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There is a bazillion opinions on what is best. I sorted through them for months and months and am still confused on what is best for growth and color. What are you planning on putting in your tank?

I currently use the marine orbit led lights. I personally really like them on my 20L. Build thread link is in my sig. Others are old school and rock metal halides. Some people rock T5 high outputs. I have 2 strips of marine orbits on my tank. One of the 18-24 in models and another 24-30 in (upgraded from a 10G to the 20L. I have shadows in the sides since they do not stretch all the way across the tank but I like that for low light corals on the sides. 2 strips was also needed cause of the width of the tank.

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Thanks I appreciate the help. I'm still new so not sure what to put in it. Right now I have a maroon clown, a striped damsel, and a pj Cardinal. For the clown I have an bubble tip anemone. Other then that not sure. I just don't know what is what. c8979414cda1bf511358b496d5432443.jpg

Edited by phily_aw
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IMHO choosing a light should be based on two factors.

First and foremost. What livestock you wish to keep.

Second. The asthetics of the light output. i.e. Do you like a very bright white or more of a blue.

If you plan on mostly keeping fish, then pretty much any light will do, and it would boil down to #2. What color do you like your tank at.

Personally, I subscribe to the 'buy once, cry once' adage, and try to choose something that can grow with my interest. If you're planning on keeping soft corals, and some lower light level LPS, a smaller light will do you. If you want to eventually get into higher light corals, then you'll want something with much more power.

Metal Halides are tried and true, and can grow just about anything when applied correctly. I'm not a big fan of MH because of the heat they produce and the evaporation.

With the correct T5 (proper wattage & coral placement), you can grow just about anything. With technology and interest swinging toward LED's, T5 setups are quite a bit cheaper & you ca get a good quality setup that will handle just about anything you want to do. They produce way less heat & draw less power than MH. One of the down sides is that you have to get different bulbs to provide the different spectrums of light. T5 reef setups will generally provide a pleasing spectrum of light for you & your corals, but if you wish to add blue, purple, or UV, you'll have to change out the bulb(s) to suit your taste.

LED's have come down in price quite a bit lately. The high output LED's can still be expensive, but they are capable of producing enough, and the correct spectrum of light for any coral. The things I like about LED's is that several of the different LED fixtures allow you to tune the brightness of individual colors. This allows you to set the spectrum of colors to best suit your corals, provide a dawn/dusk ramp up/down, moon, etc.

For me; one of the best things is the heat reduction.

As with a lot of things in life, it's hard to choose when you don't have a lot of experience in the hobby, so you don't know what you do and do not want. Not to mention there being 1000+ different options and configurations.

If I were helping a friend get an aquarium started, I would suggest going with a moderately priced LED light that you could add to later on if you decided to get corals that required higher light, or changed tanks.

I have not owned one personally, but something along the line of the Current USA Satelite Plus Pro.

I recently purchased an AI Prime, & like the features, but have yet to test it with a PAR meter.

Happy to answer any questions.

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Well goodnight! That is a lot of helpful, useful information. So thank you I really appreciate it.

So my tank has been established for about 3 yrs. I think it's time to move the "needle" and get more into it and know more about saltwater care taking. So I figured let's start with the light upgrade. For me, I'd prefer the white light vs the blue light. Just wanna see the fish and coral in the most natural, in my eyes, light they can be.

I was thinking it was an easy upgrade or the answer was easy. Haha guess I was wrong. I am the most indecisive person I know so I needed a starting point. Thanks and now I think I know where to start looking. But what a "moderately priced" fixture? $60, $70, $100, $150?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm guessing by the picture that you have a 20 gallon tank and not a 20 liter (~5 gal) tank?

Though maybe a tad oversized, but I'm a big fan of the Ocean Revive T247 fixtures or the non digital version, S026 leds. You'd have to turn them very low on your tank but at least it'll work if you ever decide to upgrade your tank size.

I like it because it's affordable and gives you, at least in my opinion, the best bang for your buck. You can get a fixture for around $150-$200 shipped. You can go buy the more expensive LED fixtures but I don't consider them any better from what I've seen of other people's tanks that have them. I just consider those brands better at marketing... they're still great lights, just not $400-$500 great IMO, especially when there are fixtures half the price that perform just as well. You give up some dimming features and maybe some control options via a tank controller but light for light, just as good and half the price.

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