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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am in the process of setting up a 55-gal seaclear system II flatback hex. I want to have a reel aquarium with a couple of fish and alot of live rock and coral. This system has a wet/dry filtration and I plan to add a skimmer to it. The lighting system is of great concern. It has lighting for flouresents - (2) 15 wt bulbs. I purchased two expandalight kits to add another light to each. I have also purchased (2) 50/50 coralife and (2) marine glo lamps. My question is: will this lighting be sufficient? Before I go any further, I want to make sure I am buying the right lighting. One would think that a system with everything built in would be adequate, but I have heard alot of negative things about this type of system, being that alot of modifications must be made. PLEASE HELP!!!!
 

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Lighting could all depend on what type of corals you any to keep. As muchrooms and leathers and other soft corald have lower lighting needs than other corals like SPS ones. Do you know what kind of corals you are interested in keeping?
 

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First your going to have to decide and tell us what kind of corals you want. As all corals have different light needs. Do this and we will be able to tell you exactly what lights would be right.
 

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I can tell rite now you dont have enuff light for any coral, you should shoot for at LEAST 200 watts of lighting, on my 20 gallon tank i have 130 watts. about 4 watts per gallon minimal and 7 watts pergallon is good and 10 watts pergallon and you can keep whatever you want.
Flourecent are no good try compact flourecents, vho(very high out put) flourecents, or metal halide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I have been looking at SPS maybe a few LPS. I am going to purchase live rock and live sand soon. This is the first time that I have been more focused on the corals than the fish, so this is kinda new to me. I just don't want to get too deep into the lights and then have to change. I think I just threw away $150 bucks ont he lights and expanda kits I just bought. But my mistake, I'm trying not to repeat it.
 

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Just go with MH's you cant go wrong. Plus we dont even know what your willing to spend on lighting anyway.
 

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Halides would be best for ANY SPS. T5's could sneak you by if you keep them no more then 10" under the water line. Plus you'll need a whole lot of T5 bulbs and ballasts. Shoot for 4-5wpg of T5 lighting minimum. It's just so much easier and cost effective to do it with MH. 1 250w 10-14K MH DE and 1-2 tubes of T5 actinic would be an excellent start. Personally I'd shoot straight for 2x 250W 1 10K and 1 20K actinic about 12" above the water line. You'd be able to keep most anything with that setup.
 

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I can tell rite now you dont have enuff light for any coral, you should shoot for at LEAST 200 watts of lighting, on my 20 gallon tank i have 130 watts. about 4 watts per gallon minimal and 7 watts pergallon is good and 10 watts pergallon and you can keep whatever you want.
Sorry to correct you but only i think only freshwater is mesured 4 watts per gallon.

And what im going to do is get 1 tek retro t5 fixture and maby get 1 more later then a halide for the middle.

Im sure if you give a rough location of where you live we could tell you where to buy them.
 

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1 t5? But that's only about 30w.

Give TR a break. He did say MINIMUM as in you could keep plenty of the soft corals under 4w. If'n we allwant to get technical, wattage is a horrible way of measuring light as it's really a measure of how inefficient they are. Wattage is the amount of energy that particular bulb and or ballst use to create light. The correct measurement is PAR and or LUX. That is the end result after the wattage is used to produce the light. How much available light there is and how potent it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really appreciate the help. Here's a bit more info... the acrylic tank also has a 12" canopy. I will need something with stands. When I had the canopy built, I had about 8-9 dowels built into each end to allow heat to be released. The top of the tank is enclosed with the exception of two openings. This is where the other lighting with acrylic covers were placed. Any ideas on any particular lighting system? I am willing to spend two - three hundred at the most.
 
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