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Issue with light acclimation


zgbrown10

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I recently upgraded my lighting from a 2x24 T5 system to a single 150w MH.

 

I have a quarter inch thick piece of acrylic covering my tank, and I have 3 sheets of fiberglass window screen laying on top of that to filter out some light in order to acclimate the corals. After a few days, I removed a screen as most of the mushrooms and zoas were cupping and/or stretching for light. After a day of one screen being off, everything started to look really stressed. So, I put the third sheet of window screen back on and stuff just seems to be getting worse. Favias and mushrooms are ejecting guts, candy canes and acans are shriveled, and my frogspawn and green star polyps won't even open.

 

I didn't have any more screen left so I put some paper towels in between the layers of the screen, and moved some things around in the tank - none of that seem to help either.

 

My tank is a 26 gallon bowfront, so it is very tall - I can't imagine 150w is "too powerful" for these coral. In fact, most of them were jonesing for light under my prior setup.

 

Here are the only things that I could think of that would possibly be the problem:

(1) I had my top off the tank for maybe 45 minutes to clean my glass.

(2) After a couple days of having the light fixture I swapped out the stock Coralife 14k bulb for a Radium 20k bulb because I didn't really like the look.

 

Any help would be great!

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Doubtful that this is all due to your light. It may have been started by your light change, but now some of the stress is likely from the chemical and toxins being spilled out into the water column. Should consider running carbon and doing some water changes.

 

Just curious, did you have individual reflectors on the T5 system?

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Doubtful that this is all due to your light. It may have been started by your light change, but now some of the stress is likely from the chemical and toxins being spilled out into the water column. Should consider running carbon and doing some water changes.

 

Just curious, did you have individual reflectors on the T5 system?

 

Eh... Not really, it was one piece, but it was bent to provide the effect of individual reflectors.

 

What effect would this have?

 

Also, I am running an AC50 with Chemi-Pure elite, filter floss, and PhosGuard as needed. I will try and do a water change tomorrow and see if that helps.

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It is even worse today. It is definitely from the lighting, I can see the parts of the coral that look "sunburnt" are only where they are exposed to the light. What should I do?!?! I'm watching all the time and money I invested die!

 

I turned the metal halide off and put my old fixture back on. It doesn't seem to be helping. Has anyone had this problem before? What am I doing wrong?

 

Is there anything I can dose to keep the corals from dying?

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I still recommend doing the water changes and run activated carbon.

 

I'm not aware of any miracle liquid to cure dying corals. Just gotta make sure to optimize your water quality and let time heal everything.

 

Chances are the damage has been done, and what you are seeing is the aftermath. Sorry...

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Agreed. You did the acclimation properly, and the 150W MH shouldn't have created that big of an issue that quickly. It's more likely something in the water that was triggered from the change in light. Do 10% water changes every day for the next few days, with the screens on, and see how it goes. I've upgraded to much more powerful lights on my tanks in the past with far fewer issues than this.

 

Now, one thing you haven't told us is which fixture you upgraded to. The reason I ask is that there have been some issues with Coralife MH fixtures, because the glass doesn't completely cover the opening on the reflector, killing some corals with excessive UV exposure.

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Keep an eye on the temperature fluctuation going on in the water. Just try to keep the MH pulled back as far as possible. A blue actinic in the halide would help alot too for mushrooms IMO as they like lower light.

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Agreed. You did the acclimation properly, and the 150W MH shouldn't have created that big of an issue that quickly. It's more likely something in the water that was triggered from the change in light. Do 10% water changes every day for the next few days, with the screens on, and see how it goes. I've upgraded to much more powerful lights on my tanks in the past with far fewer issues than this.

 

Now, one thing you haven't told us is which fixture you upgraded to. The reason I ask is that there have been some issues with Coralife MH fixtures, because the glass doesn't completely cover the opening on the reflector, killing some corals with excessive UV exposure.

 

Awesome. It is a Coralife MH fixture. And I did notice the shoddy-ness of the glass bulb cover. I tried to situate it in order to cover the bulb better because I realized half of it was exposed. Go figure, everything is looking better now. I did a water change and re-adjusting the cover probably helped.

 

Does anyone know of a mod that can reduce the UV light better? Is there anything I can do to fix this problem? Would getting a cut sheet of window glass and putting it in the fixture above the metal grate help? I am pretty sure most glass filters out UV rays. Is that true or do I need a special piece of glass?

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Evil's comment got me thinking, so I did some searching on here.

 

It was switching the Coralife bulb to the Radium that did it. The Coralife bulb has a UV filtering coating on it, thus the glass shield is basically irrelevant (and terrible) with the stock fixture.

 

Here a few realllly old posts about it:

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry668750

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry683727

 

So I guess I am back to my original question? What can I do to filter out the UV light from the new (and I think better) Radium bulb?

 

FYI, I switched back to the Coralife bulb the other day too - this explains everything.

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Anyone have any suggestions? Can I use regular pane glass or do I need to get tempered glass? Will a glass cover in place of the metal grate be too hot?

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Another lesson in researching before you act :P

 

Glad you got it figured out, I've got no advice on glass to use, but I'd like to see some pics once everything is healthy again :)

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Evil's comment got me thinking, so I did some searching on here.

 

It was switching the Coralife bulb to the Radium that did it. The Coralife bulb has a UV filtering coating on it, thus the glass shield is basically irrelevant (and terrible) with the stock fixture.

 

Here a few realllly old posts about it:

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry668750

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry683727

 

So I guess I am back to my original question? What can I do to filter out the UV light from the new (and I think better) Radium bulb?

 

FYI, I switched back to the Coralife bulb the other day too - this explains everything.

See if you can get a larger peice of glass cut to replace the stock one so it covers completely. 99% of all glass has UV filtering, so don't worry about that part. Tempered glass is a good idea if you can get it cheap.

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Another lesson in researching before you act :P

 

Glad you got it figured out, I've got no advice on glass to use, but I'd like to see some pics once everything is healthy again :)

 

You got that right. Who would have ever in a million years thought Coralife would make a proprietary bulb with a UV coating like that? Ridiculous. I feel I am not the only person this has ever happened to.

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Got a piece of 1/8" glass cut at Lowe's to replace the metal grate on the front of the fixture. Slid in and fit like a glove. Looks like it was made that way. I can tell it is filtering out the UV light, or maybe it is a placebo effect. The light doesn't seem nearly as "blinding." I called around town to get a small piece of tempered glass cut. Most places wanted a week for the tempered glass because it is such a small piece and thin for tempered glass. They also wanted a ridiculous price for a 4x8 piece of glass.

 

Keeping my fingers crossed that the glass just doesn't explode. That is the last thing I need.

 

On a side note, the corals are looking much better. I carefully trimmed off some pieces that looked exceptionally dead/necrotic and did another water change. Everything is starting to open up again. The monti cap is getting its color back, all the leathers are puffed up and the frogspawn is opening. Some of the candy canes were completely white and are now green again, one piece of neon favia that had turned completely brown is starting to get some specs of green back. The majority of the zoas on the sandbed are opening and a few heads of GSP have stuck their tentacles out. Some of the mushrooms are cupping and others are still completely shriveled up.

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HA! It just shattered while I sat here typing that last message.

 

Guess I am going to try Lexan. I guess I just hope that it doesn't melt and filters UV.

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Time for Lexan XL10 to melt: ~20 minutes.

 

I regret the day I bought this light fixture. I called around for tempered glass again. 2 places said the piece I want is "too small" because one side needs to be at least 12" so it doesn't fall through the rollers in the kiln.

 

No clue what to do here. I really want to keep this fixture, but I am at a loss as to what to do.

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If you can get away with using 3/16" glass, then go to www.onedayglass.com. They can do an 8x4x3/16 tempered glass plate for $18 plus shipping.

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If you can get away with using 3/16" glass, then go to www.onedayglass.com. They can do an 8x4x3/16 tempered glass plate for $18 plus shipping.

 

I saw that earlier while Googling "tempered glass." Thanks for the heads up though, still.

 

I finally found a place in town (sort of) that can make a piece that small. It is going to be around 25 bucks and will take a week. That had to call one of their distributors that makes glass for fireplace and industrial light covers.

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Well, that was a total debauch. The woman at the glass company told me that the glass was a special brand called "Pyroceram." I got to looking, it is in fact not glass at all. It is, however, clear ceramic and thus it does not filter UV at all. Needless to say the glass place is closed, and they aren't open again till Monday. I am probably going to be stuck with a $25 dollar piece of junk that won't be of any use for my application.

 

I think I am going to just bite the bullet and order a piece off of the site that Evil suggested.

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  • 3 months later...
Well, that was a total debauch. The woman at the glass company told me that the glass was a special brand called "Pyroceram." I got to looking, it is in fact not glass at all. It is, however, clear ceramic and thus it does not filter UV at all. Needless to say the glass place is closed, and they aren't open again till Monday. I am probably going to be stuck with a $25 dollar piece of junk that won't be of any use for my application.

 

I think I am going to just bite the bullet and order a piece off of the site that Evil suggested.

 

 

I know this is an old posting but....

 

How did the Pyroceram work out for you? Unless I am mistaken, I think Pyroceram does UV block OK... See below...

 

From onedayglass.com:

 

PyroCeram® Applications Include:

Chemical process sight glass, high temperature vision windows, heat insulators, commercial ovens / broilers, architectural and outdoor lighting, electronics and UV lightwave blocking applications.

 

And http://www.fireglassonline.com/Pyroceram-specifications.html

 

UV Transmission for 3mm thickness < 1% (Wavelength < 355 ìm)

 

I was thinking about getting this for my Coralife fixture.... should I just go with regular tempered glass?

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