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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Guys; :fish:
I was just curious having been asked the same question by a friend of mine that is not an aquarist.


I figure you guys may be able to come up with a better answer for him and in turn.... ME!!:D

Generally speaking... What is the cheapest lighting option to run in a reef tank,
and still get the light needed? Also in a FOLR tank?

Taking into consideration, the price of replacing the bulbs and electricity used.
NOT the price of the fixture.



Thanks!!:thumbup:
 

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LED lighting would answer that question. They are still a pretty new technology and I have heard of some people having issues with ballasts.
 

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I looked into this before... But decided that it wouldn't be enoght light for the corals I like...

Do you know anyone who did solatubes for a fish tank? I would love to see photo's

Cheapest in the long run would be SolaTubes. Higher investment on the startup, but 0$ after installation with no bulbs to replace, no electricity bills, no need for timers.

Here's an example of someone that used them. Google Solatube and reef for more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cheapest in the long run would be SolaTubes. Higher investment on the startup, but 0$ after installation with no bulbs to replace, no electricity bills, no need for timers.

Here's an example of someone that used them. Google Solatube and reef for more.
Solatubes are "cheap" but you need to be able to provide the light needed as the question says. There are a lot of supplemental lights under that hood :cool: would it be enough for FOLR?? It may work out depending on where you live and exposure I guess.
still cool!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LED lighting would answer that question. They are still a pretty new technology and I have heard of some people having issues with ballasts.
1st a cold water reef (no or little lite),then Led,then T-5HO,then PC,then incedesent and then MH.
It's a good thing we are not including the price of the fixtures :D;)
What is the K rating on led fixtures anyway??
 

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I'm having trouble finding it, but there was a thread of someone who used only the solatubes with limited actinic supplements so that he could still enjoy the tank at night. That tank was keeping a lot of SPS too.

The first picture in the example above is exclusively solatubes and looks pretty cool. I guess it would really depend on where you live. In Seattle it may not be the greatest idea, but in places that have a lot of sun like south west it should provide enough light.
 

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spaceman spiff
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It's a good thing we are not including the price of the fixtures :D;)
What is the K rating on led fixtures anyway??
kelvin ratings on good LED fixtures are adjustable. Of the more common lighting solutions, cost of ownership probably goes (low to high) LED, T5, MH, and then PC (yep, PC bulbs have to be replaced as often as metal halide and can easily cost as much).
 

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Sun light... it's free!!
 

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kelvin ratings on good LED fixtures are adjustable. Of the more common lighting solutions, cost of ownership probably goes (low to high) LED, T5, MH, and then PC (yep, PC bulbs have to be replaced as often as metal halide and can easily cost as much).
I know its less used now than it used to be but where would you place VHO? I was thinking between T5 and MH but I have never ran VHO (or MH for that matter!)
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Unless you are talking about solar lighting, the electrical usage - between equal fixtures - would be equal. 500 watts of light is going to use 500 watts of electricity, it doesn't matter if its LEDs, MH, T5HO, PC, VHO, Incandescent. It won't matter one bit.

As for the cost of the bulbs, I would venture a guess that an incandescent bulb setup on a FOWLR would be the cheapest alternative when it comes to bulb replacement.

Reef Tank, LED's, T5, MH/PC. Not sure where VHO would fit in there, Doug would.
 

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spaceman spiff
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I know its less used now than it used to be but where would you place VHO? I was thinking between T5 and MH but I have never ran VHO (or MH for that matter!)
I'd probably stick them between T5 and MH. And Randy, one thing to point out is that NEEDED electrical draw for similar results is less in some scenarios than others. For example, you could probably survive as well with 432W of T5 vs. 500W of MH plus whatever actinic supplementation you throw on there. In that case, you usually end up being more economical with T5 because you use less power for similar results.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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That is true Chris. I just see people saying that some lights use more electricity than others and that is why I added "between equal fixtures" is because of the difference in the different lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My aunt in FL has a solatube in the kitchen and it also has a bulb built into the tube itself for night time. I wonder if the ones in the pics also have that..... they should I would think. They look so cool.

I really like the look of them. I plan to one day live off the grid...... That could be a part of it.

GO GREEN!!!! Polyps :lol:
 

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I really like systems like that but they are limited to the sunnyr regions. I would love to do that up here but I dont think it would really work.
 
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