lighting suggestion?

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jun 10, 2008
I have a 75 gallon freshwater aquarium, and i recently bought a new 55 aquarium with the intention of going saltwater.

I've spent several hours looking at lighting requirements and different systems and its all only made me more confused. Ideally i want to have a variety of soft corals.
What system would work for my aquarium? I thought about metal halide lighting, but aside from building it myself i cant find anything within a reasonable price, and considering the fragile nature of the MH systems i'd rather not build it like i did my CF systems.

So what watt/system would work for a t5 setup for a 55 gallon? Its a standard rectangle, not a hex or bowfront.
Yes, you are right about the tank dimensions, its a standard 55. As far as the types of corals i want, i'm not entirely sure yet.

I did find this however.

48" 760W Metal Halide System (Electronic Version)
Total output 760W

Approx Fixture Size: 47.5"L x 15"W x 3"H
System Support: 2x250W HQI, 4x65W CF, and 6xBluemoon LED

Odyssea Metal Halide System (Electronic Version) features:
  • non-corrosive powder coated housing
  • extra large built-in cooling fans
  • 2x external electronic HQI ballasts
  • 4x internal electronic CF ballast
  • individual power cords
  • tempered glass splash guard
  • mounting brackets

FREE item* listed below:
2x double ended 250W HQI bulb
compact fluorescent 65W bulb actinic blue
6x plug in bluemoon LED

Would that be a good system?
that would be a good fixture, unless you are seeing that on ebay. they sell knock-off fixtures there, that are built decent, but come with crappy ballasts. plus, those lamps they give you with the fixtures are also low quality.
what is the name brand?

if you buy a quality fixture with those specs, yoou will be able to keep anything you want...sps, clams, anemone...
I found it on aquatraders actually, i'm not sure of the brandname but it appears to be of good quality. I've never used ebay and never will, i have heard way to many bad things about it.
Seems like a really good deal for only 360.
i suggest you be sure of the brand name before buying it. either that, or be prepared to purchase new ballasts and bulbs.

+ 2 ballasts( 125 a piece)
+ 2 bulbs( 60 a piece)
= 670 or so....not such a cheap fixture anymore.;)
I bought one those Odyssea CF fixtures a while back. Cheap Chinese made product. Aquatraders support was horrible. They sent me a new ballast which had to be soldered in after desoldering the old one out. This was after sending me a new bulb, which did not correct the problem. The new ballast worked for abut 45 seconds. The original worked for about 18 hours. They would not issue a refund, just a new fixture if I paid shipping back to them first. By that time I already had a quality fixture from HelloLights.

I would not spend that amount of money with that company. I only lost about $50 in total with shipping charges. You stand to lose much more. Go elsewhere and buy a name brand from someone who stands behind it.

I bought a 72" Coralife Aqualight from Drs. Foster and Smith. When it arrived I heard the sound of broken glass inside the box. I found that 2 of the CF had broken in shipping. Because it was the CF bulbs they insisted that I not try to clean it out. They sent me a new fixture (cross shipped due my prior history with them) with bulbs removed and packed seperately. Now that's customer service.
I think the first thing you need to do is decide what kind of corals you want to keep. A 55g tank isn't going to need 2x250w MH bulbs. If you are looking for a complete fixture I would look at one that is 2x 150 with T5s not CPs. There are tons of options out there for exactly that. As has been mentioned you want to check the brand you are buying. Cheap usually means cheap. Lighting is one of the areas in this hobby that is going to cost you. recomendation is:
1. Figure out what kinds of corals you want to keep(2x150HQI MH w 2X54wT5 =408w) or 7.4 WPG. You could keep just about any SPS out there
2. Look into a fixture that uses T5s rather then CPs
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