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Looking for lighting!!


gwalkerss
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First of all.. Hello to everyone!!!!

 

I have just started my First Saltwater tank about two months ago. I am loving it so far!!! I have a 55g tank with basic lighting. I am looking to up grade my lights already. I want to have more of a reef tank, so i will need the right lighting!! I do not have much money as of right now, i need some thing that would work for at least a while. looking to spend around 150.00, less if possible. I have only the basic lights that the tank came with new. It came with 2 21" hoods with just regular florcent lights.

 

Please le me know what you think would be best for me and if you have any lights that you would like to sell me. Also if you have any other things that you think that i should know, please let me know!! I do plan on attending the x-mas party!!

 

Thanks for your time!

Geoff Walker

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First of all.. Hello to everyone!!!!

 

I have just started my First Saltwater tank about two months ago. I am loving it so far!!! I have a 55g tank with basic lighting. I am looking to up grade my lights already. I want to have more of a reef tank, so i will need the right lighting!! I do not have much money as of right now, i need some thing that would work for at least a while. looking to spend around 150.00, less if possible. I have only the basic lights that the tank came with new. It came with 2 21" hoods with just regular florcent lights.

 

Please le me know what you think would be best for me and if you have any lights that you would like to sell me. Also if you have any other things that you think that i should know, please let me know!! I do plan on attending the x-mas party!!

 

Thanks for your time!

Geoff Walker

 

Well lighting is going to depend on what you plan on keeping in your tank...

 

Fish

Softies

LPS

SPS

Clams

 

This will better help us understand what your tank will require for lighting.

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If you are going to get into halides, I have an extra dual ballast pfo 400 watt mogal system. Its what most of us in the hobby keeping sps and clams use, but for a 55 gallon tank I would probably go with either 175 watts or 250 watts. You would need to place the 400 watt lamps slightly higher than normal if you want to use those. Send me a pm if you are interested. Good luck and welcome to reefing.

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You could get away with t-5's for all of that...what are the dimensions of the tank?

 

55s are usually 48"L x 12"W x 20"D or real close to that.

 

 

T-%s would work for you but I would go with MHs......'cuz if you are like the majority of reefers I know you will be upgrading and you can take the MHs with you without having to worry about whether or not they will work with the next tank.

 

With that said 175w Mhs would be plenty of light for the 55....but I go straight for the 250w ones. just my $.02

 

WELCOME!!!!

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All these MH ppl just don't know what they are missing. (hitme) (naner)

 

With T5s you have much more flexibility. You can make the tank whatever color you want. Like it more blue? No problem! You want the greens to REALLY pop? No problem! You will have no problems with heat, the bulbs last 3X as long, your electricty bill is less, the initial cost is similar, and you will still be able to keep the same corals, yes even clams. The only thing i miss about MH versus T5 is the shimmer the MH gives. THATS IT! Wanna upgrade later? No problem!! Most tanks up to 120gal are 4ft long just like yours.

 

So to answer your question, i would look at a 4-6 bulb T5 TEK fixture, or the new Aquatinics T5 fixtures. Since you have a limited budget, i'd start out looking for a used TEK fixture on RC, craigslist, reeffrontiers, etc.

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Geoff, I was the guy you were talking to at the fish store. I am changing my lighting to t-5's. If you go with metal halides, I would do a 2x250 watt pulse start or electronic ballast. You will be able to use them if, (and when), you upgrade. But, in all my research, I have found that t-5's are really the best option.

 

Nice to see you found the site.

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Geoff, I was the guy you were talking to at the fish store. I am changing my lighting to t-5's. If you go with metal halides, I would do a 2x250 watt pulse start or electronic ballast. You will be able to use them if, (and when), you upgrade. But, in all my research, I have found that t-5's are really the best option.

 

Nice to see you found the site.

 

Yeah t-5's are :)

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Depends on what you can get a good deal on, MH if you want, I would go T-5 on a smaller tank, its just simpler, less electricity, and you can do more light lux without needing chiller. If you can find good deal on MH do it though just dont go to big or your going to need chiller. A 4 light T-5 setup on the low side or 6 on way overkill may have to hide some softies to keep from frying them. If MH I would go with 250 watter (2) and raise them up to prevent overheating in summer. My tank had 250 MH (3) and I gutted it to T-5 and love it, only part I used to miss is the shimmer and I don't miss it anymore. You will be impressed with how efficient a T-5 bulb is compaired to a MH bulb with a decent reflector.

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not to hijack the thread but if the tank is about 20" front to back and about 22" deep is a 4 bulb tek enough? i only have room for a 24" fixture in width and they only make a 4 bulb in the 24" it looks like. is this enough light or do I gotta go with a retro kit and squeeze in 6 bulbs? mostly a softy tank for now, wife likes stuff that moves with current....lol

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Depends on a whole slew of things like bulb combination. If it went on a (20") tank as he said he had not 22" and did 2 11k or otherwisw known as blue plus and 2 actinic plus (these are mixed 40%-60% actinic and white). That would work for most stuff, you would have to have SPS really high in tank, 6 bulb setup preffered. I have a 24" deep tank with 8 bulb and melt softies on the sandbed, you have to hide them in caves till they aclimate and slowly move them out over a few months. Most will adapt, the will bleech and you will need to re-shade if you move them out to fast.

 

Honestly there is no straight faced answer, every tank is different, reflectors are different, height you mount from water makes a difference, bulb brand, ballast, depth, bulb combo, there is so many configurations, I would go 6 bulb and do experimentation on your tank. Acclimate slowly if the specimens are used to lower light. I can take SPS from a MH setup and drop right into my tank where the rest are and have no issues. You just have to find what works. Honesly there is a pretty wide band that your corals will accept within reason.

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what size of tank is it on vanz? That is the exact fixture im looking at getting. how high off the water does the light sit? I was also looking at the nova extreme fixture from current but it has one big reflector instead of individual. but if its all softies in my tank and no sps then it should be ok.

 

29g and it sits currently at ~6" above the water line. Everything opens with the light. I have softies and LPS only right now though. I don't think I'll be getting any SPS except for monti caps. Non of the softies ever shied away from the light even when it was like a couple of inches off the water. All the softies are in the open, but they are mostly at the bottom of the tank. I believe the height of the 29 is 18".

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