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Anemones and lighting - worth it?


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Berfore my lighting questions, here is some background:

20H tank, 2x75w VHO (50/50), Amiracle skimmer and w/d filter, 2lbs (yes two) LR. Inhabitants: sandsifter star, sebae clown, 3 mexican turbos, 6 small hermits, 1 healthy carpet (2 years old), 1 (wilting) carpet (1 monht old), 1 GBTA (2 month old). Tank established for 3 years, but downsized from 40 to 20 three months ago.


I am concerned because the one carpet is not doing well (shrinking) and the GBTA and even the 2 year old carpet don't seem to grow.



1. I have 2 75W VHOs. Would a 3rd bulb make an APPRECIABLE difference. I know lighting is important, don't get me wrong, but is 11 wpg THAT much better than 7.5 wpg? What type bulbs are best (50/50, actinic, etc...).


2. What else would help the anemones do better. My skimmer bubbles well but does not much produce much froth inthe cup - should I get a new skimmer?

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no let ur skimmer do its thing, but you may want to buy a mh like a 175w 20k i swear my hand off that ur tank will thank you.


price is around 270$U.S


what are your parameters?


hope i helped you a-bit there.


but go for mh.

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Thanks! - I should clarify - I do not plan on MH (I know they are great), but I need to be wary of $$$$. Salt: 1.024, Amonia: 0, PH: 8.1, Nitrate: 20 (I know this in high).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, check out oceanencounter.com, they have some great deals (like $220 for a complete 250 watt de system) or $160 for a se system w/out canopy. These aren't cheap, but the cost of bulbs easily pays for itself (compared with the light output vs. bulb cost and life-mh is the best). Any cheaper and a diy is required!



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When you put the new Carpet in the Tank did it attatch itself? Have you looked at the foot?

I have had my carpet over 2 years under PC's 3 watts per Gallon in my 90G, I tried higher light and it hid in the rocks.

I know most like the higher light but mine just wont accept it, it is up in the rocks and always sit in the middle of the tank, looks healthy as can be.

Do you know what kind of lighting it was under before you got it?

Is it eating?

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Actually, the basic bulb it comes with will be just fine for a reef. The temp (kelvin) is about on par with natural sun light. But hey, it's your money to spend, just trying to be helpful. I ordered mine today, the way I figure it, when the bulb needs replacing in about a year, I'll upgrade to a 20K (but only because I like the blue look). Mean time, when it arrives, I'll give a review on it.

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MH maybe an option in the future -I'm glad to know itr can be less expensive.


The one carpet I have is shrinking. He eats a silverside a few times a week. At the lfs he was in a darker tank - most of the anemones are in a bottom tank with less light. He recently moved up the coral to be about 6 inches from the light, but this may be rleated to my playing around with the power heads - he is in little flow right now. My nitrates have been high lately -60. This is unusally high for me - theyare usually around 20.


I have gone from no LR when I got him to gradually about 14 lbs now and I have not check nitrates yet. I am considering a fuge, but I want to see where my nitarates are with the LR. I also want to read more about fuges to see how worth it they are.


Oh yeah, I am slowly beginning to take out the bio balls.

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Mine also likes lower flow so that could be why he moved.

Hes eating so thats a good sign, I would leave him where he is if he is not moving around he may be comfortable there.

My carpet is in my 90G and being moved with the 2 clowns into a 12G. My carpet is also 14" when he stretches out.

Your nitrates are a bit high but not affecting the 2 year old Carpet.

Keep me updated I am interested in hearing what happens or what it does.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to thank everyone and give update.


The healthy carpet is doing the same. The wilting carpet eats, but seems to continue to shrink. It has moved tot he top of the tank and into greater water flow.


The BTA has split and both halves are small, but eating.


I have added LR - am at 15#. Nitrates have been b/w 10-20. I just wish the anemones looked better. Not sure what is missing. I was considering a fuge, but think I will add more LR nad remove more bioballs. SOund good?

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i would take out all the bioballs and get Lr i mean your nitrates are high i know it'm a stickler btu i mean anythign over 0 is kinda irritating to me, i would get the LR and the light aught to be fine. but in the longrun MH is cheaper i think you pay more at first but then you only replace the lights every 7-10 months instead of every 6 months, and a bulb is like 50-80 where VHO bulbs are about 20 a peice i think so i mean go MH if you want but get the nitrates undercontrol first

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Got the MH retrokit installed a couple days ago, and man is it bright! I am without a canopy, so when that sucker is on, there's no need to have any other lights on in the kitchen or family room. My anemone is looking MUCH better. I'm not sure if the seller doesn't include a power cord with the retrokit or not, but mine didn;t come with one, and hubby and I had to buy a few things at the local electric supply, and have them guide us through wiring it. But it was worth it. I'm not sure I want to post pics of my tank now though, as the DIY stand is not aesthetically pleasing. But we do what we can, as we can afford to...

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