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Old 10-10-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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Diving into saltwater...

Got me a tank off craigslist (tank,stand, and a rubbermaid tote full of gravel and stuff for the inside as a FW tank) for a 100$... its a 55 gal tank. Stand is useless since im going saltwater - slowly lol. It's way to small and the tank is too low for my liking..sooo Im going to build a stand that can house a sump and a can display it better Also I'll be building a top for it... this is what I have in mind for lighting... please let me know if its too much. I'd like a clam or two as well as stony coral and some soft coral. Also I'd Like couple clowns for fish and the usual suspects for cleaner crew - snails, hermit crab or two, pistol shrimp and other shrimp since in my FW tank the ghost shrimp do an awesome job.

Lighting would be like this:
x2 (2 blue and 2 white) - 36" 2 x 39w T5 HO Retrofit Kit
x2 - JBJ K-1 250W Metal Halide Retrofit Kit

On the MH light ill get some aluminum flashing to make it more parabolic and polish it up. I have two 80mm case fans I can install on both sides for the setups for cooling - blowing in.

Timer set for first T5 for blue, then T5 white, then MH - then back down. Then: 44" LED Lighting Strip - Hamilton - or make my own with a dozen led's spread along the tank...

Jeebus good lighting is darn near half the cost of a tank setup... Anywho what you think of the above idea? What should i go with for light temp for the coral and fish I want?

Thanks,
maxst2
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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Welcome to the hobby!!!!!

I am assuming that you got a standard 55 which is 48" long. You will need a 48" retrofit kit. as for metal halides I would go with 2 175's instead of 1 250. for the moonlights check out this site www.reefledlights.com.

I wouldn't do any of this though. I started out with a 55 and loved the tank for a year. when you get into putting corals and clams in you will quickly realize that depth (front to back dimension) is VERY narrow and will be wanting a 75 or 90 soon (if not a 120 like me). The 18" depth is MUCH more reef friendly. I would not go crazy with MH's over a 55 until I have a little of experience. just go with 4 t5ho's (2 actinic, 2 10000k white) while you are learning. That will be enough light for almost anything except clams. (SPS at the top of the tank) then if you decide to keep the 55 invest in the metal halides or LED.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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It is abit narrow, but ill take what i can get, and make due

I really want a clam though... I had two MH retrofits in the list I believe.. go with 2 175s though?... would that be too much with the t5's?

I have the smaller t5's to make sure there is room for the MH and LED lights inside my canopy.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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It is abit narrow, but ill take what i can get, and make due

I really want a clam though... I had two MH retrofits in the list I believe.. go with 2 175s though?... would that be too much with the t5's?

I have the smaller t5's to make sure there is room for the MH and LED lights inside my canopy.
It is going to be tough to get the mh's and the t5's in a 13" wide canopy. If you run reflectors it is going to be nearly impossible. The 2 175's will be perfect for a 20' deep tank. look for a mh reflector about 8 inches wide and run the t-5's without reflectors. paint the inside of your canopy white.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:22 AM   #5
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250W HL MH Retrofit Kit (HQI)

Two of those and two t5 retofit kits ... going white blue, MH's in center, white blue.

Here's what i have... canopy INSIDE measurements are 50" X 16". 1/2" spacing from side to First T5 set, white then blue (or vise versa?) space 1/2" for middle MH fixtures, space 1/2", and then next T5 set, 1/2" space, side. LED's i think ill mount on the right and left sides and angle them into the tank.

I was going to line the inside edges with some reflective material so the lighting isn't exactly wasted.



Whatca think?
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:17 PM   #6
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ah crap...been looking at those MH retrofits and they are double ended bulbs and not that great.

Looks like four 48" T5's is what Im going to have to get it seems.
= http://hellolights.com/48inch4lampt5...icecap660.aspx
What kinda live stock can I get with that?
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:50 AM   #7
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ah crap...been looking at those MH retrofits and they are double ended bulbs and not that great.

Looks like four 48" T5's is what Im going to have to get it seems.
= 48" 4 Lamp T5HO Retrofit Kit with IceCap 660 Ballast (Bulbs Included)
What kinda live stock can I get with that?
how do you have 16" of canopy space on a 12.5" tank? You can definately find better deals than the ones you have found. Why do you want to run t-5's and Mh's? I would just run the MH's with radium 20k bulbs. no suplimentation needed on this bulb.

Coralvue 175watt Complete Retro Kit Includes 175w ballast, Coralvue Bulb, Reflector

They will upgrade you to a radium. not sure about how much more it is.

If you want to go with t-5's you can do it MUCH cheaper.

for 4 lights you need:

1 x Aquarium Specialty - Workhorse 7 balast $51.95 or 2 x Aquarium Specialty - Workhorse 5 balast (white's & Blues on different switch
4 x Aquarium Specialty Reflectors 20.99 ea
4 x Aquarium Specialty endcaps 3.78 ea
8 x Aquarium Specialty endcap cover 1.49ea
4 x Aquarium Specialty Base Gasket 0.29 ea
4 x Aquarium Specialty Stand off 2.25ea

2 x Aquarium Specialty White Bulbs 24.95
2 x Aquarium Specialty actinic Bulbs 23.95

That is 270.91 with bulbs.

The True actinics look purple in the tank. both of the above setups will give you a nice blue color in the tank. You may be able to run 5 or 6 under the canopy. If you can get 6 you should be able to have a clam placed high in your tank.
or this (what I started off with on my 55

2 x http://www.aquariumspecialty.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=28_517_518&products_id=3907 134.99

This is a quality fixture. They are designed so you can screw 2 or 3 together to make one fixture.

I would not spend more than 135/pair on t-5's (bulbs included) or more than 180/bulb on mh's

I would go with the MH's only because I like the shimmer.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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Making my own canopy... Plan on making the sides reflective so then the light I believe would be somewhat used While only having a just over 1.5 inch overhang around the tank... the tank is 12.75in wide. Lights will sit lil over 4 inches off the water - inside measurement will be 6inch up... That enough or i need to go higher?

If I did T5's only and did white/blue for every other one I can easily fit 6. Then rig some LED moon lights inbetween.

Ooo.. I like that site. I can easily wire up parts as well. You all put your ballasts inside the canopy or outside?

With the premade fixture you linked there.. ill have a 3/4 inch overhang on bothsides. think that'll work still? Or would building them inside an area and having reflection be better?
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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the better reflectors you can get is always better. There is a lot of light to be harvested from the sides and top of the bulb.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Making my own canopy... Plan on making the sides reflective so then the light I believe would be somewhat used While only having a just over 1.5 inch overhang around the tank... the tank is 12.75in wide. Lights will sit lil over 4 inches off the water - inside measurement will be 6inch up... That enough or i need to go higher?
A 1.5 inch overhand is a lot why so much? I will make your tank look top heavy. I would go double that on the height. You will need it if you go MH's Here is a picture of a design I made for my 120. I would mount the lumenbright pendants on the top of the canopy to keep some of the heat out.

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If I did T5's only and did white/blue for every other one I can easily fit 6. Then rig some LED moon lights inbetween.
That is the way I would go. Quality reflectors are a good Idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxst2 View Post
Ooo.. I like that site. I can easily wire up parts as well. You all put your ballasts inside the canopy or outside?
Just look around. some sites are cheaper on different things. watch out for shipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxst2 View Post
With the premade fixture you linked there.. ill have a 3/4 inch overhang on bothsides. think that'll work still? Or would building them inside an area and having reflection be better?
It would be fine but I would do the DIY retro fits.
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