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For Reef: Watts v.s. Lumen (Intense)

Discussion in 'Reef Tanks' started by mr. angelfish, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member

    Hello, I am a NEWBIE!:D
    I have been researching the lighting for reef aquarium and I am somewhat unsatisfaction with my research. Maybe you can help?
    First of all- I do not believe in watt to gallon rule as there is way too vague (depending on type of lights) I need an accurate information concerning the lumen of NO, VHO, and PC.
    Information sought.....
    NO (4 foot tube) Actinic- Lumen?
    NO (4 foot tube) 10000K- Lumen?
    VHO (4 foot tube)- Actinic- Lumen?
    VHO (4 foot) 10000K or Aquasun types- Lumen?
    PC 55 watts 10000K Lumen?
    PC 96 watts 10000K Lumen?
    That's about all I need those information.
    For anyone who question about MH according to my research..
    175w equals around 13000-15000 Lumen (depend on type of bulb)
    250w equals around 20000-23000 Lumen
    400w equals around 33000-40000 Lumen
    1000w equals around 110,0000-120,0000 Lumen!
    Reefist is it true that most reef inhabiants would do well with 10000 to 25000 lumen in the aquarium?
    I would like to know what about the fish-only with LR/LS only would thrive with approximately Lumen as I do not want to waste money for overlighting or underlighting for the fish-only with LR/LS.
    Thank you.
  2. j21kickster

    j21kickster New Member

    As far as all of your conversions, im not sure, but if you plan on keeping no coral and other photosyenthitic inverts, than no special light is needed. Just as long as your tank is bright (speaking relative to dark or dim) than you will be fine. I think is you just want light for viewing 50/50 PC bulbs give a nice color and brightness (standard amount for tank size). Hope this partially helps.
  3. j21kickster

    j21kickster New Member

    if you want 1- 10000K and 1 actinic NO bulb would be ok, PC's are just brighter. That is why i recomended them.
  4. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member


    Originally posted by j21kickster
    if you want 1- 10000K and 1 actinic NO bulb would be ok, PC's are just brighter. That is why i recomended them.

    Let's try this one. Suppose if I am planning for....Say...
    55 Gallon (48x13x20) Fish only with LR/LS Maybe a few hard live corals that requires less lighting....
    two PC 10000K and one or two 4ft NO Blue tube. (U know end caps always enclose four end cap/equal two tubes) or would 4 10000K pc be recommend?
    120 Gallon (48x24x24) Reef-only (Inhabiats undecided) Those will require good lightings.
    2-175W MH or 2-250W MH with two NO tubes (blues)
    300 Gallon (96x24x30) Fish-only with LR/LS
    Would one PC (10000K 55 or 65W) to each 1x2 foot be enough?
    with 4-4ft (two on half/two other half?) be sufficient? I do not think VHO is cost efficience if I want several tanks.
    What would you suggest?
    Thanks
  5. falcon63

    falcon63 New Member

    light is measured in foot candles or lumens look up info on footcandles this will help you see the light
  6. derrickt

    derrickt New Member

    I agree with you Angel fish. Watts/gallons is very vague and depends on what light, how far they are from the tank etc...
    But here are the statistics. It will vary with bulbs..
    40W NO: 3000 lumens
    110W VHO: 5000 lumens
    55W PC: 5000
  7. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member


    Originally posted by falcon63
    light is measured in foot candles or lumens look up info on footcandles this will help you see the light

    Here it is:http://www.saltwaterfish.com/index_message.html
    Now I question whether 13,000 Lumen from 175 watt MH would sufficiently lit a 24 inches deep fish-only with LR/LS? Say....If I chose to buy a 300 gallon (96x24x30) with 6 inches of DSB which leaves it around 22-24 inches of view-room. Get a 2-retrofit of 2-175w MH and 2-40w NO tubes (2-48 inches retrofits) would that be sufficient lighting? and same example with the 265-400 gallon with 120x24x24 to 120x30x30 ranges? Unless if it is to be a reef aquarium then I would suppose that between 250-400 watt of MH would be needed!?
    Is there any Lumen rule between fish-only (such as aggressive fish with dead oraments) or fish-only with LR/LS or reef-only?
    From the what I research as it said between 50-100 Lumen per gallon and does that sound approximately to you?
    Thanks.
  8. steamboat1569

    steamboat1569 New Member

    Yep, you are making this way too complicated. Even taking readings at different depths in nature would be an impossibility. Remember, the earths relation to the sun is constantly changing. The foot candles recorded in June at a certain depth, will be different if you take it in October.
    This hobby has been around long enough that we can easily look up the type of lighting that seems to work best, in general, with certain types of coral.
  9. bang guy

    bang guy Moderator Staff Member

    I agree you're delving too deeply at this early stage.
    Just to throw another wrench in the gears, the type of light that shows up best on a LUX meter is the worst type of light for a reef tank ;)
    First, decide what type of tank you want. Then, I'd suggest you take a stab at lighting then post your idea here. Gather the opinions from here and then make a final decision.
    IMO Lumens/gallon is a MUCH less accurate way to light a reef than watts/gallon.
    I have the perfect example from about 15 years ago but I won't bore you with details unless you're interested.
    Guy
  10. steamboat1569

    steamboat1569 New Member

  11. jonthefb

    jonthefb New Member

    mee too guy, ive been going by watts per galloon for a couple years now, and althoughits not the most accurate method of lighting a tank, it ahs worked for me so far. but id be interested in your story post or,
    jonthan.garnett@attbi.com
    thanks all
    jon
  12. bang guy

    bang guy Moderator Staff Member

    OK, I believe it's relevant. After becomming infatuated with the green glow from Actinics I set up a 55 with 4 NO Phillips Actinic '03 bulbs. That's 160 watts of Actinic, nothing else. The Lumens came to a whopping 1200 lumens total (design lumens, not initial). This is MUCH less than a single 40 watt standard shop bulb (~2000 lumens) spread out over the footprint of a standard 55.
    At first I just had some of those watermelon mushrooms and obtained the look I wanted, that eerie green glow. Then Green Star Polyps. The GSP flourished and quickly spread out. Over time I experimented with other corals until I came upon a frag of an Orange Monti. cap. This coral took off and became quite large very quickly. At the time these corals were considered "difficult" but I was too ignorant to know that. After taking frags to my LFS in Tucson AZ every few months the owner asked me about my lighting. When I told him he just couldn't accept it.
    When thinking back there is just no way 1200 lumens over a 55 gallon tank should be able to keep mushrooms alive, let alone an SPS. The difference here is that 160 watts of NO Actinic is still 160 watts of light. The low lumen rating is irrelevant because most of the light is produced in the sub-450nm range and doesn't register well on a LUX meter.
    And yes, a large Orange Cap. is stunning under Actinic only lighting.
    Try it, you'll like it :)
  13. opazen

    opazen New Member

    banguy... i live in tucson az... which fish store did you go to.... it didnt happen to be saltwater solutions? you dont still live here do you? i have been interested in getting a bunch of bengaiis but i live pretty far from western new york... sorry to go off topic guys... this is very interesting tho... id like to try an all blue tank
    adam
  14. bang guy

    bang guy Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah!!! It was Roger Bull from Saltwater Solutions... he's a great guy and FULL of awesome information. I'm not in Tucson anymore though :( but it's only $200 for a plane ticket if you want some Banggai hand delivered :D
  15. opazen

    opazen New Member

    roger bull lives two houses down and i am good freinds with his daughter jenny... i take care of rogers animals when he is gone... goes to show you what a small world it can be... 200 is mighty expensive for some bengaiis ;) but then again depending on how many.... that is very cool that we know the same guy... i just got into the hobby but was first interested when i visited his store to see his daughter during the week... interesting is all!
    adam
  16. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member


    Originally posted by steamboat1569
    Yep, you are making this way too complicated. Even taking readings at different depths in nature would be an impossibility. Remember, the earths relation to the sun is constantly changing. The foot candles recorded in June at a certain depth, will be different if you take it in October.
    This hobby has been around long enough that we can easily look up the type of lighting that seems to work best, in general, with certain types of coral.

    I am not aware of that and that could make sense.
    Thank for that tip!
  17. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member


    Originally posted by Bang Guy
    IMO Lumens/gallon is a MUCH less accurate way to light a reef than watts/gallon.

    I respect your opinion base on your experience and my experience with fish-only. Nothing to become such disgust-attitude and this is the what this forum is for. An education and feedbacks....;)
    Ok let me make a point....
    Suppose when aquarist have the VHO on a 55 gallon. Let's say 4-4ft tubes (two Actinic and two Aquasun 10000K)
    VHO would total 440 watts and the lumen would total around:
    Aquasun 10000K around 4000 Lumen
    Actinic around 1000 or less Lumen
    Aquasun 10000K around 4000 Lumen
    Actinic around 1000 or less Lumen
    Total would be 10,000 Lumen lit into a whole 4 foot of tank or an average 5000 lumen per two foot square.
    v.s.
    PC two 55 watts 10000K (one each two foot section)
    PC two 55 watts Actinic (one each two foot section)
    PC 55 watts 10000K around 5000 Lumen
    PC 55 watts Actinic around 1000 Lumen
    PC 55 watts 10000K around 5000 Lumen
    PC 55 watts Actinic around 1000 Lumen
    Total would be around 12,000 Lumen in whole tank! or... 6000 Lumen per two foot square.
    That is 220 watts less than VHO and 2,000 more lumen than VHO!
    That cut half of electric operation cost.
    Another example...
    If it is a VHO vs MH:
    VHO as mentioned above
    v.s.
    MH
    Two- 175 watts of 10000K (around 13000 Lumen each MH!)
    Two- 110 watts VHO (4 ft tube) (around 1000 less lumen each tube)
    Total would be 28,000 Lumen!:eek: and those poor fishes would need to have that :cool: or..... 14,000 Lumen per two foot square and thats more than twice of that VHO. (Almost triple :eek:
    Anyway total wattage would be 570 watts for two- 175 watts MH and two- 110 watts of VHO. Unless it is equipped with special ballast that reduces 25% of energy and I would imagine that wattage would run around 430 and that almost equal as the VHO and Lumen almost triple of intenseity!
    Now does this explain whole why I have realize that there is too vague about watt per gallon and Lumen per gallon which would best to suitable the aquarium.
    Anyone (Shark) care to challenge with me (Pea-minded damsel)?
    :D
  18. j21kickster

    j21kickster New Member

    well , i lost you somewhere half way in that post, keep it simple. tell us what you want to grow and on what size tank and we will help you pick the best light you can afford.
  19. j21kickster

    j21kickster New Member

    also, do you know how intense the sun is?? way more than what we usually put on our tanks
  20. mr. angelfish

    mr. angelfish New Member


    Originally posted by j21kickster
    also, do you know how intense the sun is?? way more than what we usually put on our tanks

    Normally 100,000 and 150,000 in the equator area.:eek:
    Looks like many of inhabiants that we have in our tank lives somewhere in the equator area. Rite?

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