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Old 12-14-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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Lighting

Since I have never done a coral tank before I am unsure what specs I need for lighting.

My tank is 800 gallon,

8 ft x 4ft (front section)
7ft x 3ft ( side section)

30" depth with dual over flows.

I was talking to a guy at the lfs and he said metal halides are the best for hard coral and from what I've read, I need 3-5 watts per gallon.

I can get metal halide 400w or 1000w fixtures really cheap but they use a tonne of electricity

Any suggestions?

I have about 10 4 ft fluorescent light fixtures that I took down from a Reno that I was Hoping to re use and change out the bulbs for t5's,

looking forward to some suggestions !

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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For the size and depths...I don't see much other choice than MH. Seen all your posts, can you make one in the tank showcase? Would love to follow this.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
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I also would say metal halides will be your best bet. the dimensions are just way too big for a standard fixture in my opinion plus you'll need the depth penetration.

Following your other thread by the way, excellent work on the tank, I absolutely LOVE the rocks on the outside of the tank!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Im not sure about the lights, but that tank is sweet
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Well If you have the cash you can do LEDs. Like those led cannon things. I would say maybe 8 of them
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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If you are like me, on a budget I got metals for the corals and dawn/dusk and moonlight I got leds. You should get lumen elite or lumen max to spread the metal light around. You will need at a minimum of 4 for the 8 feet length.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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This is great. I'm loving the feedback.

so, how many metal halides should I get ,

I can get 400w and 1000w light fixtures w bulbs for pretty cheap.

I was thinking 6-8 400w, does that sound like enough?

I'm not sure if I'll have space to do any fluorescents if I put up that many halides but I could probably work something out with compact fluorescents or leds where they could hang in between the halides and have it all on a timer for the dusk/ dawn moonlight ( really don't know what these mean yet)
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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Dawn/dusk are lights used to transition from night time to the metals. They are the actnic lights on all in one light fixtures. This is done so the only light the fish seeing isn't only the bright daylight metals.

Moonlights are almost always blue leds that give the tank some light during the night
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:47 PM   #9
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i would use 8 lamp t5 fixtures. they will definitely work well for you. you could use two 4' fixtures over the 8' side and stagger eight 5' lamps on the 7' side.
you could keep whatever you wanted under that lighting for much cheaper than thousand watt halides. moonlights are unnecessary.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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in my opinion MH are old technology, LEDs and T5hos can penetrate the depth of that tank. T5s with good bulbes and over driven can be over soemthign that is deeper then 30" which is in 1000watt MH territory. LEDs with a 40 degree optic will also be able to penetrate that also. MH are not the best for growign hard corals and it has been proven that LEDs put out better PAR and PUR numbers. T5s also produce the same growing numbers as a MH with less wattage and they can make your tank look great with the different spectrum lamps you can have, where MH its just a single spectrum that you are relying on to target the coral as well as your personal needs.

over a tank liek your to grow hard corals you will need tons of light, which will pull your electricity bill through the roof, your best bet is to go with LEDs or even t5hos over MH
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