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Old 02-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gomer4378 View Post
I'm just wondering how many watts per gal you can have before it's considered too much.

Or is the more the better?
As Melosu stated, the wpg rule is quite an old rule and can be used as a general guideline, but it has its faults. Par is of more importance. Is more better? Not necessarily and depending on the coral (including some fish) can inhibit growth.

Is the watts per gal of a mh diff from a t5, as in 400w with each lights be the same ( besides the multiple t5s to acomplish the task).

Is that why people go with mh? To get a higher wattage with 1 bulb?
A metal halide acts as a spotlight, it is a direct source of energy/illumination that allows better penetration whereas T5's, power compacts, and vho lighting spreads out across the entire length of the bulb. T5's run a bit cooler than halides, but the depth penetration is not as good. You also get far more bulb options with T5.

there is 10k, 15k, 20k, 6500k.
how does a person know which one they want to get?

do you want a variety of them all?
The K rating is just the aesthetic value. Each brand has different options in metal halide bulbs. Here is a decent link to get an idea between the differences in aesthetics: http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_Aquari...bs_information
You get far more bulb options with T5: http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_Fluorescent/Bulbs/

when you say to keep the lighting down to 6-7 hours, does that mean all lights so the tank is dark or just the main mh or t5's then leave some other light like florescents or something on.
Most halides are kept on about 8hrs give or take with actinics extending 10-12hrs. Corals do need their "down time" and especially from intense lighting. Moonlights can stay on all the time if you want.

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Old 02-15-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
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Thanks all,
I think I'm ready to jump into the whole lighting thing now without worry.

One last thing,
Some of the my fixtures that I have come across say hydroponics or growing light, are these the same thing?

Kevin in Billings, MT
no tanks at the moment but going to have a massive build in the future
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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Watts per gallon is also dependant on the amount of live aquatic plants you have in your tank. If you have lots of plants, then you will need more light as the plants produce oxygen when they photosynthesis in the light and produce CO2 when they respire in the dark. Not providing enough light could cause your dissolved oxygen to drop and fish to die. If you have lots of plants, the more light and longer left on the better!

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