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Old 12/24/2007, 06:36 PM
sfsuphysics sfsuphysics is offline
Resident physicist.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 5,667
Lighting for a 12g, MH too much?

Sorry if this topic has been done to death, I'm new to this sub-forum.

I just picked up a cheap (literally and figuratively) 12g Nano-cube, just something I can mess around with before even considering shelling out bucks on a decent cube. I plan (or will try) to do a series of modifications to it to get more flow out of that little 500 lph pump (10x turnover is not enough IMO) and some other things.

However its the lighting that's bugging me. It comes stock with 2-18w PC bulbs, one of which doesn't work, but who cares they're going anyways. I was thinking of cramming maybe 4-24w(?) PC bulbs in there (just enough space it seems), with an electronic ballast that also is small enough to fit, Advance ballast you can pick up at HD that fires 32w T8 bulbs (plus I had one laying around collecting dust). However the idea of a small MH light bulb is also quite appealing, even if it uses those cheap ebay bulbs, it might be worth it.

The problem is I don't know much about small tanks and lighting. Will a 70w bulb be insufficient? Will a 150w be too much? And by "too much" I don't want to cook the tank or have to resort to fancy cooling devices (i.e. temp controller hooked to super fast fans to cool it down in a hurry etc).

While initially I thought I could take some polyps of zoas I have in my other tanks, I think I might also like to put a few SPS in there, cheap stuff probably, pocillipora, micropthalma, digitata, etc, i.e. nothing I'd cry about if I lost and I can make plenty of frags from my other tanks anyways.

So yeah long run on sentence aside, what direction should I go? PC bulbs? MH bulbs? if so what wattage?

Old 12/24/2007, 06:49 PM
Illuminati Illuminati is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Antioch, IL
Posts: 3,082
Aquapods used to be sold with the 70W Sunpod MH fixture (Recently discontinued). I bet you can find a nice clamp on 70W fixture and that would be plenty to have SPS in there.
Old 12/24/2007, 06:58 PM
Illuminati Illuminati is offline
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Old 12/24/2007, 07:04 PM
3fins 3fins is offline
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when were they discontinued?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,but by the moments that take our breath away. ~Unknown

----->Danm My Spel Cheker<---------
Old 12/24/2007, 08:29 PM
sfsuphysics sfsuphysics is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
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IIRC (and that's not very accurate sometimes ) the bulb was actually clipped onto the top, not within a hood to make it look all sleek and plasticy Would cramming one under a hood be overkill?

But I'm guessing 70watts is probably the limit I should stay with as far as MH lighting if I go that route then.
Old 12/24/2007, 08:52 PM
Laddy Laddy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 59
Also keep in mind that if you go MH with that amount of direct lighting you're going to be constantly fighting heat issues along with salinity issues as your main concerns--unless you hook up some kind of DIY topoff, which really is the way to go. But even if you could control top off, you're still going to be fighting the heat issue. My recommendation would be, if you want to attempt the montipora you suggested, would be to stabalize the water perimeters first, with a regimented schedule of water changes first, and then Ca/ALK (in essence pH).........light is important, but LUX is more important.
It's not the big things which lead to failure in this hobby, it's the small things
Old 12/24/2007, 09:13 PM
Conductive Conductive is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 44
I have a topless 6 gallon with a 70w mh and evaporation was pretty insane. I went to a hardware store and had a piece of glass cut to cover most of the top and it really helped. now i can go days without topping off. heat may become an issue in the summer, but it works fine for now. Under a hood, a MH would REALLY heat up a tank, and I can't think of any easy solution. I would consider going topless, i've had both and it looks better anyway IMO.

Last edited by Conductive; 12/24/2007 at 09:26 PM.
Old 12/24/2007, 09:18 PM
Rosseau Rosseau is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,704
In my experience with a tank that size, the switch from T5's even to a single 70W MH will be significant heat wise.

150W will not be too much for the corals, yet obviously you're dealing with more heat.

If you have a decent ATO system I think you could do either one and run a few fans with no heat issues. With an ATO I personally would do the 150W yet I know the 70W will grow SPS and clams nicely.
Still fighting entropy.
Old 12/26/2007, 12:29 PM
beeker beeker is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: cincinnati
Posts: 198
I put a 150w sunpod hqi light on my 5.5 gallon

in my opinion it's the right amount of light, the tank's temp stays at 81 with just the sunpods fan on, with the xtra clip fan i have on a timer my tank stays around 78-80 all day

i do have to top off 2 times a day right now though, but am getting a Tunze ATO this week, so my maitence will be a lot less,

So far i have

1 piece of torch coral
2 rocks of zoanthids
2 small hitch hiker brains i got with my LR
1 small piece of green acropora

the tanks only been up 1 month but everything is looking great, i've only had the sunpod fixture on the tank for 2 weeks though

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