View Full Version : Need Lighting Feedback/Suggestions


gnashty
01-02-2010, 10:22 AM
I have a 210 FOWLR (84" x 24" x 24") system in my living room with glass tops and 2 42" T8 2x25. I am getting a canopy built and want to upgrade the lighting so I can start keeping some corals and improve the look of my tank.

I dont know alot about using DIY lighting kits, ballasts, and all that - id probably burn my house down if I tried to rig my own system!

I am looking to get about 600 watts of lighting power and am ok with being limited on coral types as I would rather not go with MH. Staying away from MH mainly because the tank is in my living room and heat/light/energy consumption could be a problem in the long run.

Ive looked at the 72" all in one T5/LED/MH combos with timers and all that but the price tag is discouraging to say the least - not a deal breaker but just soo expensive and im not sure it will meet all of my needs (being my tank is 84" wide).

Does anyone have any sugestions with lighting i should go with or anyone with a similar tank that did something different? any input would be great as i want experienced reefers opinions so i dont make any expensive mistakes.....ive already made enough of those! ive read alot of lighting faq's and links on many sites, books and publications - im looking for reefers opinions but will read any helpful links that get passed along...

michaelf1478
01-02-2010, 11:20 AM
i have the same size tank that you do i have mh and i have never had a problem with the heat

bratliff
01-02-2010, 1:23 PM
Just go with a retro T5 in your canopy. YOu can probably fit six bulbs across with room for LED moonlights. It's easy. I was the same way you were and then I just did it. If you can use a screw driver and know how to use a wire nut you can build a T5 set up into your canopy.

With the length of your tank, you'll probably actually go twelve 36" bulbs. You'll need 24 standoffs and end caps, and ballasts to drive them. My advice is to figure out what a T5 retro will cost you in parts (installation is easy) and use that as your benchmark for buying either a fixture or going with MH. I've never wired a MH set up, but, I'm guessing it's not much different from the T5. If your canaopy is tall enough, going MH might actaully be cheaper since you have so much tank to light.

gnashty
01-03-2010, 12:08 PM
Thank you for the suggestion...

i found a great deal on an aquaticlife T5 8 x 39 watt 72" set up - including timer, LED etc..its only 312 watt total but is only 1 wire and includes timer and will put me at about 1.5 watt per gallon. Should i spend the extra $250 and get the 12 x 39 watt set up?

bratliff
01-03-2010, 3:18 PM
i found a great deal on an aquaticlife T5 8 x 39 watt 72" set up - including timer, LED etc..its only 312 watt total but is only 1 wire and includes timer and will put me at about 1.5 watt per gallon. Should i spend the extra $250 and get the 12 x 39 watt set up?

The watts per gallon doesn't really hold up when it comes to keeping corals, as I've learned :), but, if you wanna keep any kind of high light demand critter I would definitely go for more. Even so, with those lights you're still really only looking at soft corals and some of the less demanding SPS and LPS. Clams should do ok if they are kept up your rock work closer to the light.

One last thing, I'm not sure how well that aquaticlife fixture will do under a canopy... make sure the canopy is well ventilated at the very least.

gnashty
01-03-2010, 4:01 PM
The watts per gallon doesn't really hold up when it comes to keeping corals, as I've learned :), but, if you wanna keep any kind of high light demand critter I would definitely go for more. Even so, with those lights you're still really only looking at soft corals and some of the less demanding SPS and LPS. Clams should do ok if they are kept up your rock work closer to the light.

One last thing, I'm not sure how well that aquaticlife fixture will do under a canopy... make sure the canopy is well ventilated at the very least.

I am ok with being limited on some of the more demanding corals in terms of lighting. as far as the fixture on the canopy - it has 3 built in fans and I have another huge fan (from a 50" plasma TV) i am going to mount as soon as my power supply comes in the mail. The canopy also has a large opening in the back for airflow.

bratliff
01-03-2010, 4:22 PM
I am ok with being limited on some of the more demanding corals in terms of lighting. as far as the fixture on the canopy - it has 3 built in fans and I have another huge fan (from a 50" plasma TV) i am going to mount as soon as my power supply comes in the mail. The canopy also has a large opening in the back for airflow.

Sounds good. :)

Go with the 12 x 39 watt fixture and you should be good to go. Oh yeah... get good bulbs and you'll really make the most of your investment. I've got Geissman T-5's on my 90g and they look great. Ask around for opinions but don't go cheap on the bulbs. They can make the difference on what you can and can not keep.

gnashty
01-03-2010, 5:49 PM
thanks for the advice - this fixture comes with bulbs which will give me about 9 months to save for the really good bulbs like you suggest. what sux is i just blew $100 replacing lights on my caveman T8 fixture.