View Full Version : 2x96 power compact advice

12/22/2009, 08:45 PM
So I currently have a 2x96 watt pc fixture. I am planning to upgrade to a 65 gallon tank and I will then only have about 3 watts per gallon. With a 18 inch deep tank would I be able to add a single bulb t5 or mh to help me get enough light to do a sps reef? Any suggestions are helpful. Thanks,

12/22/2009, 08:52 PM
Don't follow watts per gallon, its getting old and PAR is the new rave/measurement. And for the tank, you would need at least a 6 bulb T5 or 250 MH to successfully do SPS. Hope that helps, Wiz ;)

12/22/2009, 08:58 PM
That does help, so let the suggestions roll in for a nice 6 bulb t-5 setup, I dont want to limit myself in my coral selections in case I decide to do anything that may be more difficult then sps. So please help me out, I am slightly excited that Santa will be dropping off a 65 gallon reef ready A.G.A.

12/23/2009, 11:39 PM
Anyone? I need serious help deciding what setup to run, I want to focus more on reef then fish with my new tank, and I cant seem to make a solid decision with lighting. Should I consider metal halide over t5? What brands etc.

12/24/2009, 08:44 AM
You might want to look at MH setups as well. I really like the shimmer of MH. unfortunately my in-wall installation cant exhaust the heat that MH would generate. :sad1:

12/26/2009, 06:37 PM
You would be able to keep SPS if you add a single MH bulb to the 2 x 96 watt you have now. For years, I ran MH + 2-96 watt and was able to keep SPS no problem and had a great shimmer effect also.

12/28/2009, 09:28 PM
any suggestions for a single mh bulb?

12/28/2009, 09:38 PM
The only issue with a single bulb over that sized tank would be shadows in the corners, unless you have a very good reflector that is fairly high up.

Over my 58 (( same footprint, just not as tall )) I have 2*250 MH + 2*96 PC, tank is mainly SPS with clams and anemones ( Haddonis )

12/29/2009, 05:50 AM
LEDs? The DIY setups aren't too pricey.

12/30/2009, 05:57 AM
I have a single 250w MH + 2 65w PC actinics over my 40 breeder, which I think has the same footprint as your new tank, just shorter. I like it but it has its limits. For starters, I get uneven growth that is toward the MH light. I also get less light at the margins, but it's not too bad since I have the fixture about 10" above the water. Third, the light is not evenly spread throughout the tank like it would with PC or T5. I had a 2x96w PC fixture before, and it was a big difference in this regard. Nonetheless, I love the look of MH, the shimmer, etc. and wouldn't change except to give T5s a shot.

You can get by with one 250w MH on this tank, and you should be able to keep just about anything under that. I have. Maybe a 6 bulb T5 Tek would be the way to go. Do you have a canopy? Or is it open top or in wall?

12/30/2009, 06:09 AM
My vote is for MH - the shimmer, the color, the intensity, and the fact that you only need to change the bulbs once a year....

12/30/2009, 05:23 PM
I do not have a canopy yet, but I am thinking about one, to give it a cleaner look. I suppose I will see how my corals do for now, and leave room lower down for the more light craving corals so that I can then read more about what light setup will be next. Right now I am running out of money and am happy to get my new tank up and running.