55 Gallon Tank lighting question of enough or too much

pokechop1980

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I'm going to start to change my 55 gallon 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 don't know what to do here, to use 1 or both or none.

so if someone could send me in the right direction
thanks
 

Goldwing_Don

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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.. Welcome to fishlore !!!!!!!!.
 
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pokechop1980

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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
 

nemo addict

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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
 
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pokechop1980

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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?
 

Goldwing_Don

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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.
 
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pokechop1980

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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?
 

nemo addict

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Goldwing_Don said:
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.
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 .
 

ATP

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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,
 
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pokechop1980

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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?
 

ATP

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pokechop1980 said:
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?
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)
 

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