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Old 12-02-2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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help with lighting please!

Hey,

I am trying to work out how much lighting I am going to need for my tank. I have seen the 4-6 watts per gallon thing but here is where I run into some confusion. Do I include the atinic lighting into my total watts? Because if that's the case, then look at these numbers:

1 x 250w MH
2 x 65w PC

= 380 watts / 29 gallons = ~13 watts per gallon! Is that too much? Sounds like a whole hell load to much. Would I be better suited with a 150w MH lamp? The it would be:

280 watts / 29 gallons = ~9.6 watts per gallon. Still sounds like too much.

Is there such thing as too much? I want to be able to (eventually) have just about any type of coral I want...including stoney. So what do I do? What is the best range of watts per gallon for most corals?

Please advise! thanks!
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:23 PM   #2
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DO not use the the "watts/gal" "rule" when designing a lighting system for your tank. At best, it is a VERY loose guideline. Different types of lighting (CF, T5, VHO, MH) have their benefits for different types of photosynthetic coarls. SOme corals require less intense light wihile some require more intense light.

IN GENERAL...If you wish to keep softies, LPS corals and polyps, CF or VHO will be just fine. If most clams, anemones or SPS corals are on you wish list then MH may be a better option. There are exceptions to this, but they are few. In short...decided what animals you want to keep now and in the futture and build your lighting system around that. Reef lighting is the one of the most expensive components in putting together a tank...you only want to do it once.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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Yea well that's what I was thinking...I only want to do it once lol. however it's already been done once, and if I wan't to keep stony corals, then I need more. However, I would still like to keep my current, softer corals. Is there no in between? just high light or not?

I think you are right though, I may just stick with what I have for a while...I was just wondering...kind of lol
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:32 AM   #4
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You can always redesign your rock work, just make sure you make some overhangs or shadier spots for the lower light corals you already have.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:44 PM   #5
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Brian had a good point. Figure out what type tank you want and go from there. I agree that the watts per gallon is an old rule in the age of lighting that we have today. Intensity is more preferred as to the higher light corals and clams.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:41 AM   #6
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ok well I have pretty much decided that I am getting the MH to addon to what I have, but how to I work out if it's too much? Or is it not possible to have to much?

Thanks!
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