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canopy lighting thoughts


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I'm about to start a canopy over my 55g and add some extra lighting but thought I'd try and get some input first.

The tank is odd for a 55g (30L X 18W X 24H)

Right now I have 4 X 24W T5's with individual reflectors, it's getting the job done and I don't want a lot of sps but would like to be able to put a few towards the top and just get better growth from my softies and lps.

I'm planning on adding a single 150w HQI and leaving the existing t5's but not sure if I want all four actinic or leave two daylight

I also have a plastic center brace on the tank which will block a lot of the light if I place the halide in the center which is where I want it. This leaves me the options of 1: removing the brace, 2: offsetting the halide or 3: going with 2 X 150's on each side.

As I don't want the extra heat (or costs) of two halides, I'm leaning towards removing the brace and replacing with 1/4" acrylic fastened with plastic nuts and bolts. I'm still a little hesitant but at the same time, wouldn't the canopy itself make the center brace obsolete if built to fit snugly over the top. Additionally, I bought the tank used and the brace has had a crack all along which has not spread or shown any sighn of stress.

I guess my questions are:

1: thoughts on the center brace

2: optimal light combination (I'm thinking 14k hqi, 2 - true actinic, 2 - 10K daylight) has anyone tried the "reef blue" or "reef white" bulbs from hellolights, there twice the cost and don't really say what makes them better)

3: should I incorporate an extra cooling fan built into the canopy

Thanks all and hopefully see you saturday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think you should underestimate the need for a center brace-- if something goes wrong, the consequences can be really bad (I guess that's true with a lot of things...). Having said that, what you're suggesting you'll do with the center brace would likely present at least these two issues: 1) acrylic may melt/warp under the MH, 2) You don't want to install the acrylic while the tank has water in it.

You might be better off adding more T5s and re-aquascaping so that lighting will be optimal for all inhabitants.

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I have an Oceanic 120gal. It is a glass tank with Starfire on the front. I removed the center brace about a year ago. I did this after receiving intel from a guy that had once sold these tanks and said that he removed them without ill effects routinely. That being said, if your tank is acrylic or low end glass, I would not recommend the practice.

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