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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hello all,
i currently have a 55 gal fish only with 60lbs fiji live rock and about 100 lbs sand,( i love the deep sand bed look!). i currently have a double 48" and a double 36" strip lights with the corallife bulbs. i have just beat down my cyanobacteria bloom thanks to you all. i want to add a CF set-up on this tank if and when i decide to do softies. knowing me it will be when and not if!
i have been looking through my fish place catalogue and a pet olutions catalogue at different light set ups. and i am totally dizzy.
question 1) .what brand does EVERYONE recommend? please everyone chime in with your good and bads please.
question 2) i have been looking at the 4- 65 w cf combos two 10k's and two actinics. would 3 10k's and one actinic be better? what combos does everyone use\prefer?
question3) i am not looking to spend more than around $300 or so, am i dillusional? should i seek instant medical attention? or should i just bite the cyanide capsule now and be done with it?
like before i appreciate all advice, guidance mentoring and criticism, (well not alot of criticism).

ANGRY GARY:angry::angry:
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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5,500 Posts
Gary......first of all why are you so angry? LOL I would reccommend doing a VHO setup or T-5 setup. PC's are good too but the bulbs are a little cheaper to replace this route and they put of better light in my opinion. If you are gonna go PC then the Coralife fixtures are fine. Does your tank have a canopy? If so you can just buy a retro fit kit and hook it all up yourself. I suggest checking ebay or www.customaquatic.com You get a brighter light out of these style setups IMO
 

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Premium Member
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24,599 Posts
I agree with all the above, But I think the VHO's are the best as You can really get some wattage on your tank. Don't know about T-5's I have never used them and have only heard good reports about them, PC's are good and I used them on a few of my tanks , I like them also. You have a tank size that will be easy to fit lights on. Go to the sponsor link and check out our sponsors. We have some great ones
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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5,916 Posts
I prefer Current USA fixtures over Coralife... just a better made fixture, and their dual daylight and dual actinic bulbs are a bit more aesthetically pleasing than garden variety 10,000 K and actinics. Price point is usually around the same. Current USA makes the Orbit fixture and the Satellite fixture, the latter being a more similar shape/size to the Coralife fixture.

Current USA makes T-5 fixtures too - much smaller fixtures (slim) and very cost effective. I've tried these on a few tanks and I like 'em!

Current USA Orbit


Current USA Satellite


Current USA Nova T5


Coralife makes T5 fixtures too... I've got some in use and I like them - very lightweight, slim - good for hard-to-fit applications and I like the way the light appears to my eye.

HTH

Jenn
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
thanks everyone the info. do i need to have the glass top on my tank with vho's? cf's?. i do not have a canopy on my tank nor do i really want to build\buy one. so i guess i am looking for a ready to use set-up.
if i go vho's what brand bulb do y'all recommend? and should i use 2 10k's and 2 actinics? or thre and one?

thank in advance

AG
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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5,916 Posts
Any manufacturer of a fixture will advise to have a glass cover between the tank and their light fixture. Some people do, some people don't. For safety/liability reasons, I'd recommend it too (it's a CYA thing).

Retrofit kits without a lens DEFINITELY need glass covers or some barrier (not just egg crate)... a client of mine had a fire start over his tank - water splashed, shorted the fixture - fortunately somebody was home at the time or he potentially could have lost his home.

URI makes good VHO but they can be hard to find. Coralife makes VHO too.

I don't know of any ready-made VHO fixtures, most people DIY with Icecap ballasts.

If you don't have a canopy you're probably best to go with a ready-made fixture. Coralife ones have optional legs like Current USA but you have to buy the legs separately (they were pretty brittle at first but they've changed them - but they can still break). Current USA has legs included and they're a more durable plastic. IMO Current USA's fixtures are sturdier.

As far as lamp mixture - the ready made fixtures usually come with 2 daylights, 2 actinics. If you're going with multiple lamps like 4 x T5 or 4XVHO you can go one 10,000K, one actinic and 2 50/50, or 2 and 2 daylight/actinic... or all 50/50 - whatever you like. If you're doing a dawn/dusk cycle, go with half actinic (come on first, go off last) and half daylights (2 and 2 or whatever).

Jenn

Jenn
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
jenn,
thanks for the rapid info.
i am kind of afraid to do the vho's. not really as much afraid as lazy i guess. my 55 gallon tank has an external overflow box,(cpr brand) and water return along with a hang on filter. so i do not have the full 12 inch depth to add a light set. with cf's does corallife or current usa set-up's allow for this. are they narrower than 12 inches is my question.
thanks
AG
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
thanks everyone the info. do i need to have the glass top on my tank with vho's? cf's?. i do not have a canopy on my tank nor do i really want to build\buy one. so i guess i am looking for a ready to use set-up.
if i go vho's what brand bulb do y'all recommend? and should i use 2 10k's and 2 actinics? or thre and one?

thank in advance

AG
 

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Little fish in a big pond
Joined
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5,916 Posts
Yes there's room for hang-on peripheral equipment. T5s by Coralife are very slim, and I've got a Coralife fixture on a 46 bow here and there's room for HOB filtration and stuff (it's a freshie tank). Current USA are possibly a bit wider, but not much - you should still have room with either choice.

Jenn
 

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Registered
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5,426 Posts
JennM said:
I prefer Current USA fixtures over Coralife... just a better made fixture, and their dual daylight and dual actinic bulbs are a bit more aesthetically pleasing than garden variety 10,000 K and actinics. Price point is usually around the same. Current USA makes the Orbit fixture and the Satellite fixture, the latter being a more similar shape/size to the Coralife fixture.

Current USA makes T-5 fixtures too - much smaller fixtures (slim) and very cost effective. I've tried these on a few tanks and I like 'em!

Current USA Orbit


Current USA Satellite


Current USA Nova T5


Coralife makes T5 fixtures too... I've got some in use and I like them - very lightweight, slim - good for hard-to-fit applications and I like the way the light appears to my eye.

HTH

Jenn
Ditto!! I run Orbits and i love them im running 2 / 4 x 65 watt & 1 / 2 x 65 watt on my 75 they work and look great!
JMO
Brent.:wavey:
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I Looked A Little Further Into The Orbit\satellite Cf Set-ups. Is The 4-65w Sufficient For A 55 Gal.? The Orbit Is Running 269.99 And The Satellite Is On Sale For 199.99. The Only Difference I See Is That The Orbit Has 4 Moonlites Where The Satellite Has Only 2. Am I Missing Something. $70 For Two Extra Moonlites? Help Me Here Please!!
Thanks,

Angry Gary
 

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5,426 Posts
angry gary said:
I Looked A Little Further Into The Orbit\satellite Cf Set-ups. Is The 4-65w Sufficient For A 55 Gal.? The Orbit Is Running 269.99 And The Satellite Is On Sale For 199.99. The Only Difference I See Is That The Orbit Has 4 Moonlites Where The Satellite Has Only 2. Am I Missing Something. $70 For Two Extra Moonlites? Help Me Here Please!!
Thanks,

Angry Gary
Dont worie about the moon lights just get the best main light for your buck!
Brent.;)
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
brent,
then there is no difference between the two? is this correct?


AG
 

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angry gary said:
I Looked A Little Further Into The Orbit\satellite Cf Set-ups. Is The 4-65w Sufficient For A 55 Gal.? The Orbit Is Running 269.99 And The Satellite Is On Sale For 199.99. The Only Difference I See Is That The Orbit Has 4 Moonlites Where The Satellite Has Only 2. Am I Missing Something. $70 For Two Extra Moonlites? Help Me Here Please!!
Thanks,

Angry Gary
Go with the one that says it has a fan the model# is is 1024 current Orbit light 4 x 65 watt with fan.
Brent.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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The Orbit is a more heavy-duty fixture.

Jenn
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
the orbit it is! thanks jenn and brent.

ANGRY GARY
 

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Gruff But Lovable Reefer
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320 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
well i orderedthe lights tonight, waiting like a kid for christmas. i will keep you informed on progress. thanks again.

ANGRY GARY
 

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Well I've had all 3 fixtures and am very familiar with the good and bad points on them, but since you've already ordered the Orbit............nevermind :)
 
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