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Old 09-12-2003, 02:18 PM   #1
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Whats your Lighting Watts?

I did a search for this question and I think I saw every post OTHER than my question lol! My pet store is trying to sell me a 250 watt Coral Life 4 foot lighting unit. The owner says it is all i will ever need as far as lighting is concerned. Is 250 watts enough to keep most corals alive and happy? I know some of you rich saltwater fanatics may have like a 900watt setup or something along those lines, but I am asking for a "general setup". I am just trying to get a basic idea of what the term " Moderate to High Lighting needs" means. I see it a lot in coral profiles, but i have no idea what wattage that usually means. I hope this becomes a popular topic, us noobies will have a goal to shoot for and an idea what a decent lighting setup entails. Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2003, 04:51 PM   #2
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in our book at home it says you need 5watts per gallon of water and light is one of the most important things in a reef. it can make it or break it. so good luck . we want to start one after the begining of next year.
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Old 09-12-2003, 04:56 PM   #3
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ok

Ok, so 5 watts per gallon, and i have a 55 gallon. I am 10 watts off. **** this hobby seems endless....
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Old 09-12-2003, 05:08 PM   #4
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What size tank - more importantly, how *deep* is the tank?

Quote:
250 watt Coral Life 4 foot lighting unit
Is this one, 250w MH bulb? Do you know what type/color temp. bulb it is? 6500k, 10,000k, etc.?

A 250w bulb would be sufficient for a tank up to 24" deep for almost all photosynthetic critters. However, a single MH bulb will light only a 2' long tank (or a 2' section of a tank).

Moderate - to - high lighting is usually a reference to MH setups. Total watts is really dependent on tank depth and width (one MH every 2' of tank is standard).

Our setup is (180g tank)

3 x 250w Iwasaki 6500k bulbs
4 x 6' VHO (160w each).

So, a total of 1,390w. However, this is not a "rich man's" set up. We choose the Iwasaki bulbs for the bulb longevity (up to 2 years) amongst other reasons, and DIY'd the Halide setup for about $550.00 (VHO's were additional).

Quote:
Ok, so 5 watts per gallon, and i have a 55 gallon. I am 10 watts off. **** this hobby seems endless...
Watts per gallon is not a "hard and fast" rule. For 'shrooms, polyps, and some hardy leathers, you can get away with between 2-4 wpg. Some sps's demand 6-7wpg and up, and nothing short of MH lighting is recommended.

A lot depends on how deep the tank is, and where you choose to put the corals in your tank. A coral will receive a LOT more light if placed closer to the water's surface, than it will placed on the bottom of the tank.

Also, type of lighting is important. MH is the most intense lighting, folllowed by PC, VHO, then NO. Intensity is the ability of the light to penetrate the water.
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Old 09-12-2003, 05:09 PM   #5
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Ok so your talking 250W over a 55 gal. Can you tell us what type of lighting makes up the 250W?

This is what I have on my systems.

20 Gal High
2 X 55W PC 10K and Actinic

45 Gal
1 X 96W PC 10K
2 X 13W PC Actinic

80 Gal
2 X 96W 10K
2 X 96W Actinic

Remember the watts per gal rule of thumb is only margionally good for florecent lights. Its no good for MH lights unless your tank is small. The depth of a tank also is something to consiter. A 20L can get by with less light than a 20H.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:25 PM   #6
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um

Um, my 55 gallon is only 20 inches deep. This light I want to purchase is a" 4 foot compact" (with fans on the sides) i think he said, and i saw the actual lights looked like they were in a U shape, but it was lighting a whole 125 gallon with corals so i was impressed. (it was very bright). There were blue and white lights, he said it was 260 watts and he will sell it for 225. dollars.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:48 PM   #7
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It probably has 4 55W/65W PC bulbs then. Each bulb is approx 2' long so there would be two on the left and two on the right side of the light.

It will light your 55 nice. I would classify it as having moderate light.
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Old 09-12-2003, 09:03 PM   #8
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Beautiful! Will it be enough light for one of those bright colored clams that rest in the sand bottom? (like these pics http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...ry.php?cat=517 ). I think they need moderate to high lighting needs.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:29 PM   #9
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You would definitely need more light than that to successfully keep T. maximas or T. croceas like those pictured in the link. Both of those species of clams, IMO do best when kept under metal halides. You might be able to keep a T. squamosa or a T. derasa, but again IMO that lighting is still on the weak side for either of those, especially if kept on the tankbottom. 260w of light on a standard 55g would be sufficient for keeping most soft corals, most LPS corals, and a few of the lower light SPS corals.

As for the original question 940w on my 120g and 1,080 on my 180g.
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