Jump to content

Upgraded lighting on 2.5 and SPS

C Jerome

Recommended Posts

Over the winter I stated to plan my lighting upgrade for my 2.5 gallon tank. I wanted to step it up to a 70w MH like so many others. Previously I had the standard 2x13w PCs.

I sarted collecting the parts for this project(listed below) while still at school. I built a new hood, even more elaborate than the previous, with my neighbor. As you will see in the photos we constructed a sort of coupla for the MH reflector to set into, so the hood would not have to be as high all around. I built the MH refelctor my self and used the socket from a regent fixture. Here are the photos and some stats-


2.5 gallon

70w MH (IceCap Ballast)

2x13w PC Actinic o3 (2 HD $3 ballasts)

2x 40mm hood fans (and one more in the ballast box)12volt

Moon light 12volt

auto top off(not opperational yet, needs adjustments)

Coolworks IceProbe chiller and controler in AC 150

Fancy Ballast box I wired with 3 power cords(for timer setup), switches and line out cord to hood with 12 pin Molex connector, so there is one clean line going to the hood and the ballast box can be put on the floor away from the tank.



Here are the photos

Big picture



Hood close up



Ballast box shot, it was an old Apple power supply



IceProbe, I had to make a new lid for the AC so the IceProbe would fit under my hood. When I am home, I plan to either cut a portion of the back of the hood off or route out some of it so ther is more cleareance.










Now for a few coral shots







A nice group shot, the leather is doing fine near them, I had just turned the lights on when I took the shot(also there is my Nimble, the first Frosted one made)




Link to comment

Zoos, I moved most of mine to my 15 gallon, but I would like to add more to this tank so if you are near zip 08247 drop me a line





Let me know what you think.


C. Jerome

Link to comment

Looking great CJ!


You've got some nice frags of SPS. How long has the halide been set up and what color temperature bulb are you using?

Link to comment



I just got the SPS frags last week, it was a great deal from a local reefer, a few did not make the transition, and he is going to give me some replacements.

I just put the MH over the tank about a week and a half ago, its a Ushio 10K on the icecap ballast and 2x13w PC actinic o3. I like the color of the water with both lights on, a bit yellow with just the MH, but I think the color changes as the bulb burns in. I guess i will see in time.


C. Jerome

Link to comment


This tank has been set up for over a year, but I just put the SPS in. I had to move some stuff out to my other nano to make more room.




I used the 20w NO ballasts from HomeDepot, they cost about $3.50 each. I have heard that it overdrives the bulb a bit, and because it is magnetic it runs hot so it should be mounted remotely as mine are. Check out this thread for more info.


C. Jerome

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

It has been almost two months since I posted the first set of photos with my new lighting and SPS additons. Since then all the corals have adjusted nicely to the new lighting, though the SPS has not colored up yet(any tips, I hear it can take up to 6 months).

I also moved the tank twice, once from its summer home back to my regular house, and then again to school. Everyone made the trips well, except for Meeper(the yellow spotten watchman goby) who was shaken up by the moves and is now even more shy(just to note, he is sitting behind the rock work right now looking out the side pane of the tank watching me type).

Some changes and highlights:

-incrased zoo growth and coloration, they also flattened out(no longer have stems)

-added several zoo morphs, some frags from my 15gal and some from trades

-my center piece leather loves the new light and has that nice wavy shape

-other additons include a smal gorg frag, an electric green mushroom(bottom right), one yellow polyop, and small xenia stalk all from the 15 gallon.

-I added one more snail and a micro blue leg hermit to combat two small spots of hair algae I foud (my placement of two of the SPS inhibited my current snail from getting to the rock, i moved the frags and the snals did the rest, algie gone I think)

-I also mounted my air powered ATO

and for the photos, my camera does not have manual focus so close ups are almost imposible, I wish I could show the zoos that I have-



A full desk shot with tank, I have my tank in my residence hall at school, my father is watching the 15 gallon at home.



Whole tank shot, please note the mushroom bottom rigth front as well as the GSP growing on the back glass and the Power head electric cord. New snail on left old one on right.



In this one you can sort of make out the pattern in the two zoos down in the sand, the small ones are a rust, green, purple cirles, the others are a green blue green, just to their left you can see a lighter color zoo I will try to borrow a better camera to get a shot, they are very nice. Also the SPS is showing nice encrusting.



Shot of SPS on the left side of tank




Hopefuly I will be able to borrow a camera and get some nice macro shots. Until then enjoy and let me know what you think.


C. Jerome

Link to comment

Nice tank... I'm kind of doing the same thing with nano and SPS. You can check my gallery for my tank pics. Have you considered a 20K bulb? This gives you a bit of color help at the expens of PAR, but over a 2.5g... I think that 30wpg is more then enough.


How do you contro nutrients? I am using a fuge that is 2X the volujme of my tank and this is my savior. I will be adding a skimmer for a little added insurance.

Link to comment

I control nutrients via watching what I add in. I feed my fish a few times a week and thats about the only nutrients I add. Once in a while I feed my candy cane and some of the large polyops. I have not gotten into adding phyto or any of that stuff yet. I do waterchanges irregularly and add kent calcium reactor every night.

I have thought about another bulb, but I dont know if I would want to go all the way to 20K. Right now with the ushio 10K and 2x13w actinic I am happy with the overall color. I might consider one of those 10k blubs that people say really have a higher temp.



Link to comment

I started burning this bulb in mid july so I have a while before I have to change bulbs, and plenty of time to research which one I want.


I was looking closely at some of the sps and the tips seem to be getting some color, i can see the pinkish and purpleish tinge, maybe the color will spread from the top down over time.



Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

In the past 5 days my SPS, especially the montis have really started to show color, before there was just a hint, but now you can really tell that the purple ones are goin to be purple. This is very exciting and I hope the color continutes to spread.



Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

I was able to get a photo of my SPS that is starting to color up agian. I had to move my tank and they all browed out but now for the second time i can see the purple moving in from the top down. The photo is not great, but you can see the color change. Check it out.



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...