Recommend Nano Reef Light For 7 Gallon Cube

EbiAqua
  • #1
Playing with the idea of possibly setting up an Ultum Nature Systems 30C as a small desktop reef. Filtration will be a Azoo Mignon, would like to use black sand and my stocking plan is a few easier soft corals (mushrooms mostly), macroalgae, and some really small inverts such as bumblebee or harlequin shrimp and some blue-leg hermit crabs.

I have had about a year's worth of experience with saltwater care and maintenance due to my job.

I would like a good light for this tank though, which is 30cm x 30cm x 30xm (approximately 1 cubic foot). Can anyone recommend a good clip-on or bar-type LED that would be suitable for a tank this size while being adequate for soft coral growth?
 
Coradee
  • #2
Giving this a bump up for you
 
Culprit
  • #3
Sounds awesome! I'd reccomend modding the filter into a fuge, just put a grow light over it and put some cheato in.

Probably a PAR30 bulb or two in a desk lamp will be enough. Not really any cheap nano lights aside from the PAR 30. 2 PAR 30's should be plenty for softies I would think. Lorekeeper uses them, he can enlighten you some more.
 
EbiAqua
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Sounds awesome! I'd reccomend modding the filter into a fuge, just put a grow light over it and put some cheato in.

Probably a PAR30 bulb or two in a desk lamp will be enough. Not really any cheap nano lights aside from the PAR 30. 2 PAR 30's should be plenty for softies I would think. Lorekeeper uses them, he can enlighten you some more.

Does Kelvin matter as much with soft corals? I have 2 small Sunsun LEDs rated at 8000k each. Just didn't know if I absolutely had to have 10000k.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #5
Sounds great!

+1 on modding the filter into a fuge. I've heard of great results with HOB fuges, and will be trying one out for myself soon.

A PAR 30 would be about your best bet. You could go for the 36W version of this:

I used some of the lower wattage versions of those over a 5.5 and a standard 10 gallon for a while, and had no issues with it. But...

After ordering the 10000K ABI PAR 38, the extra cost is well worth it. Coral color is better, and they had an immediate positive reaction to the change in lighting. One of these guys would be more than enough for a 7 gallon cube.

Both of those bulbs screw into a standard E26/E27 socket. I use Walmart desk lamps with no issues. You could also go for a clip-on lamp, for a cleaner look.

Kelvin does matter, but IMO it's more for color and growth. I grew GSP and zoas pretty well under a 5000K bulb for a few months, and had brown colors and, at best, slow growth. After I switched to a proper reef spectrum (10000K), I had much, much better and much faster growth. The LEDs you have would work, but I'd personally go ahead and go for the PAR 38.
 
EbiAqua
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Sounds great!

+1 on modding the filter into a fuge. I've heard of great results with HOB fuges, and will be trying one out for myself soon.

A PAR 30 would be about your best bet. You could go for the 36W version of this:

I used some of the lower wattage versions of those over a 5.5 and a standard 10 gallon for a while, and had no issues with it. But...

After ordering the 10000K ABI PAR 38, the extra cost is well worth it. Coral color is better, and they had an immediate positive reaction to the change in lighting. One of these guys would be more than enough for a 7 gallon cube.

Both of those bulbs screw into a standard E26/E27 socket. I use Walmart desk lamps with no issues. You could also go for a clip-on lamp, for a cleaner look.

Kelvin does matter, but IMO it's more for color and growth. I grew GSP and zoas pretty well under a 5000K bulb for a few months, and had brown colors and, at best, slow growth. After I switched to a proper reef spectrum (10000K), I had much, much better and much faster growth. The LEDs you have would work, but I'd personally go ahead and go for the PAR 38.

Thanks, I really like the look of the PAR 38. You think, on a clip on lamp with a flexible neck, it would provide enough coverage for corals AND a HOB fuge?

Also, I was hoping for a black substrate, but don't like the chunkiness of CaribSea Arag-Alive. Any suggestions?
 
Lorekeeper
  • #7
Well, the ABI bulb (with the lens removed) covers an entire 10 gallon tank + about 10" around it at about 6" off the water. So, yeah, if you could suspend the bulb high enough, you'd get more than enough coverage. You WILL have to remove the lens, though. It's simple enough; take a pair of needlenose pliers, and rip the metal band around the heatsink on the bulb off. The lens then pops right off, and you'll need to glue the LED panel to the heatsink. It's an extra step, but well worth it, and takes like 5 minutes.

As for substrate, I have no experience with any saltwater substrate except for Arag-Alive. I didn't find it "chunky", though. Is it the grain size you have issues with, or the chunks of shells and other stuff that comes with it?
 
EbiAqua
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Well, the ABI bulb (with the lens removed) covers an entire 10 gallon tank + about 10" around it at about 6" off the water. So, yeah, if you could suspend the bulb high enough, you'd get more than enough coverage. You WILL have to remove the lens, though. It's simple enough; take a pair of needlenose pliers, and rip the metal band around the heatsink on the bulb off. The lens then pops right off, and you'll need to glue the LED panel to the heatsink. It's an extra step, but well worth it, and takes like 5 minutes.

As for substrate, I have no experience with any saltwater substrate except for Arag-Alive. I didn't find it "chunky", though. Is it the grain size you have issues with, or the chunks of shells and other stuff that comes with it?
So would you recommend I stick to a smaller wattage bulb?

Also, the grain size. I'd prefer a finer sand and to me Arag-Alive looks and feels too coarse. I'm referring specifically to the Hawaiian Black. It's in 2 of our saltwater systems at this location and I hate it.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #9
So would you recommend I stick to a smaller wattage bulb?

Also, the grain size. I'd prefer a finer sand and to me Arag-Alive looks and feels too coarse. I'm referring specifically to the Hawaiian Black. It's in 2 of our saltwater systems at this location and I hate it.
If it were me, I'd go for the ABI bulb I linked. It's well worth the extra cost, and will save a bit on power too. If you go the Ebay bulb route, you'll need AT LEAST the 36W version, as the Ebay bulbs are quite a bit dimmer than the ABI.

I have no idea on the sand, sorry bud. I only have barebottom tanks at the moment, and haven't really looked into sand since I started my old 10 gallon a few years back. That might be a good question for stella1979 or Culprit if he has any advice to give.
 
stella1979
  • #10
Thanks for the tag Lorekeeper, I was completely missing this one.

Fahn I am sooooo happy to see you are setting up a salty tank of your own. You and I have touched on this in the past and I know how hard you work at this hobby and your job. This is going to be fabulous.

Definitely, follow Lorekeeper's advice regarding lighting. I totally screwed up with my own initial lighting purchase, which wasn't that cheap, yet still needed replacing. Yep, I made the mistake of having to buy reef lighting twice, and I'm barely over a year into this tank.

So, sand... The thing is, chunkier sand is often necessary because of the flow rate in your average reef tank. You don't want lighter weight stuff blowing on your corals and aggravating them. That said, in a softy tank flow is less than a mixed reef and I think you'd be fine at about 15x your water volume for the species you have in mind. Would this lift your average BDBS or Tahitian Moon? I don't know for sure. I do keep tahitian moon in my 20 gallon long freshwater all in one that uses a MaxiJet 900 for the return. I'm actually not entirely sure the flow rate it's providing because of the setup, but I'd guess it's >300 GPH, which is 15x turnover. What I'm trying to say is, you could probably go with whatever sand you want as long as the critters you keep don't need high flow or the sand itself for their well being.

I have a candy cane pistol shrimp, so I'll use him as an example of a critter you would want chunky sand for. He uses individual pieces of AragAlive to build his burrow and a cave system near and under the rocks in the tank. With fine sand, his work would probably collapse, and while he'd likely be okay, don't we all want to provide the best lives for our pets? Yeah, I know you do.

The other thing you might miss out on with fine sand is some of the microfauna that usually lives in the substrate because perhaps some of the usual species may not thrive in a denser/less aerated environment.

I know you're not totally inexperienced, but I'd still like to say, welcome to the salty side! I'm excited.
 
Culprit
  • #11
So would you recommend I stick to a smaller wattage bulb?

Also, the grain size. I'd prefer a finer sand and to me Arag-Alive looks and feels too coarse. I'm referring specifically to the Hawaiian Black. It's in 2 of our saltwater systems at this location and I hate it.

Sand I use BiminI Pink. I'm going to be getting fijI pink for my Nanocube. FijI pink is a nice smaller grain size, very regular, and the most used sand. BimnI pink is a mixture of slghtly bigger chunks and smaller chunks, and sand grains.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #12
That's the same brand and wattage of the bulb I use over my 10. I just use a slightly whiter version of it - that bulb is VERY, VERY blue. However, if you like really blue tanks, you'll love it. Still a great bulb, I just like the more 10000K look better.
 
rugerjr
  • #13
The AI Prime HD would be a great choice. You could adjust it down to whatever you want. Waterbox sells a little 7 with the Prime. Then there is a 4 made by them that you can get with that little Kessil A80 or whatever their smallest fixture is. That’s too little to try and find a T5 or low enough wattage on a Metal Halide.
But, when you take that tank down, and want to set up a bigger one or just have a nice indoor nursery that needs a good rgb fixture.
 

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