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I have an Eclipse 5 gallon hex tank, so far only LR and some caulerpa. Want to put in some soft corals. The stock lighting is a 13w pc (5100k). Can I assume this is not enough? Yesterday I took off the stock filter and put in a microjet, so I have some open space on top of the tank to put another light. Any suggestions? A 50/50 pc? Or should I just replace the present pc with 50/50?



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some soft corals- mushrooms, leathers, should work ok- but just be sure to keep that evil caulerpa in check- that stuff will wipe your corals out;


also- i think the spectrum on the stock pc lighting should be just fine- if, for asthetics- you want more of a balanced white/blue- then taking the whole top off- filter off, put a Aquaclear filter on back- you could retrofit a more powerful PC on it- or even better- metal halide pendent..

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Caulerpa is bad for corals?:o I never saw that mentioned...tell me what it does! I may take this stuff back....is all macroalgae bad? Surely not!

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well i should of said it differentally... caulerpa WILL grow all over your rockwork- and spread everywhere- it has the extreme "potential" to "choke" your corals to death- ive seen it b/f... but this happens in extremely ignored systems where you dont trim every few days..


also: caulerpa is known to have sex when the lights go out- releasing thousands of spores into your water crashing your tank and destroying everything;


my opinion? take it out and put it in a controled refugium w/ light on it 24/7... otherwise- i hear chaeto is good b/c it doesnt go sexual...

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Yeah I second the cheato. The caulerpa is Ok to use, but there is always the possibility of it causing problems. TO be safe, get some cheato. Check on this site and on reefcentral. There are always people looking to sell some. Also, I would recommend changing out that light. I dont believe that the kinds of corals that you may wish to put into your tank will do well with the 5100K 13w PC. The 5100K is a bit low and can and probably will promote algae growth in your tank which can be bad. I would retrofit in a 32 W 50/50 PC. Championlighting.com has them on sale now. For $25 plus $5 extra for 50/50 bulb, you can get the retrofit with the ballast. Make sure you email Gary however and ask him. You can also get the 2x32 watt PC retrofits for $35, $5 extra for each 50/50 bulb = $45. Make sure you clear it with gary there. I think his email contact is onthe website. If not, PM me and I can send it to you.


I also agree that MH would be the best way to go with lighting. But with a 5 g, you wuold have to control for heat and evaporation very carefully. The lower metal halide they have for your reef tank is a 70 watt. Some have gone higher, but unless you plan on keeping some of the more light-intensive creatures this may be an overkill. Do a search for what other have done with this light if interested.


One more thing, I would remove any sponges from the filter. As pinchy suggested, go with the aquaclear (which you can mod) and turn it into a refugium for your macroalgae. That way you wont have to keep that stuff in your main tank. This could also help with nitrates and water quality. Just make sure to trim the algae often. Good luck!

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Well, I took the caulerpa back. The senior woman at the lfs wasn't sure why I was returning it; she asked if I didn't have something that would eat it, like a tang. I told her this was a 5 gallon, and then she looked mad....at the guy who sold it to me! I don't have a hob filter free right now; I took off the stock filter (maybe someday we'll have fw in this tank, so I saved it) and put in a zoomed microjet. I did add more live rock, so my ammonia is back up (to .025 lol); I also got some holdfast stuff because I'm pretty sure I need to stabilize this rock--in a hex, it gets kind of high.


I also bought a 10w 50/50 pc bulb (10,000k), sort of on a whim; my daughter has a 2 1/2 g guppy tank w/live plants, but it had an incandescent light, so I put the 13w pc from the eclipse on her tank, and put the 50/50 on the eclipse. However, 10w is obviously not enough, and that light is really blue! The way the tank is made, the top trim of the tank is attached to the filter support, so the back half of the hex is not completely open. I'm thinking the trim could be important to tank structure (it's acrylic). Is there a small kind of light I could put over the gap where the filter used to be? One of those clamp-on thingies would probably work, but is that what I want? I'm not planning on any hard corals or anything. They didn't have any chaeto at the lfs, btw.

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Yeah, for some reason cheato is hard to find at LFS. You should surf this site and reefcentral.com for cheato. Lots of people offering small amounts in baggies that they ship to you two day for < $15. Its a prolific grower so you probably wont need much.


What are the dimensions of the gap? This may be helpful to see if there are any light fixtures that you can use. I would recommend doing a search on the eclipse tank to see what others have done. There are quite a few eclipse tanks here on this site. They have better suggestions as to what to do with that filter support. I suppose they just remove it somehow.


On a different note, you could always try to install a 70w MH. It generates a lot of heat and needs fans, however the de bulb is pretty small and the reflector you need is small as well. That way minus any problems you may have from evaporation and salinity changes, will allow you to have whatever you would like in your tank, including hard corals and clams. The evaporation could easily be handled by a auto topoff system. You can do a search for DIY top-offs or you can buy one from:




I think 18-20 inches is the smallest size that the pc bulbs come in.

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Here are a few things I found:






(Eclipse retrofit lighting)





You may also want to consider making or buying a custom hood for your eclipse that will allow you to house different lighting. Several members on this forum may be able to help you with that.

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