Lighting 55 gallon couple questions and opions needed
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:54 PM   #1
lokobreed
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My tank is 55 gallons, 48 inches long.
I need a good lighting/hood to have a planted tank.
I am looking for something that has dual strips so I can have Actinc bulbs come on first then the daylight bulbs. I am looking for good wattage to grow even some of the hardest to grow plants...

Also are Actinics the best bulb to use for when wanting to create a dusk to dawn effect?

I found 4 lights that all have dusk to dawn effects (correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure all 4 do) and all have dual linear strips where I can put them on timers for the light day bulbs to come on later

Which out of these 4 you think are the best overall for a planted tank and also wanting to create a dusk to dawn effect?

48" Coralife Aqualight
Dual Linear Strip
(260W Total)
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...aqualight.html

48" Coralife Aqualight
Dual Linear Strip
(260W Total)
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...aqualight.html

48", 4X65W (2) 65w Dual Daylight and (2) 65w Dual Actinic
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro/power_Orbit.html

Dual Satellite 48 inch 4X65W 2-Lunar Lights
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...satellite.html

Thanks
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:10 AM   #2
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please anyone like any of those lights
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:03 PM   #3
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anyone?
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
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No idea on those fixtures but Actinic bulbs are for reef tanks (i think you only need for live corals even), no need on a freshawater planted tank.
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:24 PM   #5
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Actinic lighting is what I would use for the dusk to dawn effect, isnt that what you would use?
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:38 PM   #6
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Avoid the actinic lighting for a freshwater tank. It won't do much for you and I have read some research that shows it contributes to photoreduction of iron and therefore excess algae.

You want the freshwater versions of the same lights (w/6700K bulbs instead of 10,000K & actinic). See: http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...ght_fresh.html

If I'm not mistaken the 4 x 65 W models come with two switches that control two bulbs each. For the dusk to dawn effect you are looking for I would probably add a small CF light that turns on first then two of your bulbs then the other two.. and the reverse at the end of the day.
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Old 03-29-2004, 09:30 PM   #7
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That light says it can create a dusk to dawn effect but will all the lights be daylights ?

And when I turn two on that would be about 130 WATTS of light not exactly dusk or dawn is it?
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:03 PM   #8
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The Dusk till dawn effect is pretty simple.

130 watts turn on first.. wait a little bit.. then the other 130 watts turn on. Having the actinics for this effect on a freshwater tank has no value beyond asthetics, and may contribute to certain types of algae.

I have used Actinics for this purpose before and I always ended up with a lot of diatoms directly under the bulb.

Why do you want to create a dusk till dawn effect? I'm just curious... Is it for asthetics only or are your trying to accomplish something with your plants or fish or?
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:31 PM   #9
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My LFS uses the half actinic and half daylight on their show tank, and it grows lots of algae. Every few weeks they replace all the plants because they are so covered. There may be other factors involved, but I don't think the actinics are helping. But they do make the fish look good.
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Why do you want to create a dusk till dawn effect? I'm just curious... Is it for asthetics only or are your trying to accomplish something with your plants or fish or?
I want to create a dusk til dawn to make it more of a natural habitat for the fishes as well as for it to be cool for us to look at...

Will that light he just pointed me to will that really make the tank look somewhat dark at first then go full lit?
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:21 PM   #11
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130 watts of PC lighting is still pretty bright... I am using 165 watts of PC and 80 watts of NO light over my 135 gallon for all its lighting.

Dusk till Dawn systems are usually only used for Saltwater systems with corals that are very light sensitive.. its a way of gradually exposing them to full spectrum light. As far as fish are concerned, the blue actinic light is still very intense so it's not that much more natural then using daylight bulbs.

If I were you, I would look at buying (or making) your own moonlight circuit using dimmable LED's and then just use the fixture listed above for a phased lighting schedule... So the first bank of lights turns on from 9am till 7pm.. and the second set turns on from 11am till 9pm... that way you'll get 12 hours of lighting.. with only 8 hours of intense light. Your LED system could handle the sunrise and sunset and possibly double for a moonlight system.
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDominy
If I were you, I would look at buying (or making) your own moonlight circuit using dimmable LED's and then just use the fixture listed above for a phased lighting schedule... So the first bank of lights turns on from 9am till 7pm.. and the second set turns on from 11am till 9pm... that way you'll get 12 hours of lighting.. with only 8 hours of intense light. Your LED system could handle the sunrise and sunset and possibly double for a moonlight system.
How would I do that? It sounds like a good idea but dont know if I understand you right. YOu are saying get this http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...ght_fresh.html
and then get a dimable timer??

Please let me know if that is right or what you mean?

Also is 130 PC WATTSto bright to turn on all at once? and is 130 PC WATTS bright enought to grow pretty much any plant in a 55 gallon setup?
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:41 AM   #13
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That is NOT at all what I am saying.

Buy that fixture.. and have two timers.. each one set to turn on at a specific time.. One for a 10 window earlier in teh day.. and the other for a 10 hour window that starts 2 hours later. That way you have 12 hours of light.

As far as your dawn/dusk setup.... Make that a seperate component using dimmable Bright LED's or something similar.

130 watts is pretty bright, but any plant? I can't say either way.. not every plant is the same.. plan plan plan...

Just so you know.. you can't dim most ballasts/lights. You will most likely damage the gballast, or have it simply stop working. Dimmers are designed for incandescent bulbs.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:57 AM   #14
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I have seen dimmable flourescents, but they requied an expensive controller and expensive ballasts to operate. Can't remember the manufacturer or the site where I saw them..

Lokobreed -- I'm all for gentle light transition. If I were you I would probably buy the freshwater version of the coralife fixture and another small fixture, something in the 36 to 55 watt range, and a moon light. I would run the moonlight at 'night,' then have the low wattage light come on for a while, then fire up half of the aqualight and then the other half, etc, like:

Moonlight:________<******------------------------------------------******>
36-55 W fixture:________*********-------------------------*********
1/2 of Aqualight:_______________****************
Other 1/2:________________________******************

(*** = on, --- = off, not necessarily to scale)
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equilibrium
Lokobreed -- I'm all for gentle light transition. If I were you I would probably buy the freshwater version of the coralife fixture and another small fixture, something in the 36 to 55 watt range, and a moon light. I would run the moonlight at 'night,' then have the low wattage light come on for a while, then fire up half of the aqualight and then the other half, etc, like:

Moonlight:________<******------------------------------------------******>
36-55 W fixture:________*********-------------------------*********
1/2 of Aqualight:_______________****************
Other 1/2:________________________******************

(*** = on, --- = off, not necessarily to scale)
I actually do have 40 WATT light, but how much would just a moonlite run me and do you know of any where I can get them and also how would all three of thes fit on top of my tank?
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