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help on choosing coral


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Hey i m not starting a 50 gallon tank and i m into corals. But im a complete beginner and want to know what are are some hardy relativley easy (even though nothing is besides dead stuff) to care for corals. I like flashy and colorful. What are some colorful shrooms.


As for lighting i m most likley going to have a canopy with my custom insides. I m looking into(excuse my strange explaing) setting up 4-6 swirly energy savr bulbs each about 1700 lumens and to retro fit kits 10k pc and an actinic with a fan or two for cooling will this be enough light. Looking for cheap but worthy retro fit kits 46.5 inch to 48 inch suggestions.

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hmmmm if i were you i wouldnt get those swirly bulbs

you only really want to get those if you have no other choice as in thats the only thing that will fit like in 3gallon tanks or what not

but as for a 50 gallon im guessing its 4' from your 46.5' to 48" so i would say go with a 250w SE MH with some actinic pc's

you may wanna try hellolights.com

they usually have cheap stuff or you could always go check out ebay

i bought my MH's and VHO's from them and my PC's from champion lighting

but if you go this route you wont have to upgrade when you want to go to the better corals (SPS, Clams, etc) cause you eventually will :)

good luck


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Lets see-can't help you much with the corals, but I would reconmend some zoo's and less colorful soft corals (stay away from things that are very bright-you don't have enough light and they will die). To begin with. Also, for lights I would reconmend staying away from those swirlys you mentioned. They don't have enough intensity to punch through to the bottom of the tank, plus they aren't exactly designed for reefs (really just a replacement for the crappy incandescent bulbs used in homes). Because of this a retrofit kit doen't exist for this kind of fixture (the are run straight off of 110v in standard type lamp sockets found at HD or Lowes). I would reconmend at least two, more like four 55 watt power compacts, at the minimum. Four T5's or two 250 watt se 20,000 K Metal Halides would do much better, letting you keep pretty much anything eventually (based on skill-keep your water quality in check and you'll be fine). Also, your tank isn't exactly considered a nano-most people draw the line on that at 29/30 g, and even that is considered large (over here any way). Check out reefcentral.com for more standard size tank info (many of the same things apply to both, so feel free to stik around here and learn something).



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yah i realize it aint no nano but ive seen ppl talk about 150 gallons. So where am i going to get good stuff inexpensivley?

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Ok give me some lighting suggestions just throw them at me like


1. 2 10k pc

2. 2 actinics

3. 2 mh

4. to cooling fans


and where to get them cheap plz help

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does this look good

: 46.5" 4 Lamp VHO Retrofit Kit (w/ ARO Model 4L ballast)







Price: $169.00



Bulb1: NoneURI Aquasun 10,000K VHO(+$23.50)URI Super Actinic VHO(+$20.00)URI Actinic White 50/50 VHO(+$23.50)


Bulb2: NoneURI Aquasun 10,000K VHO(+$23.50)URI Super Actinic VHO(+$20.00)URI Actinic White 50/50 VHO(+$23.50)


Bulb3: NoneURI Aquasun 10,000K VHO(+$23.50)URI Super Actinic VHO(+$20.00)URI Actinic White 50/50 VHO(+$23.50)


Bulb4: NoneURI Aquasun 10,000K VHO(+$23.50)URI Super Actinic VHO(+$20.00)URI Actinic White 50/50 VHO(+$23.50)


Dual_Ballast_Upgrade: NoneAdditional VHO Ballast (+135.00)





Item Code: 40-40009




Included in our PRE-WIRED Retrofit Kits:

* Electronic ARO Model 4L VHO Ballast

* Ballast Dimensions: 11 3/4"(L) x 3”(W) x 2”(H)

* German 3 piece moisture resistant endcaps.

* Polished mirror aluminum reflector.

* Quick Disconnect Cable: 7’ ½”

* Power Cord: 7’ ½”

* Wire Harness: 6’

* Assembled dimensions with endcaps and bulbs: 46 3/4"L x 10"W x 2 3/4"H

***Now Available: Upgrade your kit to include TWO ARO Model 4L ballasts, so you can have "dusk/dawn" control over your VHO lights! If you select the upgrade, you will get TWO VHO ballasts with TWO 2 lamp wiring harnesses, so you can control 2 lamps on each ballast!



* 46.5" 4 Lamp VHO Retrofit kit for 440W of power!

* This VHO Retrofit Kit is pre-assembled and wired on our Polished Aluminum Mirror Reflector to save you time. All you have to do is insert bulbs, mount it into your existing reflector, canopy or hood, and turn it on. That’s it! No complex and confusing wiring diagrams.

* Polished Aluminum Mirror Reflector reflects up to 99%! These reflectors come with a thin blue protective film to prevent scratches. Be sure to remove this film before you mount and light up the unit.

* Extreme intensity and reliability is guaranteed. Backed by a 3 year warranty on the ballast.

* Exceptionally energy efficient electronic ballast with potted design for cooler and moisture resistant operation.

* Has 1/4" holes on ballast case for easy mounting.

* Each VHO ballast can power up to 440 watts of light (with maximum of 16 feet of lamp length). Thus, EACH ballast is capable of running 2, 3 or 4 bulbs if the 440 watt / 16 foot limit is adhered to (Note: the proper lamp harness must be used to operate 2, 3 or 4 bulb configurations).

* This is an in-series product; thus, if you choose to use the 4 bulb harness, all four bulbs will be either "On" or "Off" at the same time.

* Endcaps are high quality 3 piece moisture resistant units and are German made. These have an O Ring to help keep the moisture out.

* Ballasts are not dimmable (Fluorescent bulbs are NOT designed to be dimmed!).

* VHO ballasts are not compatible on X-10 systems.

* Uses 46.5" bulbs, NOT 48" bulbs.

Warning: To avoid damage to your system, make sure the lamps are seated firmly in the 3 piece endcaps and the connection between the lamp harness and ballast is pushed all the way together. Any connection that is not made firm can cause an ARC, potentially causing damage/failure to your system. If you are not sure how to properly install the lamp, please call us toll free at 866-969-7333 or 866-WOW-REEF. Damage caused by an arc is not covered under warranty.

* Caution: This retrofit/ballast kit must be housed in an area free of moisture, behind glass or acrylic. Make sure the bulb(s) and socket(s) are sealed off from any moisture, humidity or evaporation of your aquarium. Failure to do so will void any and all warranty, and could be a potential hazard.


Does this look good

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In a 50 gallon tank with VHO's you're only going to be able to keep softies and possibly a couple of LPS. I'd save your pennies and get dual 250w MH's. Reef lighting isn't cheap...ever...no matter what. The lighting for my new 15 comes in at $180...and thats counting things that I got for a STEAL from some of my reefing friends. Proportionately (as your tank is a little over 3 times the size of mine..lol), you could expect to pay around $550 to light it properly. (It'll be less than that..but you get the idea). This hobby isn't cheap..as I'm sure you know. Save up and do it right..





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??? So do you think that dual 250 mh will do the trick? If so should i get 20,000k or 10,000k? How long will each bulb last?


:) I was doing some research on e bay and found a dual 250 mh for $225 ready for plug in and a 2 yr gurantee

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