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Old 06-01-2006, 08:44 PM   #1
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How much light is enough?

I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank. I currently have about 60 lbs of live rock, a cleanup crew, some damsels from startup and a banded sleeper goby. I am looking to upgrade to a full reef setup and have heard some different opinions from different sources about lighting. I have read 3-6 watts per gallon. I was looking at a PC 2x96 online, but when i went to my LFS they told me that 1x96 would be more than enough for my tank. What are the thoughts on this? Oh yeah, my tank is 36x16x20...if that helps. Thanks for any input!
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:31 PM   #2
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the amount and type of lighting will be directly related to what you intend to keep. For teh most part, 5watts/gal of CF lighting is plenty to keep a wide variety of soft corals and LPS corals. The watt/gal rule is really more of a very general guideline and I do not depend on it mcuh at all. It is much better to decide what you wish to keep and build a system around that. SPS corals, clams and some anemones require more intense light so MH is a better choice for these. If you can narrow things down a bit we can offer a bit more detailed advice.
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
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The recommendation from your LFS would be for a FO or FOWLR tank. Corals would indeed, need more lighting and your 2x96 watt should be sufficient for most things barring the highly intensive light requiring creatures.
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Old 06-03-2006, 03:57 AM   #4
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Is a MH light a must with Anemone? I coulda swore I saw some Anemone is tanks with CF lights such as the Corallife Lunar Aqualight. Perhaps they had just put that light on there for the display?
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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MH is not required for all anemones. Some speices need stronger light due to the fact that they prefer to dwell on or near the substrate, thus, the light needs to penetrate all the way to the bottom of the tank. Other species are rock-dwellers (such as the bulb tip) and can do just fine under the right amount of CF lighting.
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