T5 lighting for a 60 cube

coker98

New member
I would go with the 8 but I like overkill. I think you would be fine with the 6 bulb. No one seems to be answering helpful questions today. Must be a Friday!
 

hahnmeister

In Memoriam
8 is actually about right. Considering the costs, I would suggest a single 250watt halide in a lumenarc instead. There are some tanks better lit by halide, some better lit by T5s. If this was a 48x12x24h (like a 55g), I would be all about T5s, but for a 2' tank of this volume, T5s just arent going to cut it.
 

hahnmeister

In Memoriam
Its just not one of the tanks that favors T5s, thats all. When I give examples of tanks which favor T5s or halide, 60g cubes are pretty much my 'poster child' example of a tank where a halide is the best idea, because I have a 60g cube myself (or rather, my mother has a 60g I left at her house with corals and clams and now she wont give it up). Unless its a nano like a 20g where you only need 4 bulbs, using 2' T5s is no where near as cost effective as using 3', or best of all, 4' bulbs. Putting 6 or 8 2' bulbs over that tank is sort of a waste considering one halide will be enough.

I ended up going with a full size lumenarc 3 with a 250wattHQI ballast. I use ushio 250wattSE 20,000Ks, or Radium 250wattSE's over it. I had jumped up to using a 400 watt e-ballast on the tank, but with how 400's are (mostly probe start bulbs), and me favoring HQI's, those bulbs were too bright for the tank, even on the e-ballast. I was using a crappy hamilton reflector though too. So I cut it back to a 250wattHQI, and decided to use the largest, most effective reflector I could... the full size lumenarc 3 (I would highly suggest the duct/vented version though). It fills up almost the entire surface of the tank and so almost no light leaks out, and I just made a parimeter to hold the lumenarc to the top of the tank, using the duct mod to suck the hot air out. Even though its a single bulb, which I usually hate due to the phototropic effect it tends to have on corals, the lumenarc does a good job of spreading out the light source. Compared to the previous reflector, its much brighter as well, so much that running just a single 250wattSE/20,000K is plenty for whats in there.

Since its not my tank anymore, lol (my mother has even gotten into the chemistry to make sure she knows what she is doing), its kept simple, but it keeps a blue tort colony that is about 16" across now, with tubs blue zoas all over the bottom rocks, a head of neon green GSP on its own little rock in the corner, and a couple other choice SPS... as well as a zebra maxima and a couple croceas. All seem to like it very much, so I assume its enough. Then again, of note, she uses natural well water for mixing the salt, which happens to be very pure in her area, just high in calcium and iron. Shes rather paranoid about water changes, after I let her keep my 125g lake tanganyikan cichlid 'show' tank there and due to lack of water changes, she nuked the whole system after 9 months... $1200 of prize show/breeder fish and all. But it seems to work... corals are very bright and grow like weeds. When I want to make tort frags, thats where I go!
 
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