View Full Version : Light selection

02-01-2010, 03:31 PM
I need to upgrade my light system. Currently I have 2 plain ole flourescent 50/50 24" lights and a pair of 2 LED moon lights. Im looking at getting a GLO dual tube T5 system. I was going to get 1 full spectrum and 1 blue actinic(spelling?). My tank is 60" long and about 24" deep. Currently I only have fish, inverts, and some brown button polyps, I believe and a purple mushroom. I want to add more corals and an anenome. Anyway would the T5 suffice?

02-01-2010, 04:29 PM
your probably going to want atleast 4 bulbs for a tank that deep if you want to keep corals ...and 6 bulbs wouldn't be too much especially f you want an anemone

02-01-2010, 05:21 PM
If you want to go T5 I would say you want a minimum of 6 full length bulbs, preferably 8. I'd make sure the fixture has individual reflectors too!

02-01-2010, 05:50 PM
read this

should answer most all your t5 questions ...nice work grim!

02-01-2010, 06:01 PM
Here is another link! Done by the same guy!


02-01-2010, 06:12 PM
Here is a link to a thread on the NCRA that may help you.


02-01-2010, 08:05 PM
Good info here. I'm glad to see you getting your info first!

02-02-2010, 10:36 AM
Ok, been doing some research. Apparently I need 7-10 watts per gallon for a reef tank. I have a 120 gal. tank so I fugure around 700 watts. I found a 60" fixture on fishtanksdirect.com by current USA that has 2 250W halides, 4 54W T5 actinics which brings it to 716W. It comes with 2 external timers, has LED moon lights. All lights are individually wrapped by a reflector. Looks like a good product, it goes for $925. This should be sufficient for anything I want to do in the future, SPS's, anenomes etc. This sound right?

02-02-2010, 03:06 PM
You can throw two 400W MH over that tank and be done with it for about $750, new. I think Torquehound is going to be getting rid of a 400W with lumenbrite mini reflector in the next week or so.

A lot depends on how you have your tank set up. Post up some pix for us. Does it have a hood or is it open and you can hang pendants from the ceiling?
Again, what corals do you plan on keeping? If it is LPS and softies, you can go with T-5 or PC and not have to use MH. SPS, I would recommend the MH. For example, I have a mixed tank and run 3 400W MH on an 8 foot tank. The tank is 30" deep and I push about 185 at the sand bed and 220 where the reflectors overlap on the bottom. I have some corals that I have to shade due to TOO much light. If they get too much light they change colors away from what they are supposed to look like.

We have several club members who have 1K watt MH over their tanks and the coral selection they have works for them. I would recommend looking at some people tanks and asking what lighting combination they are running. Pick the light/color you like and copy that for your system.

1K club;

Jiggyfly Has the same tank footprint you have
Murfman You are welcome to come see mine, any time you like, just shoot a pm to coordinate time.

250 HQI


02-02-2010, 05:00 PM
I still have to add more live rock to it, building it up as i can. I do not have a canopy or hood. It is a glass cover. The lights sit on top of it.

02-02-2010, 05:41 PM
Is your 120 6 feet long or 60 inches long?

02-02-2010, 06:30 PM
60 inches

02-02-2010, 11:28 PM
I still have to add more live rock to it, building it up as i can. I do not have a canopy or hood. It is a glass cover. The lights sit on top of it.

Get rid of the glass covers, they will obscure your light and cause the tank to get much hotter than when it is open.

02-03-2010, 08:29 AM
Ah ok, I can see that.

02-03-2010, 10:32 AM
Does the tank have a glass support in the middle? if so the T5's won't work. I had a 120 long with the center glass support ( did I mention had ) the heat from the t5's or VHO's is to much for the glass... POP!!!! thats all I can say.

Go with either 250hqi's our 400se.

02-03-2010, 12:20 PM
Hey Murf,

Add me to the LED Club.

02-03-2010, 01:52 PM
No its plastic

02-03-2010, 11:20 PM
Watch for the heat issue, you will have to mount the bulbs high so the don't melt the plastic.

02-04-2010, 09:07 AM
Listen to these guys man. They will not lead you down the wrong path. They are wise in the ways of reefdom.