2 Bulb T5 Lighting

JR. Reefer

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Im looking to get an aquamaxx 12g long and already have a 3 foot 2 bulb fixture. i have 2 really old bulbs (5+ years old) that aren't strong enough (i tested them on a 12" deep tank) with 1 actinic 1 10,000k. what 2 bulbs would work on a 3 foot tank and support lps and easy sps. i was thinking 2 bulbs or 1 coral plus 1 actinic.

i posted this under equipment but got no response...
 

stella1979

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Sorry for the lack of response on your other thread.

I used to have a 4 bulb T5 unit over my 12" deep 20g long. I can't recommend ATI brand bulbs enough. You mentioned the coral plus, (which linked to ATI's coral plus in your post above), but I was just double checking that you did indeed mean that you would go with ATI bulbs. There are other good brands, but I would stay away from Coralife. I tried those in the beginning and was very unhappy with the spectrum they provided, which directly affects the coloration of corals. So, the 4 bulbs I chose were 2 x Blue Plus, 1 x Coral Plus, and 1 x Purple Plus. I was very happy with the spectrum this provided, particularly after seeing how drab my first corals looked under Coralife bulbs, (2 x Actinic, 2 x 10,000K.)

I'd suggest you watch the videos below before you decide. They helped me immensely in deciding what I would go with.


Edit: Great choice on the nano tank! I love a long tank and can't wait to see what you do with it.
 
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JR. Reefer

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stella1979 said:
Sorry for the lack of response on your other thread.

I used to have a 4 bulb T5 unit over my 12" deep 10g long. I can't recommend ATI brand bulbs enough. You mentioned the coral plus, (which linked to ATI's coral plus in your post above), but I was just double checking that you did indeed mean that you would go with ATI bulbs. There are other good brands, but I would stay away from Coralife. I tried those in the beginning and was very unhappy with the spectrum they provided, which directly affects the coloration of corals. So, the 4 bulbs I chose were 2 x Blue Plus, 1 x Coral Plus, and 1 x Purple Plus. I was very happy with the spectrum this provided, particularly after seeing how drab my first corals looked under Coralife bulbs, (2 x Actinic, 2 x 10,000K.)

I'd suggest you watch the videos below before you decide. They helped me immensely in deciding what I would go with.


Edit: Great choice on the nano tank! I love a long tank and can't wait to see what you do with it.

thx for the response rn for the 2 bulb figure i think ill go with 1 blue plus and 1 coral plus ( or 2 coral plus) because im limited on a budget i won't go crazy on coral but maybe a couple acres on the top. but i would still like your opinion if this is a good choice. or anyones opinion..!
 

stella1979

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Oops, just realized my mistake above in saying I had a 10g tank, when in fact is a 20g long. Either way, 12 inches deep. I think fluorescents are a perfectly good option, and the only reason I got away from them is that space issues above the tank made it impossible to mount the T5 fixture in the correct position over the tank.

Acros can do well under T5's if they and the light are mounted in such a way that they will receive enough light. That said, acros are some of the most demanding corals in the trade and I would not recommend that you start with them. They are not forgiving of the mistakes a new reefer will make, and demand perfect parameters, high lighting, and high flow. They also tend to be more expensive than other corals and will die quicker than hardier corals if things go wrong... I'm talking about looking ok one day and fully dead the next. This, of course, doesn't give you a lot of time to save it. This is not saying that you can never have an acro, but I highly suggest you start with easier corals and give yourself some time and experience before moving on to the hard stuff.

Are you familiar with the terms Softie, LPS, and SPS? These are not a scientific classification, but more so a way for the hobby to group certain corals with similar characteristics. A softie will not have a skeleton at all. LPS stands for large polyp stony, meaning the coral will have a skeleton that it extends large polyps from. Skeletons in this group are generally small in relation the to the large fleshy polyps that extend from the stony skeleton base. SPS stands for small polyp stony, and this is the group which contains acros among others. These corals have a stony skeleton as well, but extend much smaller polyps from it. SPS corals are beautiful, but something to work your way up to, not where you want to start.

Softies and LPS will be much more forgiving of parameter fluctuations and will be quite happy with low-level nitrates, whereas SPS corals want nitrates near zero and want a very, very stable and mature environment. For this reason, I suggest that you begin with softies, then move on to LPS, and finally, after some time and experience, you will have more chances of success with acros and other SPS.

Zoas are a popular soft coral that you can find for a reasonable price depending on the color variance. In other words, there are beautiful zoas available for cheap, but the wildly patterned or 5 color guys are considered designer zoas and will be pricey. A Duncan is an LPS coral and is just perfect for a beginner. They are very hardy, grow quickly, and have a voracious feeding response... all of which makes them very rewarding and fun to feed. A Duncan was my fourth coral purchase, and even though I've gotten many more frags since, the Duncan is still a favorite. You should see one gobble up some mysis shrimp, it's totally awesome.
 
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JR. Reefer

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stella1979 said:
Oops, just realized my mistake above in saying I had a 10g tank, when in fact is a 20g long. Either way, 12 inches deep. I think fluorescents are a perfectly good option, and the only reason I got away from them is that space issues above the tank made it impossible to mount the T5 fixture in the correct position over the tank.

Acros can do well under T5's if they and the light are mounted in such a way that they will receive enough light. That said, acros are some of the most demanding corals in the trade and I would not recommend that you start with them. They are not forgiving of the mistakes a new reefer will make, and demand perfect parameters, high lighting, and high flow. They also tend to be more expensive than other corals and will die quicker than hardier corals if things go wrong... I'm talking about looking ok one day and fully dead the next. This, of course, doesn't give you a lot of time to save it. This is not saying that you can never have an acro, but I highly suggest you start with easier corals and give yourself some time and experience before moving on to the hard stuff.

Are you familiar with the terms Softie, LPS, and SPS? These are not a scientific classification, but more so a way for the hobby to group certain corals with similar characteristics. A softie will not have a skeleton at all. LPS stands for large polyp stony, meaning the coral will have a skeleton that it extends large polyps from. Skeletons in this group are generally small in relation the to the large fleshy polyps that extend from the stony skeleton base. SPS stands for small polyp stony, and this is the group which contains acros among others. These corals have a stony skeleton as well, but extend much smaller polyps from it. SPS corals are beautiful, but something to work your way up to, not where you want to start.

Softies and LPS will be much more forgiving of parameter fluctuations and will be quite happy with low-level nitrates, whereas SPS corals want nitrates near zero and want a very, very stable and mature environment. For this reason, I suggest that you begin with softies, then move on to LPS, and finally, after some time and experience, you will have more chances of success with acros and other SPS.

Zoas are a popular soft coral that you can find for a reasonable price depending on the color variance. In other words, there are beautiful zoas available for cheap, but the wildly patterned or 5 color guys are considered designer zoas and will be pricey. A Duncan is an LPS coral and is just perfect for a beginner. They are very hardy, grow quickly, and have a voracious feeding response... all of which makes them very rewarding and fun to feed. A Duncan was my fourth coral purchase, and even though I've gotten many more frags since, the Duncan is still a favorite. You should see one gobble up some mysis shrimp, it's totally awesome.

I already have successfully kept soft (many zoas, kenya trees and more) , anemones, and lps corals (hammer, candy cane and more) and already have some sps (monti's, birdsnest). for this tank i plan to keep a mixed reef with an sps rock the tank i plan to use is the aquamaxx 12g long so only 10" deep it won't be an issue is its bright enough. Thank you for sharing the videos they will help a lot on my decision.
 
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