows me to remove the canopy to work on the tank while keeping it lit so I can see.

The halides are 250w retro's from Hellolights. Given your space issue, it may be the best halide option. Bowfronts are tricky to light evenly and those plastic canopys are not made to hold any strong lighting options.
http://www.hellolights.com/250whlmhretrofitkithqi.aspx


 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jadinop, that sounds awesome and would solve my issues. the back wall is to the laundry room, which is unfinished so finding braces, etc would be easy. Do you by chance have pictures of that set up with the canopy on and off?

Rustl3r, I am not familiar at all with the LED's, especially as new as they are. I keep hearing about 10k and 20k and 250watts, etc...any way to tell how much light you really need for a tank based on SPS desires? I can always use LR to "shade" things like my shrooms and fox coral.

Obviously, I haven't decided between MH and LED yet...
 

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Jadinop, that sounds awesome and would solve my issues. the back wall is to the laundry room, which is unfinished so finding braces, etc would be easy. Do you by chance have pictures of that set up with the canopy on and off?
Canopy on, taken when the tank was first setup.





Canopy off, also showing a small T5 actinic fixture that I added for a short time.


 

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Novel Responder
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Discussion Starter #16
That may be exactly what I am looking for. Now for the next step...just to confuse myself some more. I have been told that the MH's have a "shimmer" effect, which I think is really cool. I have also heard that you can combine lighting types in the same fixtures....How do you get the good blue coloration and blue only with MH or would that require a combination of MH and LED's for the blue?

Oh...and want to come to the Chicagoland area during tornado season to help put it together :D
 

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C'est la vie
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there are 2 ways-

1. get a higher K rated halide bulb, a 15k would be good, 20k would be really blue.
2. supplement a 10k halide bulb with blue LED's or t5's.

personally, i like the supplementing with LED's because most people only run their halides for 5-7 hours a day to keep algae growth to a minimum. if you have the actinic supplementation you can keep those on before and after the halides go off and it looks pretty cool!
 

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Novel Responder
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Discussion Starter #18
there are 2 ways-

1. get a higher K rated halide bulb, a 15k would be good, 20k would be really blue.
2. supplement a 10k halide bulb with blue LED's or t5's.

personally, i like the supplementing with LED's because most people only run their halides for 5-7 hours a day to keep algae growth to a minimum. if you have the actinic supplementation you can keep those on before and after the halides go off and it looks pretty cool!
I am a moron when it comes to lighting and plumbing, so please be patient with me for a moment (I know animals and bio chem, not engineering..other than gobies). Today, I have my white lights on about 6-8 hours and my blues on about 8-10. I'd have to check the timers as I set it and left it two years ago when it was working great.

You are suggesting getting the MH lights (is the 14k vs 20k just color, or does that equate to power? I can review the article you posted an the other site when I am not at work) and having them on in place of my whites today? Then getting LED's in the blue spectrum to replace the blue 454's I run today? So I could do the same thing I have today, but I'd have LED blues and MH whites? Or, am I misunderstanding?
 
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