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Need some advice on my 55gallon lighting


Myvirtue

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Well my wife gave me a budget on lighting today lol. I currently dont have enough lighting for my tank and i was looking for more. Atm I have a t5(coralife) setup with only 2lbs that on push around 110watts. I know that will not be enough if i want to get into corals. With talking to a few people i was thinking of DIY but with the tank being in my dinneroom and my wife being a freak about everything being modern, ill have to stick with something similiar to keep her happy lol. I really like what i have now just isnt enough lighting. I have been looking at lights all night and morning on marinedepot and various sites. I feel really lost and not sure whats the best bang for the buck. I know i do want something ill be happy with for a long time that has a timer and fan included with a possible moonlight for nighttime. I was hoping somone had some experiences or ideas would be best for a 55gallon (48) inch. Im just trying to get all the opinions i can before i jump into something. this is my first saltwater tank and i want it to be right the first time. thanks everyone.

Jerrad

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i plan on softies starting out and once i do more research and learn more, and if i want more i want to have the lighting for it and not have to worry about it later.

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when i had my first 44gal i bought a light that i loved, i wish i would have never sold it, it was a corallife aqualight pro with a 250w MH 2 compact 50/50s and moon lights i believe it was a 24in light and i had the hanging kit on it.. i ditched the crappy corallife ballast and added a Icecap ballast for the 250w it was way more light than i needed at the time but it would be perfect for a 55gal and i never had any problems with it and i ran it for over a yr. you could keep anything you wanted with this light.. i believe i bought it used for 220.00 and another 75 for the icecap used as well. these are the same lights that you see at Aquatek. if i were to get another tank that i could use a light like this i wouldnt hesitate to pull the trigger on one again..

just my opinion

Matt

this is the light im talking about.

http://www.marinedep...ES53522-vi.html

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I bought that same fixture for my 75g when I switched to corals from a FOWLR tank. It's a great light fixture.

I eventually upgraded to an Outer Orbit fixture (2x250W w/T5s), but I still put the Sundial on my tank when I travel because of the timers.

I'm going to use the Sundial over my sump/frag tank on my new set-up.

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See what you started Jarred!(Jarred and I have been talking via PM's.)

Those fixtures mentioned above are fine too.

I went with T5 based on ease of bulb changing so I could/can tweak my lights coloring as I want and I was worried about needing a chiller with MH. I also liked that the fixture I went with (Aquactinics TX5) was designed to sit right on top of the tank.

A ton of folks around here run MH without a chiller and without problems. MH do provide a nice shimmer(don't know if you noticed it on Chad and Belinda's tank yesterday) and I've seen quite a few sitting on top of the tank with support legs.

So, ask a question and get 12439786 different responses. There is no one perfect answer. (But mine is better than everyone elses because I am The Robb! :(:P )

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You could always do what i did with my Solana i spent some time in the shop with a wielder and some 1/4 inch sheet metal and made a custom 250w pendant from a used pendant i bought added a 20k bulb mounted some DIY ultra bright blue leds in the housing used 6 wire 12gauge wiring into the fixture to run everything. now i just blast the tank with the 20k for 12hrs a day and i get great coral growth and my lps and softies dont really mind cause i used a 20k bulb. and i run open top for the modern look.

Matt

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theres was another one in marinedepot its a pc but i dont know much about it and it has a video, i dont think its a t5 check it out..... http://www.marinedepot.com/AquaticLife_PowerCompact_CF_Light_Fixtures_w_Lunar_LED_s_24_Inch_Power_Compact_Light_Fixtures-AquaticLife-AK01049-FILTFIPCTF-vi.html

what do u think?

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Also, keep in mind, besides the future corals you want to keep......consider the fish you'll be adding. If you go with an open top (without canopy) be aware of some fish that are prone to jump.

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ok thanks but i couldnt tell the specs on the sudial how much wattage will i get out of it and will it be enough. so much to choose from lol

I kept anything/everything under the 216W in my Sundial. Just use good quality bulbs.

Are there better fixtures out there with better reflectors? Yes. But if you're on a budget and you like the built-in timers/moonlights features, the Sundial is perfect.

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lol drinking coffee and looking at equipment is a nono...major rush... i called about the sunlight at reefgeek. its on backorder and they game me the same deal... 1-2weeks and everywhere else its on preorder. looks awesome though.

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If i were you, id get a good light now that would allow you to keep everything so you don't have to constantly upgrade to keep different corals, as you can see lighting is really the most expensive part of reef keeping. i have seen many people say " well i just want to keep soft corals" and eventually they see a nice pretty piece of sps they want and then they kill it cause of lighting and then upgrade lighting to keep such corals. if your going to spend cash on something like this buy what you will need for the long haul so you don't have to spend more 250 bucks more on lighting in the future when you can spend an extra 100 now and get what you need. people say well ill sell this light and buy something else when i need it, but you need to understand you will normally only get 1/2 what you paid for it back when you sell it to upgrade later. just my advice, i have been through this myself and ended up spending more later when i could have saved if i would have just done it the first time.

Matt

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yah def its what im shooting for. is it possible to get a light that does all that and already put together and be around the 400ish range or lower?

this is what im looking at atm. http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_Fluorescent/Sunlight_Supply/Tek_Light_Elite_Fixtures/48_inch__6x54W_Tek_Light_Elite_T5_High-Output_Fixture_w!_Bulbs_(Graphite)_by_Sunlight_Supply. but its on backorder so im gonna keep looking or wait until i get a email that there in stock

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I would suggest something with a metal halide bulb, then there is no doubts that you can keep everything. most sps corals require that type of lighting. i have seem some tanks with just t5 lighting, but it takes alot to make that happen. ATXRayn used only t5s and his was a good looking tank maybe the best i have seen. but he used 10 t5s. on most cases its 5 watts per gallon if i remember right. ( this could be wrong) but thats what i try and go by. so in a 55g tank you need around 275 watts. more is better but that should be the least. at least from what i think.

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I just recently traveled down the road ur going MyVirtue with my 55g I kept and eye on Clist and for sale section here and I saw a coralife aqualight pro in Houston so hoped in my car with my fiance and took a road trip. Best switched I had made I strung the light from the ceiling and I have it on the coralife timer. My other coralife pc's were good but this is better. People love the shimmer effect.

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this is the cheapest i found for a decent light with close to the wattage you would want. i looked through all my sites that i have added in the past looking for lighting and this is the best price for what i would think about getting. its 280 total with a 150wt MH its still PC bulbs with the added MH addition. id still search for something in a 250watt range but that's just me.

Matt

http://www.fosterand...13&pcatid=12113

a 48 mite be to big but i found a 48 inch for 325 in Houston

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I have the Sundial on my 72 Bow and I am quite happy with. It will work even better on your 55 because your depth is less. The Current bulbs that come with the unit are just OK. I would get better bulbs as soon as you can get more budget.

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