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Old 05-17-2009, 10:24 PM   #1
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Lighting???

I have had my 20 gal running for sometime now and all of the watrer parmeters are good. I was interested in getting some corals and was wondering what ligh fixture i should get? The tank is 30 in long.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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What type of corals do you want to keep? Softies, LPS, SPS? How long is "sometime now"?
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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The tank is been running for almost 2 months now. In the begining probably just softies...but i dont want to limit myself in the future.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
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Ok. Well, I'm no expert by any means so I'll just relate what I've done in the same size tank. I have 130W of PC over my 20. T5 light is more efficient than PC and MH is more efficient than T5 so the wattages will vary. With my setup, I started with softies and very easy LPS. I've since found through pushing the limits in baby steps that I can keep just about any LPS and alot of SPS. There are corals that I can't keep and I've avoided trying to take a leap. A lot of it will depend on other factors such as nutrients, flow, placement, etc. For your desires, I wouldn't recommend less than what I'm running and it'd be pretty easy and relatively affordable to do even better.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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You may be slightly limited because of the 30" length. Many fixtures stick to 24,36,and so on by the foot. I would personally look for a 4 or 6 bulb T-5 fixture. A good fixture will have individual reflectors over each bulb. The closer to a parabolic shape the reflector has the more efficient it is at directing the light into the tank.

PC (power compact) lights are ok but the bulb life is shorter then T-5 and i'm just not a big fan. After having both types of lights i would go T-5 every time.

MH (metal halide) are great lighting sources but on a 20 gallon it will be over kill. They are quite pricey if you buy a fixture. Generally reserved for deeper tanks because the greater intensity and typicly higher wattage helps to penetrate the water better then T-5 and PC.

Since your tank is only 13" hight the 4/6 bulb T-5 fixture will allow you to keep just about anything you want. I would guess even the high light SPS will do ok as long as they are placed high and their other requirements are met. You may find that keeping water parameters stable for picky SPS in such a small tank is more of challenge then providing enough light. Just going to take a little experimentation.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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I dont think I would mess around with MH`s for a twenty gallon tank. Too much intensity IMO. I`m definitely not a lighting guru so maybe someone else can let us know.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Alright thanks for all the replies. So what I'm understanding is that the MH would be to much...and the PC would be good? What are some good companies for PC lights?
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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I think Pat pretty much summed it up in his reply.

I would go with the T5 over the PC as well.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #9
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T5`s as well here also.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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So would this be a good light fixture...Current USA Nova SunDial T5 Aquarium Lighting Fixture, 4X24 Watt, 30 inch
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