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Old 01-06-2008, 07:55 PM   #1
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Question Debating which lights for new Ric tank

Hey guys I need some help to decide. I am going to set up a new 15 gallon or 20H in the next couple months, not anytime soon but not far away, so I'm thinking about which lighting would be best for ricordea (because ricordea are awesome). I'm looking at retros so I can make the canopy. I didn't post this in the hardware section because I think I'll get more hits here. And I've pretty much copy n pasted this text from my thread on ReefCentral just to get more opinions. TIA

The two main options I'm looking at:

1. IceCap 24'' 2x 75 watt VHO retro. I'm thinking one Actinic White 50/50 and one Super Actinic Blue for the bulbs.

http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...Code=Icecapvhor

2. IceCap 24'' 4x 24watt T-5 HO retro. It's more expensive but if it's better I don't mind. Or I could go with the 2x 24 watt if 4 is too much.

http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...y_Code=IcecapT5

2x 24 watt

http://www.hellolights.com/index.as...ROD&ProdID=1349

Other Options-

3. I could always go with a 2x 65 watt pc fixture but I don't mind the other two choices if the color is better.

http://www.hellolights.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=113

4. 150 watt MH retro.

http://www.hellolights.com/index.as...ROD&ProdID=1324

5. Unknown brand lights.

a) 4x 24watt T-5 HO

http://www.fishneedit.com./t5ho-2ft--4lamps-light.html

b) 150 watt MH pendant

http://www.fishneedit.com./150w-met...endant-lig.html



I'm looking at IceCap since it's good quality. Any other suggestions would be great.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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In my opinion the 2x65W setup would be enough as would the IceCap fixtures. Ricordea does not need an awesome amount of light and I think you would be on overkill if you put a halide on that small of a tank. I am actually putting the Coralife 130W fixture on my 29G soon but I am going to add a couple of T5's on top of that just so I can house some soft, easy to keep corals.

I have heard and read a lot of great things about T5's and I honestly think option number one would be a great choice. I know melosu on this site uses T5's on his 125G and it is gorgeous.

And just to make a suggestion, I would go with the 20H. I started out exactly like you but I went with the 15G. It has been setup for a year and I wish I went with the 20H which has the same footprint just taller. It may not seem like much of a difference but you always want to go big as you can.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:17 AM   #3
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Yea melosu uses VHO ( = T12), that's one of the reasons I considered it.

I've been reviewing the choices again and I might go with the 2x 24watt HO t-5 from hellolights and get two of them so I can put them on timers for dawn/dusk. It would be about the same price as the VHO retro, I could put it on timers, and the retro comes with SLR's.

I already have a 20H and 10 gallon nano reefs. My 20H has 130 watt pc over it and I am pleased. My ricordea in the 20 are going good, but there has been no growth in over a year from the rics (Ricordea floridia), the water conditions are great, and everything else grows so fast I have to frag it. So I am either thinking it has to do with the lights or allelopathy, both situations would be fixed by setting up a tank solely for ricordea florida and yuma.

I might go with the 15 gallon so it's shallower (better light penetration to the bottom) with a 20H sump. Not sure yet.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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Well someone on RC suggested the 150 MH from hellolights over a 20H that should be good.

But two 2x 24watt T-5 retros from hellolights still seems like it would be good.

Or what I could do is steal a 130 watt pc fixture from another tank and put a 65 watt pc over it and then put a 96 watt over the tank that had the 65 watt pc. That would save money.

Such a hard choice.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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If I were doing this I would go with a 29g tank and I would go with a 4bulb T5 retro from TEK. Since you are planning on building a canopy for this tank a MH would probably cook the tank. T5s don't put off the large amount of heat that the other bulbs do and you can mix and match more color options with the bulbs. I certainly would not put a 150w MH on a 15g or 20g tank.

Just me $.02
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:50 PM   #6
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I`m a VHO person and I use the same bulbs you are talking about. I just have two of each. I cant have high light SPS corals but I can have some though. I like mine because I dont have to have a canopy. I just have a metal reflector over them.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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Ziggy- can't go above 20 gallons, dorm room policy. If I could I would of gone with a 33L or something similar.

I went to my lfs today (well twice) and they have a new display for some new T-5 lights by Hagen. I was trying to find them on the internet but couldn't, then I looked at Hagen's website and apparently right now they only sell them in Canada or something. They have a 24'' 2x 24 T-5 HO fixture with a single reflector for both bulbs. I was thinking maybe two of these would work. Or I could get a retro kit that they have and use a single reflector for each bulb, which would cost the same as buying the fixture and I would need to build a canopy if I went the retro route, but if I went with the fixture they would be so small it would be nice open top over the tank and it would probably look better.

And I also got $40 store credit today for 8 gsp frags I took in. So I could just work up some store credit and get two of those t-5 fixtures (~$100 each).

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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I still think a single fixture is going to serve you better. There are lots of them available on ebay that are 4x24 T5s. I think you would be happier with a single fixture rather then two.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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Could you give me a link to one? Whenever I look on eBay the only T-5 fixtures I find are ones with a single reflector for all 4 bulbs and/or they are an unknown brand. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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