Cost effective pico reef lighting
I'm at the very beginning planning stages of a pico reef tank. It will be my first introduction to the saltwater hobby-- a rimless 6.6 gallon long. My brother recommended these LEDs but they strike me as kind of expensive. I know this is an expensive hobby, but I was just curious about the possible lighting options that are out there. I only want to keep beginner soft corals, like green star polyps and zoanthids. I don't really plan on stocking the tank with much...maybe a sexy shrimp or two. I want to save as much as I can with start-up, but or course want to make sure I don't skimp too much and end up chasing problems related to bad equipment.
Any recommendations, suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
EDIT: I just noticed this thread might belong in the equipment subforum, so feel free to move it if that is the case.
Thank you for all of the suggestions. I will definitely look into them. Could you maybe explain the basic differences between these and the ones my brother recommended? What is the extra cost coming from on his?
The one that you listed is a Reef capable light, meaning it has somewhat higher lighting than the ones that I listed, but not much, they also utilize a LED focusing lens to direct the light straight into the tank. You are also paying for the Name and you are paying a higher mark up coming from Marine Depot.
Because here is the same unit you posted, only ALOT cheaper here:
Reef Aquarium Lighting & LED Lights: Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System
The ones that I posted will give you plenty of light for the corals that you are wanting to keep, and more. With only a 6g tank, your not going to need a whole lot of light to get a high light condition. Your tank isn't deep enough. I also listed a Double Bright Marineland LED unit, that would fit your needs. The Reef LED is overboard for what your looking for.
Thanks! That all makes sense and was sort of what I was suspecting. Anyway, the $26 one on ebay is definitely within my price range. At this rate maybe I can get this thing going sooner than I thought. :D
Now, is the light temperature going to make any significant difference, aside from appearing whiter vs. bluer? The one he recommended was 10,000K and the ones you've linked looked to be mainly around 6,500K (same as my FW aquarium lighting). Is this purely a cosmetic difference or do the corals grow 'better' with the higher Kelvin? Or maybe I'm confusing the whole blue/white business...
The more blue the light, the more light penetration you get. But we are talking only about 6g here, not going to matter which one you pick. As you state, the color will be the only difference. Get what color light will appeal to your eyes.
Now if color is an issue. this is a my bad, I forgot about these lil gems. I'd go with these first.
FREE SH E27 LED RGB 8W 2 Million Colors Bright Light Bulb w/Remote 100-240V D7 | eBay
FREE SHIP 10W LED RGB COLOR SPOTLIGHT Flood Light Garden Lamp 85-265V Waterproof | eBay
I think I would personally prefer the whiter to the bluer colors. I know my brother's lights are very deep blue and while they do make some of the corals look really neon, the overall look of the tank isn't really my thing. And it gives the whole room a creepy black light feel at night, haha. I did notice some of the lights weren't long enough (the tank will be 24 inches in length), but I do see that the one I was most interested in has larger sizes available upon request.
Thank you for the help. This puts my mind at ease. Now to start thinking about substrate and filtration. My understanding is that skimmers aren't really used in tanks this small. So in that aspect water quality would be kept under control just through filters/water changes like in freshwater?
Fish & Aquarium Supplies: Marine Substrates, Sand, Crushed Coral, Live Sand
Ok, I did a little more research and decided that I really don't want to skimp on lighting. I want something my corals will thrive under and that will help them show their full potential in terms of vibrant colors. I really don't want to have to upgrade if I decide to get more adventurous or if the light turns out to under-perform for my needs.
This is the light I think I'm settled on. Opinions? Would this be "too much" light or is there no such thing? Is there something else in this price range that will do a better job? Also, does it matter that all the LEDs seem to be just a line down the middle? Will this effect the dispersion of the light throughout the tank?
I would like to accomplish something similar to this, if it helps.
Those should be fine
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