lighting question of enough or too much 55 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Lighting' started by pokechop1980, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    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
  2. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    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. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    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 addictWell Known MemberMember

    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. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    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_DonWell Known MemberMember

    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. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    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 addictWell Known MemberMember

    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. ATPWell Known MemberMember

    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.

  10. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember how do i use 1 light to cover 4 feet then? any ideas?
  11. ATPWell Known MemberMember

    Get like a large lumenarck or similar dome.
  12. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    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. ATPWell Known MemberMember

    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)