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Old 12-04-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around lighting requirements.
Basically I'm struggling between getting a biocube, and using my current 20 FW tank for a saltwater tank. The problem is I don't understand what kind of lights I should get for my twenty gallon. I already have just a normal fluorescent light hood, can I get coral supporting bulbs for that? If so what the heck are they? Some sort of T number or not? It would be great if someone could break it down for me...!

Also, I just got enough sense to go look at the current bulb in the light it's a T8, but it's only a single bulb fixture. . .
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, florescent fixtures are not like incandescent fixtures in that you can put a higher power bulb in the same fixture. A T8 bulb in the length that fits your fixture will have a standard wattage. You cannot stick a t5HO or any other bulb in there. I am not a SW guy, but a single tube T8 will most likely not support any corals from my limited knowledge. You would have to upgrade to a different type of lighting.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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There is a couple of ways you can go with a 20 gallon tank one is 4 bulbs of T5 or a MH so you can keep most any corals if you are wanting an anemone go with MH. T8 bulbs are getting impossible to find for reef lighting now and those my friends have found usually burn out faster than the T5 lights.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #4
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Ok. Yes that's kinda the impression I was getting. I'm not going the MH route unless somebody knows a "inexpensive" fixture. Ha. Could you suggest a T5 fixture? I want something good, but I'd rather have some money left over to get better live rock or something like that.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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MH is a lot more costly in the long run (they suck a lot of juice), though typically about the same price initially. I like fishneedit lights. I have several fixtures from them, and prefer them over my current nova extremes. Assuming you have a 20 high, here's a 4 bulb unit that would work well - 2Ft/4Bulbs fixture... if you have a 20 long, you'd need this one - 30in 4Bulbs fixtures

These definitely aren't your only options... but they're cheap, reliable, and good quality.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Wow thanks. I was looking at a Hagen dual bulb for $108, but the fishneedit looks nice!
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
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If you decide on the fishneedit light once you get everything going and the bulbs need replaced a few months from now go with a better bulb. I will probably go with an ati set. I have that over my corner tank that is a softy tank and it works great.
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