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Old 06-25-2006, 10:33 PM   #1
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So I'm pretty new to sw in general. I had a 55 G fowler tank for approx a year. I'm setting up a 29 gal tank in my sons bedroom with a couple percs and an anenomie.

What this really comes down to is I want an off the hook tank for my new basement area! I found a kick *** bowfront tank on ebay. I'd like at least a 120 Gallon tank. Besides astetics, how much does tank shape matter? I want to do everything exactly right, I've never done a sump, but want to-and then trying to figure out what kind of lighting to do...I'm fairly familiar with PC. It think I want a reef tank, eventually adding some coral. I want to set up my tank from the begging so I'm not limited down the road et al.

So mainly, how much does tank shape matter, and how about lighting? I was thinking PC and then a couple MH pendants. Or could I just get away with doing that T-5 lighting fixture I saw in another thread. I definatly want lunar lights...

HELP! I'm making myself insane with so many, many options!!!

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Old 06-25-2006, 10:56 PM   #2
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Tank shape doesn't matter much. Bowfront tanks are really nice, IMO.

As for lighting, there are fixtures that combine PC and MH lighting that would cost just about as much as buying them both seperate. As far as T-5, I'm not sure about those. Lunar lights come pretty much standard on most newer light fixtures.


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Old 06-25-2006, 10:58 PM   #3
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Go with the T-5 trust me.
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
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tank shape does matter when it comes to livestock. Large angelfish, tangs, sharks, and in general other strong swimmers do better in longer tanks where they can swim greater distances. I guess what I am saying is that a 9 or 10 inch angel fish is going to be a whole lot happier in a 120 that is 6 feet long, as opposed to a 120 that is 4 feet long and 4 feet tall. Taller tanks can cost more to light, as often only MH lamps can penetrate the greater depth of water in these. Other than that, it really is up to you.

If you are going to make this a reef tank, you really should consider the MH fixtures, in the long run if you retro fit them yourself it can be cheaper and you will be able to keep a larger variety of corals.

As a general rule of thumb, divide the total wats of light by the number of gallons. For your 120 gallon tank, a four bulb 80wat T5 fixture would give 2.6 wats per gallon, while twin 200wat MH pendants would yield 4.1 wats per gallon, and you would have to supplement this with actinic PC, T-5, or VHO bulbs for another 100 wats or so, or 1 more wat per gallon. To keep any of the SPS corals or clams, a very high light level is needed, like with the MH fixtures. To keep corals that live on the sand bed you would probably need MH or one heck of a strong PC, T5 or VHO setup, it really is up to you. I would only decide on what lights to get after careful consideration of what type of coral or reef you want to have. If you have no desire for SPS, clams, or most of the LPS corals, and only want to keep zoos and mushrooms, the much cheaper 4x80wat T-5 system should be fine.

I have also found that if you have a wooden hood that covers the tank, it is much, much cheaper (and more fun) to buy the parts and custom build your own lighting system yourself.

Good Luck,
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