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Lighting for 30x12x16 25 gallon


Aqualara

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This tank is currently set up as a freshwater planted with a 3x24W T5HO fixture on it. I don't think I can grow any corals I want with this, so I would like to upgrade within 6 months of setting the new tank up.

 

Here are the important points I'd like to consider:

 

1. I don't want to be limited in my coral choices.

2. I'd like to stay under $300, including bulbs and shipping, if that's possible.

 

I know there's been a lot of talk about the AI SOL, but that's $400.... I don't think I'm ready to spend that.

 

Is it possible to get what I want for the price I want? If so, what is the best option? I was thinking 4xT5HO, but is it enough?

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Even a link to a thread with good info would be great if anyone knows one. I did use the search function, but couldn't find any general threads about lighting. And with all the new LED stuff around, old threads may not be comprehensive.

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1. I don't want to be limited in my coral choices.

2. I'd like to stay under $300, including bulbs and shipping, if that's possible.

If you look really hard you can probably find a Tek 4X24 sunpower or (maybe a ATI sunpower) for under $300 with bulbs. If you do, you'll reach your goals. Honestly though, if you see a sunpower for $350 with bulbs then I'd give it a good hard look. It'll blow any other T5 set up away. If you're handy with DIY, you could DIY a LED fixture for $300 dollars that would work very well for your tank.

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Catalina aquarium sells a 4x24W T5HO fixture for $225. Over on TPT (the planted tank), a lot of people use those, myself included. Does anyone use them over here? Is there something disadvantageous about them?

 

My main concern is whether or not its powerful enough to sustain any type of coral. I don't want to be limited, and if I have to end up spending more than $300 to get what I need, then I'll probably end up doing that. I really don't want to cut corners on this tank. I'd rather have equipment I love and not have to upgrade later.

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Catalina aquarium sells a 4x24W T5HO fixture for $225. Over on TPT (the planted tank), a lot of people use those, myself included. Does anyone use them over here? Is there something disadvantageous about them?

 

My main concern is whether or not its powerful enough to sustain any type of coral. I don't want to be limited, and if I have to end up spending more than $300 to get what I need, then I'll probably end up doing that. I really don't want to cut corners on this tank. I'd rather have equipment I love and not have to upgrade later.

The reason I recommended an ATI or a Tek light is because of the superior reflectors. You could probably keep most corals with that light, but most SPS won't thrive under a catalina light. The catalina's reflectors just aren't in the same league. When it comes to T5 lighting, reflectors and active cooling are what separates good fixtures from bad fixtures. ATI reflectors are the best in the game (Teks are very nice too, but not quite there). There is a reason that most SPS T5 tanks use ATI fixtures (powermodules in particular, but sunpower fixtures aren't much of a downgrade). You don't have to take my word for it though. http://www.nano-reef.com/featured/?tank=46 ATI powermodule. http://www.nano-reef.com/featured/?tank=50 ATI sunpower+LEDs. http://www.nano-reef.com/featured/?tank=40 ATI powermodule. http://www.nano-reef.com/featured/?tank=31 TEK. http://www.nano-reef.com/featured/?tank=29 TEK.

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Thank you so much for your help! I'll have to look into that.

 

The current fixture I have on the tank is a 3x24W T5HO from catalina. Can I use that for awhile and keep zoas, softs, and some LPS with that until I save up to buy a better light? Or is that not even enough for those?

 

And if a Tek or ATI 4xT5HO is a "good" but not "great" option, then what's a step up from that?

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Thank you so much for your help! I'll have to look into that.

 

The current fixture I have on the tank is a 3x24W T5HO from catalina. Can I use that for awhile and keep zoas, softs, and some LPS with that until I save up to buy a better light? Or is that not even enough for those?

 

And if a Tek or ATI 4xT5HO is a "good" but not "great" option, then what's a step up from that?

A step up would just be a ATI 6XT5HO unit (sunpower or powermodule). There isn't a better T5 unit than a powermodule.

 

 

A 3X24 unit would be fine for Zoas, softies, and some LPS.

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My house is usually warm... Should I go with led instead? If so, which one? No DIY please! I'm scurrred of diy... And I promise... I'm done asking questions!

 

 

A step up would just be a ATI 6XT5HO unit (sunpower or powermodule). There isn't a better T5 unit than a powermodule.

 

 

A 3X24 unit would be fine for Zoas, softies, and some LPS.

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