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Old 01-20-2005, 02:02 PM   #1
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Shopping for lights

How do you pick the lights you want?

I need to start looking for lights for a 55 gal standard size that I am getting from a friend. I am only going to have FOWLR for now.

Please help thanks!
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
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If you're only going FOWLR you don't need any special lights. You would be fine with the NO lights that typically come with new tanks. If you want to get more coralline growth, you will probably have to move up to PC lights. Not too expensive (compared to MH) if you do a 4X65W set up. I had the Current USA Satellite fixture that was about $225 and did a great job. HTH

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Old 01-20-2005, 02:19 PM   #3
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for a FOWLR you can use the stock lights and be OK! The coralline algae will actually grow better with the lower light. If you do want to step up to corals just add a 4-65 watt hood from Coralife or current USA.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:53 PM   #4
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I've witnesses myself that coraline actually does grow better with normal output lights.
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:47 PM   #5
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What about hitch-hiking inverts that come with LFS LR or from www.lr.com? I thought that they wouldn't do well with NO lights?
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:41 AM   #6
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depends on what u want as far as hitchhikers... dont count on them though. usually if you get rock from the keys or gulf you will end up with crabs that will slice and dice ur fish so you have to set up traps for them. if your hoping to get other hitchhikers like corals and stuff then you would need proper lighting for them to grow, but with most rock they take that off and either propagate it themselves or consider it as dieoff, unless you get deco rock or other types that have been aquacultured. correct me if im wrong, which i may be but im just trying to help. also if you want to go with pc's for your tank and want to DIY for cheaper look at this website they have good customer service and good deals www.ahsupply.com
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:54 PM   #7
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Well... wasn't really concerned with hitch hikers... was just curious. Thing with my situation is that I can't afford to be buying all of the soft corals & anemones yet (especially considering the fact that I need a nice established tank first). So I would start off with a nice skimmer in my diy sump and add as many pounds of LR and base rock I can get my hands on, and go from there. If that + a couple fish don't require PC, then I won't get it yet to save on the PC bulb life. I hear it's only 1 year (if not less) so I didn't see the point in buying PC's now, if I won't really need them till I start to get into softies and such.

So if coraline will grow just fine (or will stay alive) with NO, I'd rather go that route for a while to recoup my start up costs, and then save to buy MH or PC later on when I'll get into corals & such. Thoughts?

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Old 01-22-2005, 02:05 AM   #8
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Sounds like a plan! If you need NO lights, look into shoplight fixtures, much cheaper than aquarium NO fixtures.. .

6 months in you probably want to replace the NOs, so by then you might be looking into corals and other photosynthetic critters.
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
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I picked up a dual bulb 48" shop light at Home Depot for $24.95. It has a chrome reflector that really helps crank the light. Like you, I am just cycling my tank now and plan on Compacts like at the end of the year. Personal xmas gift? Anyway the Coralife 4x65w 48" can be had for $198 at Captivereefs.com I think. They are $300 at my LFS.
The bulb life and cost of them is kind of scary for PC's but I know I will want/need them as I gain experience.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:00 PM   #10
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Yeah... I have a shoplight from Home Depot right now that I had installed in my DIY canopy already. I think LFS around here are more interested in getting me to buy their $350+++++ units rather than telling me that I don't actually need them if all I need is to cycle my tank (oh... and the two clowns after a proper cycle... have to have the two clowns)

Unit works well... have a 03 and another white aquarium bulb (not sure what it is)... looks awesome, just wouldn't dare to try corals with such poor light.
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