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sky lights superior to MH?

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  • sky lights superior to MH?

    i wanna know what you guys think about this. would skylights be superior to MH? or is this a no-brainer?


  • #2
    Depends on the amount of light prolly.

    If the angle and duration were right, I'd say sunlight trumps MH, hands down. I know because I have both and can see how the corals grow. They vote for sunlight, every time. So does my anemone which I had to quit feeding because it's a sunlight glutton and begrudgingly accepts MH when it has to.

    A lot prolly depends on where you live, Det. But Calfo's coral farm was in PA and he didn't use mh, just sunlight, IIRC. Of course, he used a greenhouse, but he said even in winter the corals were fine at that latitude in that setup.

    Also, people reported back from MACNA about a presentation stating our tanks are usually over-lit with mh. There was supposedly very compelling research that backed it up.

    "Everyone loves the sunshine" - Roy Ayers


    • #3
      i live in southern california


      • #4
        Perfect !

        Your latitude allows a lot of sun, though most reefs are 30N latitude or lower. Dave (o2many) has/had a sunlit growout, actually outside IIRC. But I think it crashed a while back (since I was at his house for a swap just over a year ago).

        If you can do skylights, I imagine your tank would be quite thankful, especially since you can dial-in mh later with kelvins, watts, and hours.

        Not sure what other hobbyists do, and I'm the least technical person on this board. But I've watched corals and anemones grow towards the sun and away from mh, if that helps.

        Are you remodeling or buying a house with a dedicated fish room? My wife doesn't understand why I insist our in-law unit *must* be remodeled and dedicated to a reeftank, uh, I mean office.


        • #5
          i've seen dave's setup too. if im not mistaken, he still has the frag tanks up.

          another thing to add, richard harker (who lives in N.C.) uses skylights on his 2000 gal. tank. he also supplements with 400w halides.


          • #6
            The problem with simple skylights is the sun will only be poking through for a limited amount of time each day. I've thought about it but it just doesn't seem like the light will be hitting the tank for a long enough period without some sort of collector.

            I'm inland Socal and can't imagine trying to keep a system outdoors. Heating would be bad enough but the cost of cooling would break the bank. But then I have more room inside than outside for a prop system.

            “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
            ...Charles F. Kettering


            • #7
              Possible solution.. We just started building houses here at our company also and have used these in a couple homes. The people really seem like them... I also can;t beleive how much light they put out..



              Peace, Jeff


              • #8
                solatubes are different than simple skylights. Quite viable. You need supplemental lighting available for times of prolonged bad weather.
                10x3x2 FOWLR (for now)
                RD12 return, 2 RD12 closed loop, wavebox with extension
                MRC kalkmixer


                • #9


                  • #10
                    i saw the thread, but i think the solatubes/skylights are at least like $500+ each

                    anyway, i was just wondering about the possibilities of natural sunlight, but i think ill stick with the halides for now


                    • #11
                      i am going to bring this thread back from the dead

                      lets say, you just put your tank outside. assuming that temp and everything is taken care of, do you think sunlight would grow corals better than MH?


                      • #12
                        Yes, I think the sun is better for the corals. Once you factor in sunrise, sunset, moon cycles, cloudy days, etc. I think the corals respond much better. Dave (o2manyfish) has a pretty large outdoor system (plumbed to his display, indoors) and in certain corals you could see a definate difference in color, growth, appearance.


                        • #13
                          All the corals (stonies) and clams do much better in sunlight than inside.

                          Since it's the same water with the same levels / foods its quite clear that sunlight is much more beneficial than lighting.

                          In most corals I would say the growth is 2x that of the corals inside.

                          LPS are harder, they don't like so much light, but kept in the shade they grow really well.

                          Dave B
                          400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!


                          • #14
                            dave, how many hours a day do the frag tanks get sunlight? how are the light levels in winter? and i was wondering if the two halides you have are for supplementing or just night viewing? i have this really crazy idea of putting the tank outside



                            • #15

                              You saw the tanks - They sit outside, they get light whenever there is light -- Nothing supplemental.

                              The lights over the top are just for when I go outside at night.

                              Dave B
                              400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!