lighting questions for a newbie

drksails

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Hello my name is Abe Gutierrez and I am new to this hobby or should I say lifestyle, (4 months) I had a question about lighting for my 90 gal 48L x 18w x 24tall. I currently run 2 65 watt compact lights. I want to be able to keep corals that require intense lighting. I was curious if I need to replace the entire lighting system or urgrade the bulbs. I want to stay away from metal hylides. I was also curious about T3's or T5's. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Cordially, Abe Gutierrez
 
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Anonymous

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:welcome:

If you want to keep corals that require intense lighting, it's easiest to just get the most intense lighting available. :D

MHs are, watt for watt, the cheapest light source. You could cram your hood full of T3s or T5s, or you could just get 2 MH bulbs with reflectors. I like double ended MH pendants.

Just my 2 cents....
 

Justin74

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drksails":1h2vphc0 said:
Hello my name is Abe Gutierrez and I am new to this hobby or should I say lifestyle, (4 months) I had a question about lighting for my 90 gal 48L x 18w x 24tall. I currently run 2 65 watt compact lights. I want to be able to keep corals that require intense lighting. I was curious if I need to replace the entire lighting system or urgrade the bulbs. I want to stay away from metal hylides. I was also curious about T3's or T5's. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Cordially, Abe Gutierrez

Im a big fan of T5 and I believe them to be the coolest most efficient high intensity light you can get. Check out reefgeek.com or innovativelights.com great vendors with quality products.Retro kits can save you a few bucks if you have an existing hood but may cost ya if you dont. The bulbs will last you a year to year and half lil less if you overdrive them with an IC ballast. Definately find some T5 threads to read testimonials cuz theres a negative with every positive, and some of the threads out there will be very helpfull. Dont know bout reefs.org but RC does if you cant find them here.

-Justin
 

Perasyte

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Abe -- You can always get a 70 watt MH lamp and place the high-light corals toward the top of the tank. If you are concerned about heat, you can always cool the water with fans. When I had my big tank set up in my garage, I was able to reduce the temperature 9 degrees in about a 2 hours by setting the boxfan on the highest setting.
 

mn95616

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T5 are great. As Justin pointed out, they are very efficient lighting source IF you get the right reflector. The two most popular types of reflector is the Sunlight Supply T5 Tek and the IceCap SLR T5 reflectors. Be cautious about some of the cheap T5 sold on ebay. They often use inefficient reflectors and aren't worth it. As far as the amount of watts you need, that will vary depending on the coral you get. When I had T5, I had about 4 watts per gallon and I was able to keep SPS. The only disadvantage of T5 is the lack of the ripple effect that you get with MH.

Minh
 

jusreefin

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WELCOME!!

I am becoming a BIG T5 fan. I currently run a 4x54 w t5 tek light over my frag tank and get great colors. I am even contemplating dumping the halides on my display and going all t5. If you don't want MH, T5 is the way to go. IMO it would be pointless to just add more PC lights. Keep us posted with what you decide! I found my Tek light on ebay for really cheap from a good vendor
 
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Anonymous

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Are T5s capable of putting enough light to the bottom of a 2 foot tank?
 

jusreefin

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Matt_Wandell":2ike1owj said:
Are T5s capable of putting enough light to the bottom of a 2 foot tank?

T5's are the thing in Reef Aquarium lighting these days IMO. I have 2x54w True Blue's on each side of my tank 54x30x25 ( total of 216w) and it lights the entire tank and them some. I had my Tek light T5 fixture raised up 3" off the tank and it was still light fairly bright! The tek light has 3x20k and 1 10k bulb. Sanjay's test even showed them pretty much in line with halides intensity and in one or two test were even better!
 

jusreefin

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I don't have a par meter but I can leave my halides off for a week with no ill effects to the corals on the sand bed. Sanjays web site may have par results :wink:
 

Justin74

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The PAR @ 24"? Great!! A lil after 24 inches is where you see some significant drop offs but to give you an idea I have a 20" tall and Im keeping acros,digi's, encrusting SPS on the sand and a few inches above with exceptional growth and coloring.

True blue, or blue+? True blues dont have the PAR that blue+ do that incorporate some of the actinic and daylight spectrum in there bulbs. Without the reflector though T5's are basically a High Output compact. But the reflectors is what sets these bulbs apart from the rest of the crowd.

Life span? If you overdrive them with an Ice Cap ballast you can bank on the life being anywhere from 9mos-1yr keeping optimal output. With a normal ballast , Triad or Workhorse you can expect a year to 1&1/2 years with optimal performance. PC's? They suggest replacing every 6mos to year. Halides? 9mos to year to keep optimal efficiency. These figures assuming your keeping all of the above cool with a fan.

In fact you can expect more light in your tank compared to a MH just for the fact the intensity is spread evenly throughout the tank giving you more options in placement compared to point source which gives you a 2'X2' coverage area via MH respectively.

In studies on tanks 24" and under T5 has shown higher readings than your typical PFO style MH. Some instances over twice the PAR of a MH.

-Justin
 
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