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Lighting opinions wanted


Beckie
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I am thinking of up grading my lights. Here it goes

 

150gl acylic Mostly softies but never know what I will want in the future.

 

Tek 48 4bulb just enough(scratch)

 

Tek 48 6 bulb could have more options DOH!

 

Tek 48 8 bulb over kill :eek:

 

Lets hear I'm sure many are ready to let me have it!

 

Beckie

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I would go with a Galaxy 2x250 watt MH ballast with the lumen max elite reflectors, with 14k Phoenix DE bulbs. Or the same set up with radium SE bulbs and the elite reflector. That way if you ever get the urge to keep hard corals, you are ready for it.

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I have the TEK 6x54w (48 inch) on my 75g tank, and it is enough. Some SPS get browned out, but that could be water quality issues (indicated by my great crop of hair algae). LPS grow great. I have had it for 2 years.

 

I also have an 8x39w TEK light (36 inch) over a 40b tank. It lights it up well enough for my RBTA farm that I am starting (I hope). I have only had this light and tank for about a month. Happy so far.

 

As for your tank... 150g is a large tank for T5 lights. I don't know the dimensions, but if it is only 4' long then it must be either deeper or taller (or both) than my 75g tank. If it is much taller, then I would go at least dual 250 or 400w halide lights. Don't skimp on lights now, or you will be buying better lights later.

 

dsoz

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O.k. I can see that MH are the choice so far. Hubby is concerned with heat, elec bill and so on. I thought Tek instead of knock off was pushing it. No icon for (hubby with rolling pin) LOL. He's been great about all I have spent on new hobby BUT!

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So is this tank 72x18x28?

 

First, I think you will have trouble finding 6' T5 fixtures or bulbs. There are a few VHO (T12) bulbs available in 5-6' lengths, I think, but not a big selection.

 

You could do 4' T5 staggered, which would give you less light at the ends, like so:

 

------------

.... ------------

------------

.... ------------

 

I have a 30" deep tank with a 4 bulb Tek retro-fit kit (individual reflectors). At the bottom of the tank, it is only enough light to keep shrooms and other low-light softies. Near the top, I can keep some SPS, etc. If you are staggering the lights like I showed, I would go with 6 bulbs - otherwise the light at the ends will be really, really weak. Sizewise, 6 of those Tek reflectors should just fit side by side in your hood (assuming you have one).

 

Alternately, 3 x 250W MH (every 2') would probably do really nicely. It would be a little higher power bill, though.

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Hi Beckie,

 

Don't worry about the heat/electric bill when choosing between T5 and metal halide lighting. It's a common misconception that T5 lighting uses less electricity and gives off less heat than the equivalent metal halides, but that's not the case -- it's just that with the fluorescent bulb, the area emitting the heat is the entire length of the bulb while with MH it's a tiny point within the bulb. The total amount of heat released is basically the same.

 

I'd suggest choosing based on whether shimmer and particularly blue lighting are important to you or not. Metal halides are great for the shimmer, fluorescents are much better at producing blue (actinic) colors.

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My tank is 60x24x24 The tek 8 bulb fits inside in the canopy perfectly from front to back and shy a few inches on each end. I can't ever think that I need to keep really high ends corals. I thought with that much light clams and super hi light corals would be the only thing off limits.

 

Am I wrong

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Just know that once the coral bug bites... you are addicted and need to get just one more... It is worse than crack.

 

Every now and then I make a dumb purchase that reminds me that I should not try to go there, and I have just about the king of T5 lights with the 4' TEK light.

 

If your tank is 60", there will be 6" on each side that will receive very little light from the T5 fixture. That will be a no-grow zone for a lot of things. You could probably keep some zoas over there, but not a lot of other things.

 

dsoz

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on my 210 30" deep I will be running 3 400Wt 20k MH on Electronic ballasts. I haven't decided what ones yet......Also, 2 6ft.VHO actinic and 2 50/50 VHO The the VHO's will be run on 2 660 ice cap Ballasts. I don't have any experience with T-5s. I just don't want to fix a system that isn't broken. Even thought I could go the other way. I'm sticking with MH

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My tank is 60x24x24 The tek 8 bulb fits inside in the canopy perfectly from front to back and shy a few inches on each end. I can't ever think that I need to keep really high ends corals. I thought with that much light clams and super hi light corals would be the only thing off limits.

 

Am I wrong

 

Hey Beckie, I went through the same sort of argument with myself, bought something with less than optimal lighting then got frustrated with all the cool stuff I saw that I couldn't have (including SPS and clams) so finally scrapped the whole thing and bought another system. So... I would definately lean toward "overkill" if I were you so you don't regret it later! That is, of course, if you can talk your SO into it :D I currently run 2X400 MH plus VHO actinic supplementation on a 48x24x24 tank.

 

Good luck!

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Something else to maybe keep in mind... high-end MH reflectors are so good now that you can pretty much step down a 'level' if you get one. 250W in a good reflector works fine in situations where people previously went for 400W.

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Hi Beckie,

 

Don't worry about the heat/electric bill when choosing between T5 and metal halide lighting. It's a common misconception that T5 lighting uses less electricity and gives off less heat than the equivalent metal halides, but that's not the case -- it's just that with the fluorescent bulb, the area emitting the heat is the entire length of the bulb while with MH it's a tiny point within the bulb. The total amount of heat released is basically the same.

 

I'd suggest choosing based on whether shimmer and particularly blue lighting are important to you or not. Metal halides are great for the shimmer, fluorescents are much better at producing blue (actinic) colors.

 

My powerbill dropped 19 bucks when i switched from 250w MH to 6-54w T5s. A smaller return pump helped i'm sure.

 

 

I would suggest the 8 bulb fixture. You could keep most anything under it.

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How many Metal Halides were you running? If you were running two MH bulbs that's ~300W of fluorescent vs 500W of metal halides so I'd expect the consumption would go down. Of course, the amount of light going into the tank also dropped based on 2 MH.

 

I'm sure a smaller return pump helped too -- return pumps run 24hrs a day vs maybe 8 hours a day for lights.

 

An 8 bulb fixture would be about 430W, pretty close to 500W of MH.

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Yeah, there was a lot of other stuff going on there -- a single 250W bulb run 8 hours a day costs a bit less than $5 a month. A Koralia 3 running 24 hours a day costs less than 40 cents a month to run (laugh)

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