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Watts per gallon
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blake
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Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Location: St. Johns, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.24(Sun)19:04    Post subject: Watts per gallon Reply with quote

I want enough lighting to be able to take care off any coral's lighting needs how many watts per gallon would I need if I'm using metall halide lighting
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perfectblue
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Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Location: MN

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)2:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like to follow the watts per gallon rule when choosing lights because there are many other factors that need to be considered. What are the dimensions of the tank and what coral do you plan on keeping?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)9:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best rule of thumb I've gone across so far is this (watts/gallon sucks):

ATJ on RTAW wrote:
Have one metal halide lamp for every 60cm of tank length.
For a tank that is 45cm high, you can use 150W metal halide.
For a tank that is 60cm high, go for 250W metal halide.
For a tank that is 75cm high, go for 400W metal halide.

The above guidelines will mean that you will have sufficient light on the bottom of the tank directly under the lamps to grow most corals/clams. You will still have areas in the tank with lower light for placing corals that may not do well with high lighting. Note that the amount of light near the top of the tank will be significantly higher with the 400W lamps compared to the 150W lamps so you may need to be careful with what you place there.

Note that the above is simply a guideline and you could still do well with less light, but may have much slower growth rates for some corals.


MH lamps are a point light source, you will have a large variation in light intensity over the tank and can lower or raise the lamps to further alter intensity.
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blake
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Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Location: St. Johns, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.03(Wed)2:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I think I'm going with two or 3 metal halide lights at 150 watts and one attintic 48 inch flourescent bulb on my 55 gallon I think ill put the halides on a sliding track so I can position them above in the spots I need them most
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA

PostPosted: 2007.01.22(Mon)7:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

blake, what are you going to keep in this tank?

Corals we typically see for sale at LFSes are found at depths of 2-3' to depths of 20-30' and the lighting requirements of these and everything in between vary greatly. It is nearly impossible to keep corals that are found at greatly disparate depths in the ocean happy (for the long term) in the same tank.

3x 150w MH bulbs over that (shallow) 55g tank is, imo, over kill. As is the actinic. What you can do is setup 2x 150w (if this is the 4', standard 55g) MH bulbs at a k rating of around 12-15k. You can also consider 2x 175w standard (mogul) units at the same color temp ranges. This will save your electric bill and create a nice white/blue color in the tank. Just keep in mind that w/ that amount of lighting, you will potentially create problems for coral that come from deeper parts of the reef. They will have too much light and bleach. This is refered to as photoinhibition.

here's a great article on aquarium lighting

Often times it is better to decide what photosynthetic critters you plan to keep in the tank before you decide what lights to put over it!

best of luck to you sir, my best advice is to read, read, read!

Matt
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.22(Mon)23:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Blake.

You may also wish to consider the heat build up and evaporation that will occur using MH lighting on a small tank like that. You will find that you can't run them for long periods or in the heat of the summer (without AC) and this will negate their benefit to the reef. Also, unless you have an automated top up system you will be adding water every day.
Go for fewer MH bulbs or perhaps consider good quality T-5's and reflectors. On a regular 55 you could have good results from them.
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blake
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Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Location: St. Johns, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.23(Tue)17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

so many cnflicting ideas ill have to figure out what kind of coral I want first I guess and then decide what kind of lighting to go for thanks for all the comments
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.23(Tue)19:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

2-150 watt halides would be more than enough, it is a shallow tank and if you try 3 you are going to have to contend with the center brace, which may melt and fail. Each halide will light a 2'x2' area and that is a narrow tank, no need to try and run 3.
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