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Old 04-02-2007, 02:02 AM   #1
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Switching to a reef tank, need advice for lighting!

Hey guys I am looking to do the switch and I would like to be able to keep clams, SPS, LPS, and maybe some zoos in my tank.

I have been reading conflicting opinions on whether T5 can cut it for SPS and clams based on where you place it in the tank - so I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on what light set to go with.

- Extreme Orbit 48" 2 x 130 watt $260


I was unsure if this was a MH fixture or a PC fixture, if it is MH I think I would go with this because the price is definitely right for that much MH lighting.

- Current Dual Satellite 48" 4 x 65 watt $209


- Tek T-5s 48"


I heard some very good thing about Tek brand lights, however they seem really expensive compared to Current ones. Is there another reputable store that sells Tek lights less than Marine Depot does? Also for what I want is the 4 bulb unit good enough or do I need the 6 bulb unit?

If everything I posted here stinks and won't cut it, I would definitely appreciate some links or product names from people so I can check out what would be the right stuff.


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Old 04-02-2007, 02:19 AM   #2
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The key to T5's are individual reflectors. If you have that, you are gold.

IME PC lights are not very efficient, especially compaired to new lighting.

I always liked MH, they are simply the best thing out, aside from the new T5 thing.

Get t5's with individual reflectors or mh/vho combo.

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:08 AM   #3
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I agree with Marc...skip the PC lights your corals aren't going to be as happy. MH IMO is the best due to the intensity and depth they reach. T5 I don't have enough experience with to say, although they are gaining in popularity and people seem happy with them. I have MH on my tank and my corals are very happy and growing!!!
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #4
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Ok if I am getting a Tek T5 lighting fixture with 4 x 54 watt bulbs will that be enough light for SPS and clams (my tank is 18" deep) or do I really need the 6 bulb model?

As for MH I realize it is the best but I can't afford to put more than $400 into lighting, so that kind of leaves me unable to do MH for my tank.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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FWIW, I had a happy, healthy Deresa clam under 4x65 PCs in a 72g. Grew quite a bit in the 4 years I had him. Also had healthy zoos, leathers, frogspawn, hammer, ricordias, shrooms, and xenia.

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Old 04-02-2007, 11:40 AM   #6
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PCs are great for lower light corals, as Ray said. Deresa clams could handle PC lighting, as they are a lower light clam. I had the 2x65 PC on my 29 gallon for 4 years and I grew corals very well. But I agree, you'd definitley want to upgrade for clams and sps.

FWIW, I have the 4x39 Current Nova Extreme HO-T5 on my 24 inch deep 45 gallon tank, and I love it. I don't have clams yet, but it's in the plans for the future, and my sps are just eating up the light. It runs very cool, doesn't use as much electricity, and is relatively quiet. I think you'll be happy with thr 4 x 54 watt fixture. Just as with any tank, keep sps towards the top and lower light corals in the bottom.

I would have loved to do MH, but cost prohibited me as well, and I also didn't have a place to hang it. T5 is perfect because they are cheap and aren't mega powerful, so can sit right on the tank top (with the legs of course).


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Old 04-02-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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I bought the Nova Extreme T-5 Fixtures w/Lunar Lights 216Watts for my 55G and love them.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:57 PM   #8
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mdjxt39, heres the best advice around imo re lighting choices...Know what you want to keep and the environment you are going to need to replicate to house your choices. Light intensity and color temp should be based on your specific desires. That said there are tons of examples of beautiful SPS/clam tanks under t5 or VHO lighting. You really should consider what you want to keep, specifically, to base your light choice on rather than what you *can* keep based on your lights.

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Old 04-03-2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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figure on 3-5watts per gallon. Concentrate on LPS and see how they do. Then add some SPS frags---near the top of the reef or tank.
Experiment with the clams--if you are feeding phyo and zooplankton twice a week they will tolerate lower light levels.

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