I'm in the process of doing all my homework in preperation of setting up a reef aquarium, and like all noobies I'm getting hung up on the lighting end of the process. I already have a 55g tank and I need to build a hood for it, but I'm not sure which lighting I am going with so I dont know how tall I need to make it. I'm not really stuck on having any specific corals, I just want to be able to have a wide variety of corals not just 100 different kinds of mushrooms cuz I didn't get lighting. However, I do want to be able to have an anemone of some kind because I intend to have a pair of percs and I think that anemone/clown combo is friggin sweet....back to my question... I was gathering info on light prices, specificly blub prices, because I want to determine which would be cheaper in the long run. My light choices are 4x110w VHO
, 4x96 PC
, or 2x150/175/250 MH
. My problem is that I can't find consistant data on how often each of these need to be changed. I have heard that VHOs are good for 8-12 months at 10hrs a day, PCs are good for 12-18 months at 10hrs a day, and that MHs are good for about 10-14 months at 10hrs a day.
Shopping a Hellolights i get:
with 2x110w Coralife 10,000k @ $25.95ea, and 2x110w Coralife Actinic @ $21.95 is a total of $95.80. Running for 10 months is $9.58 a month operating cost.
with 4x96w 50/50 at $35.95 for a total of $143.80. Running for 15 months i get $9.59 a month.
2x(150w XM hqi or 175w XM mogul) @ $59.00 for a total of $118.00, and running for 12 months i get $9.83 a month.
and now i have a couple of questions....
1. Im assuming that the MH
would give the most light, but between the PC
and the VHO
would be the brightest?
2. Are all of my blub lifespans accutate?
3. Are my calculations skewed in anyway?
4. Is heat going to be as big of an issue with the PCs and VHOs like with the MHs
5. Could i still keep my anemone that i want with the PCs and VHOs if i put it at the top of the tank.
OK i would like to say Thank You SOOO much in advance for your help and time, because i know that just reading this is going to take a chunk of time.
Tank: 55g FW
w/2 hot mag filters (w/d in the future)...scored tank, cab, hood, filters for $150
Fish: Cal Ryukin, R&W Ryukin, Baby Champion Panda, R&W Ranchu, Cal Ranchu, 2 Tamasaba, Pearscale, Lionhead, Black Moore, Pleco