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Old 05-22-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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reef lighting

I'm starting a 55 gallon with a 20 gallon sump. Iv got most everything understood and layed out. The only thing I'm a little confussed about is the lighting. I havnt done reefs before and I want to make sure I get a set up with enough power to keep healthy corals. Any suggestions?

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Old 05-22-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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Actinic lighting are good. The provide great wavelengths of nice blue marine scenery. But you'll need more than the lighting than I just suggested, and it depends on the marine life and coals you choose.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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What kind of corals do you plan on keeping? Sps, clams, nems require higher lighting than others. Also many lps require high lighting.

Next you have to decide on what type of lighting you want. Metal halide, T5HO, Led's are the most popular and best suites to reef tanks. They each have drawbacks and advantages so i would start your research there. If i had to recommend i would recommend leds. They offer great intense lighting, highly efficient and no bulb replacement. The drawback is the higher initial price of this type of lighting, it not cheap.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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Id like to do the majority of them soft corlas but I'm really glad you saw this tjread schism. To tell you the truth the pics of your tank are what made ne decide I want to do a reed tank. I absaloutly love the picture you have with yoir clown infront of the bright green one. If you don't mind me asking what exactly is that? And id love to do leds but I'm on a college kid budget so I think I'm goimg to do metal halide since its a little cheaper. Its just the watrage and specttum diffrences thay have me thrown off.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:50 PM   #5
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Sorry about the horrible spelling. Just got this new phone amd the touch keyboards are aweful. =\
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Leds are initially more money but also cost less in hydro and no replacing bulbs. There are inexpensive options for leds also. I use swype with my touch key pad works nicely
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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I hope this link still works, but it is to the taotronics lights that are used throughout users of this forum for even the most light demanding corals. Over a 55 you would need 2, one on each side of the brace.

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...d=150726029374
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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I second the cheapo LED's posted above. They work great for the money> It's a shame you are 3 hours away. If you ever decide you want to take a trip to the hidden reef, the fish factory, and pets plus in pa, they are all about 10 minutes from my house and you can stop by and check them out over my tank.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks deff will if I'm ever that way. I'm always stoked to learn as much as I can about rhe hobby
I'm in love with it. The only thing that sucks is I'm all by myself I don't know anyone that can help me. That's why I'm so thankful for all your guys help. After looking at the long term cost of metal halide I'm deff just ganna wait till I can affoard an led fixture and I'm ganna try and get the taotronics. Especially since a lot of ppl on here keep them in their favor. The next thing I need to figure out is the corals to get to go with them. Lol =)
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandonjkoontz1
Id like to do the majority of them soft corlas but I'm really glad you saw this tjread schism. To tell you the truth the pics of your tank are what made ne decide I want to do a reed tank. I absaloutly love the picture you have with yoir clown infront of the bright green one. If you don't mind me asking what exactly is that? And id love to do leds but I'm on a college kid budget so I think I'm goimg to do metal halide since its a little cheaper. Its just the watrage and specttum diffrences thay have me thrown off.
Its a Tyree Neon Green Sarcophyton Toadstool. My clowns host it. If going metal halide just be sure your able to cool them/keep your tank cool. 2 150w over your 55 will be plenty for softies/LPS.

As for spectrum, halides generally come in 10k, 14k and 20k bulbs. 10k being a very white light and 20k being deep blue, 14k falls in the middle as a nice white/blue light. 14k is what i use in my 150w over my 29g.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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Well its still up in the air about doing leds or metal halide. Id like to do leds but from what iv seen on line there super exspensive. (Although almost all other types are too =\) but I think the extra I spend on it would be worth it for the leds. But some ppl have told me that leds dont give off enough light for corals.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #12
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That's not true at all. LED's have come a long way.
Realize that with MH, you will be replacing those bulbs every year, for about $60-100 a piece, creating a lot of heat, which can be a problem, and sucking the power company dry.
I run T5's now, which work great, but will be upgrading to LED as soon as financially able. My T5's cost me $400 annually in bulbs alone!
There are cheaper LED's out there than the Radions and Al Sols, that do a great job growing corals. They are efficient, create virtually no heat, and have an estimated 10 year bulb life. For me, it's a no- brainer!
I would research carefully so you don't end up regretting it later.
Metal Halides and T5's work great, but they have their drawbacks.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandonjkoontz1
Well its still up in the air about doing leds or metal halide. Id like to do leds but from what iv seen on line there super exspensive. (Although almost all other types are too =\) but I think the extra I spend on it would be worth it for the leds. But some ppl have told me that leds dont give off enough light for corals.
Some like the radions and sols are very expensive but the quality and feature make it worth it in my opinion. However for cheaper leds that work very well and have a great following, producing excellent results look into kessils. They just came out with strong and dimmable version of the a150 called the A350. A150 is priced around 250 and 2 of them over a 55 will be perfect totaling about $500 and they last 50,000 hours (~5-10yrs) no bulb replacement, no heat, and about 70% less energy than halides.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:59 PM   #14
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Doe leds have the diffrent spectrum range? (I'm guess that's what it is?) As in where the metal halide have the white lights and then the blue moon light bulbs?
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:14 PM   #15
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Yes, they are different colored LEDs. The more expensive fixtures can be controlled to ramp up and down the blues and whites automatically. They can even simulate lightening storms.

The cheaper ones, like the ones I use are only blue on/off, white on/off, which was plenty good for folks that used halides and/or t5 fixtures. They all glow corals though. I have acropora growing like a weed and very colorful, 24" away from the fixture.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:42 PM   #16
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Alright.that's what I was worried about. I have one light fixture on my 30g fowlr which has a white bulb and a blue bulb but there wired together so I know that I needed the two. Idk I got my tank pre-set up and don't even know what kind of light it is or wht the wattage is. I got it on craigslist and haveny been able to get ahold of the guy in like 2 months. All I kniw is its a coralite.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #17
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That doesn't matter. We turn on and off whites and blues at different times for our own enjoyment. Corals don't care about that. All they want is enough light for enough time.
turn the fixture over and read what it say on the lamps. It should tell you the wattage and the color.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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I thought the blue bulb puts off longer wave lengths that go deeper in the water than the white bulbs.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:07 PM   #19
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you can grow corals fine with just daylight lamps. People use the blues for a deep water look, and to color up the corals more to the naked eye. You will see when you go to a store or to someone's house and pick up a few frags, and get them home and when you put them in your tank they look totally different. This is just because of the amount of blue they are using to make them "pop".
If you ever get a chance to see a real reef in person, you will see that it's not crazy blue like people have their tanks, and the corals don't look as bright.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
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Yeah I really like the blues. And I'm planning on getting scuba certified eventually as well. After I get my aa I'm planning on transfering to a school on the coast for marine biology. =) I think seeing a reef in person would one of the most amazing things ever.
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