Beginner(sort of) needs some lighting help

Gregs138

New member
Hi there, new member. Haven't done a saltwater tank in ~20 years. recently aquired a really nice glass 125 gallon and stand for free so I am in the process of setting it up.

The one thing that I am realizing I need the most help with is understanding, is lighting. Can someone give me a link or a "lighting for dummies" brief explanation of what I need to know about lighting for saltwater in today's market? Even just a link to an article that explains the basics would be great. I am just having a hard time keeping up with the abreviations and terminology.

TY!
 

evh5150

In Memoriam
What do you plan on keeping in the tank? Just fish, or corals etc etc. That would help people to help you
 

moondoggy4

Team RC
Since you been gone for a while, I used to be in the hobby back in the 80's lighting was nothing more than what you got at the hardware store.
Today you got lots of options
1 MH metal halide SE single ended bulb DE double ended bulb magnetic ballast sort of slow but heavy hitter electronic is like the turbo model of small cars today.
2 T-5 like very skinny VHO's bulbs that use in the garage, lots options for color.
3 VHO's old school great color high wattage
4 LED's very new lots of debate usually centers around cost an be very expensive.
Others should chime in also. Welcome back
 

Gregs138

New member
Going to stick with fish only since I am most familiar with it and since my neighbor(whom is probably reading this hi Brandon!) runs a reef tank. That way I can have some cool fish that he can't have and then I can stare at the aliens that grow in his tank. If figure it would also give us some options if either of us has a problem fish that needs a different home.

Yes the lighting back then was not so complicated, it is by far the most confusing topic I have run into so far. I currently own two fixtures that match the tank size wise, the tank is 74" long and has about a 6" divider/support bar in the middle. But the two fixtures seem to only house a single bulb. I looked at my neighbors lighting last night and it was pretty impressive. 2 blue bulbs two white bulbs and some LED built into one unit. It does the day/evening/moonlight cycle automatically since he is a reef tank.

Can I pretty much stick with just VHO bulbs and then some of the blue bulbs ona timer? LED's worth it in fish only or completely not needed?
 

moondoggy4

Team RC
Since you are in So Cal and will probably get familiar with Tier 4 and 5 LEDs would be a good choice, you could get two Kessil's 150 w/ gooseneck Marine Depot has them and some good videos on them also.
 

Gregs138

New member
Currently the "canopy" is four pieces, two of them contain the lighting fixtures and power(ballast). The other two pieces just cover the front of the tank.

I am basically playing it like I don't own any lighting since these fixtures are all 10+ years old and since lighting seems to have more "tech" in it than says pumps-which havent really changed lol. Let's just say I own no lighting fixtures whatsoever.

What do I look to buy first a ballast?
 
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