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Blackfeet 12-18-2013 06:03 PM

New 55 gallon saltwater conversion
My wide changed her mind yet again. No joke from me though. I am indulging her since we have not set up it as fresh water as of yet. I am going to do a DIY sump, protein skimmer and phosphate reactor with a in-line UV filter. The question I have is about the lights. I have a 54 inch HO dual bulb T-5 fixture with 5 moonlight LEDs from solar max, each bulb is rated at 54 watts. The bulbs are a 10k and actnic that came with it and 4 of the 5 LEDs are out. Are these bulbs enough to provide decent coralline growth in the live rock and should replace the leds or find a substitute?
for the moon lights I would appreciate some recommendations for a 55 gallon tank 48 inches long

badxgillen 12-18-2013 08:47 PM

Those lights will be fine for coraline algae growth as well as many other macros but it will be about enough for low light corals like less demanding LPS and softies.If you are not doing corals then no worries there.

Blackfeet 12-22-2013 06:04 PM

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Blackfeet 12-22-2013 06:34 PM

Sorry that was a miss post.
I found a purple combo bulb (supplies both actnic and some of the red spectrum) bulb that I can replace the actnic with now what is the 10k the best for the other spot? I have seen a lot of back and forth for the 15k & the 20k bulbs or is there a combo that would be better and in the purple combo all it is that the retailer says it is? I am thinking of getting 2 blue LED light kits marketed for glofish for moonlights.
I am going to do a diy coast to coast overflow, protien skimmer, phosphate reactor, and sump (what the sump is going to be in is still up in the air). I will try to remember to document what I do.
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Blackfeet 12-22-2013 06:56 PM

Also I'd like some suggestions for flow rate on my pump choice. My filter needs to have at least 220 gallons per hour, but which pump would give the desired flow rate with the surface of the water 4.5 feet higher than the pump

badxgillen 12-22-2013 08:26 PM

I like mag drive pumps as they are real work horses. You could also do one of the maxi jet utility pumps,maybe a catalina. There are a few choices on the pumps.The bulb with the purple\blue look most likely has a good spectrum,check its wavelength,it will lack in actual light output so usually when one has only two bulbs one will be 10,000k and one will be actnic.This will provide a decent spectrum and a good look.If you have the option to add a third or fourth bulb then I may say to utilize a purple bulb,although the look can look a little off.

Blackfeet 12-23-2013 11:56 AM

First Ty for the advice.
Second to clarify your saying replacing the actnic with the purple combo would reduce the total light output? My light is a HO dual bulb T-5 so I don't have an issue with that since actnic is superbright, but will it supply enough light for good live rock growth. I am not doing corals, it is too much of a change and I need more next level experience to do that, besides I would want a bigger tank to do that much of an investment. I am doing a FOWLR (fish only with live rock) tank.
Third is a third bulb required? What are the pros and cons of adding as compared to not adding it, aside from more electric usage. I need ammo to add something like that or replace it with some more expensive

badxgillen 12-23-2013 04:11 PM

If you are not doing any corals I would just stick with the existing fixture and bulbs as one actinic and one 10,000 Kelvin bulb will give you an appealing look as well as a proper spectrum. Adding more light without photosynthetic plants and animals may just increase your algae,so no need for an upgrade yet.

Blackfeet 12-30-2013 08:07 PM

Good news, especially for me! I told my wife what it would cost to to start the tank cycling for a saltwater setup followed by telling her how we could do a similar setup and we both could have fish we liked, a brackish setup with American flag fish and electric green barbs with a figure 8 puffer and a violet goby. Not doing live plants this time though. I am still doing a sump though. I friend gave me 2 tanks a 10 gallon that I will set up for my little one and a 15 gallon I will set up as a sump with a DIY skimmer.
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Blackfeet 01-05-2014 10:16 AM

I have a question about coast to coast overflows. I have been researching how to silence them and found a comment that made a strong simple point. "If coast to coasts were as good as I would think are they would be be more common". Since I plan to use a pipe with wier slots cut in it to keep fish out. I am led to understand that this cuts the surface skimming ability in half, this I knew, but also causes the majority of the suction to be directly near the drains greatly reducing the point of doing a C2C at all and doing a bean dorso stand pipe instead. Can anyone confirm this? or offer a counter opinion?
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