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Old 08/25/2008, 01:35 PM   #76
FB
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From their web page "High impact polycarbonate dome blocks harmful UV Rays" I wonder how much UV they filter and what affect they would have on your corals if they did not block the UV?

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Old 08/25/2008, 01:56 PM   #77
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Not too shabby at all, I've played around with natural lighting over there years and have had nothing but bad results. From a 38g tank set next to a window (hey that's light! ) with temperatures that got to 90+ on a sunny day (room wasn't particularly hot either), to a 10g frag tank hooked to a 150g system off my back porch getting diffuse light, corals browned out, algae grew like crazy.

But I still have a hankering to try it again, this time with a lagoon reef (pond liner, massive surface area, not terribly deep). Downside to my plan is the semi-outdoor approach (an enclosed porch is hardly inside), which leaves for serious heating bills in winter months.

Who knows, at $250 or so a pop for a 12" solar tube at Lowes, might be worth an investment to poke a hole in the side of my house... (yeah the woman is going to love that idea )

One thing it seems that your "designer corals" don't do terribly well with the sunlight, and by terribly well I mean they don't pop the same colors that is the reason for demanding the prices they do, specifically your Lime in the Sky doesn't look to sky like.


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Old 08/25/2008, 03:17 PM   #78
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This is a brilliant idea. Congratulations, and thanks for posting the photos.


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Old 08/25/2008, 03:34 PM   #79
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so overall has your K value changed appearance wise? i.e. even with your actinics is your tank a little yellow-er or still the same...basically im asking are you sacrificing any colors in your corals?


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Old 08/25/2008, 03:35 PM   #80
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I never understood the need to block the UV. For us, sure, but for the corals that bake under the sun all day long without a tree for shade...never understood that.

I'm sure they would take some acclimation, but I plan to do this in my room addition for my 180 and I plan to leave them as open as I can to allow the entire spectrum of light in.

Mother Nature has been keeping corals in her tank much longer than we have.


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Old 08/25/2008, 03:57 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally posted by OldmillXxX

Mother Nature has been keeping corals in her tank much longer than we have.
That's my thought


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Old 08/25/2008, 04:09 PM   #82
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they claim total uv blocking, but i am not sure i believe it. i have had no coral bleach in the three weeks that i have had them, so if there is uv coming thru, it is minimal. i think (like others have pointed out) that the corals can handle some uv as long as they are acclimated to it.


yeah, i have never seen the correct color out of that coral - not sure if it is even the "real deal" but it was given to me as such. it really is overall turning a teal color that i have never seen it turn before, so we shall see

Quote:
Originally posted by sfsuphysics

One thing it seems that your "designer corals" don't do terribly well with the sunlight, and by terribly well I mean they don't pop the same colors that is the reason for demanding the prices they do, specifically your Lime in the Sky doesn't look to sky like.

jrl - tough question to answer. the K value changes throughout the day now. more blue than it used to be in the morning and evening, same color as it use to be mid morning and late afternoon, a little more yellow (not much tho - kinda like 10K) in the middle of the day. all of this is with actinics tho - without em it is more yellow than 10K all day.


crmjacks - i documented it a bit in my build thread (little red house)


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Old 08/25/2008, 04:40 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally posted by hobogato
here it is at night when the actinics are still on (looks like im calling aliens )
I think you may be right. Look very closely at the bottom frame, below:



Isn't that E.T. I see?

This is awesome Ace. It looks like it really is going to work out well. Do you own a PAR meter, or can you borrow one? It would be nice to get some hard numbers at various points in your reef.


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Old 08/25/2008, 04:47 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally posted by melev
I think you may be right. Look very closely at the bottom frame, below:



Isn't that E.T. I see?

This is awesome Ace. It looks like it really is going to work out well. Do you own a PAR meter, or can you borrow one? It would be nice to get some hard numbers at various points in your reef.
LOL!!

Nice


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Old 08/25/2008, 05:49 PM   #85
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This is awesome. Not only is it a great idea to save electricity and reduce heat into your system, but it's giving your corals the full light spectrum. Once I get a house, I'm going to be looking into doing this. Thanks for sharing.


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Old 08/25/2008, 06:17 PM   #86
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Do you run carbon at all on the tank? Maybe you can clean up the yellow look by aggressively running carbon... or ozone would be sweet too! After all you don't see corals in the yellow water in the wild, regardless of how shallow (at least I hope you're not swimming in yellow water! )

Of course it might also be a design flaw of the solar tubes, where it removes UV and maybe a little too much purple/blue so you're left with the yellow spectrum.


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Old 08/25/2008, 06:19 PM   #87
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VERY NICE WORK. I have thought about doing this but I dont have a house or a tank large enough to do this. I live in Arizona so this will work very well, so I will look into this in the future. Your tank looks awesome. Bet you love the power bill savings on the halides and chiller. What was the cost for the whole solar conversion?? Keep us posted on the growth.


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Old 08/25/2008, 06:44 PM   #88
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marc -

i run small amounts of carbon changed often. the water is not yellow at all. the camera makes the tank look much more yellow than it does to my eyes.

here is the spectrum chart from the website:



Quote:
Originally posted by sfsuphysics
Do you run carbon at all on the tank? Maybe you can clean up the yellow look by aggressively running carbon... or ozone would be sweet too! After all you don't see corals in the yellow water in the wild, regardless of how shallow (at least I hope you're not swimming in yellow water! )

Of course it might also be a design flaw of the solar tubes, where it removes UV and maybe a little too much purple/blue so you're left with the yellow spectrum.



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Old 08/25/2008, 09:01 PM   #89
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that's funny, I installed some solatubes at house I was renovating and thought about this. But here in Ohio I don't think that our number of sunny days would make it feasable. We get some pretty cloudy days, winter in particular.

Nice pics, I like the glowing blue domes at night...


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Old 08/25/2008, 09:35 PM   #90
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That is awesome, great job.

If you ever sell any frags your disclosure would read like this:

To properly acclimate the coral one would have to havce a similar setup or place the frag in a fish bowl and place outside in the sun for several hours everyday and return to the aquarium. This acllimation process is necessary to acclimate the coral to the low lighting conditions in the buyers aquarium.

Note not responsible for Solar eclipse's.


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Old 08/25/2008, 09:37 PM   #91
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looks like I just joined the solar tubes club. A few days ago I cut out the holes for 3 14" solar tubes that I will be installing on a new tank built.



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Old 08/25/2008, 09:41 PM   #92
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Even if they didn't house the solar apparatus, I think those fixtures are really nice for any pendant or enclosure for other reflectors. I may have missed this above, but what are they made out of? Any idea what kind of heat they could withstand?

Just an oddball question... but given the amount of modification to the house, what is the backup plan if the amount of PAR and such isn't enough for the corals?


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Old 08/25/2008, 11:02 PM   #93
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Very cool. In the winter months - maybe just swap out half the actinics for ATI blue plus bulbs - they look almost the same as actinics, but with way more PAR.


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Old 08/26/2008, 08:50 AM   #94
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2dawg - ill have to remember that

guillo - great! keep us updated

davej - they are made of aluminum with some kind of alloy layer on the inside. i use to use the exact same material on my MH reflectors that i made they sell a ligh kit which allow a bulb to be mounted in the tube for supplimental lighting, and i though about adapting it for a small halide SE bulb if needed - definitely something to keep in mind.

mcliffy - thanks for the tip, ill keep it in mind


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Old 08/26/2008, 08:58 AM   #95
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It might be nice to run a small 20k or even 22k bulb in that tube to setoff the natural yellow light at its source.

nice! Is there a option for a dome that doesn't filter UV as much?


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Old 08/26/2008, 09:23 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gondore
Wow, I am pumped to see how this is going to work out for you. I am on the same boat as serpentman wondering if this will work in Indiana.
Down here in Georgia, a solar panel install guy can do a "solar study" on your roof to see how much light you would get for solar panels. It costs about $200, but could tell you what you need to know.


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Old 08/26/2008, 09:26 AM   #97
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it would be nice if you could combine multiple domes into one solar tube, then you could get even more light out of the tubes.

some of the corals really seem to be loving it.


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Old 08/26/2008, 11:47 AM   #98
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That would involve bends and bends reduce the amount of light significantly


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Old 08/26/2008, 11:53 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally posted by scaryperson27
That would involve bends and bends reduce the amount of light significantly

ah, understood.


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Old 08/26/2008, 12:31 PM   #100
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I don't know what impresses me more - the awesome project or the fantastic documentation of the whole thing. The hourly shots are something I've never seen on any of these solar tube projects. It's really neat to see how everything changes throughout the day. I can't wait to see more updates! PAR numbers too!


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