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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys,

Upon initial setup of my 55 i got a retrofit 36" CF light kit with 4 bulbs in which i run 2x 50/50s and 2x tru actinics all 96w a piece. This tank I want to turn into a grow out tank for corals so I am wanting to upgrade my lighting system.

I was looking at getting my first halide setup since I read so many good things. I was looking at 1 x 250w HQI halide and 2x 39w T5 fixtures.

I believe this is a good route to go and since I am pretty good with electrical work I will be buying a retrofit kit.

What is your opinion on the setup I am trying to attain? Also I would like your .02 on what type of bulbs to put in... 14k Phoenix and 2x Actinic t5s? or however you think is best. Remember the tank is only 55g and I dont want the heat to become to large of an issue.

I do plan to grow all types of coral and eventually I would like to have a clam... So keep that in mind.

Here is a url to the kit i want: 36" 1x250W HQI Metal Halide/ 2x39W T5 Fluorescent - 250239
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
as a matter of fact if you are running a 55g reef successfully with SPS and they are doing really good. post your light setup. please 55g reefs only because I need an opinion on a similar application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i know i have some lighting experts here... should i go for the 150w halide or the 250w halide? i dont want to overkill.
 

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I just happen to be going through some threads and saw that nobody had answered your post. If you put stuff like this in the reef thread you will get more hits. Anyway I think if down the road this is going to be a grow out tank. I would stick with the t5's retro 4x 54watt 10k's will do a great job on a 48" tank. If you put one MH on a 48inch tank you will have uneven lighting on one side or the other. You want to cover the tank evenly. And with 10k t5 bulbs you will get a lot of growth. And save your MH for your diplay tank. As for what I run 2x400watt with 20k bulbs on a 75gal., but if I had to do it again I would 2x150 or maybe 250 my reef tank is mostly stonies so I need alot of light. On a 55 you can get away with a 36" light because the tank is only 13" wide but for a wider tank you might want to match the length of the tank for more overall lighting.
 

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THats correct trouble but there is also 55 breeders and with a 3 foot light being looked at I thought it could be a breeder 36X18X20
Very true...but the poster said it's his reef tank so I just took it as a regular tank. I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
its a standard 55 and its currently my display tank... so my two choices right now are the 2x t5 1x 250w mh or the 4x 96w cf lighting... if i can find a better kit for under $300 id gladly take another route. because right now its running on 2x t5s and i cant keep anything but zoas lps and softies with good coloring. I dont wanna add any sps until i have adequate lighting. and some unidentified sps seem to be sprouting on my live rock and i would like to feed them some more light so that i can identify them and share beautiful pictures of them if at all possible.
 

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its a standard 55 and its currently my display tank... so my two choices right now are the 2x t5 1x 250w mh or the 4x 96w cf lighting... if i can find a better kit for under $300 id gladly take another route. because right now its running on 2x t5s and i cant keep anything but zoas lps and softies with good coloring. I dont wanna add any sps until i have adequate lighting. and some unidentified sps seem to be sprouting on my live rock and i would like to feed them some more light so that i can identify them and share beautiful pictures of them if at all possible.
Like I stated earlier it's going to be hard to have even lighting over the whole tank with one MH. You would have to put it on one side of the cross bar or the other. You couldn't have it in the middle of the tank. The cross bar would block light and it would shade anything under it. You can do 4xt5 54watt that's 2 retro or you can find one with all 4 in one kit with 17 or 18k bulbs for some added blue. That will be 216watts that's like 4watts per gal. and that will be enough to grow almost any coral you want and it won't cost you a arm and a leg on a tank that will be a frag tank down the road. And as far as that coral on your rock you might want to get a pic of it now. I could be wrong, but not to many SPS'(small polyp stony) just pop up in a new tank. And if it's on a rock you cycled your tank with, a SPS wouldn't have made it through the Ammonia and nitrites spike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The rock itself was precured and I didnt have much of a cycle at all as i used some filter media from an established tank to set this one up. Right now the 2x t5 lights have the branchy coral all browned out but it seems to have gotten bigger. I would love to put some good lighting over the system so I could bring some color to it. Also with the 4x T5s would i be able to keep a clam? I want to have no boudaries as far as corals go so what type of tubes do i stick in the tank 2x 18k and 2x actinic? or how should i configure it?
 

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The rock itself was precured and I didnt have much of a cycle at all as i used some filter media from an established tank to set this one up. Right now the 2x t5 lights have the branchy coral all browned out but it seems to have gotten bigger. I would love to put some good lighting over the system so I could bring some color to it. Also with the 4x T5s would i be able to keep a clam? I want to have no boudaries as far as corals go so what type of tubes do i stick in the tank 2x 18k and 2x actinic? or how should i configure it?
I would go maybe 3x54watt 18k 48" and one 460mn actinic. Coralife sells a 18watt 5t for around $25.00. You won't need to add much actinic because a 18k will be pretty blue by it's self. One thing about the higher K's is you won't have a lot of fast growth. Coral tend to grow a little slower the higher the kelvin, but have more color. The lower the kelvin the faster the growth. So you have to choose witch route you want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am not to worried about things growing really fast, i mean sure i want to see my corals grow but i dont plan on selling frags unless i have to due to over growth. So i will shoot for the 3x 18Ks and the 1x 460nm actinic I found a good retro kit for the 4 bulbs on craigslist for 90 bucks... i just need to get the bulbs. Also currently my sump is empty its completely euro style right now... im going to drop a glob of chaeto in there a 50/50 should feed it adequately right?

Also going back to my last post... Will I be able to add a clam under the 4x T5s?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
any thoughts on VHO T12s? 46.5" bulbs at 110w a piece? 3x 14K and 1x True Actinic
 

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You will be able to keep a clam as long as you use quality bulbs and reflectors. I wouldnt go with cheap bulbs because they just dont have the Par needed IMO and they wont last as long and the reason T-5's are so good is because of the quality of the bulbs and reflectors, check out the bulbs here ReefGeek > Lighting > T5 Fluorescent > Bulbs
+1 And as always keeping good water levels as well as the light and just let it go and grow.
 

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any thoughts on VHO T12s? 46.5" bulbs at 110w a piece? 3x 14K and 1x True Actinic
Those will be a t8 or a t12...Not as good a light and 2x's bigger bulbs. Stay on the path of the t5's. I do want to say this and I'm sure most other reefers that have been doing this for awhile will agree. Take your time and enjoy what you have. We and I mean all of us get into this hobby spend more time thinking about the next upgrade and don't sit back and do what we got into this hobby for, to see all the pretty coral and fish. In this hobby if you move to fast you will miss something along the way. Just keep this in mind anything you do in this hobby over night 9 times out of 10 it will go side ways on you. I am glad to see you are asking question and planing it out. In time you will be more then happy you didn't rush your way through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
alright.. im ordering the t5s tonight... and as for th cf lights i have now they are going over the sump for some chaeto food.
 
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