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Just upgraded my lights


CA2OR
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finally got away from the 3x8w T5's that I had and moved into this 150w 20k MH. What do you think? I was just curious what results I should expect with the new lighting. It is only a 12g tank so I have over 10w per gallon at the moment. There were restrictions as to what corals I was able to house before, but what about now? I know that size is still an issue but what about lighting? I also started using Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt so hopefully I will be happy with that change as well.

 

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nice, you should be able to grow anything you want in there.

 

i have 3 suggestions

 

if you dont have fish that jump get rid of the whole top, it will let the light be brighter and the heat be cooler.

 

watts/gallon is not used any more for lights, PAR is a more accurate measure of light. PAR is the amount of photosynthetic light that is put off. what can actually be used by the corals for food making.

 

get a test kit. you need to be able to test for nitrates, pH, dKH, and Ca. these are the most important, so start there. an api reefmaster kit will do great, cheap too. you will NEED it. trust me, most of us have learned by failure, so let us help you out without the failure part.

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As stated above ^^ if no jumpers get rid of the glass. I have jumpers but no glass as I would like the heat to go away rather than stay in he tank. But after having a 250 over a 30 odd gallon cube I bought a chiller as that was the way to make sure temps stayed stable all the time. It gets real old dealing with summer heat and also swings that can piss off alot of corals. Also a fan does wonders to. You can actaully get alot of cooling if you run the fan over the tank under the light.

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I would recommend moving the light closer to the tank,, it may just be the picture but it looks like its maybe 12" off the water? closer would reduce the light into the room, and would greatly increase the amount of light your corals get. It will be hotter too though..

 

also I agree to get test kits, but I wouldnt waste your money buying the API set. That might be fine for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, but for dKH, mag, CA, phos etc buy a good kit, like Elos. (sorry downhill, no offense, I just dont believe those kits are any good)

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first off thank you everyone for your input. Ok...where to start?

1. I do have jumpers (1 firefish and 1 Manderin) both of which I have found in rear filtration area. I will post image tomorrow with worked over lid. It is only about 1/3 of that one.

 

2. I do have the light about 1 foot off because I was told to have it raised off for the first few days, in addition I was told to cut back my lighting. So my lighting schedual is as follows.

3 hours-yesterday and today

4 hours-tomorrow and sunday

5 hours-mon and tue

6 hours-wed and thu

7 hours-fri and sat

then on that sunday it is back to 8 or more. Also I was thinking that either sun or mon I would lower the light some more.

 

Are there clip on fans that would clip to the back of my tank?

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I think that you are taking the lighting increase a little fast. You should spend several (3-4) days on each increase to get the corals used to the greater amount of light. It would be like a pale white person suddenly dropped on the beaches of Hawaii. If they didn't build up a tan gradually, they would sunburn. That is what you would be doing to your corals. Not so much fun.

 

Instead of glass, you could try eggcrate light diffuser (plastic squares on the underside of some fluorescent fixtures). It would help with your jumpers (not perfectly, they can sometimes get through), but would also help with air exchange and keeping temperatures down.

 

Also, you can try window screen. A couple of sheets of it over the tank would decrease the light. Take one sheet off every couple of days to increase the light level.

 

Not trying to bash, but IMO that tank may be too small for a mandarin, unless it is eating prepared food. If it is only grazing off the pods in your tank, then it will slowly starve to death. That is unless you buy live pods every week or two to supplement its diet (that can get expensive).

 

dsoz

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I would recommend moving the light closer to the tank,, it may just be the picture but it looks like its maybe 12" off the water? closer would reduce the light into the room, and would greatly increase the amount of light your corals get. It will be hotter too though..

 

also I agree to get test kits, but I wouldnt waste your money buying the API set. That might be fine for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, but for dKH, mag, CA, phos etc buy a good kit, like Elos. (sorry downhill, no offense, I just dont believe those kits are any good)

 

hey, i am very new in the reefkeeping game and certainly dont know everything there is to know. i seem to get the same results with my test kit as others get on my water with salifert. haven't cross checked with elos, but that is my experience. you have to admit, that a "close" test kit would be better than none at all. i just use my test kits to check every once in a while to double check. usually i try to leave it alone and let it take its course. i just use kalk in ATO to supplement and it seems to keep Ca around 460 and dKH around 10-11, according to api and salifert.

 

as for the light, you are right CA2OR you should work them in slow with hours, then do closer to the tank. i would say increase to 6 hours right off the bat, then next week 7, next week 8 hours. each week you can move a little closer too.

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I know when I went from 175w to 400w I did it over a month long period. Some of my corals still seemed like they were not fully adapted to it by then. May not need as much at your wattage though. As for the heat in the tank, I don't mind mine heating up a little. The ocean does it from the sun during the day so I don't think a little change can hurt. Think of some of them that sit out of water on low tides and bake until the water comes back. It's up to you of corse. I don't run a heater or a chiller(although I have both) and everything seems to do fine, even with the room temp being 65. As for a test kit, I have 2 sets of the basics if you want to use them until you can get a good/full kit you are welcome to them. They may not be the creme de la creme but they are accurate and may help you out if you need. Let me know...

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ok. So get water tested. I lowered the lights as far as I could. About 1 to 2 inches difference. I am also adding additional days to my lighting schedual for each change. All per recommendations from here. Thank you all for your help. Anything else?

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How close should I move the light? I mounted it there because when I upgrade to the new tank it would sit right there and the light would be perfect. I am sure there is something I can do to lower it for now though. I did lower it some. I will post new pic tomorrow showing new lid and lowered light. like I said though....I lowered it as far as I could with what I had.

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No one mentioned it so I will...

 

Remember you said you don't top off? Now I see the reason...you always had a cover. Now that you have MH, so once you remove that cover, expect a lot of evaporation. Remember to fill it with fresh water and not saltwater.

 

On your new tank, I'd def recommend you get an ATO system.

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