I have a 90 gallon sw
aquarium and currently I have two 175 watt 10,000 K MH
lamps lighting it. I plan to begin adding coral soon, but I really haven't considered the type of corals yet. My lamp box/holder has two mounts for 48 inch fluorescent tubes, but I don't have a ballast. I have read in a couple of books what seems like the standard lighting set up is with MH
and Actinic 03
. I think the idea is that you start the actinics 1 hour before the MHs in the morning and stop the MHs one hour before the actinics in the evening. How do I make a decision on what fluorescent lighting to purchase.
A few of my basic questions are:
1) Should I get 2 VHO
actinic 03s at 110 watts each?
2) Can I get by with NO
actinics at 40 watts?
3) Steve-s mentioned T-5s but Marine Depot told me these are a new type of 'unproven' lighting. I don't think my current fixtures are for T-5s. What are T-5s and what advantages do they have over VHO
4) Is there anything else I should be considering?
5) Where do you draw the line on personal preference over what is good for your aquarium, i.e. I realize the actinics are blue which looks cool, but do they have functionality as well?
6) I priced the Icecap 430 Ballast at Marine Depot at 139.00. Is this a good deal? It seems like this should be my next purchase.
Thanks in advance for any advice here.