55 gallon lighting help


New member
First of all, this site is amazing!! I appreciate all of those here who give out great advice. Now I'm asking for some more.

I am setting up a new 55 gallon. I'm confused as to what lights I should get. I would like to have soft corals and a few reef safe fish. What kind of lighting would ya'll recommend?

LED, T5, 10,000 k daylight, actinic... etc. so many choices and I want to make the right one. that will keep my tank and occupants healthy!

I know I will need two separate lighting systems for each side of the tank? I want full spectrum lighting but am overwhelmed at what is out there. I really need some help.

Also, there is SOOOOO much conflicting information out there. besides this site can anyone direct me to a reputable science based site where I can read up on the saltwater hobby, fish and inverts.

I don't know what to believe, who to trust.

Thank you all!


Euphyllia Addict
I'm a fan of LED because of lower power consumption and less heat. My friends and I use AI Hydra units. I'm in the process of switching over to kessils.


Active member
soft corals? you don't need a lot of watts. I'd probably just do a cheap T5 fixture to start with... something 48" with 2-4 bulbs. If you are liking everything and find you want some corals that need more light you can upgrade. LEDs are so expensive and T5s are easy/cheap enough to replace... I dunno.. up to you though

Something like this:


$160.. unless someone knows better bang/buck for softies.