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Old 11-03-2003, 01:18 PM   #1
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Need some lighting ideas for 90gal

I'm currently planning an upgrade for one of my 55's to a 90gal glass. Have pretty much chosen all the equipment and move technique (moving the sand bed will be a real chore), but I'm not quite decided on lighting.

I'm planning on keeping a mix of fish and easily cared for corals that have at worst moderate lighting demands. Basically anything that demands MH lighting I' trying to avoid because I want to stay with low maintenence lighting. MH means a different hood, power, etc., and I'm just trying to not go there....... for now.

I'm left to bantering between T5's or power compact, the later I prefer because it's basically a T5 bent in a 'U' if you think about it, but there are some nifty T5 fixtures coming out. I'm otherwise thinking about 4-96watt PC's being sufficient unless there are some other opinions out there. Having half a dozen 55watt PC's seems like a pain and kind of redundant with 96watt PC's being more efficient and just as easily attainable now.

The mix of lighting is another dilema. I normally mix actinic with 10,000k with a 50/50 ratio, but I recently saw some 30gal reef tanks using 6700k T5's mixed with actinic, and they were awesome. The 6700K bulbs really brought out the reds and oranges of anemones and fish unlike any 10,000k or MH set up I've ever seen that often tend to look a bit sterile. Anybody else messing with 6700K bulbs, or even lower to bring out color?

I'm also noticing that square pin configs with 96watt PC's seems far more common than straight, although straight pin seems more common with 55watt and smaller. Am I just looking at the wrong dealers, or is there a conspiracy here?
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:11 PM   #2
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4x96w PC's will actually work well on a 90 gal tank. You will be able to keep more than you think. About the only thing I have not attempted with mine are acropora's (and similar light demanding SPS) and tridacna's. I have a derasa in my 27 gal though but that is a 2x65w.

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Old 11-03-2003, 05:07 PM   #3
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The square pin is the one to go with. I think you'll find that, overall, availability is greater for that style bulbs.
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Old 11-03-2003, 06:52 PM   #4
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Whats the demensions of the tank because 96 watt PC's are only 36" long i dont personally think that it will cover the entire tank properly i would recommend a 6x96 if you do PC's 3 bulbs on each side. HTH
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Old 11-03-2003, 09:04 PM   #5
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They are 34" long. The bulb set looks like this:



If the days are placed in the center and the 03's on the outside, the coverage is quite good. With the overlap in the middle, it can be quite intense for certain light hungry corals. So far the SPS I have are all midway height and on the outside areas and still do quite well.

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Old 11-03-2003, 10:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input on the square pins. Since I'll go the retro route I'll need to be carefull to specifiy, since this is usually where you can get into trouble with mix and match ballasts. I knew I wasn't imagining things on this issue.

Actually I try to avoid end to end lighting in tanks. A standard 90 or 55gal is 48" long while 96watt PC's are 36". It may seem logical to stagger the lights, but I've found that tanks that have concentrated lighting in the middle look better aethestically than those lit uniform end to end.
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:08 AM   #7
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Not sure where you two get 36" from but they are 34" including the connectors.

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