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Old 10-11-2005, 02:44 PM   #1
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lighting

i am in the process of setting up a 55g (standard 48in size) and am debating on which way to go with the lights, and i have serious budget constraints.

option 1
48" Tek Light: 2-54W T5 HO Fluorescents which would give a combined 108 watts to penetrate the 24" for $189

option 2
Coralife 48" Aqualight Power Compact Strip Light- 4X65Watt which would be a combined 260 watts for $220

now i only plan on keeping soft corals so i dont need huge amounts of light... what are the opinions out there?
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:22 PM   #2
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It would cost you about 250-300 bucks for 2x175 watt Metal Halide and then you can keep ANYTHING you want. Two 14k MH bulbs $120 two advanced ballasts $100, two moguls $20 bucks. I did my own 175 watt setup for my 37 gal, it takes very basic DIY skills. Well worth it IMO, that way when you go to the LFS and you see something really interesting you want, you won't be limited to not buying it. You can keep anemones too.
I think saving up an extra couple weeks for the extra 50 bucks would be wise.

If it sounds like too much of a pain for you, or you really can't afford it, I would go with option 2.
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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Lando just bought a decent setup for relatively cheap. Check out this link

http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp...ATS&Category=9
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #4
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thanks for the link Brodie, that site has some great deals! which setup did he buy specificly? the link just brings you to the site.

the thing is, im really not interested in anemones or acropora or even lps. i really just like the softies, so i really want the lower light levels. but thanks for the suggestion, DragonForce.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:23 PM   #5
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I believe he got a MH setup, but if you just want softies, go for a PC setup.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #6
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nodoubt, I had the same issue months ago. I bought this dual 175w MH from cooltouchlighting and I couldn't be happier. Top quality and a very good deal. I added a reflector and got a complete dual 175 MH setup for about $250 - shipped!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Dual-175-Metal-H...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:58 PM   #7
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Lando just bought a decent setup for relatively cheap. Check out this link

http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp...ATS&Category=9
Yes, and so far so good. No problems yet.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:02 PM   #8
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Lando.....

doesn't that fixture have only one plug for the moonlights and the MH? How'd you get around that?
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:11 PM   #9
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Correct. One plug from the MH ballast which contains two switches, one for the MH and one for the moons. You can operate them independently but if you have the ballast plug on a timer once it trips the moons will shut off as well.
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:15 PM   #10
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I have my eye on that as well. Are timers really that big a deal? I guess you can still set up the other timer for the dawn/dusk effect. That looks like the best deal I've been able to find yet.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:34 AM   #11
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This site seems to have good prices on lighting as well. http://www.webaquatics.com/?src=over...OVMTC=advanced
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:09 PM   #12
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Read below what I have in my signature. I have corals and I couldn't be happier...No excessive heat or high light bills. No noise, either.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:20 PM   #13
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well, i decided to follow lando's example and take the MH plunge... eventually i may be ready for sps and i wouldnt want to have to upgrade then!

lando- did you get the free bulbs with the light? they said they would send 2 20,000k HQI's and 2 96w PC actinics with mine- i'm thinking this is going to be on the blue side of things. suggestions? pictures?
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:46 PM   #14
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On the blue side of things? Is that good or bad? I'm leaning towards that plunge myself but was told they are out of stock until Oct 20th. That's the cheapest I've seen MH available by a mile, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or something to be nervous about.
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:23 PM   #15
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well im thinking astheticly (sp?) it might look a little strange... i dont know about the coral's reaction, that is the spectrum that they utilize.

i think its so cheap because 1) its a warehouse direct site and 2) its not a real common name, like coralife- when you buy something like that your paying a lot for the name too. its like a generic prescription lol
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:58 PM   #16
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actually, on doing more research, it seems that if you order the lights with the 150W HQI they come with a 175w ballast, which overdrives the lights somehow and decreases their lifespan (im not sure how this works). and i cant find any 175w HQI bulbs. suggestions?
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:18 PM   #17
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There are no 175 watt HQI bulbs that I can find.. the ballasts are made and about $70 each (average).
seems like thats a mogul base bulb ballast.. were did you get the information on the ballast that comes with the fixture? Is is probe or pulse start?
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:04 AM   #18
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lando- did you get the free bulbs with the light? they said they would send 2 20,000k HQI's and 2 96w PC actinics with mine- i'm thinking this is going to be on the blue side of things. suggestions? pictures?
Over all, I am very happy with the light fixture. For the price it is a very good light. I to was worried that it be too blue. At first , it was a bit more blue then I was used to but I have gotten used to it. Sorry, with a new baby, I have not had time to get any pics of the tank. I will get some soon. Here is the bottom line...the Coralife 4x65watt CF fixture will enable you to keep a very wide variety of corals and some anemones. If you have asperations of SPS corals and high-light anemones go for the MH right off the bat.
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:01 PM   #19
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Lando, New guy here,,,, HI

I have a very new tank, 3 months old. 35 gal. the lighting is lousy, I am having a problem with some black hairlike algae. A friend recommended upping the lighting. he suggested getting something in the 90w range. As for now I have 2 chromis and 2 spotted cardinals. For this tank i dont really have too big of plans, it is my starter tank. Later on when I get better at it I plan to move on to bigger better. This tank might end up with some annems, but thats about it. I like the "blue" look I see in some tanks, but I am not sure if I need all of that.

It sounds like all I really need is one of those CF setups. but I dont know if a 4x65 will be too much...

and suggestions
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:01 PM   #20
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sorry that was


any suggestions?
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