View Full Version : so i can't make up my mind on what lights to get

06-30-2010, 10:24 PM
So i am going to start setting up my 80 gal when i come back from training but the thing that is stumping me the most is which light set up i should go with. Here is my issue maybe everyone's in put can help me decide since I'm kinda a newbie to salt water. OK 1st thing is I want different types of corals I don't wanna be limited to what i can have, 2nd I dont want my electricity bill to go up, 3rd I'm worried about the heat from 2x250w MH, 4th if i go metal halide i want good color still and i would hate to just have 2 10,000k bulbs and no actinic bulbs, 5th I dont have a whole lot of funds to buy a 500+ dollar setup, 6th I like the t5 8bulb setup cause i can put 2 of the bulbs actinic but worried about coral growth, and finally wondering if its better to hang them or manufacture some legs to make them stand up on the tank. so if someone would point me in the right direction please... I found MH 2x250w fixtures electronic ballast for $75 a piece lumantek i think that's how you spell it lol but i still have to buy 2 bulbs which is no biggy, i found a t5ho 8 bulb setup for $273. Another question i have is will t5's fit in t5ho and vise a versa? sorry for the long intro thanks. Any help would be grateful :hat: i did also find this LED setup on ebay. does anyone think if i bought 4 of these since they are 12x12 with 225 LED's in each panel it would put enough light to a 80 with soft or hard coral and clams? http://cgi.ebay.com/225-Blue-WHITE-LED-Aquarium-Plant-Grow-Light-Panel-/390214670621?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ada9b591d

06-30-2010, 10:25 PM
this makes me frustrated like a legless ethiopian watching a donut roll down a hill... lol

06-30-2010, 11:28 PM
What size is your tank? You can just buy mine. 48" 2x250w MH w/ 2x96w PC actinics. Hanging kit or legs.

MH does not equal chiller. I had one and sold it, but I loose a lot of heat from my sump where it is. So it just depends. A fan across the surface is all I need without AC and all this heat. I'm partial to MH, but T5s are good too.

06-30-2010, 11:52 PM
how much? Cuz I was looking @ that setup too but it's pretty darn expensive too. I just don't wanna go the expensive route if I can get away with 4 sets of LED's with 225 LED's in each set. @ 1 watt each for 100bux

06-30-2010, 11:52 PM
80gallon oceanic by the way

07-01-2010, 12:28 AM
1 - Do lots of research, RC is a good place to start.

2 - You get what you pay for, stay away from cheap sh*t like that eBay crap

In my personal opinion HO T5 and MH are both great. You can keep anything with the right MH or T5 fixture. Lotta crappy T5 stuff out there, try to stay with ATI (best), Aquaactinics (good) or Tek (ok). T5 will save you money on your electricity bill, give you more control over the color and run a hell of a lot less hot. However you lose that nice shimmer effect and dome corals just seem to do better under MH.

As far as MH, reflectors can make a hell of a difference. As far as wattage it depends on tank depth or what you plan on keeping in your tank. Ballast depends a lot on personal choice. I like my Radiums on Galaxy ballasts, but others prefer them on magnetic HQI. Again, just comes down to research and finding what works best for you.

07-01-2010, 08:22 AM
I sell a new affordable LED fixture, 119 bulbs, 85 blue and 34 white and the whites and blue can be independently turned on and off. They are in a nice black powder coated housing and retail for $309. I have a shipment coming in probably late next week, I am going to hang one above my frag system so you will be able to see how the corals look and grow under them.

Honestly I think LED is the way to go these days the prices are dropping and the features are getting better! I love the Aqua Illumination units the most, they are fully adjustable and well built, they are however about twice as expensive, but I travel to shows all over the place with mine and they travel well and have never failed which makes them worth the money to me!


07-01-2010, 09:01 AM
i agree with the consensus that it is worth saving up to do the lighting right once, at the end of the day using something that is cheap or just not quite what you actually needed/wanted proves to offer more headache and heartache then its worth!

07-01-2010, 09:26 AM
yeah thats why i am frustrated about all this cuz i dont wanna waste the money to buy something for 300+ and it not be enough light for a 80gal, or be limited to what i wanna have in the tank. hypothetacilly how much temp would MH make my tank and how far would i want to hang them above my tank? how much electricity would they make my bill go up with 2x250w MH? I really like MH cuz they will get the job done with no worries.

07-01-2010, 09:54 AM
There are way too many factors involved to even make a guess on temp. You have to look at the whole picture.... how many pumps do you have, powerheads, tank or sump in a cool place, AC. I allow my temp to fluctuate in Summer a degree and a half. My fan comes on at 81 and it is plenty to keep the tank at 81. It cycles on and off.

Another LED maker had some real expensive fixtures and made crazy claims about how they will pay for themselves in a year. Well I crunched the numbers and the fixture would take 3 years to pay for itself against my MHs. T5 would take longer. But I do agree that they are getting much better and that eventually I would go LED. More efficient that t5 and shimmer like MH, what's not to like.

For my system I use about $25 a month in electricity.

07-01-2010, 09:55 AM
To me MH is still the way to go! I've had T5s which work and get good growth, but it just doesn't have the same brilliant clean light that the MH has. As far as LEDs I am sure that will be the future, but am still concerned that you don't see anyone posting up growth photos! They all post photos showing how good it looks right after, or they show photos saying here is my tank a year later, but no before and after! So for me it's still a little too early to invest the money into LEDs. I hope that all you do though so you can work out all the bugs before I get into it!:cornut:

07-01-2010, 10:04 AM
+1. I agree with Gomojoe, 100%.

07-01-2010, 10:07 AM
I may have a mh fixture for you if this deal falls through. I will let you know :cheers2:

07-01-2010, 01:03 PM
IMO I would not go with 10,000K Bulbs though! Color is an opinion thing though, so go look at some tanks first! I would suggest looking at Grasshoppa's(Adam). He is running Radium 20,000ks and his colors and growth are awe inspiring!

07-01-2010, 04:58 PM
yeah i was reading somewere that when you get 10k the growth isnt the same as 6500k with actinic also. i just want really good growth and durability. i will probably post something to see if anyone still is trying to get rid of their MH's when i come back. it seems everyone likes MH.

07-01-2010, 06:05 PM
Barry, I use a 12K reeflux and get good growth and nice colors. The old rule that 6500 gives more growth and 20K less is a myth. SnorkleBob posted up some research by Dana Riddle and they have found that in the 12-15K the spectrum is better than at 6500 or 10. That would also depend on the color of the particular coral that you are trying to grow. Bulbs with a lot of red in the spectrum have been found to actually hinder growth in most SPS.

07-01-2010, 07:22 PM
Here is why I'm going with the Radium 20,000k Bulbs!


07-01-2010, 08:14 PM
Here is why I'm going with the Radium 20,000k Bulbs!


Yup, Radiums are phenomenal bulbs! Kills the Phoenix bulb IMO...