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Old 09-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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Lighting requirements and Cost

I have a 29g freshwater tank, but would like to jump to saltwater. In the end I know I'll want to get anemones and some soft coral, but am still confused on what lighting I need and what is budget friendly.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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Hi. Welcome tot he forum!

As far as 30" light fixtures there are a few that can support an anemone but they are far from budget friendly. lol I think youre looking at $200+ for a good light. the cheaper ones will work with most corals but when it comes to nems they need a lot of light.
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I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks ! Wow almost 11k posts. So nems are out then (sad). Low light corals?
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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In my opinion nems are over rated anyways. lol I had one but ended up returning him a few months later after he eventually took over a half of my tank and the stress of knowing what could happen with him just got to me. hehe...

Here are some lights that would allow you to keep a good selection of corals

30in 4Bulbs fixtures

You could keep alot of coral with it and it's on the cheap side.

Hope that helps!
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I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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There are allot of options as far as lighting for corals. Allot of soft corals will do well under a 2 bulb t5 Ho fixture. Now if you want more high end corals such as Lps and Sps I would go with a 4 or 6 bulb fixture each individually reflected. Another option for you is a single 150watt metal halide for lower end corals and some Lps and Sps at the top or a 250watt metal halide for any coral you would ever want. Currently I have a 8 bulb t5 Ho fixture over my 60( a ballist is out and a bulb just went out so 5 lights) and it keeps soft corals and Lps very healthy. My tank depth is 24" deep.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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You might also keep an eye on Craigslist. A lot of times you can find someone who has upgraded and can find something less expensive than new, BUT you do need to know how old the bulbs are and if they're included as they can be pretty expensive in and of themselves.

My advice is to not skimp on the lights and get what you need to keep what you want from the get go. Upgrading will cost you far more in the long run. I have a 37 with the same footprint as the 29 and am currently running a Current USA Sunpod 150W metal halide along with a 24" Hagen HO GLO strip outfitted with an actinic blue. If I could rewind the clock, I'd have gotten the 250 metal halide with 2 actinic strips (can't remember what they call this series - Outer Orbit maybe?). It would have cost significantly more, but I would also feel more secure about the lights being sufficient to support anything I wanted AND it would look cleaner.

As Carey said, nems are very light demanding. My issue with them has always been keeping them out of powerhead and filter intakes when they decide to go wandering. Knock on wood, I now have a long tentacle that seems to be happy under my current lights and is staying put.

The bubble tip I had before him decided he wanted to live under the live rock, bleached out and died. I couldn't get to him without dismantling the tank to reposition him in the light. I was hoping that he would come out and get some sun. When he finally did, it was too late.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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I found a 12 inch 250watt MH light......that I can afford on craigslists. Going to check it out and try to work with it. what do you guys think? XD
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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you can keep whatever you want under that. you can raise it up a little to widen the spread. post the link to it here.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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Metal Halide Fixture and ballast 250w
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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sounds cheap. tell him to send you pictures. if it looks like the images he used, it's a deal!
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