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Old 01/12/2007, 08:19 PM   #1
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Question hi newbie with questions about light, ect

hi, ive read and decided to get t-5's for my 55g. i think i will go with 4x56watt 48inch t5 ho but i dont know what brands are good.

will these lights fit and are they a good size for the 55g?

can i get a couple of pros/cons of some of the popular brands?

also, do i have to raise the lights above the tank or can i simply rest it on the hood?

im still have a freshwater tank and was wondering if i should convert to sw. is 55g a good size to start with or should i go slightly bigger with a 75 or what is the ideal size for a beginner with a simple reef?

is the price jump huge from fresh to salt?

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Old 01/13/2007, 01:37 AM   #2
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I would look at the Aquactinics brand, and perhaps the Sunlight Supply Tek series. They both have reflectors per bulb. I think the Aquactinics also have better cooling.

The lights can probably rest on the hood or sit on short spacers, but you'll have to see how the temperature is affected.

I don't know what the price of freshwater is, but saltwater tanks are very expensive. 55g is a fine place to start.

Jonathan Bertoni
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Old 01/13/2007, 01:46 AM   #3
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Go with a 75. the same lights will work. you'll have a few more inches front to back which will allow you a better aquascape with more dimension. a 55 gallon will only give you room for a 1 dimensional rock wall. youll also be able to fit a decent sump and skimmer under the tank. everyone I know who's set up a 55 has regretted it.

I love being a turtle!!!

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Old 01/13/2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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My buddy has a 55 and he doesnt like it because it is too narrow and gives hime no room for his live rock. And as mentioned above, he could not use the sump he wanted to b/c of size restrictions. He was the one who convinced me to get a 75 instead of a 55.

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Old 01/13/2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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I'll agree with this, I have a 55g as well, and wish to god I would have gotten a 75g. Viewing space in a 55 is great, but aquascaping is not as fun, too narrow. As for lights, either of tose recommended brands are great. I used 4 x 54watt Tek light over my 55 for awhile, now I use a 6x54watt. I also had to suspend my lights about a foot off the tank, heat purposes and too much intensity. T5's can be very intense and sitting right on top a 55g will limit you to none of the low light corals unless you have the aquascaping to give them shaded areas....again, harder to do in a 55g.

As for price differences, I just recently got rid of the last freshwater display tank I had, the cost for SW is far higher than FW, but in the long run, a better investment. I have no algae problem in my SW and my FW were always algae covered and nasty looking. Much less maintance for me to keep a great looking saltwater tank then a mediocre freshwater tank. Even with the larger price jump, be sure to get the best you can with lighting and skimmers. This will be worth it after you've been in the hobby awhile and learn a few more things about equpiment needed. I've replaced my light fixture 3 times now, because I went cheap the first two times and realized the lights wouldn't do what I wanted. I'm still using a Seaclone skimmer, which for my purposes does just fine, but I'll still want a newer, better model in the future when I upgrade tank size.

58g Softie & 75g Stoney

Member, Central Oklahoma Marine Aquarium Society

Current Tank Info: 58g Mixed Reef Project - Started June 2011
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Old 01/13/2007, 12:50 PM   #6
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thanks a lot for all of your input. it helped a lot.

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