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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

New guy to the board here. I set up a Marineland 300 gallon Deep Dimension. The measurements are 72" x 36" x 27" or 6' Long (left to right) x 3' Deep (front to back) x 27" Tall (top to bottom). I'm struggling with how to light this tank. I want to do a mixed reef with various hard and soft coral. I'm not only new to the board but new to reef keeping so I'm clueless in a lot of respects but I'm looking to learn! I've read a bunch of posts on various sites and there's a lot of good info out there but I'm having a challenge with lighting a deep (front to back) tank like mine. I know the most obvious way of lighting (and how I've read most Deep Dimension owners) light a 3 foot deep tank is by using 3 to 6 MH's suspended, however I would prefer not to use MH's.

I know the other option is to use a canopy and stagger t5 retrofits in order to give me the best coverage. The only problem with that is I really don't want to put a canopy on my tank.

I know I know - I'm just being difficult now! Most t5 fixtures that are available are simply not wide enough (front to back) to give me the spread I need. Will you experts give me some ideas of how best to light this beast (considering my limitations of no halides or canopy)? H/O t5 or LED are whats left, but are there any ready made models out there that would fit my light needs?
I know there's all kinds of reasons to go MH's, but I'm worried about the kind of serious heat that 3 MH's would create that would most definitely require a sizeable chiller. My tank is located between two interior doors so there isn't room either in the stand (Sump, plumbing, skimmer, fuge, etc) for the chiller nor is there a place on either side of the tank (because of the doors). I'm unable to plumb down to the basement so other than running my poor window a/c units at full blast I don't have any real way to control the temperature to the tank. I know that a serious number of t5's would create a heat concern as well, so I am worried about that as well, but most people tell me that T5 heat is significantly less than MH heat.

Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!
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