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Old 06-21-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
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Lighting - MH vs. Coralife Lunar Aqualite - What's Better???

Hello Everyone - I'm glad I stumbled onto you guys this early in the game!

I am getting ready to leap into saltwater! Yippee!! I had freshwater 10 years ago and have been wanting saltwater for years.

Anyway... I am going to buy a 120 gallon that is 48Lx24Wx24H. I am going to start with LR, LS and fish then move into reef as I feel more confident.

So... will 2 - 48" Coralife Lunar Aqualights be sufficient or should I spring for MH??? I know it kind of depends on what I am going to be putting in my reef... but I'm not really ready to make that decision. I like what I read about MH but MAN are they expensive! 8O

I am getting a nice maple hood so I guess I may not have room for MH and that would make my decision??? Whaddaya think?

I guess what I am really worried about is that I don't want to $500 on two lights then end up needing MH and having wasted my money.

This is so exciting yet SO much to learn!!

TIA for your help!
- Amy

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Old 06-21-2005, 01:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
Lighting is something you only want to do once, so do it right from the begining. You are correct, the type of lightng you go with will depend on what you want to house. Just make sure you plan for the future. I started off with CF lighting and quickley realized I should have gotten MH from the get-go. It would have saved me $$ in the end. You can always get MH retro-kits to put in yru hood if you are handy, or know someone who is. I would research them more before blowing $500 on CF lighting.

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Have a great day! Brian
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Brian!
I have decided to bite the bullet and get the MH... I found a great deal on a Coralife Aqualight Pro HQI with 2x96W actinics and 2x150W MH and 3 moon glows that my local store is willing to meet. It is going to actually work out cheaper than buying enough CF to light my tank properly.
Thanks for your reply!!!!
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:43 PM   #4
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On a 24" depth you should really consider a 2x250w instead. You'll get much better light penetration towards the bottom. Keep in mind with MH lights, you need some suspension above the water line usually about 8-12" depending on bulb type, 6" being minimum. If your tank is to be primarily SPS/clams, you'd be better off with 400w.

A 2x250w would still allow for a large selection of corals though.

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Old 06-22-2005, 08:05 PM   #5
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If you go with a acrylic aquarium be sure to keep them away from the surface. Many aquarium manufacturers void the warranty if they are not at least 10" away from the tank.
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