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Old 07-12-2008, 11:47 PM   #1
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55 Gallon Tank Lighting

I'm curious on what everyone thinks a decent lighting setup is for 48x13x21 55 gallon tank. FOWLR and some inverts, and maybe an anemone or two, I do not want to run Metal Halides cause of the heat and price of them, someone had told me all I need is dual bulb setup with a fluorescent 10K and like a 6500 blue actinic but I'm not sure if that will illuminate the tank very well, maybe this setup that I previously stated with the addtion of a LED setup like this one Current USA PowerBrite LED Lighting System, 2x1W 10000K + 2x1W 460nm Blue (Linkable LEDs )

But I was also thinking of building a custom canopy and maybe just buy a ballast and have do all of the lighting custom but I'm not sure how expensive that would get... any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:41 PM   #2
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You definitely need to decide what you want to keep in the tank first. If it's just FOWLR than almost anything will do. If it's corals or anemones I would suggest a T5HO setup if you don't want to do MHs. I had very good luck with a T5 strip on a 30 long, had no problems with any corals I tried, although I did not have any SPS or anemones.

There are retrofit kits for T5s that you can buy to put in your own canopy, or a ready to go strip. The 48" T5HOs are 54 watts, so 4 of them would allow you to have most photosynthetic inverts. As for bulb color, there is some personal preference, but on a typical 4 bulb setup 2 10000Ks and 2 actinics (420 or 460 nm) is a good start. The 6500K bulbs are not actinic, they are daylight bulbs better for freshwater tanks.

As far as cost, I think it's about the same if you buy a fixture or do it yourself. If you buy a canopy that will definitely cost more. It seems like the components are just as much as a completed fixture, but you get more flexibility doing it yourself.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, lighting has been one of my biggest issues as what to do, I'll do some pricing today, thanks again!
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:12 AM   #4
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Is this a good deal for T5 Lighting?
48" T5HO T5 Aquarium Light Cichlid T-5 Reef Lighting - eBay (item 330250470407 end time Aug-05-08 21:51:02 PDT)
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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I am seriously considering this light fixture for my 55G:
Aquarium Lighting for Reef Systems: Current Nova Extreme Pro Saltwater T-5 Fixtures
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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That's a nice setup but 430 is a bit much for me
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:17 PM   #7
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Whats a better deal 260W Compact Flourescent 48" for 109.99
Or...
156W 36" T6HO for 109.99

(It's for my 55Gal 48" Tank)
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
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Are you asking about the actual bulb or a specific lighting system?
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Just for lighting in general, its mainly going to be just a FOWLR tank but im going to have an anenome or two in it as well, so Im just not sure which one of those if those at all will work.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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So you are going reef, FOWLR would indicate no corals (anenome). The 260 might work but the 156 is too short for your tank.
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