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A few questions


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Hello! I'm new to the whole saltwater aquarium deal and to this site.

I have a couple questions:

1. What is the actual difference between PC, HO T5's, and MH lighting? is it purely a difference in wattage, or is there any other factors involved?

2. If i use the berlin system on a 20g tank (including a skimmer), would i even need to use a filter? and if so, what do i need to put in it?

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wow...i could write a thread answering ur question but it would be so broad! i think u should do a lil more research into these topics. go to dr foster smith.com they have a great education site...its located at the bottom of theyre page.


but just a lil info on ur ques.


lighting, depends on the size of ur tank depth wise, and what types o corals u would like to keep.

pc's are a good beginners lighting, or good for lower level lighting, as they do not have the penetrating power of some of the other lighting. they also can get a lil hot.


t-5's are about the most used lighting besides mh. they have many options forlighting, bulb wise. u could come up with so many dif bulb combos with these. also, t-5s a pretty much only good if they have theyre own individual reflectors. they also run cooler. depending on ur setup they can be used for mainly all types of corals.


mh is the ultimate lighting. great colorations available. light penetration is awesome. great growth. but they do have theyre drawbacks. use a lot of power, and create lots of heat. these are high powered and coral placement is key if u have low light corals. sps corals love this lighting. plus uget that sweet shimmer effect!


theres so much ive left out, other people will prob comment on these.


your main filtration is ur live rock work! adding a sump below your display tank, increases ur water volume, increasing water quality. some live sand and come chaeto in ur sump, plus protein skimmer gives u great filtration, along with the ease of enjoying ur tank more, than working on it.


like i said, im just giving a lil input, more is to be said. keep up with reasearching, and asking advice. ur on the right track by cisiting this awesome site! good luck!!!

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:welcome: to nano-reef.com


T5s are single tube fluorescents (5/8" diameter), PCs are power compact fluorescents (a "twin" tube made from bending a bulb into a U shape). Fluorescents use mercury vapor to give off UV radiation, which causes the phosphors coating the tubes (what makes the otherwise clear glass opaque) to fluoresce in various colors/wavelengths


MH is for metal halide, where an electric arc is passed through various gases, without the use of phosphors to produce visible light.


The berlin system is great, but if you read the articles at the top left of this page (under 'information'), you will see that you can take filtration a step further with only using natural filters.


MHs and T5s are more efficient than PCs at producing a given amount of light per watt of energy.

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Im mot sure if I understand your question, but lumens is the intensity of light and as far as light penetrating through the surface of the water I would call it wavelengths e.g. Blue light in the wavelength 480 nm has the greatest depth penetration of all, I hope i answered your question. :welcome:

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The distance light penetrates depends on the the solution (i.e. the salt in saltwater). This isn't a very significant number since even large hobbyist tanks are so shallow compared to natural reefs. I think the unit you're wanting is "lux", or lumens per square meter.

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