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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I might be able to purchase my neighbor’s 150-watt Hamilton Technology Low-Profile metal halide lighting system for around $150 and I’m thinking of suspending it above my 46-gallon bow-front Vivarium but before I buy the MH system I’m wondering if 150 watts of MH lighting would be too much lighting for a 46-gallon Vivarium and cause excess heat buildup. Even if it was suspended 2-3 feet above the tank do you think it would cause the tank to become overheated? I’ve never used MH before so I have no idea how hot they get and what the intensity of the light is like and I don’t want to find out that it would be way overkill for my tank after I bought it.

Thanks for the help, Jeremy
 

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Lighting

Jeremy
The lighting that you are looking at is utilized mostly for reef tanks, which means most likely it will not grow plants very well. If I was going to dump $150 on a light system I would buy a setup from AH supply. I pair of 55 watt kits would do a very nice job utilizing either a 5500k to 6500k bulb. This light kit would even grow the most difficult plants. I consistantly have orchids in bloom. Best of luck Dan
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Lighting

Reptiledan said:
Jeremy
The lighting that you are looking at is utilized mostly for reef tanks, which means most likely it will not grow plants very well.
MH lighting is used extensively on planted aquariums so they should be able to grow plants the only problem that I see is the heat they put off. I agree though it is mostly used on reef tanks.

Dancing frogs said:
I disagree and agree...I think the light would grow plants great...but it probably would make the tank overheat.
Would it be the radiant heat that would be warming up the tank or the heat coming directly from the MH bulb? Can a MH bulb get hot enough to heat up the tank from 3 feet away? If there is some way I could cool down the tank I would like to use MH lighting since in my opinion it looks so much more like real sunlight then fluorescent lighting and it would be able to penetrate the small pond area that I’m planning to have much better then any other type of lighting.

I have one more question though. I would like to keep orchids and I’m wondering would the extreme intensity of MH lighting burn the orchids?

Thanks, Jeremy
 

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Jeremy, here is a picture of my lighting system for my 75 gallon viv. It is 4 - 20 watt screw in compact flourescent bulbs at 6500K. I spent maybe $35 to make these, and they are by far, plenty of light for the viv, and for the pond section, which is about 2 feet from the top of the tank. The pond only looks dark because of the lilly pad type plants in it. Metal halide would look good, but I would definitely be afraid of the heat, and that intensity probably would burn ferns, and more sensitive plants. I wouldn't think it would burn orchids, as they are somewhat succulent, but I really have no idea if it would or wouldn't. Good luck with it,

Ed Parker



ps. that orchid in the left upper area is about to bloom. And the light is very dappled on reaching the ground because of how thick the upper area is :)
 

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The heat from an MH bulb is from both sources you mentioned.
If you can come up with a way to cool the tank, while keeping the humidity up...let us know, there are lots of people here that would love to know how.
If you have the bulb far enough away, I think the orchids would be fine.
If you really want MH, also consider checking out the used goods on ebay.
Also, lower watt MH are available...I have a 70watt MH Iwasaki 6500K over my 37 gallon phelsuma tank, provides a nice basking area, and it works out pretty well, really looks realistic when the fogger is on.
I belive FCA has 70 watt retro-kits available also.

Beutiful tank, mantellaprince20!
 

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AWESOME Ed!

You can make DIY chillers from used dehumidifiers. They are bulky, but worth a shot.


Also, it is possible to make a chiller out of a normal AC. The reason why it doesn't work for most reef people because the copper coils corrode in saltwater, and invertabrates are sensitive to it. However, things are different for frogs. But, to avoid corrosion, it is best to coat it with a thin layer of epoxy resin (according to one reef site).
 

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I have completely shut down my 40 gallon viv becuase 110 watts made the tank too hot without forced ventilation.

There was no way to pipe a fogger or misting system, so I've forgotten about it and goign to put treefrogs in there.

The people of the Netherlands are not sharing with us enough how they are able to put around 20 CF bulbs (which is virtually the same as halide) over their tanks.

Supposedly, they have ventilation slits near the bottom, and forced ventilation near the top. They have a misting system and water feature, but their vivariums are HUGE. This allows for it to be much cooler on the bottom, but stay relatively humid, with all the hot air near the top.

Additionally, a large resevoir underneath a tank will keep the tank more stable, like a natural ecosystem does. The problem with all this intense lighting, in nature, the winds and different climates continuously balance out the radiant heat from the sun. (this is why it will be full sun outside, but only like 40 degrees here in KS!) Unfortunately, vivariums lack this component.
 

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Rain_Frog said:
The problem with all this intense lighting, in nature, the winds and different climates continuously balance out the radiant heat from the sun. (this is why it will be full sun outside, but only like 40 degrees here in KS!) Unfortunately, vivariums lack this component.
Well actually it is because the earth at the lattitude of KS tilts away from the sun in winter so most of that radiant heat bounces off the upper atmosphere instead of cooking you to bacon like it will in August. But the large viv factor is huge (pun intended). Big vivs just allow more stratication of the heat so it is warm up top and cool at the bottom. I have 2 96w CF over a 36"x36"x18" viv and don't hav to do anything to tame the heat.
 

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I have good news, BTW Brent. So far, my 20L tank with a drip wall, 2 x 30" screening in the back has kept the temp from rising very high at all...with one 55wat bulb. I have it about 4" above the tank, to disappate heat. I am using the an ultrasonic fogger, but even without one, I still have around 75% humidity going. HOPEFULLY I can move my tinc into a more permanent home by the weekend...I will still be monitoring the temp very closely.

However, the constant running water from the vivarium evaporates quickly.
 

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however, Brent, is the reason why temps don't do not exceed to dangerous, inhabitable levels because one side of the planet is experiencing night time, with no radiation, and the fact that winds will disperse the heat, as well as the oceans having an effect on our climate?
 

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Rain_Frog said:
AWESOME Ed!

You can make DIY chillers from used dehumidifiers. They are bulky, but worth a shot.


Also, it is possible to make a chiller out of a normal AC. The reason why it doesn't work for most reef people because the copper coils corrode in saltwater, and invertabrates are sensitive to it. However, things are different for frogs. But, to avoid corrosion, it is best to coat it with a thin layer of epoxy resin (according to one reef site).
The reason they don't work for reef tanks is because the compressor isn't designed to run constantly. The compressor in small AC units is designed to cycle on and off to maintain the temp. To drop the temp of water, it would have to run constantly and even then it isn't going to pull enough heat out of the water to drop it more than 1-2 degrees before it burned up.

I do sell 70W HQI Metal Halide retro kits. I am also working on some 70W MH spot and flood lights and some 65W compact flourescent screw in type bulbs. I am trying to get a 55W kit that is cheaper than AH supply also. I'm still working out the details with my lighting guy though. If anyone has any input as to what you would like me to carry or any retro kits you would like to see, please email or PM me.

Paul
 

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What is the deal with the screw in bulb compact flourescent lights? I have seen them on ebay and have seen them mentioned a few times. If you can get a bulb in the right spectrum, could you use on in a domed light fixture (like the ones used for heat lamps)?
 

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I have used both kinds. Screw in types aren't nearly as good as pin based. While they are fine for those on a tighter budget and for low light plants, they put off a lot less light than those of equal wattage, concentrate the heat, and less efficient.

A lot of light is lost because of the shape of the bulb. The quad type bulbs strike light onto the other parts of the bulb, so they never get to the vivarium. They were originally designed for lamps or floodlight replacements instead of incandescent.

The reflectors aren't nearly as good as the MIRO that AHsupply has. I have one of those 65 watt floodlights by lights of America, and personally I have found that even a low wattage 13 watt kit by AHsupply distributes the light much better. The ballasts are also magnetic I believe in most of the self contained screw-in types, compared to the more efficient pin based.

he reason they don't work for reef tanks is because the compressor isn't designed to run constantly. The compressor in small AC units is designed to cycle on and off to maintain the temp. To drop the temp of water, it would have to run constantly and even then it isn't going to pull enough heat out of the water to drop it more than 1-2 degrees before it burned up.
I have seen a few sites that have used a chiller from an AC. However, they stopped using it because the copper coils began to corrode after a while because of the coating was too thin.

However, if a person had a big enough tank, and found some way to house the coils inside the vivarium, attach a bathroom vent fan, it could work very well....as long as there is some protection from allowing the frogs from getting into it. I would think you would use double panes of glass to insulate the tank further, but I would only try such an idea on a big tank made of plywood to cut a large enough section out for the AC.
 

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that was the big issue. What they did, was coat epoxy resin over the coils, but after a while, cracks would develop because you couldn't make it too thick or it would become a very inefficient heat exchanger.

However, it would corrode at the very tips which were not sealed. :? Many folks have said that a DIY chiller from a dehumidifier or AC (if you can find some way to keep the coils of aluminum or copper from coming in contact with aquarium water) they are more powerful and more efficient.

Really? About the burning up of the compressor? Nobody has yet said anything about that. I would think a dehumidifier would work better though, because they have aluminum coils and they run longer than ACs.
 

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Go to reefcentral.com and do a search for "DIY AC chiller". You will see that the subject has been beat to death over the past 5 years and no one has ever made one that worked. The compressors just aren't designed for that type of use.
 

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Paul, do you know if its the lack of demand, the titanium coating, or the compressor type that makes them so expensive? Now that I know the compressor is totally different, that could be a big part of the expense.

Anybody know any recent technological developments to lower temperature?
 
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