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  1. #1
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    The BIG " Lighting" question...

    Good evening everyone,

    I'm new to posting to the forums, but have been lurking for a while now and soaking up all the information I possibly can.

    I'm in the process of starting a 90g AGA w/overflow, 27g sump (home built from plans posted elsewhere), and am now tackling the BIG lighting question for my tank. I am still unsure of what exactly I will be putting in the tank (LPS, SPS...) but am looking for a rough idea of what my lighting requirements are going to be. The tank is a standard sized 48"L x 18"D x24"H, will be resting on a home built stand (couldn't bear to drop 1300$ on a stand/hood combo!).

    I know enough to say " I don't know what the heck I'm talking about", and am turning to the collective experience of the group for help. I did look at 48" Coralife Aqualight Pro 250W HQI 2X96W Compact Fluorescent Actinics 2X250W HQI Metal Halide. Enough...? Too much...?

    The criteria are simple, if contradictory: plentiful lighting, as inexpensive as is humanly possible and as easy to do as possible. Simple, right? LOL

    Many thanks in advance, and apologies for the long post.

    Jean Dorais
    Stittsville.

  2. #2
    ToX
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    Senior Member ToX's Avatar
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    DIY is cheaper but if you want a hassle free setup, then buy it, 250WMH is enough, thats what I have on my 75 and I like it. You can keep anything under that. now if you go diy then you'll have to build a canopy hehe

  3. #3
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    You will need dual, if you go MH, to cover the 48".

    For 24" high, you will need the 250s to push light to the depth for high light hungry coral.

    You could get away with 150s or 175s, but, at 24" high, you will only be able to put deep water coral at depth. Any light lovers will have to be high in the tank.

    If you go light on the light (sorry), you could get away with a handful of T5s, but, again, you can't put anything hungry at the bottom of the tank.

    I can't comment on any particular brand of fixture though, sorry.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information!

    DIY would be a whole lot cheaper, no doubt. But I regret to say that I have absolutely ZERO skills when it comes to electricity/soldering.

    Would the dual 96W actinics be enough to go with the dual 250W MH?

    Jean

    Quote Originally Posted by cres
    You will need dual, if you go MH, to cover the 48".

    For 24" high, you will need the 250s to push light to the depth for high light hungry coral.

    You could get away with 150s or 175s, but, at 24" high, you will only be able to put deep water coral at depth. Any light lovers will have to be high in the tank.

    If you go light on the light (sorry), you could get away with a handful of T5s, but, again, you can't put anything hungry at the bottom of the tank.

    I can't comment on any particular brand of fixture though, sorry.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    actinics on those i always thought is over kill...

    DIY is not that bad.
    u dont actually need to solder anythign most of the time, the wiring is pretty easy, just twist them together and moisture proof it...

    if i was you, and i'm not, but if i was... i would do 2x250w 14000K MH, with 2 T5HO actinics. that would give you enough to handle most corals

    but you know, i'm not you... lol

    i'm almost certain there are people that are on this forum that live near u enough to help...

  6. #6
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    ToX & Willy,

    Thanks for the information- messing up a DIY lighting setup on a sw tank is really not my idea of fun I'll see what all I can come up with as I'm really not thrilled at spending 1400$ for a Coralife setup (as nice as it is to just plug and play...) as my bank account just isn't that deep!

    Again, many thanks!

    Jean

    PS Willy, I'll be in Kingston most of next week, I'll stop in to say hello!

  7. #7
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I did a DIY for MH lights on my Nano. It worked out well, but I decided to buy "off the rack" for my 90G. Aside from your sump being a touch larger, we have very similar setups.

    I agree with cres's opinion, with the exception that *if* you plan on having a deep sand bed you'll techinally only have a 20" deep tank, the sand will eat 4". In that case 150W or 175W would work very well for MH.

    If you use VHO, I'd look at 110W super actinics and a 10 - 14K lamp in the MH. I have little to no experience with T5s, a few people here swear by them though. Last I looked, I didn't like the actinic colouring on T5 HO lamps, but I've been told that's much better now.

    Regardless, lamp temperature is a personal thing, it's like asking "what colour should I paint my living room?".

    If you have 250W MH lamps on a 90G there is nothing you won't have enough light for. The rest is balancing out the colour to meet your desires.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  8. #8
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    Krugar,
    Thank you for the information- and yes, I know I've asked a fairly impossible question: no one can choose for me. I should have written something like : given your experience, what do you like/not like...and recommend (if it was your own tank?) or something like that.
    Never thought of the sand depth- that brings me down to roughly 1100$ if I go Coralife!!!! Woohoo Well, not really...but it's a start!

    Thanks,

    Jean

  9. #9
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I would still recommend you go with 250W lights if it's in the budget. There's no such thing as too much light over your tank.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  10. #10
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    Krugar,
    If I look at a all-in-one Coralife-type setup, the difference between 175W MH and 250W MH's is roughly 200$...in for a penny, in for a pound (sterling that is , so the $ difference isn't big...I'll go with the 250's!

    Many thanks for all your information/insight...I'm responding to a bunch of your other posts about sumps and plumbing and such... : )

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