Quick Saltwater question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quick Saltwater question

Okay, I know this isn't planted related but I know a bunch of you folks have dabbled with marine aquariums, so I guess this is as good a place to ask as any...

A buddy of mine is starting up a saltwater tank. Tonight he proudly showed me his 70-gallon "saltwater package" that he just bought. There's a lot of about it I don't like, but the thing I noticed that was most worrisome was the fact that he has super crappy lighting. Just two basic 4-foot 10000k flourescent strips. He doesn't want a full blown reef tank, just fish, some shrimp, and probably some liverock, but not corals, anenomes or other such crazy invertibrates. To me, it seems like nice lighting would be necessary for the live rock to be of any use, but then again I know absolutely nothing about this particular hobby. I realize it is in no way adequate for a full reef tank, but is his light adequate enough for a fish-only / live rock tank?


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 06:36 AM
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wow, something on this board that i can answer... i'm a saltwater guy barely getting into planted tanks... Here goes,

When you say, proper lighting is necessary for the Live Rock, I am assuming that you mean for the live rock to keep its color if not improve and grow some coraline algea. Coraline algea (the nice purple stuff that grows on the rock) can be found on the bottom side of the rock in the reefs of Fiji, Palau, Indo and all the other reefs in the nature. It is quite rare to find coraline on the sun facing side of the rock.

Coraline algea does not require much light to grow. It does require proper/stable calcium, alk, pH levels to thrive in a saltwater tank. Assuming that he has 2 four foot Standard flourescent bulbs of 40 watts each, your friend has minimal lighting for the tank set up. What I would suggest though is to change maybe one of the bulbs from 10K bulbs to actinic bulbs to accentuate the colors of the rock better. He can also upgrade to VHO lighting which will get him 110 watts per bulb. Which is more than enough for a FOWLR (fish only with live rock) tank.

Also, make sure he has a Protein skimmer for his setup. There are some people that don't recommend skimmers for a FOWLR tank, but it should be included in any salt water tank's filtration set up.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Ben
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information, Ben. That was exactly what I was looking for. He already knows he needs skimmer, but I'll be sure to suggest some VHO lighting.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 04:13 PM
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Keep in mind, the coraline algae is just cosmetics. So put priority over the skimmer rather then the VHO lights. The live rock itself just acts like a natural filter with all the organism/bacteria, coraline just makes it look nice with more color.



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