Budget Light Suggestions For Mixed Reef

Esimm03
  • #1
Hi,
So today I collected my first non-nano reef! I was wondering if anyone could suggest a budget (and I mean BUDGET, like sub £100) light that would be adequate for the juwel Rio 240 (no rim) and able to support SPS and a veriaty of different coral.

I'm basically looking for the cheapest I can get away with without the coral suffering .

Thanks,
Ethan
 
Jesterrace
  • #2
I hate to say it, but you will not find a single LED light capable of supporting a variety of coral for less than around 200 pounds. The cheapest option capable of supporting that would be a pair of "Chinese black boxes" aka Mars Aqua. They run about 101 a piece according to Amazon UK.



Not sure what the options are for T5 lights in the UK, but you could look into that (non-LED that require bulb replacements).
 
Esimm03
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I hate to say it, but you will not find a single LED light capable of supporting a variety of coral for less than around 200 pounds. The cheapest option capable of supporting that would be a pair of "Chinese black boxes" aka Mars Aqua. They run about 101 a piece according to Amazon UK.



Not sure what the options are for T5 lights in the UK, but you could look into that (non-LED that require bulb replacements).
Ok, I think I could do higher than £100 but id like the cheapest, the guy I bought he tank from is selling his light for £250, it's a hanging TMC light... Does that sound like a good price?

Ethan
 
Jesterrace
  • #4
Ok, I think I could do higher than £100 but id like the cheapest, the guy I bought he tank from is selling his light for £250, it's a hanging TMC light... Does that sound like a good price?

Ethan

Never heard of TMC. Also how much coverage does it offer? Have you looked into T5 setups. They will give you plenty of light for your corals but you will be replacing bulbs about every 12-18 months. They are generally much cheaper to buy though.
 
Esimm03
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Never heard of TMC. Also how much coverage does it offer? Have you looked into T5 setups. They will give you plenty of light for your corals but you will be replacing bulbs about every 12-18 months. They are generally much cheaper to buy though.
TMC is a fairly big company here in the UK, they supply marine livestock to stores and make lights, skimmers and pumps.

I looked Into T5 and checked out BRS's video, I'm not sure if it would be suitable however, as I'm looking for something that I can just setup and it would last for years, is there any benafit apart from cost to T5s?

Thanks,
Ethan
 
Jesterrace
  • #6
T5 are considered to have a slight edge over the best LEDs at this point in terms of coral growth and are better at not having "dead spots", but usually that is for the 6-8 bulb setups. I hate to say it but if you are set on LED lights you are going to need to double your budget if you want something that will provide good lighting for your corals, you are going to either need a high end LED light bar or 2 separate lights for a tank that is roughly 4 feet in length, so you will be just over 200 pounds for the cheapest option there. Hence the reason why people always say that corals are the expensive part of the saltwater aquarium hobby. Not cheap to buy or light.
 
coralbandit
  • #7
I run 2 mars aqua on my 120 gallon reef .
I am no coral master but my mushrooms and leathers are years old and happy with the lights .
I don't keep tougher corals mostly due to water parameters .
 
Jesterrace
  • #8
I run 2 mars aqua on my 120 gallon reef .
I am no coral master but my mushrooms and leathers are years old and happy with the lights .
I don't keep tougher corals mostly due to water parameters .

You know, it's a funny thing. Zoanthids and Mushrooms are considered easy to keep/grow corals, but I couldn't keep them alive to save my life, yet my Hammer and Frogspawn Corals have been through fluctuating salinity, a tank transfer, major rockscape addition and re-arrangement, cyano and high phosphate levels, and they are thriving, despite all the ups and downs. LPS are supposed to be more difficult but they have proven to be by far my most resilient (and now only) corals. This is what they look like after all the aforementioned:

 

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