lighting question of enough or too much 55 Gallon Tank

  1. p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    im going to start to change my 55g tank to saltwater in the next few weeks. i recently acquired 2 400w metal halide ballasts. my question is this: how many watts do i need to grow whatever kinda coral i want? i talked to people at the local pet stores and they told me about 4 watts per gallon. another guy told me 1 of these 400w light would be more than sufficient. i dont know what to do here, to use 1 or both or none.

    so if someone could send me in the right direction
    thanks
     
  2. Goldwing_Don

    Goldwing_Don Well Known Member Member

    IMO all you need for a 55 is 2 x 250 watt MH's. but if your going to upgrade to a bigger tank later you'll be better off with the 400 watt .... 7-8 watts per gal is all that is needed. if you do get the 400's you can raise them up to 18 - 20 inchs above the top of the tank..just a thought..:;hi2 Welcome to fishlore !!!!!!!!.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    i got 2 of the 400w ballasts.....should i use 1 or both of them for the 55gallon.....i was told 1 should be more than enough
     


  4. nemo addict

    nemo addict Well Known Member Member

    1 would be more then enough i only have 2x 150 on my 150gal and this is good enough to keep my 3 nems ,hammers and bubble and my histrixs
     
  5. OP
    OP
    p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    should i use both of the 400w's or just 1? i was told that using 2 would bake my tank....also what kinda bulb should i use? i was thinking 14k? or should i use 20k?
     
  6. Goldwing_Don

    Goldwing_Don Well Known Member Member

    800 watts over a 55 is to much. but the most light from a MH is 2 foot by 2 foot. and a 55 is 4 foot long so your going to need both. but raise them up to 20 inchs over the top of the tank. 14000k would be good.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    is there any place like lowes or home depot or some place where i can get the materials to make a reflector for the 2 ballasts? is 800w's of light gonna hurt anything i put into the tank?
     
  8. nemo addict

    nemo addict Well Known Member Member

    4ft long 1 ft deep there is no need for that much lighting, you will bleach your corals and raise your temprature 400 watt are for 3ft deep tanks .
     
  9. ATP

    ATP Well Known Member Member

    Agree with nemo. dual 400 will bake your tank. (I'm using dual 400 in a 120). I would get use one 400w with a pendant and hang it. I like reeflux 14k bulbs. Its blue, but not too blue.

    I would also keep the other 400w incase of upgrade and btw, the watts pergallon thing is kind of useless. It depends on how deep your tank is.

    ATP,
    :;f:;fr
     
  10. OP
    OP
    p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    ok...so how do i use 1 light to cover 4 feet then? any ideas?
     
  11. ATP

    ATP Well Known Member Member

    Get like a large lumenarck or similar dome.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    p

    pokechop1980 Valued Member Member

    is that like one of them big lamp shades they use on the lights in a factory? or similar to a high bay lamp shade?
     
  13. ATP

    ATP Well Known Member Member

    similar...,but better. Almost 100% of the light is reflected. Do a google search on lumenarc pendants (not mini because you want it to cover more space-it is a bit pricey thoughh)