Originally Posted by Melonbob
Can you point me in the direction of what I should be getting as far as lighting? I realize that you get what you pay for, but I also want to be able to afford the rest of this tank as well. Thanks for the help. My tank is 46gal bowfront, and measures 36" wide
I've got the same tank (Oceanic) and there are the lights I have...
Gives you about 4 watts/gallon and is enough lighting to do just about all the LPS
(large polyp) corals, mushrooms, leathers, and zoanthids. These are pretty much all the corals out there except for the SPS
(small polyp) corals which are the acroporas and associated varieties. (These are the "branching" hard corals you normally think of when you think about corals.)
Unless you know for a fact that you want to do SPS
corals, I'd highly recommend this light. Very quiet, three separate switches for the actinic/daylight/moonlight so you can control them separately, and a nice compact looking unit.
I *think* it may be enough light for lower light requirement anemones, but I'm not sure. I'm not planning on going that route, so I've never researched it. Perhaps someone with a BTA (bubble tip anemone) can chime in on that.
Agree that it's nice to support your local fish store, but when buying the startup stuff, you'll easily find hardware online for AT LEAST 50% off what your fish store sells it for... including shipping. The only thing I bought locally was my tank and stand itself. Everything else came online - even the rock and sand. However... I have bought just about everything in my tank living from one or two fish stores, where I also buy food, test kits, and misc supplies. I don't really feel guilty about it because the stores know they can't compete against the online folks. That's why many of them (at least in my area) don't really stock a ton of hardware. They seem to focus on those things that people need in a hurry - heaters, powerheads and pumps, medications, test kits, carbon, etc.
Agree with cmor1701d... it you stick in the hobby for any length of time, you'll end up with several "spare" items in a cupboard somewhere. It's just part of the learning experience. But shelling out the money upfront for a quality skimmer, good lighting, and quality live rock can really help start you off in the right direction. Skimping on things up front can actually cost you more money in the long run with increased maintenance costs, livestock death, etc.