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Gweeds
06/27/2017, 03:59 PM
I've been pointed onto this area of the forum to get opinions from those of you who are running large sps systems...

First a bit of background to explain where I'm coming from...

After a few years of tinkering with reefs (since the mid 90s) I decided to convert my large FW into a reef... that was about 14 months ago. I have a young family and we have shelled out for a house move, building work, new kitchen, bathrooms, decorating etc etc... we are also paying for our wedding at the moment... so all in, over the last 24 months we've spent in the region of 600k... which is a heck of a lot of money for anyone... and we're NOT loaded by any stretch!

My better half was concerned about the added cost of converting the tank but was also keen to see it done... I (rather stupidly) blurted out that I could get it up to sps 'spec' for only 2500... the challenge was set. I have managed to do that, mostly by buying second hand and diying other parts... anyhoo, a couple of months ago I got some monti frags to finally complete my challenge and they are growing well, but current lighting is frankly shocking!

We have more building work planned and we are selling up a house we rent out to fund it... my soon to be wife has agreed to me using some of the cash for a lighting upgrade. Ill be doubling the initial tank spend to upgrade the lighting to enable me to grow other sps, specifically acros.

All that is a long way of saying that in the next few months I have 2500 ($3200) to spend on lighting... the story above is to illustrate the next point... this is a lot of money for me to spend on the tank, so I want to get it absolutely right...

It MUST be leds, I simply cannot afford the ongoing tube cost for t5s or the additional expense of cooling to run MHs. I appreciate that energy consumption is unlikely to be vastly different on either leds or t5s.

So, back to the tank... 99" x 26" x 26" is the area I need to cover... given the above caveats and my budget (which needs to include hanging rails, controllers etc) what should I go for? And importantly, why?

Sorry for the long post, but have had a load of replies on here and other forums extolling the virtues of t5s... it just isn't an option and I wanted to explain why.

For anyone interested I also run my system as an immune / resistant system... which has its own issues when it comes to nutrient management so is a challenge in itself for acros, but I am determined to prove it can be done! I am now at point where I have stability on the chemistry front so would expect to start getting acros in in around 12 months or so.

Thanks [emoji4]

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