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C Lo Slice

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I have a 60 gallon tank, starting from scratch. I plan on doing a mixed reef with mostly LPS, shrooms, and zoas. I bought a GLO T5HO light fixture and have had nothing but problems with it, so I'm taking it back today. It is a two-light fixture and I'm pretty new to this, but my cousin said I should have at least a 4-light fixture to it would penetrate deep enough (the tank is more tall than anything).

I'm about to head allllll the way up to Gallery of Pets from my home here in Buda. This is a long trek for me and I never have the time to make it. So does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should be looking for when it comes to lights? Maybe some good brands (my GLOs are a piece of junk)? Is my cousin correct when he says I need a 4-lighter?

Thanks in advance

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Its all about watts per gallon. Depending on what you want to have you need anywhere from 3-6 watts of light per gallon. For soft corals and polyps (you mentioned above), you can do the lower end of 3-5 watts per gallon. River City Aquatics is maybe ten minutes or less directly north of Gallery of Pets and they are much more knowledgeable about salt water. I too, started with Gallery of Pets but over the past two years they have significantly reduced their salt water inventory in favor of exotic birds. GoP usually only has one staff person (if that) on duty that is knowledgeable about saltwater. Everyone at River City Aquatics can help. RCA is right off the 183. Take the McNeil exit, continue on the service road heading north and then turn right on Roxie drive (it's before Anderson Mill Road). RCA will be on your left.

They also sell okay reef light fixtures at Petco for a decent price - but no one there will be able to give you advice. Go to RCA.

PS - Aqua Dome is down south and they are very knowledgeable. I mention RCA cause you'll be up north returning the light anyway. Hydro Innovations lives in Buda - send him a pm and ask where he likes to shop down south. You really need to go to a saltwater aquarium specialty store to get the right advice and products.

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There isn't a correct answer on this one. LPS will do fine under compact fluorscents. They also thrive under VHO's and lower wattage MH. Your three best bets for LFS's would be in my mind:

South: Aquadome

North Central: Aquatek:Craig and Bruce know way more than I have forgotten about lighting and reef tanks in ten years

NorthWest: River City

I've not been a big fan of Gallery in eight years of dropping by there. I think their primary interest is in birds and cichlids.

If you have any interest in LED lighting, Mark C. has a pretty deep knowledge base on available products and pros and cons of each. He would be a good resource.

If you just have to have lighting right away, a four lamp t5 fixture would be an okay start. If you are going to grow SPS, you might want to consider a little more horsepower.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I only go to GoP because I've also got a couple of parrots (African Grey and a Gold and Blue Macaw) so it's somewhat convenient. I definitely don't care for their SW inventory, though, and have been looking for a new LFS (preferably one down south). I went to Aquadome once a couple months ago after hearing all these great reviews about them. I was not impressed however. When I went, there were a lot of dead fish and sickly looking fish. I haven't gone back since, but I guess I could give them another shot.

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm gonna check out RCA while I'm up that way.

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