PDA

View Full Version : How Would YOU Time My Lights?


Eb0la11
04-03-2010, 07:59 PM
Hey guys,

so I have a coralife pro 6 foot light over top my tank. It has three different configurations of lights.


Three 250W MH 10K bulbs
Four 96W Blue Actinics
4 LED Moon Lights


So right now I just have the Actinics and MHs running basically 10:15am-10:15PM but I feel like my lighting is almost too much. Some of my live rock started quite purple from other systems and has had some of this purple become much lighter in colour.

Since reading Kien's setup with his lights coming on at all kinds of different intervals, and even a thunder storm some nights at midnight, I thought I should think about changing my configuration. I think the MHs should be on only like 8 hrs a day perhaps.

With my setup, what kind of timers would you personally have these lights on?

Thanks!

banditpowdercoat
04-03-2010, 08:29 PM
Can you control the MH's separate of eac other? like 2 and 1? I;d do the Actinic, but maybe change one bulb to a 10,000K and 1 MH for the dawnn/dusk effect.

I just have 3 250W MH, and I fire up 2 first, at 2PM, then at 3, the middle one comes on. 9PM the 2 go out, and hr later, the center goes out. SO all bulbs have same on time, just staggered for a dawn/dusk effect

Eb0la11
04-03-2010, 08:34 PM
Hmmm not a bad idea. What do you mean about switching one of the actinics for a 10 000K? 10 000K what?

I could control the MH's separate of each other but would need quite a few timers to do so.

Also how many hrs a day should the actinics and MHs be on for in your opinion?

mike31154
04-03-2010, 08:51 PM
I have two 54 watt 10,000K T5HOs overdriven slightly with a Workhorse ballast and 2 x 250 watt MH with magnetic ballasts and 14,000 K lamps. Used to run 4 x T5HO with a mix of 10,000K and actinic. I no longer bother with any actinic lighting since it seems to be mostly for looks and does little for the inhabitants in my system, a few softies and LPS only.

I now run the two 10,000K T5s in the morning and evening. The MH cut in one at a time during the midday period, into the afternoon while the T5s are off. So MH only run a few hours.

Here's the breakdown.

2 x 54 watt T5HO - 08:00 to 11:00 and again from 15:30 to 19:00
MH1 - 11:00 to 14:30
MH2 - 12:00 to 15:30

There is a minute or two overlap between the T5 & MH lamps to ensure the tank doesn't go dark during the transition, so the timings above are rounded off to make it simpler to do the math for overall timing. So the MH are on only for about 4 and a half hours and both of them are on at the same time for only a couple of hours. The T5s do the rest of the work for 6 and a half hours.

I've found this to work well with my system but can't really advise what's best for yours. That will be a matter of personal preference and experimentation I reckon.

PoonTang
04-04-2010, 12:39 AM
You could stage your lights to come on from Lto R to give the effect of the sun moving across the sky plus a sunrise/sunset effect. Stage them so they come on about 1 hour apart and the same with going off. Most people seem to only run their MH's about 8 hours a day and report better growth and colours with shorter time periods. Believe it or not corals actually need a break from the sun to stay healthy. Personally I shut off my Actinics when my MH come on. I am running 14k Phoenix bulbs so the actinic isnt even noticible, so why bother. You can run yours however you want, depending on how you want your tank to look and the sunrise/sunset you are trying to achieve.

kien
04-04-2010, 03:37 AM
You could stage your lights to come on from Lto R to give the effect of the sun moving across the sky plus a sunrise/sunset effect. Stage them so they come on about 1 hour apart and the same with going off. Most people seem to only run their MH's about 8 hours a day and report better growth and colours with shorter time periods. Believe it or not corals actually need a break from the sun to stay healthy. Personally I shut off my Actinics when my MH come on. I am running 14k Phoenix bulbs so the actinic isnt even noticible, so why bother. You can run yours however you want, depending on how you want your tank to look and the sunrise/sunset you are trying to achieve.

hehe, I tried this exact scenario for a couple of weeks before I got really annoyed with how it looked. It is a great concept in theory but aesthetically I didn't like it. It was fine during the week day when I wasn't home much but during the weekends the various intervals (Left one on, middle one on, right one, left one off, middle one off, etc..) looked odd and drove me nuts.

Anyway, you already know how I would run YOUR lights :biggrin: As PoonTang said though, the majority of of tanks that I've seen don't run their halides for more than 8 hours. 6-8 hours is average, and most people with the T5 and Halide combo use their T5s as a sort of sunrise and sunset effect. T5s come on for an hour or two, then Halides come on to act as mid day lights, then halides go off and T5s are left on for the sunset effect, then T5s off and moonlights come on.

Eb0la11
04-04-2010, 03:53 AM
Hmmm, ok, I think what I'm going to do is just change the metal hallide duration to around 8 hours like most people seem to be suggesting. Perhaps that will help things a bit as my guess as to why some of my coralline is a lighter shade of purple than I've seen in other tanks would be because it is getting too much sun and perhaps almost burning. I'll probably make the change starting tomorrow morning. Just gotta find that extra timer I have kicking around somewhere.