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Old 03-12-2005, 01:35 AM   #1
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Yet another Lighting question....sorry

1st = I think aquariumadvice.com should consider creating a lighting forum....please.....
2nd = this site is great, I had no idea as to the complicated nature of a saltwater system....this site has atleast allowed me to 'have' a question to ask...where as before I did not even know how to ask anything...but anyway......

I have a 55gallon, liverock (20pds), a wrasse who pretends he is dead, and from what I have learned a very inadequate amount of light 120watts to be exact.

What I need is to be at 7-8 watts per gallon.....or about 400total....to accomplish that do I need '1' 400 watt mh bulb and '1' 400watt electronic ballast?

can I run '2' 200watt mh bulbs and '1' 400watt ballast?
do i need a separte ballast for each bulb?
or can i just buy a

48" Coralife Lunar aqualight 4x96watt and call it a day?

thanks all....nico

ps hey captivereefs.com ---why is the 72" Coralife Lunar aqualight cheaper than the 48"inch? is that a mistake or am i missing something?


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Old 03-12-2005, 04:42 AM   #2
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i am not a lighting expert but i would say that having 2 200watt mh would be better then one. because 2 mh would spread the light out considering that a mh will only cover every 2 feet in your aquarium. for using the 2 bulbs on that one ballast i dont know but some ballast are rated for 2 bulbs.

for the 48" coralife i dont see why it wouldnt work but between pc bulbs and mh bulbs mh is most likely a better way to go.

for the price differens i dont see any mistake considering how lights are set up

to help clear things up
24" LT-ES53402 $130
36" LT-ES53404 $200
48" LT-ES53406 $240
72" LT-ES53409 $340

48" PLUS LT-ES53408 $500
72" PLUS LT-ES53410 $745

Hope this helps you

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Old 03-12-2005, 08:10 AM   #3
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What kind of corals are you wanting to keep? Or, what corals do you currently have? That pretty much determines the lighting you need. If this is a FOWLR tank with no corals, the lighting you have is sufficient. If you want to keep soft corals only, the Aqualight is plenty. If you want to keep SPS, clams, anemones, ect..., then MH would be better. You can't run more than one bulb on a MH ballast. Some ballasts are rated for two bulbs, but that is actually two separate ballasts in one enclosure. A MH bulb covers 2' of tank so you'd need two of them for a 55g tank. I'd go with a 2x250w MH setup using electronic ballasts and a couple of actinic fluorescents. You might be able to use your current lighting system for the actinics. You can get mogul based MH bulbs for aquarium use in 175w, 250w, and 400w. You can get DE HQI MH bulbs in 150w, 250w, and 400w. The bulb must be matched to a ballast that is rated for it.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:45 AM   #4
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While we're on lighting, can I keep Xenia and colt coral and LPS polyps in my 30 gal with a 96W power compact flourescent combintation bulb 10,000K / actinic?

Do I have to keep them high up? (the critters, not the lights! )
30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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light, lighting

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