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Old 04-28-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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Am I ready for Coral?

I have a 55gal, currently only rocking live rock and a few snails. I had some damsels a month ago, but I left on vacation and my friend was suppose to feed them, didnt, and they died. I plan on getting more soon, but I think I want corals first. My tank has been up for 5 months but Im not sure what all I need for corals.
I have 10K lighting, 1 marineland jet powerhead and a hydor koralia, and 2 55gal filtration systems (not sure what to call them lol) I bought a reef master test kit but it hasn't arrived. I know im not ready today, due to the fact that I dont know all my levels, but do I need to buy any more equipment??
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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"10k lighting" is just the color temperature, someone else can correct me if im wrong but for non-led lights watts are what matters. I have been using a 4 bulb T5ho coralife fixture, each bulb being 54 watts and it works for the "beginner" coral i've put in so far. The taller the tank the stronger light to reach the bottom. I currently have 2 10k bulbs and 2 actnic.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Start simple with a zoa colony or mushroom first and see how it does once you are ready.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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Though zoas can be easy, they can also be picky. Get a ricordea mushroom to start off with. But those already stated and maybe some other softies will be the extent of what you can keep under that little light.

If you want to house others, I would suggest looking into LEDs. They can house just about anything you want and are several cheap chinese alternatives available over ebay. There are several threads in the forums regarding them. They will save you alot of money in the long run.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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My bulbs are only 15 watts... so i need to get new lighting?
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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Most def would need something with more gumption.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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I been trying to find VHO bulbs but I cant find any with higher wattage. my fixtures fit for an 18" bulb
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #8
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55 gal tank with 18" bulbs? I would think you probably will want a whole new light fixture that goes the length of your tank. Leds are nice because they don't give off heat and use less power but its a little difficult to make sure you have strong enough lights. The old watts per gallon trick doesn't work , they use less watts for the same light as say t5 bulbs like I have.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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Its simple to find out if a led is strong enough for corals. Min of 2 watts. 3 is even better. And keep in mind leds last ~10 years. T5 and other bulbs should be replaced every 6 months. The ones for my 4 bulb unit almost ran me 200 bucks...

Either 200 a month for 10 years or 2 300 units for ten years. Simple math imo.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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I have VHO bulbs but in todays world they are kind of old school. They are good for LPS and soft corals and some moderate light sps corals. You will not get VHO bulbs in the system you have now if the bulbs it takes are 18 watt. You need a system with a bigger ballast. Mine are VHO retro fits.
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