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Old 03-11-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
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How would you light a 6ft tank?

So this week I will be getting my custom made 6ft tank (build thread once I actually get the tank)

My question is how would you light the tank.

I was thinking LED but the cost is just so high for what I would need right and with things coming up in the next few months I think its more of a dream cost wise now.

I was thinking maybe pick up a couple of 36" HOT5 fixtures and hang them end to end to get the 72" of length.

And im looking for lower cost...so Im checking out ebay.
Thinking maybe 2 of these
36" INCH 6pc T5 HO AQUARIUM REEF LIGHTS w/Timer 234W | eBay

End to end thats about 400w over the tank, I know its not ideal but im not going to be going SPS, I have a few small SPS frags in my current tank, they up high on a frag rack and after 6 months in my tank with little growth whatever :p they have colour and polyp extension so I guess they are doing ok. I just plan more on softies and maybe a few LPS.


But after seeing some other members tanks in person they all had MH over them and I really like the way they look. but is there a way I can use MH pendants instead of a 72" fixture? Most fixtures I have seen run close to 1k for that length or some ebays ones for like 500.

So im unsure what to do, what to look at and im looking for suggestions on how to light this sucker, I hate to say it but its gonna be an odd looking setup for a few months as I plan on using a 2 bulb T5 and a 4 bulb T5 fixture from my other tanks until I figure this out fully.

Edit: should add the tank is 72x20x20 so rather shallow IMO
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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How much are you looking to spend? Do you want to eventually have some coral?
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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I already keep softies with HOT5's no problem so only softies and LPS I doubt I will ever enjoy SPS
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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I bought a odyssea adv plus 250w MH + 4T5HO's and upgraded it with an icecap ballast and phoenix bulbs and am very pleased. I don't have much experience with coral growth and different lighting setups but I'm very pleased with this setup. The original ballast and bulbs were fine I just read that with those two upgrades then the odyssea would perform like high end stuff.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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ok I understand the bulb upgrade but why the ballast upgrade?
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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I just read that the Odyssea ballast was not of the greatest quality. For example the ice cap is supposed to put out more light per watt consumed, last longer, is UL listed. And I found one for $80 online and sold my odyssea ballast for $50 so the upgrade only cost me $30.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:03 PM   #7
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Here's a video comparison of the odyssea and icecap ballasts.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&hl=...&v=PYnjYhfgnTU
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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not bad thats an option I can look into.
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