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Old 02-15-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Upgrading to reef

Hi I have a 56 gallon tank that has a stock light on it. I need some lighting suggestions for my tank it is 30 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Anything else I need besides better lights before going reef? Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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What's in the tank right now?

To "Go Reef" you'll want to address the following needs:

  • A) Great water quality and stability
  • B) Sufficient flow for the type of coral you want to keep long term
  • C) Sufficient Live Sand and Live Rock (can be bought as NON-Live and over time it will colonize and become live)
  • D) Sufficient amount of light with the right intensity for the coral you plan to keep
  • E) Not required but HIGHLY suggested is a quality Protein Skimmer rated for approx 2x your total tank volume

A Sump and/or Fuge will help but are not required for a successful Reef Ecosystem.

Most important piece of advice for a Reef Tank . . . Go ssslllooooowww and enjoy the ride
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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Use reef salt rather than regular aquarium salt.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Great everything checks out except the lighting. What would anyone suggest for my tank?
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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That would depend on what kind of corals you are wanting to keep in your tank. What are you thinking about keeping?
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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Probably just some soft coral and mushrooms. But I might want an anemone.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
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That would depend on what kind of corals you are wanting to keep in your tank. What are you thinking about keeping?
Exactly. Think long-term so you aren't re-buying your equipment in a year or so. On my first reef tank I bought a light fixture for it 3x before #4 was the RIGHT fixture. I was trying to save a dollar or two and in the long run I should have waiting and got what was right for the tank long term.

What are the dimensions of your tank?

Length _?
Width _?
Height _?
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Length is 30 inches width is 18 inches and heighth is 24 inches.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Probably just some soft coral and mushrooms
These are usually low to mid light demanding animals so almost any lights are good here.

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But I might want an anemone.
And THERE in is the problem... these animals (in general terms) are High Light demanding animals as well as are for "Advanced" reefers because they tolerate no parameter fluctuations and need the best of the best in terms of water quality. You'll want to be on your A game to even consider an Anemone. One common problem is that people see them at the LFS and get them too early. They seem to do fine (even under poor light) for weeks or longer so the aquarist thinks everything is going great. Then one day something is "off" in the tank.. the Anemone is withdrawn and shriveled.. or the mouth is "gaping"... and usually in a matter of a few days the animal expires for what appears to be no reason at all. In reality the animal was slowly perishing all along but because of their ultra slow metabolism and resilience for survival they can make it longer than many other animals even in bad conditions. Keep in mind that in the wild some Anemone can live upwards of a century . . .


The moral of the story is you need to set up your tank thinking Long-Term and if you "think" you'll want an Anemone in 9-12 months go ahead and set your tank up for it now even if you need to wait a little longer to get the funds in order. I'd rather have overkill on my lights and no limitations than save a buck and not be able to have just about anything I want in the tank.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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You could go Metal Halide, T5 or LED. It's entirely up to you. My personal pref is always going to be LED first.
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