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Old 02-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
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Lights for a 55 gallon reef

Here's the scenario:

I'm currently running 2 t8's over my 55 gallon reef and I know that its not enough light, but my current corals are actually doing fantastic. I plan on starting a DIY hood/canopy project soon and was going to be installing some t5's attached to the lid.

I was wondering what you guys recommend for the lights. I was thinking 4 bulbs (2 blue and 2 white) but I cant decide on 36" or 48". Been looking online for a while and i keep going around in circles. Also is it better to by a complete fixture or buy retro kits and attach them into the lid. Any and all help/comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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If you have a standard 55g tank then I would go with the 48" ones. You can also use the 36" but then you would have to stagger them. Can you fit 6 bulbs in the canopy? That would be a really great upgrade, you could keep most anything you wanted and it would only cost a tad bit more.
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
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If I do individual or paired lights then I could probably do 6. I would start out with 4 and then add 2 later. Are these the kits I should be looking to get:
Clear-for-Life Aquarium Light Kit

or do you recommend another route.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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I would look more at something like these:

Sunlight Supply Easy Fit T5 Retro Kit - AquaCave.com

OR

Wave Point T5 Retro Kits - AquaCave.com
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Carey. I think that I like the Sunlight ones because they come in pairs so I can install them in pieces. My plan for the canopy is to only have 2/3's of the top open leaving a third in the down position with one set of the lights attached there so the tank will have light on it even during cleaning and other maintenance. Does this sound like a good plan?
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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I would not use 3' lamps over a 4' tank. I would use at least four 4' lamps. What corals are you keeping now, and what do you intend to keep in the future?
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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I love the 48" Current USA Nova Extreme Pro 6 54w bulb! fits right on my 55g
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Right now we have a frogspawn, a leather toadstool, and a green star polyp. We plan on adding some mushrooms, some LPS like brain, torch, and bubble, and maybe an acro
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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If you are going to have SPS like acro, you'll prob need atleast a 6 bulb T5HO. I'm currently researching the same thing you are. I'm looking at 2 LED units for it rather than T5.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #10
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I have most of those under the 6bulb T5HO
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