Ok well heres what i have found from research on lighting. First off you have to know what exactly you want in the tank. If you want a reef then what size tank you have. IMO
never go by watts per gallon to determine how much light you need.
produce light at a single point(like a light bulb) and are very intense. Best lighting if you want SPS
or any kind of coral that need high lighting. Clams also are good example.
are good depending on what kinds of coral you would want....best usually to be used with soft corals....(mushrooms etc...) Not as intense of lighting since wattage passes through a tube dispersing the light, which makes it harder for the light to penetrate and less intese in anyone area compared to MH
are generally consider about the same as PC
. I have used VHO
and had great sucess keeping soft corals leathers, some LPS
. And they give you a really nice look to the tank.
I am currently using 3 25watt MH
on my 125gal tank and would never go back or buy anything but MH
just because i like the look and knowing that i can have any coral i would want to put into my reef. If your using a tank that is less deep then you can get by with lower lighting like VHO
, and T5HO. I have seen a couple tanks with T5HO's on their tank and look awesome and are a better choice IMO
There are also different kelvins of bulbs that you can purchase. The lower the K
the more yellowish the light will look. 10k for example will be more of a brilliant white (daylight look). 14k and 20k will have more of a blue hue in the spectrum. If running MH
i would recommend going with either 10k or 14k and supplement the attinic or use 20K and not necessarily have to supplement attinic. (thats what im using.)