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  1. #1
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    Q: best lighting for a 30-32" wide tank

    As the custom tank inches towards reality, I am thinking about lighting the thing. The width will be in the 30-32" range, probably closer to 32" than 30" but I won't have the final dimension until the built in stand is done.

    Given the weird size, and that I am not 100% sure on what I want to keep, what is the best lighting for the size? The other dimensions will be ~24" front to back and 18-24" tall. I am open to MH, T5, PC, whatever!

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    a single 250w MH will light it nicely, supplement with T5 actinics and you're sitting pretty.

  3. #3
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    A single 250W MH lamp will only cover 24" x 24". If you're happy with low light zones at either end you can go that route. The actinics will balance out the colour but you'll notice the edges look different. You need 2 lamps for your size tank.

    If you keep the tank to 18" after any sandbed you put in, T5s are good, but you'll not get the shimmer effect of an MH. If you go that route I suggest you mix 10Ks and Actinics.

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

  4. #4
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    So if I went 24" high, would 2 x 150W (or 175W) be sufficient? Plus some actinics.

    Andrew

    Quote Originally Posted by Krugar
    A single 250W MH lamp will only cover 24" x 24". If you're happy with low light zones at either end you can go that route. The actinics will balance out the colour but you'll notice the edges look different. You need 2 lamps for your size tank.

    If you keep the tank to 18" after any sandbed you put in, T5s are good, but you'll not get the shimmer effect of an MH. If you go that route I suggest you mix 10Ks and Actinics.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    150 or 175W will cover the tank, but not penetrate to the bottom as well as 250s. They're frequently used as a compromise, light demanding coral can be kept in the top half of the tank, less demanding stuff on the bottom.

    It would mean you may have problems keeping clams on the sandbed. Some people can in that sized tank some can't. It more than a lighting issue, but because the light is less intense, it's one more thing to add to the pile.

    But it does throw less heat, and therefore requires less cooling, which will result in less evaporation... So there's good sides to it.

    IMHO I'd get the 250s. I agonized over 250s or 175s on my 90G. I got the 250s even though it meant using more base rock & reef bones. My mantra has become, dead rock can be turned into live rock. Crappy lights will always be crappy lights.

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

  6. #6
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    I guess dual 250W that would fit over a 30-32" tank would necessitate a DIY job correct? If it is DIY, I suppose I could do 1 250W with a plan for the 2nd one.

    Where is the best place to source the lamps, sockets, ballasts and whatnot for MH and T5?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  7. #7
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Check here, Ivan has good prices.

    If you're feeling more adventerous, there's nothing magical about MH ballasts used for aquariums. If you're willing to do the research, an industrial lighting store can provide everything you'll need except for the bulbs and maybe the reflectors. This is the most work intensive path, but with most DIY projects it's also the least expensive, unless you blow up something & have to buy it twice

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

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