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  #1  
Old 12/10/2007, 10:59 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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Light for 18" cube

I need a light for a custom 18" cube. The tank is on a desk under a book shelf with about 5" of clearance so the light will have to set directly on top of the tank. MHs are out--too hot. The coral that I am transferring to this tank is currently in a 12" deep tank with only 65 watts of PC light and doing well. The new tank is 18" deep and will need more light. The Inverse Square Law
The possibilities are:
1. A Coralife 96 watt power quad. This light is bright, but it may heat the tank.
2. Two Current USA Nova HO 18" two bulb T5 lights. This setup would have only 80 watts of T5 without the wonderful individual reflectors everyone loves.
3. Build a custom light with 2 retro 96 watt PC bulbs. This should be very bright, but even with a fan it may cause heat problems.

If anyone has any experience comparing these lights please let me know.
Thanks
RRRRRRR
  #2  
Old 12/10/2007, 10:36 PM
rickh rickh is offline
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Boy, when you say "no MH" you get no responses. R
  #3  
Old 12/11/2007, 12:13 AM
mile sq. reefer mile sq. reefer is offline
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Is there another place to set up the cube? It seems like the location is a very limiting factor.
  #4  
Old 12/11/2007, 02:16 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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Unfortunately no. The tank was built to just fit in the space next to my computer monitors. Little Nano tanks need to be in your face--those gobies and blennies are tiny.
If 65 watts of PC worked fine on a 12" deep tank, 96 watts probably would be OK in a 16-18" deep tank. I just wish they had a nice 18" T5 light. I doubt if even 2 complete Nova 18" 2 bulb lights would be any better than a 96 watt power quad.
Thanks. R
  #5  
Old 12/11/2007, 02:30 AM
twon8 twon8 is offline
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they make 70w mh, or you might check out some led's
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  #6  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:12 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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MHs are out--too hot

Boy, when you say "no MH" you get no responses

They say the third time is the charm. No MH
  #7  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:24 AM
killagoby killagoby is offline
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How about this
  #8  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:29 AM
gastone gastone is offline
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I'm not familiar with the Nova fixture, however, could you use it and buy a 36" refectpr (icecap or the like) and cut it in half? You'd half to figure out new clamps. If that won't work, the guys in the nano forum might have some ideas as I would consider 18" length to be very nano-ish.

Good luck.

Garrett.
  #9  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:40 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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killagoby--- sorry the link won't work for me.

gastone----
The Nova is an inexpensive 2 bulb light without individual reflectors. Unfortunately there is no room to install them.
The 18" Nova is only about $55 and I could buy 2 of them and dismantle them for a retro with good reflectors. I doubt 4 X 20 watts T5 would be much better than the 96 watt PC even with the reflectors. R
  #10  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:45 AM
killagoby killagoby is offline
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Try IceCaps 4 T5 lamp retrofit kit. No reflectors but at least it's 4 lamps. Marine Depot part # IC1315
  #11  
Old 12/11/2007, 10:00 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by killagoby
Try IceCaps 4 T5 lamp retrofit kit. No reflectors but at least it's 4 lamps. Marine Depot part # IC1315
This kit is only the end caps. Add a ballast, reflector and tubes--that's a real number. The problem with me building a retro light is--I do my best carpentry work with a chainsaw.

The Icecap setup would be nice, but maybe a little excessive to drive four 18" 20 watt bulbs.
Thanks

Last edited by rickh; 12/11/2007 at 10:07 AM.
  #12  
Old 12/11/2007, 10:32 AM
willtel76 willtel76 is offline
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I have a 15" cube I have upgraded the lighting on several times. I started with 2 28 watt PC bulbs not very bright but they don't add much heat either. Next I upgraded to 2 96 watt powerquad bulbs. It was very bright but these added a ton of heat to the tank, next I went to a 175 watt MH and it works pretty well. It's easier to maintain than the PC lights and I think the MH bulb is easier to cool since the surface area of the bulb so much smaller. I haven't run into any heat issues that I couldn't combat with a fan. All of my bulbs have been under a canopy with about 5" from the surface of the water.

No way a 70 watt halide would be too hot for your tank, try a 96 watt and if you want more add T5s.
  #13  
Old 12/11/2007, 10:35 AM
mile sq. reefer mile sq. reefer is offline
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I guess you have the answer, 96w PC lights. Old technology but may work for softies and LPS. No matter what you put there you will have some heat, just make sure its ventilated. Good luck.
  #14  
Old 12/11/2007, 11:59 AM
rickh rickh is offline
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Thanks for the info.
The tank is full of Mushroom/Zoas and doing fine with 65 watts. My concern is the increase depth--from 12 to 17".

willtel76
Do you think the two powerquads was as bright as the 175 MH?? What light ran cooler??

Thanks
  #15  
Old 12/12/2007, 07:59 PM
killagoby killagoby is offline
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I had a 150w MH bulb that was cooler than my 130w PC lighting...
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