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Hey guys. I've had my 46g reef set up for about 3 months now. Doing fantastic, my green star polyps and toadstool have shown growth. I have coralline growing on the glass and just bought a blue mushroom and a red montipora about an hour ago. At this point I'm moving into the more expensive corals such as SPS and eventually I would like a clam. I'm just using cheap LED's and I've had success but I know I cannot keep acros or even torches under them.
So now, my question. What should my move up in lightning be? The tank is 36" long, 12" wide and 18" deep. I am open to all lighting suggestions but they MUST be LED. My dad won't allow metal halides or T5HO's because he's worried that a fire will start. I'd prefer to keep my spending under $600 because I just finished my first year of highschool and if I get a summer job I want to be able to devote at least another $200 to corals. However, if the lighting is going to end up a bit over my budget I don't mind. The guy at my LFS recommended I get two Hydra somethings but they were $350 a piece and I don't need to control it from my computer or anything fancy.
 

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This list may be a good starting point:
Best LED Lighting for Reef Tanks - 2017 Reviews & Guide

Would you be open to doing your own lights, that way you can build them exactly how you want it, such as temperature (K), optics, colour LED placement, spacing ect....?

Some that you may prefer:
- Current USA Orbit Marine Pro
- Kessil (great for spot light effect, which some like. Having multiple will reduce this)

But there's loads of othes, Radion seem to be popular as well?
 
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