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Old 03-28-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
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Reef Lighting

I already have everything else I need except for the light.
I want to be able to have most coral.
I have a 48x13x18 (50 gallon) tank.
I don't want to get metal halide because they take up to much electricity(and the fact of having an older house with old wiring).
(and the fact that the metal halide is just too large to fit on top)
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Old 03-28-2003, 01:46 PM   #2
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4x55 watt PC's would do well in that situation..That is, if MH is not an option.
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Old 03-28-2003, 02:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
I want to be able to have most coral.
I have a 48x13x18 (50 gallon) tank.
I suggest metal halide. 2 175W 10000k or 6500k or one of each. Alternatively you can run 2 Iwaski 250W 6500k bulbs. I understand they will fire with a mercury vapor ballast (cheap).
If the lights won't fit in your hood, get a different hood or make a taller one. As far as heat, use 3" or 4" fans on either side (one in one out) or two on the open back blowing in. As far as the old wiring, if you don't have three prong grounding plugs then now is a good time to upgrade. They are dangerous, especially for aquariums. A GFI is strongly recommended and is impossible without grounded outlets. Normal house wiring is sufficient for running the lights I suggested. As far as electricity and the resulting high bills...welcome to the club. No one said this hobby was cheap (or even reasonable).
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Old 03-28-2003, 03:14 PM   #4
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Both are good suggestions. Going with MH will almost guarintee you could keep just about most of the popular corals in your tank.

Either way your electric bill will go up.

Just out of reference when I started my 80 gal with 4 X 96W PC's and 2 X 200W heaters and 1 Little Giant circulation pump my electric bill went up about $30-40/month.

If you really want to estimate your electrical cost increase you can check out our calculators page.
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Old 03-28-2003, 08:23 PM   #5
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Any of the lighting systems that are suitable for reef tanks are going to use a considerable amount of electricity and give off a considerable amount of heat. You may hear that PC's and VHO's run cool. IF they have proper ventilation, they won't cause your tank to overheat. A PC bulb, after it has been on for a few minutes, will burn you.
I think there are some MH fixtures that are "low profile". I'm thinking it's called a Reef Sun or a Reef Star? Can't remember...perhaps someone else can comment further on that.
You could, as an alternative, use an Icecap 430 and three 110 watt 4' bulbs. You might, if you use the double endcaps, get 4 VHO bulbs over your tank which would give you 440 watts. That would require the Icecap 660 ballast. I just ordered an Icecap retro kit from www.championlighting.com for a 4' tank. 660 ballast, 4 bulbs, standoffs, endcaps, and fans...about $400.00. They also have MH and PC lighting although www.ahsupply.com is probably a less expensive alternative for PC. You might also check out www.hellolights.com and www.il-solutions.com .
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Old 03-28-2003, 08:42 PM   #6
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I agree with with Logan, its either VHO, or PC and Metal Halides. If metal halides ia totally out of the question, go with VHO. I really agree with Mark though, with two big fans on the end getting some current flowing through, you wont really have a prob. Thats my $.02! Good Luck

How big is the canopy (hood)?
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:42 PM   #7
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I forgot to mention to check on ebay. I know some members have bought lighting there and were very happy with it. I'm sure Micheal Prater can give you more info on buying lighting on ebay.
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:57 PM   #8
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I have found that buying on ebay can be very good. If you want to get a nice metal halide setup for a really reasonable price I would look at the PFO setups. These are always priced right and sometimes they have retrofits with NO lighting and a reflector. When buying on ebay look at their feedback. If they have tons of positive you can almost always trust them. Plus if you have questions email the seller. If he responds quickly and answers your questions you can bet you have a good seller. If at all possible go with metal halide. You said you want to keep most corals this is your best bet. If you dont plan on keeping SPS you would probably be ok with PC or VHO. I have kept a large variety of LPS and softies under PC lights with no problem. If you shop around you can find MH affordable, and cooling issues can normally be taken care of with fans. Good luck.
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