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Old 03-02-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Cichlid lighting

Well I figured the SW tank shouldnt get all the new stuff so I'm gonna upgrade from my stock hood lights to some t5's.

The question is whether I get a 4 X 54w or a 2 X 54 watt. I don't currently have any live plants but I anticipate putting some in ( the ones my guys won't eat hopefully).

is a quad fixture overkill? I was also thinking if I ever made it sw it would come in handy but thats a very big IF.

Thanks
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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Personally, I wouldn't waste my money upgrading lights on an African tank... Nor would I waste my money putting plants in one. You'll just be giving them a salad bar. Been there, done that.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey
Well I figured the SW tank shouldnt get all the new stuff so I'm gonna upgrade from my stock hood lights to some t5's.

The question is whether I get a 4 X 54w or a 2 X 54 watt. I don't currently have any live plants but I anticipate putting some in ( the ones my guys won't eat hopefully).

is a quad fixture overkill? I was also thinking if I ever made it sw it would come in handy but thats a very big IF.

Thanks
For what its worth... here's a pic of my new double 54watt t5 ho. One 10000k bulb and one actinic on a 55 gallon. If your tank is bigger than 55 I say a quad def overkill.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankBoss

For what its worth... here's a pic of my new double 54watt t5 ho. One 10000k bulb and one actinic on a 55 gallon. If your tank is bigger than 55 I say a quad def overkill.
Forgot pic lol. It's not a totally true representation because I thing the light combo confuses my cheap cam.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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Yeah I know about the plants. cichlids are famous for eating or tearing them apart. I just wanted to add a couple, nothing extreme or expensive. I have maybe 5 platic plants in there now, just wanna replace them.

I know the fish themselves don't really care about the lights. It's just the quad is only like $20 more than the double so I thought I'd ask.

Also, these fixtures come with 10k and aetnic. I wouldnt be needing these would I? Or would 2 10k's work? The blue light is strictly for corals correct? or is it to give a blue hue in FW applications?

Thanks
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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I run a 72" 8x39w fixture with my africans and found all 10k's was to bright even with black sand, so I ended up with 2 actinics,2 colormax, and 4 10k's and really couldnt be more pleased. The actinics really help bring out the colors, so my vote is for 4x54w fixture. You don't have to run all the bulbs but never know if you'll change your mind and want to plant or go to the dark side to salt then you won't have to upgrade again.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards the quad fixture. It has switches so I dont have to run all four at once if it seems like too much.

Hehe I've already crossed over to the dark side and boy is its different over there! I couldnt find more than a quad 30 inch fixture for sw tank. lol
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUKIT
I run a 72" 8x39w fixture with my africans and found all 10k's was to bright even with black sand, so I ended up with 2 actinics,2 colormax, and 4 10k's and really couldnt be more pleased. The actinics really help bring out the colors, so my vote is for 4x54w fixture. You don't have to run all the bulbs but never know if you'll change your mind and want to plant or go to the dark side to salt then you won't have to upgrade again.
I just plugged in my old warm bulbs along with my actinic and white and it looks great. Will I get that look if I just replace the white ho with full spectrum?
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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I just plugged in my old warm bulbs along with my actinic and white and it looks great. Will I get that look if I just replace the white ho with full spectrum?
I use Colormax bulbs by Coralife and would have run all Colomax bulbs with actinics but I have a reef ready tank with is 29in deep, so with that depth and black sand the Colormax's just would not penetrate deep enough for me. I do run a 2x54w with Colormax and actinics on the oscar tank(white pool filter sand) and love the combination. So long story short the answer should be yes.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUKIT

I use Colormax bulbs by Coralife and would have run all Colomax bulbs with actinics but I have a reef ready tank with is 29in deep, so with that depth and black sand the Colormax's just would not penetrate deep enough for me. I do run a 2x54w with Colormax and actinics on the oscar tank(white pool filter sand) and love the combination. So long story short the answer should be yes.
Thanks again. I will be running a colormax or wavepoint (dont know which is better yet) but for now I seem to have found my main problem. My fixture was positioned at the furthest rear area of my tank, which is silly since I view from the front. My canopy won't allow for it to sit at the front so I positioned it dead center. Looking much better now.
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