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FAQs about Light and Lighting for Marine Systems, By Manufacturer, Models

Related Articles: Marine Light, & Lighting, Marine Aquarium Light Fixtures and Canopies, Lighting Marine InvertebratesAnemone LightingCoral System LightingMoving Light Systems

Related FAQs: Coralife, Marine System Lighting, Marine System Lighting 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5, FAQs 6, FAQs 7, FAQs 8, FAQs 9, FAQs 10, FAQs 11, FAQs 12, FAQs 13, FAQs 14, FAQs 15, FAQs 16, FAQs 17, FAQs 18, & FAQs on Marine Lighting: Fixture Selection 1,  Fixture Selection 2, Fixture Selection 3,  (incandescent, fluorescent, MH/HQI, LED, natural...), Lamp/Bulb Selection 1, Lamp/Bulb Selection 2, (See Fluorescent, LED, MH... below), Installing, Waste Heat Production/Elimination, UV Shielding, Measure, Troubles/Repairs, & Actinic Lighting, Metal Halide Lighting, Fluorescent Lighting, Compact Fluorescent Lighting Small System Lighting, Lighting Marine Invertebrates LR LightingTridacnid Lighting

championlighting.com http://www.current-usa.com/ customaquatic.com http://www.esuweb.com www.icecapinc.com http://www.jebo.com johnny@premiumaquatics.com Marinedepot.com

Lighting/Selection 7/5/09
I am setting up a 36" bow front which makes it about 46 gal. I am considering a T5 HO 4 bulb fixture. Do you know if the fishneedit.com fixtures are of good quality? Do they have good reflectors, ballasts, and bulbs? If they
are, how can I get one? The web site says new model is coming soon, but when?
<I'm not familiar with their products, but the fact that the body is made of aluminum is enlightening. I would shoot them an email and ask who manufactures their ballasts, and what brand of lamps are supplied with the unit along with type of material the reflector is constructed of. That would give me the needed information in responding. Seems like 115 bucks is pretty inexpensive for a three foot fixture, lamps included. I'd use caution here, and would also suggest placing this question on a few bulletin boards/forums.>
Thanks for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Rice Aquatics Light Fixtures 6/29/09
<Hello Dan>
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with a light company called Rice Aquatics. I was considering a 3x250watt, 4X96 watt compact fluorescent light and wanted to if this is a good light system.
<I am not familiar with them, but I do know they are located in California and is where the lighting systems are assembled and are warranted for five years. Bob may know of this company <<Nope. RMF>> and may input here, but posting this question on one of the marine forums would be your best bet.> <<Yep>>
Thanks in advance
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Jebo fuses  12/15/05 Guys I need your help. I have a Jebo Odessa metal halide/compact light system and the fuse in the ballast burnt out. I thought this would be the easiest thing I had to do yesterday. I went to every electronic place in town and on the web to no avail. I tried to contact Jebo through their website but it will not let me use their "contact me" option and they are overseas. This fuse is a small glass fuse about 3/4" with metal end caps. The end caps are indented,  not flat like all the other "buss" fuses.  The only markings are F7A so I'm thinking it is a 7 amp fuse the closest I could find is a 6.3 amp and those burn up right away. The compact will light up but not the Halide. Does Jebo have a distribution center in the U.S.A. Where can I get replacement fuses? Help!!! Thanks Gregg <Mmm, don't see distributors listed in Industry Buyer's Guides... the home website I'd try again: http://www.jebo.com.cn/html/under-s.html And ask them if/how you can order this part. Bob Fenner>

Custom Sea Life Parts    4/4/06 I need to replace the end caps on my SmartLite (look burnt, stop working), but custom sea life. COM is out of business, is there a store/website that you would recommend to find this replacement part(s)?  I really don't want to throw this light away, it's 4' and very nice, my 110 salt tank would really like to have it back.  <Many companies use the same type of end caps.  Contact johnny@premiumaquatics.com  I'm sure he can help you out. Thank you in advance  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Some Light Conversation!    10/3/06 Hi Bob, <Scott F. in for Bob today!> Your site is great. I am getting back into the reef hobby after being out for a long time. I am stetting up a 90 gallon (24" deep x 48" x 18") reef tank. I am OK with most of my equipment going with a Blue Line 40 pump for circulation, a Marine Technical Concepts HSA-1000 protein skimmer along with a Blue Line 40 to run it, and a Marine Technical Concepts Pro Cal calcium doser. A chiller will have to be a game time decision. If I am lucky I can get away without one until next summer. <Hopefully! A chiller can be an expensive proposition.> My question relates to lighting. I have narrowed it down to a couple of options but not sure which way to go. After doing a lot of reading, it seems that the watts per gallon can not used without other information supplied. <True- really not a good way to determine lighting needs of a system.> In addition, to that it seems like going with HQI and T5 combo's have more punch then traditional Metal Halides and VHO's. <Well, a lot of the "punch" is due to high quality reflectors. In many instances, a better quality reflector with a lower wattage halide could out-perform a higher wattage halide with an inferior reflector.> I am not 100% sure at this point what specimens I plan on keeping. The definite ones are an anemone, soft corals, and LPS's, and clams (maybe). I am not sure at this point if I will go with any of the SPS's. I also am not sure if it is a good idea to house these together with other corals due to compatibility. <It is not, IMO. The potentially dangerous chemical interactions are too great to ignore.> The anemone is a must so please take this into consideration. <Okay...I'd dedicate the system to the anemone.> A fixture I was looking at had two 150 watt HQI - 10k bulbs, and four T5 54 watt actinic bulbs for a total of 516 watts (300+216) which is 5.73 watts per gallon. Do you feel that this would work WELL with all of the specimens that I have listed above? <Again, ditch the "watts-per-gallon" measure, but the lighting sounds pretty good. At 24" of aquarium depth, you're at the point where you could go for 250 watts of halide. In fact, if it were me, and anemones were in my plan, I'd be inclined to go with this setup with a 250 watt halide.> If not what specimens wouldn't do well and what would you suggest in terms of lighting? <I think that most (a blanket statement, of course!) of the inhabitants that you mention would do well under the above-referenced lighting scheme. Some of the LPS corals may need to be located where they can receive slightly diffused lighting. Also, be sure to acclimate all of the photosynthetic animals to your lighting regime before placing them in their final positions within the aquarium.> Another fixture that I saw had two 250 watt HQI bulbs- 10K, and two T5 54 watt actinic bulbs for a total of 608 watts (500 +108) which is 6.75 watts per gallon. Would the first fixture cover it all, or should I choose the second fixture? Or, would there be not much extra benefit with the second fixture and it would just be a waste without getting any major lighting benefits to the specimens that I can keep? <If it's a good quality system with a nice reflector, the 250 watt unit would be a significant upgrade.> The bottom line is that I want to try to get it right the first time. <Agreed. I'd go for the 250 for both it's extra power and the flexibility to grow with you as your interests change (for example, if "SPS" corals are in your future, you'd want the more powerful system.> Oh yea, lastly, would either of these fixtures be too much light for some of the species that I want to keep, or would acclimation take care of the that concern, and if I through SPS into the mix, would this influence your decision? Again, not sure if I would get into SPS but was just curious. <As mentioned above- acclimation, careful placement and observation of your specimens is key.> Thank you very much in advance for your comments. Regards, Ken <My pleasure! Good luck with your system! Regards, Scott F.>

Some Light Conversation- Part II   10/4/06 Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for your quick reply. I'm glad I asked you the question as I figured I was on the borderline of 150 and 250 watt MH's. <Yep- 24" is at the "decision depth", as I like to call it, where you may be better off going with 250 watt bulbs if you're keeping light-demanding invertebrates.> It seems that the two lamp 250 watt HQI systems only come with two 54 watt T5 bulbs incorporated with them. This would make then make it (500 MH total watts plus 108 T5 total watts). So you are saying that this will cover my needs for the anemone, soft and LPS corals. Would this be enough light for clams as well? <In this dept of setup, I believe it will.> You had mentioned the importance of a good quality reflector, is there a way for me to find out if the unit has good quality reflectors if I am purchasing over the internet? I have heard of the name Reef Optix for reflectors. Have you heard anything about these. <Absolutely. I have used a number of them over the years, and they are one of the best reflectors out there, IMO. Sunlight Supply (the manufacturer) makes a few different reflectors; I favor double ended halides, so the "Reef Optix III" or the "Lumenmax" reflectors do a great job, IMO.> I had seen it with a unit with the name Maristar and the manufacturer of the lighting system is Sunlight Supply. Do you have any thoughts on this? <Excellent units/company. Also check out Aquamedic and Giesemann for quality lighting systems.> Lastly, is hanging a unit or putting it on legs better one way or the other? <Personal preference and aesthetics come into play here...Also, you want to consider ease of access into your system. I like the idea of hanging it over the tank- 6-10 inches or so off the water.> If it is hung, how high off the tank would be recommended for my 24" depth tank. I was also wondering if hanging could be beneficial when adding new corals as I could raise the height of the fixture to lessen the intensity, and then lower it after the acclimation period. <Yep!> Lastly, I don't know your policy on recommending equipment, so you can delete this portion if you need to if you post this on your website. <We are not on anyone's payroll, so to speak, so we can make recommendations based upon our personal experiences and opinions.> Have you heard good things about the Aqua Medic HQI/T5 systems in terms of workmanship and their reflectors? I was going to go with this or the Maristar that I mentioned above. <Funny- as above, an excellent product, too.> Thanks again so much. Regards, Ken <My pleasure, Ken. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the products discussed above! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Company information, Need to contact Odyssea. - 02/11/2007 Hey crew, <Hi Brandon, Mich here.> Since you know all... and I mean ALL! <Mmm, not all my friend.> I have been searching everywhere for company information of Odyssea lights. I have a problem with my ballast that is only 6 months old but can not find company information anywhere. Every search I try just takes me to e-bay! Do you have a website, address, phone number in your rolodex anywhere? <Mmm, you might try contacting someone who distributes this company's products.  You might try here:  http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp?txtSearch=odyssea&PageAction=PRODSEARCH&btnSearch2.x=7&btnSearch2.y=10  > Any help would be awesome! <Hope this helps.  -Mich> Brandon

Lighting Bowfront 12/20/07 I have just purchased a 72 gal. bow front and need to light it for a reef aquarium. I want to use Metal Halide perhaps in combination with other lighting, but because of the bow there is only 12" of width at each end of the aquarium. I know I can use pendants or attached, but I had thought there is a light I could set on top of the aquarium with legs. Do you know of such a light or what my other options are for combination lighting? Thanks. <Several manufacturers make fixtures that will fit here. Aquamedic and Current just to name two that can use the mounting legs. Another option would be to get a pendant and mount it inside a canopy, but canopies for Bowfronts are usually flimsy and too shallow for this. Don't discount the pendant idea, it can have an appealing look once installed and can be far cheaper. Keep in mind that actinics are not a must. Welcome, hope this helps you decide, Scott V.>

Re: Lighting Bowfront 12/21/07 I couldn't find any with legs on the Aquamedic site. <Sexy series, mucho dinero.> Just hang from the ceiling types. (My wife has said NO to that) And I can't find 'Current' at all doing a Google search. Is that the name of the company? <Current USA http://www.current-usa.com/ > (I did find a SunPod HQI that will work, but if you do know about another one I should check out, let me know.) <Yes, they are made by Current USA. These are probably your best bet per your requirements. Just a thought, any of the hanging fixtures could work if you fabricate your own mounting legs. Have fun, Scott V.>

Looking for T5 lighting technology 4/30/04  Saw this on your FAQs this morning (4-29) and want to know WHAT and WHERE?  <T5's are the latest and (truly) greatest evolution in aquarium lighting to date. They have been popular in Europe for some years now and are finally breaking big in the US. You can find them at many of the big mail order companies like customaquatic.com, Marinedepot.com and championlighting.com>

CUSTOM SEA LIFE- GOING OUT OF BUSINESS 1/19/04 Effective immediately, Custom Sea Life (CSL) is going out of business. They are closing their doors, not because of bankruptcy or business problems, but due to a personal decision made by the owner. Through an arrangement with CSL, Champion Lighting will honor all CSL warranties on items purchased by Champion's wholesale, service, public aquarium and retail customers. This warranty will apply to all CSL products purchased in the past and for all current inventory, including refurbished items. As always, Champion will continue to inventory replacement parts for virtually all CSL products. This includes CSL PC ballasts, metal halide ballasts, fans, sockets, UV's, chillers, and lamps for both the Power Compact and Metal Halide fixtures.  We will continue to distribute and warrantee Velocity pumps. In the near future we will also be carrying replacement product lines for the PC Moon-Lite, Smart Lite, Power Compact line, Power Coolers, and UV sterilizers under the "Currents USA" brand name. We will continue to carry comparable metal halide hoods, retrofit kits, ballasts, etc.  Be assured that your Custom Sea Life fixtures, hoods, ballasts, chillers, etc. are not orphans. Customers that have purchased or are planning to purchase CSL products will be accommodated by Champion Lighting in every way. Feel free to contact us with parts needs or any concerns with CSL products. Champion Lighting and Supply Co. www.championlighting.com 800-673-7822 <Steve Allen called and spoke with Ken Wong of MarineDepot(.com) re CSL and they have closed their doors all of a sudden... they will continue to sell CSL's stock till it's all gone. Strange. Good bye Dennis and good luck. Bob F>

Lighting MH or VHO for a 55 Dear David, After reading your comments on lighting, I read Bob's book and other marine books that I have, you be surprised that every additional time you read you pick up new things or understand what the authors are trying to tell you better or things get register in the head much clearer. NOW, I understand the issue of lighting much better. <My friend...True learning often comes after a state of total confusion. "I was blind but now I see!" In Malaysia, the marine industry is growing and I have not (not yet) found a shop that sells VHO. I will visit some DIY shops and fish shops to see if I can get any, otherwise I will place an order to get URI VHO as suggested. I checked on the net, there are a few types (URI), Super Actinic, Actinic White and AquaSun, I need 4 lamps, what is your suggestion for the combination ? <Two blues and two whites. Or three whites and one blue.> If the DIY does not carry URI lamps (most likely they don't), can I get those with similar wattages ( 60-80 or more watts)?. <If you are interested in learning about the wattages available for VHO, try championlighting.com> In fact I have just been to the fish shop to educate them on lighting. They told me that their customers who uses MH (300 watts) on their 48" tank finds the glare too disturbing to the eye and also it creates a lot of algae. <Algae will not be an issue without excess nutrients from feeding etc. If I was going MH I probably would use two 150 watt 10K bulbs...certainly not one 300 watt bulb. You don't want to make boiled shrimp and clams!> Currently, my 55 gal tank uses 2 Eheim filters (2217 and 2215) with a total capacity of 1,600 litres per hour. More filtration than normal, I believe it does no harm and also there is more water circulation in my tank. <Can't have too much circulation.> I also have an Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer purchase from the US after reading the WWM AQs) which proved to be very good. I have a TECO chiller to maintain the temp at 27C. Any comments or suggestion to improve the system? <For a reef system, use the Eheims for circulation only and add LIVE Rock!> Thanks again, sorry to trouble you with questions after questions! <Answering questions from an intelligent hobbyist is never" trouble." There are lots of views and myths in this hobby. One must read and learn for themselves...Then make informed choices based on the evidence that you have discovered!> Regards, Daniel <Keep livin' and learnin'! David Dowless>

Re: Upgrading lighting I currently have a single 48" light fixture over my 75 gal tank. It uses two 50/50 55W power compact bulbs. It is an Oceanic fixture that came with the tank. The bulbs are now about 9 months old and I can see they are significantly dimmer. I am thinking of upgrading the lighting to a Coralife 230W 48" fixture as found here: http://www.esuweb.com/new_site/ccc_53106 It has two 65W 10K bulbs and two 65W Actinic bulbs. Each set of bulbs is independently controllable. The reason I like this particular fixture is that it is low profile (I have very little space under my Oceanic canopy), it has the exhaust fans on top, rather than on the ends, and it provides significantly more light than what I currently have. Now that I need to replace my bulbs, part of the cost of the fixture ($209.95 from HelloLights) is offset. I do not want to attach anything to the canopy itself since I often keep it open and don't want to see bulbs hanging from the wood. It is also a nice piece of furniture and I don't want to drill into it. I have a couple of questions about the changing light levels: 1.) Is going from the current aged 110W setup to a new 230W setup going to shock the corals in my tank (I have some cabbage leathers, a frogspawn, a hammerhead, a bubble corals, a cup coral and several kinds of polyps - green-star/white-star, and Zoanthids)? <Yes it will shock them if you do not acclimate them slowly. The link below is to an article on acclimating Photosynthetic Reef Invertebrates to Light http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm > 2.) What effect does increased lighting have on Cyanobacteria? I've been battling some red Cyano in a small area of my tank for a while. Will this light cause it to grow more or will it actually help? I do not have any algae problems other than the Cyanobacteria. My hippo and purple tangs seem to eat any vegetation in the tank. < The Cyano is most likely caused by excess nutrients, the new lighting will probably not affect it either way.> 3.) Do you have an opinion on Coralife lighting products? <I have never used them myself, I'd check with the folks on the message boards.> My tank gets hot (82F+) in the summer with the current fixture, but there are no fans in the canopy area. I am able to keep an acceptable temperature with a fan in the sump. I hope the fans in this fixture will help to at least not make the situation worse. However, I am willing to put some additional fans in the back of the canopy. I have also asked about this topic in the talk forums but I would appreciate an answer from the experts. < I'd acclimate the inhabitants slowly, going from old bulbs to newer stronger bulbs will definitely be a shock.  Check out Anthony's article and let us know if you have any further questions.  Best Regards, Gage>

Aquastarlight What is your opinion (if you have one) on the Aquastarlight MH fixtures? <They seem very nice. Richard Harker just wrote a piece on them for Advanced Aquarist. It is here http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2002/review.htm -Steven Pro>

Lighting and More Lighting So should I go with the Ushio or AB?  <both bulbs are excellent... and the question would be impossible to answer even if not so. One cannot select lighting so specifically without knowing what inverts you will keep and their respective needs (peaking on blue end of spectrum or closer to daylight/red, etc)> Is a AB hood of good quality or is there something that you recommend like the Custom Sealife or other?  <I have no hood brand preference... I'm a diehard DIYer> Does the AB hood come with the ballast? I think I seen that AB doesn't make 175watt bulbs.  <this falls under consumer research my friend... I apologize, but a three member crew spend hours daily struggling to keep up with the e-mail here and serve the greater good of aquarists in need. This I'll have to ask you to hunt down on your own> With the ballasts, if the ballast is rated for 250watt bulbs can I use 175watt bulbs on it?  <many aquarists have asked this.. I personally would not recommend it> I need to know the exact specifics because this is my first time and I do not want to mess up. Please give me more specific and detailed answers. Thank you greatly. <do look up a local aquarium society my friend where you can actually see and discuss the different set ups of several sort many aquarists rather than just take one man's biased opinion. Form your own intelligent and informed consensus from displays that you see that your like. If you cannot find a local club, participate on any one of the many message boards/forms where such a continuing dialogue will be more fruitful to you. Please forgive the brevity, but it honestly is an effort to help as many folks as possible every day through e-mail and this is more of a consumer question and somewhat of a personal preference when comparing two such excellent lamps. Best regards,>

Jalli and UltraLife Lighting Have you ever heard of, or are you familiar with the aquarium lighting brands Jalli and UltraLife?  <Not Jalli, but am familiar with UltraLife.> I'm looking at their PCs, tend to be relatively cheaper than others. Thanks-Penny pincher <A good idea to look around, shop for best quality, price. Most all lamps are actually made by a few companies, re-labeled by companies re-selling them. None of the lamps sold in the aquarium interest are made by the companies selling, labeling them... Brands like G.E., Sylvania, Phillips are actual manufacturers. Bob Fenner>

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