Lighting requirements


New member
It seems the more I read, the more confused I get about lighting, so any input would be greatly appreciated.

I have a 36 gallon bowfront, that has been up and running for a couple months now, it has a couple fish, snails, and shrimp in it. Currently it has the standard light fixture that came with the tank.

My intention is to add corals in the future and so I need to get new lighting. I have no idea what corals I will be adding, all I can say is that they will be suitable for beginners.

What kind of lighting should I be looking at, how many watts, etc. please try to be specific as I am very confused already.


Active member
Yes, without knowing how long your tank is I can't suggest a length/wattage, but as long as it's a 4 bulb t5ho fixture it should be sufficient for any soft corals or LPS.


New member
i agree. i have 4x24" T5s over my 30" 29g and i have a wide variety of easier to harder corals. just make sure the fixture you choose has individual reflectors and get good bulbs like ATIs or Giesman. with 4 bulbs i just go with 2 ATI Blue+ and 2 aquablue specials


New member
Since you're just starting out, you might want to consider a few different factors when picking out your lights. Definitely T5s are great and will allow you to keep pretty much anything you could want but might be more expensive than other options that would satisfy you as you explore the hobby.

I'd suggest working backwards, do a little research and find out what kind of corals really interest you, then see what lighting requirements they demand. I'm new to the hobby myself and have stock lighting (PC aka power compact 10ks) and I'm finding myself very satisfied by the variety of stock I can keep even though my lighting is low-end.


New member
.....i have the same tank as you and have a 4 bulb t5 fixture from aquaticlife its the 30 inch fixture great light....