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Old 03/18/2011, 11:20 PM   #1
manicmatt
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Question Looking for Advice on 55g Lighting

Okay, so I've been running a modest twenty gallon reef for a year now and I've decided to upgrade to a fifty five and up the overall specs of my tank. The twenty long I've been running has 4 t5ho, hang on back aquaclear 50 and cpr hang on back protein skimmer.

With the fifty five I plan to set up a twenty or thirty gallon sump and fuge and I had intended on getting a 2x250 metal halide with 4xpower compacts for the actinics. I figured that I could keep most anything I wanted with this setup and liked that Idea. But, as the setups are very pricey and I am a father of two working on a pet store salary, I'd found a generic (shame on me) on ebay that seems to be getting good reviews from people whom have purchased. Only problem, I went to buy one two days after the very last one was sold and now the only ones up are the same deal only with 150 metal halides, which I was informed wont have enough light penetration for that deep of a tank. So, the question is, after making a short question very long, will a six bulb t5ho system be enough to keep a decent set up, would the 150s be better (as I've been previously informed that they won't), but i could possibly in time retrofit 250 ballasts, and what would I be able to keep with either set up?

Thanks for the help. This is my first post and I'm thrilled to be a part of the society.


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Old 03/19/2011, 07:06 AM   #2
ccLansman
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Look into used items, i purchased most of my stuff used the first time i built up my system, you can save a boat load of $$ this way. My current setup is 55gal. I was able to get the tank, stand, skimmer, sump, 250W MH and return pump for $175. MH will get very hot when compared to t5 so take that into consideration depending on where you live. I would recommend t5, you can get a new sunleaves fixture for fairly cheap do a google on them. They are used a lot by hydro guys but work just as well for tanks, i keep every kind of SPS under the sun with 5 bulbs of 8. I never tried 4 but that may also work. My tank is a little deep at 24" so i figured the extra bulb would not hurt. If you are going with a 55 long (4ft) then 4 bulb t5 may be all you need.


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Old 03/19/2011, 07:38 PM   #3
manicmatt
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I already have the tank, stank, skimmer, return pump, power head, etc. The big thing I'm looking for commentary on is the light. I looked into sunleaves and it seems as though everything 48" long is too wide for the tank, but thank you and I appreciate the input. I've found 6 bulb t5 setups for comparable prices. What did you mean by "5 bulbs of 8"? Did you mean 8 bulb t5s? I was just confused and made sure I understood you. I'f I can keep most things under 6 t5s then I'll probably go for that. It's cheaper and produces less heat. I just know that uynder 2 250w halides w/power compact supplementation I can keep near anything. Thanks for the input. Any others with something to say?


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Old 03/19/2011, 09:55 PM   #4
allsps40
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I had a 55g with 2 150w mh over it and it worked out well. Pair them with 2-4 T5s and you will be good.


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Old 03/20/2011, 11:12 AM   #5
manicmatt
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The setup w the 150s is supplimented w four power compact... That was where my concern lies. I'm probably going to go with the six t5 setup.


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Old 03/20/2011, 10:39 PM   #6
manicmatt
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I'm glad that i waited. I ended up picking up a "ballin" light kit. 2*250 metal halides and 4*t5s. Hell yeah. Thanks everyone for your imput and advice.


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Old 04/03/2011, 07:03 PM   #7
manicmatt
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Haha. Got a great light kit...only issue...No hanging kit. It has grooves that run the length of it like the Odyssea ones do, but its a different width and the company doesn't make one. I guess it's diy time. I have some ideas, but anyone have any suggestions before I progress?


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