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Old 09-07-2005, 09:39 PM   #1
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Reef Lighting, how many watts per gallon?

How many watts per gallon to keep a healthy reef set up?
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:12 PM   #2
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they say 6-8 watts per gallon, but different lights have different lumen output so the real question is how many lumens per gallon and at what light spectrum?

say you use 48" VHOs (110Watts) rated at 5500 lumens then you decide on VHO internally reflected at 40% more output say 7700 lumens and you have a 110 gallon tank then at 6-8 watts/ gal you would need 6-8 lights giving you from 33,000 to 61600 lumens and burning 660 to 880 watts of power.

T5HO burn at 54 watts and 5000 lumens and with their special 9 bend reflector that is advertised at 300% increase in output gives you 15,000 lumens per bulb at 54 watts instead of 7700 lumens at 110 watts per bulb.


61600/15000= about 4 T5HO bulbs with a total of 216 watts of power instead of 8 bulbs at 880 watts of power. Also T5HOs reported to last 18-24 months and VHO 8-12.

P.S. metal haildes follow a different set of rules based on the depth of your tank. mainly 1 every 24x24" square and the deeper the tank the more power you need.

have fun shopping until your head explodes and then just punt, guess, experiment and spend spend spend.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:40 AM   #3
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oh lord. im more confused than i ever was.
thanks alot..... i think... lol
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:13 AM   #4
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What sized tank you trying to outfit?
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:19 AM   #5
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Yeah, too much information for your needs. In addition to the tank size, what animals would you like to keep (SPS, LPS, softies, etc.)?
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:54 AM   #6
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ok....from what i researched...and i did alot before buyin
but wattage doesnt necessariary judge what u need...you really to decide on what u want in ur tank and size of the tank...if u have a tnak over 24 tall/height then u probably need to consider MH....otherwise to save u money u can go with PC or VHO...i like VHO over PC due to the fact that i have a 48 " long tank and i would need alot of PC to get the same wattage of 4 VHO bulbs...and Im no authority on this but 4 VHO bulbs in my tnak Im sure will allow me to get basically anything I need and I got my 1st retro set of dual VHO with bulbs for about 150....so total $300 ifnt bad for 440 watts of lights...and my tank is only 18" tall so its works for me. Pplus since my hood is a custom hood and itsnt that tall....i cant go with MH due to a serious heat issue....plus living in FLa doesnt help. VHO stay pretty cool
hope that helps....
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Old 09-10-2005, 03:34 AM   #7
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my tank is 90 gallons and only 20 inches high.
I want to keep a australian sea apple and some anemone.
And i dont know what else yet.
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Old 09-10-2005, 03:52 AM   #8
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Is this good enough? should i buy this when it comes in stock or do i need more power?
http://aquatraders.com/index.asp?Pag...ROD&ProdID=149
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:00 AM   #9
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I have not had a good experience with Aquatraders. Their products are cheaply made and their customer service is close to non-existent. What good is a cheap price if it doesn't work.

Go with a quality company like hellolights.com or CustomAquatics or PM Darin at CaptiveReefs to see what he recommends.
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Old 09-10-2005, 02:01 PM   #10
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ok thanks for the advice.
So i shouldnt get there protein skimer either? lol
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Old 09-10-2005, 11:47 PM   #11
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hay ace.. check out the specs. on the Fuham WH7 ballast.. http://www.prolighting.com/wo7elba12loc.html
T5HO is there.. that and most other fluorescent tubes..

bigsky do you have a link to that fancy T5 reflector? TIA
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Old 09-11-2005, 04:11 AM   #12
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Thanks for that link.
That looks good.
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsky
T5HO burn at 54 watts and 5000 lumens and with their special 9 bend reflector that is advertised at 300% increase in output gives you 15,000 lumens per bulb at 54 watts instead of 7700 lumens at 110 watts per bulb.
This almost seems to defy common sence to me..
so with 216watts of T-5HO.. your getting 60,000 effective lumens?
To get that many lumens out of CF wouldnt you need about 600 watts worth of bulbs? 65watt CF giving about 6500 lumens on a good day..
In other words, the reflector can really make that kind of difference?
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:14 AM   #14
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for a t5 ho the reflector takes light from all sides of the bulb and shines it into the tank where as you can't use a parabolic reflector on a power compact bulb because the bulb is bent double and can't be in the focal point of the the parabolic reflector. Also the PC's ... what shines up gets reflected back down into the bulb and what shines out the side goes into the other half of the bulb. And light shining on the bulb makes the bulb run hotter.
The T5HO's are straight and can be located at the focal point of a parabolic reflector and their parabolic reflector has a ridge down the center (think upside down W) so the light that shines up goes either left or right and then down into the tank... you get most all the light from all sides. I have attached my own light research file find lights1&2.jpg (if I can get it to upload. hope you can read it, I had to compress it to be 250KB)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lights_2.jpg (217.8 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg lights_1.jpg (197.3 KB, 65 views)
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:36 AM   #15
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according to those tests the results from that reflector were X 4.28 fold... making a essentually 54watt bulb about 230watts in a watt per gallon calculation (wich is not really a good measure but something to work with).. assuming that the PAR is also effected in the same way..

so thoreticly speaking.. I would only need 2-T5 HO 54watt lamps with Tek reflectors to get what would normaly be considered 6wpg for my 75gallon tank?
If so T-5 HO just got alot more reasonable $$$ wise.. thanks for the imput.. btw.. this isnt an assumption.. just a calculation.. If my logic is off please someone fill me in..
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:43 AM   #16
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Hey greenmaji,
you responded will I was having trouble uploading my files.

read the second picture first...they are out of order for some reason
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:49 AM   #17
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I think your second picture looks to agree with my calculation.. am I right? Or is it more complicated then that.. I knew that the standard watt per gallon rule was based on 2000 lumens being 40 watts.. maybe I should try to incorperate that into the calculation??? what do you think?

edit.. I just did a quick calculation on 40 watts=2000 lumens.. and the 22,700 lumens from the test ended up being equal to 454watts!!!! 8O 8O 8O
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:00 AM   #18
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interesting....so whats the output difference between those T5 and VHO...with the same reflector
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearsont74
interesting....so whats the output difference between those T5 and VHO...with the same reflector
that reflector was designed for the T-5 bulb.. wich is signifigantly smaller in diamiter then the VHO... I dont know if they make a 9-bend reflector for VHO sized bulbs...
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:33 AM   #20
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if you consider a metal halide bulb to be about 1.5" in diameter and say 5" long and a t12 to be 1.5" in diameter.... the metal halide bulb's 9 bend reflector is around 12" by 10" by 5" high... you couldn't even put two VHO light bulbs on a 55 gal tank (assuming reflector being 48"x10"x5" high)but the T5HO is only 5/8" in diameter and its reflector is only about 2" wide...T5HO=54watts-5000lumens-20000hrs life and VHO=110watts-5500lumens-10000hrs life

even if you don't use any reflector or just the "standard" reflector you would use the same number of bulbs at half the watts and twice the life.

I make digital ocean maps for a living and do not sell anything. I just did my research on tank lights about a month ago and totally talked myself into T5's, BTW I haven't bought then yet because two light retro kit costs about 130 and two bulbs about 50 so I need 180 bucks per set.
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