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View Full Version : Help Me Choose My Lights!


J3838
06/22/2006, 09:45 PM
Hey everyone,

I just recieved my tank that is a 33 Gallon long and measures 48in (L) x 13in (W)x 12in (H). I want to get this bad boy up and running as soon as possible but i have to choose some lights for it. I would like to be able to keep softies, lps, and maybe a clam if possible.

I am a college student on a relatively tight budget despite working 35 hour weeks at school to support my aquatic obsessions :rolleyes: .... hehe but anyways... id like to keep my budge for lights below $400 is at all possible.

Since the tank is relativly shallow i was hoping i could possibly avoid having to buy MH or even T5 but thats where i need some advice.

I have the choices narrowed to a few I will list below but obviously i am open to any suggestions you may have for me...

without further adu (don't think thats how that is spelled correctly :D) here are my choices:

48" Orbit 4x65 watt SunPaq w/ Lunar Light
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CU-ORBIT48&Category_Code=currentusa

Finnex 47" HO T5 Fixture - 6 Bulb x 54w Complete
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=FI-TL-T4854&Category_Code=Finnex-T5

Sunlight Tek Light T5 Hood - 48" x 4 bulb
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SL-960035&Category_Code=SunlightT5

and finally...

48 in SunPod HQI Metal Halide Fixtures with Lunar Lights
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=13975&N=2004+113352

I also forgot to add that I am in a rental house with quite a ***** of a landlord so I have to get a fixture that can use mouting legs. I will not be able to hang anything from the ceiling so all pendent lighting is out... Also I am skeptical about the Tek T5 hood because i read on some forums here that not only are the mounting legs for this like $75, but they are also crap....

So if any of you have suggestions for me, or have experience with any of these and care to share your knowledge and opinions with me about my setup i would be eternally grateful!!

Thanks in advance everyone and Im so excited to get this new tank up and running :)

The Grim Reefer
06/22/2006, 10:21 PM
In a tank only 12 inches tall you could use 4 40 watt standard fluorescents and be good for most critters. Not sure I'd try a clam though. A 4 lamp Finnex T5 would be a good system for such a tank. I think 6 lamps or the Tek fixture is overkill.

I think I would go for the 4 lamp Finnex but get better lamps for it.

god910
06/22/2006, 11:15 PM
I've got the 4 buld Tek and I love it. I am however my own *****y landlord, so I have it mounted from the ceiling. But am soon making my own SS legs for it. If you were closer I could make you a set as well.

hahnmeister
06/23/2006, 12:39 AM
the problem with a 12" tall tank is that you dont get a light gradient...what ever the light is at the top, it wont be that much different at the bottom. So you will only have one 'light zone'...high or low all over. And, because of the tank's length, halides are kinda dumb, and linear bulbs will be used which means an even more even distribution of light. To sum it up...the tank will only have one light zone no matter where you are in the tank (unless under a rock).

Still, as long as you can work with it... I would go with a 3x54wattT5 setup...one aquablue bulb, one blue+, one actinic03. Since there arent any 3x54watt fixtures out there...go with a 4x54 and use another actinic. As for which, dont even consider the Orbit or the Finnex...the Tek is a much better product and worth the extra money spent...even if you only end up using 2 of the 4 bulbs most of the time. Seriously, you might consider a short photoperiod...6 hours tops. Or, run two bulbs on one timer for 8 hours a day, and the other two bulbs on a timer to suppliment the first two for only 4 hours a day.

Oh, and buy @ reefgeek.com

OR, you could do a retrofit with only 2x54wattT5s if you use an icecap 430 ballast and their SLR reflectors. Actually, the more I think about it...thats what I would do. Its alot of output for only 2x54 watt bulbs...use a G-man aquablue/11,000K bulb and a UVLighting Superactinic and you should be set.