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Another "what light should I get?" thread


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Greetings all,


First of all, I have read many many posts on this topic, and have learned a great deal from nanoreef. Thank you all for your posts However, I am still undecided what I should do.


I got a great deal on a used 46 bowfront last weekend (36'' long, 20'' deep), and will probably be moving the contents of my 20 long sometime after Christmas. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), my 130w Current PC fixture won't do with 20' of depth, so I've decided to bite the bullet and buy a MH fixture, or build something ramshackle myself.


Right now I just have softies due to my light output (shrooms, ricordea, zoos, palys, leathers, and colt coral), which are all doing well under the pc, but I'm hoping to move up to some more serious pieces. To start with some show LPS and perhaps some easier Montipora. Maybe I'll move into more SPS and perhaps a clam someday, but I do things very slowly as I am overcautious and on a low livestock budget.


Given the depth, I think I am on the border of a 150w and 150w fixture. Reading some posts it seems like 150 should be plenty to keep anything high up and lower light corals lower down, which is my goal. On the other hand, a couple members with similar tank sizes have recently moved up from 150w to 250w, making me think 150w may be a touch low. However, I am afraid of the heat a 250w will put out (hot here in Kansas in the summer, I keep the A/C at 78, and would prefer not to lower it, a chiller is not an option).


My three options:

150w - lower heat, but perhaps not enough juice

250w - solid, but I'm fearful of frying my tank

2x150w Sunpod - I normally wouldn't consider, but there is one FS right now on nr that is an absolute steal. Lots of heat, not as much depth, but great spread. Plus, it costs 2x to replace bulbs!


Thank you for opinions.

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I have a 46 bow I'll be setting up next year. If I was to do a single MH I would definitely do a 250 with some PC or T5 supplementation.


My plan is to do straight t5's right now. Less power consumption and heat hopefully will save me money.

The link above does have some sweet deals, unfortunately I would want a 6 bulb to get a better color spectrum.

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