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Lighting opinions

Crab Rangoon

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I'm trying to decide on my lighting setup for my 100 gallon tank.

I currently have a pair of 250w mogul XM 10k's and 2 pair of 48" actinic HO-T5's. Here is the twist: I've yet to set the tank up, or use any of the lights, so before I assemble the tank and retrofit all the reflectors and bits into my canopy, I wanna make sure this is the way I want to go.

I've been considering ditching the T5's for more halides. I have no plans to budge from the moguls I've currently got, but I'm very open to replacing the 212w of actinic with another 500w of mh lighting (w/ Radium 20k bulbs).

Is that completely crazy?

Obviously, if I did opt to go with the 1000w setup, I'd do whatever necessary to get the temperature within desirable range. Already I've got a pair of 4" fans (1 for each end of hte canopy) but I could end up with a pair of 4" fans on each end of the canopy, as well as 2-4 3" fans on the top of the canopy to aid ventilation. Also, I would probably only run the 20k's for an 8hr photo-period, and only run the 10k's for 3-4hrs in the middle of that time. FWIW, the room/house stay between 68-70 degrees all day and all night, so that'll help a little bit. Finally, I know a chiller is in my future, as I'd really love for the tank to stay @ 77 degrees, so sooner or later, I'll need to get one of those to get away from the 78-82 degree range I expect to be in with the lights on.

I'm totally serious, and ready to call in the order for the 2x250w PFO ballast & sockets & bulbs this week to help get the ball rolling. All I'm looking for a yay or nay from some locals with more experience with halides than I have, and I'll decide by Thursday.

Last, FWIW, this is going to be a SPS/clam dedicated tank with very few lps, and absolutely no softies, so I'm not REALLY that worried about burning any corals (once I've got them adjusted to the lights), and I'd be sure to shade any new additions to the tank upon introduction. And another detail I left out... the tank is only 20" tall sad6.gif believe me, I know this sounds crazy, but I'm ginuinely interested.

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is it a 4' tank? my guess is that you will have heat issues with 4 mh bulbs. i wouldnt ditch the actinics, these will help with coloration. if the tank is only 4' why not start with the 2x250 and see if you like it. it will be enough to do what you want. then if you still want more light you can add another 250, or switch the ballasts and bulbs to 2x400. and add a chiller.

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I think 2 x 250w MH on a 100 is plenty. If you haven't seen Fishypets tank yet here it is:


This is a 125g with 2 400w MH. It is 6' long. Another benefit of using the T5s is you can set up a sunrise/sunset effect. IMO I would take that extra money and go ahead and get the chiller now.

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I think you are fine with the 2x250w setup, but if you really want more light I would go with a 2x400w setup as mentioned above. It will burn less power (200 watts less), provide just as much light IMO, and be cheaper to operate (replacement bulbs).

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