How a small change can affect your whole reef system in a big way
by, 02-15-2010 at 09:52 PM (830 Views)
Recently, Ive started making changes to my reef to make it more energy efficient. I made the choice to remove my CL system and use powerheads. I opened up my aquascaping and thinned out some large acroporas to get away with less over all flow, and most recently I changed the lighting schedule on my MH's to help reduce the heat generated by three 400 watters over a seven hour period.
For years Ive ran my VHO's for 13 hours and my MH's for seven and have had great results. I have always had my halides come on at near the same time and shut off in the same way.
After hearing a presentation about large reef tanks given by our own Melev, I decided to try a lighting schedule similar to his to help with electrical costs in a couple of ways. I am wanting to run my MH's for only five hours each and on a staggard schedule in hopes to run the chiller less. Less lighting equals less chiller, plain and simple. Or so I thought.
Instead of three 400 watt MH's firing up at noon and running until seven P.M.
Im now starting MH one at 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.
MH two starts at 12:00P.M. until 5:00P.M.
MH three starts at 2:00P.M. until 7:00P.M
This increased my MH duration by two hours but now there are only two lights on at a time exept for a few minutes in the day when all three lights are on together. I was skeptical of having positive results, but within a couple of days I could tell the tank was running cooler. Much cooler.
This is the first side effect of the lighting shedule.
The tank is running so much cooler Ive had to turn off the cooling fan above the tank to keep the heaters from running for an additional four hours a day.
The second effect.
Since this fan isnt needed, I obvoiusly dont need the chiller which has recently been running three hours a day. I turned off the chiller feed pump
The third effect.
Since the cooling fan is off, I have less evaporation and my kalk top off is affected. Less DKh added on a daily basis.
The forth effect
Because my alkalinity consumption hasnt changed, Im having to recalibrate my calcium reactor to make up for less Kalk.
The fifth effect
With less Kalk and more reactor effluent being added to my reef, the Ph has dropped by two tenths from 8.1 to 7.9.
I could go on with a couple more smaller details but these are the big differences. You get the point.
Little did I know, simply changing my lighting schedule would affect my tank so much in just a week.
Four of the six changes are electrical savings so I couldnt be happier.