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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My wife and I are trying to start off a marine tank and right now kind of feel like we have bit off more than we can chew. For starters, here is our setup: It is a 70 gallon tank. It's 36 inches wide, about 15 inches deep and 24 inches in height. We have about 20lbs of live rock and the lighting we are using are 1 10K fluorescent bulb and 1 blue spectrum light (I believe it is called actinic) and I want to say they are between 30-40 watts each. The problem is, the two pieces of rock we have sit maybe at their peak about 8 inches high and some people tell us that because our tank is so deep that we won't get the blooms we are supposed to get and some people say that we will kill the rock entirely if we don't raise the rocks up. We don't know who's right and what we need to do. The pet store manager wanted to sell us a $400 dollar lighting system with 4 bulbs, do we need that to keep our rock alive? Like I said, we are REALLY new, any and ALL help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 

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What are you planning to have in the tank? If your doing a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) you don't really need a lot of light but if you plan on having Corals the yes you need High Output lighting. I have a 45 Gallon hex with 1 18" cheap T8 and I've run a FOWLR fine since August. Also depending on how many fish you actually have you will need more than 20 lbs of rock. Usually its about 1-2lbs per gallon.

GL and welcome to TRT
 

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As highflyr stated, we need more info as to what your plans are eventually for this tank. In general, at least a 4 bulb fixture is in order. 2 bulbs over a 70 gal. will leave it under lighted and looking drab. Tell us your plan for the tank and also tell us what fixture you have now, another 2 bulb fixture like a Glo may fit or some other inexpensive one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for all your help! This is what I found out and if it sounds good to you I’m going to go with it. I will have inverts, live rock and fish in the tank. Not so much coral. From the different advice I gathered I will probably be getting a 36" Coralife compact fluorescent lighting system with one bulb being 10,000K and the other being actinic. They each put out 96Watts so times 2 that’s 192 and since someone stated that the rule of thumb for correct wattage is 2.5W for every gallon that's 175Watts so 192 should be plenty. Does this sound good to you guys? I’m not sure about the different lights that are out there like Metal Halide, LED, CF, etc but I've been hearing that CF isn't bad...
 

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Thanks guys for all your help! This is what I found out and if it sounds good to you I’m going to go with it. I will have inverts, live rock and fish in the tank. Not so much coral. From the different advice I gathered I will probably be getting a 36" Coralife compact fluorescent lighting system with one bulb being 10,000K and the other being actinic. They each put out 96Watts so times 2 that’s 192 and since someone stated that the rule of thumb for correct wattage is 2.5W for every gallon that's 175Watts so 192 should be plenty. Does this sound good to you guys? I’m not sure about the different lights that are out there like Metal Halide, LED, CF, etc but I've been hearing that CF isn't bad...
CF is probably the weakest lighting available but for fish only systems it will work fine and watts per gallon is a very out dated "rule of thumb" PAR is a most viable measurement of how strong or weak the light is PAR basicly determines the amount of usable light being output
 

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$ The Poor Reefer $
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+1 if FOWLR you'd be ok with the PC lights. But if you plan to get any corals, you'll need more lighting. I'd suggest a t5ho fixture with INDIVIDUAL REFLECTORS. the reflectors being key here for more light going into the tank. (btw ho in t5ho means high output) if u get a t5 fixture in the future just make sure it's ho) you could probably find a decent used one on craigslist. There's alot of reviews on this forum too. Research and patience are key in this hobby :)
 

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$ The Poor Reefer $
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Also there are alot of LEDs that are becoming more affordable nowadays. If u do corals in the future they're worth looking at. They have ALOT more light output and use ALOT less energy :) if u go that route I'd look at ecoxotic or current usa. They have good deals and current just came out with 24", 36", and I think 48" strips that are way sleek and low profile for a great price comparatively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so is it not in my best interest to spend the money on the PC and go for T5HO or because of what I want to do PC (192Watts for a 70gallon tank) ok? Like I said, I dont think I will be going with coral anytime soon, just live rock, inverts and fish.
 

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$ The Poor Reefer $
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If just live rock, inverts, and fish; then yes those pc will be great, especially if you can get it cheap :) but you'll def need something better if you want coral in the future. It's just up to you, if doing coral in a year or so, I'd personally just get the better fixture now and be ready to go later... But that's just the way I think :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok ok, I've decided (based on being stubborn and finally realizing) that a T5HO setup seems to be best. Now...apparently the WPG (watts per gallon) rule of thumb is more outdated and you should go by "lumens". Is it a simple calculation to figure this out or no?
 

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Little Monster
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just wondering if you ever thought about getting LEDs?? just wonderin :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did, but (and I dont know a whole lot about lighting still and still going off watts) it seems like for the higher price they don't put out a whole lot of watts. I have a 70gallon tank that's 24 inches deep with live rock and inverts, if I'm gonna spend the money I want to make sure it reaches the bottom you know what I mean? If you have some resources to persuade me into going LED I'd be MORE than happy to consider. I love LEDs anyway :-D
 

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Little Monster
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yeah LOL you can't resist the corals :D
 
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