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LouisBueno 07-03-2011 07:09 AM

215 Gallon Reef to Planted
I am needing some advice. I have an oceanic 215 gallon reef ready aquarium. The dimensions are 72"x24"x30" filtration is done through a 55 gallon sump with an iwaki 30RLT as a return. I have an RO/DI unit plumbed into the fish room.

The tank was a reef but I'm wanting something different. Im thinking planted discus tank!

I currently have 2x 400w 15K metal halides in Luminarc reflectors with 2x 72" VHO actinics. From all the reading I've done this is way to much light for plants. I have a calcium reactor so I already have co2 tank, regulator, and ph monitor. I don't want to be limited to the types of plants I can keep. What are my options? I don't mind replacing ballasts to lower watt versions if I have to.

Any and all suggestions are welcomed!

Kathyy 07-03-2011 05:19 PM

I have 150 watt MH over a 24" deep tank and it is very bright at the substrate, 40" below. 2 fixtures over a 5' tank was fine but am going with 3 over an 8' tank as the corners are too dim for my liking, 6' may be fine/may not. Go with 175 or 150 watts if you change the MH and they may need to be raised up even though your tank is deeper than mine. Possibly the VHOs with 6500-1000K lamps would be enough by themselves, usually 2 full lengths of T5HO bulbs is enough for planted tanks, but I am unfamiliar with the strength of VHO.

jcgd 07-03-2011 05:40 PM

Louis, do you know if those VHO are stronger than T5HO? You might want to think about using them only.

HolyAngel 07-03-2011 06:20 PM

+1 swap those actinics for 6500-10k bulbs and run those only and you should be golden ^^

LouisBueno 07-04-2011 04:12 AM

So only VHO? Will I need to continue using CO2 and would this setup allow me to keep a large variety of plant species?

Sorry for asking so many questions, I'm a real noob when it comes to plants.

Thank you everyone!

Steve001 07-04-2011 04:29 AM


Originally Posted by LouisBueno (Post 1435517)
I am needing some advice.
Any and all suggestions are welcomed!

You also have fluorescent induction lighting This type of lighting runs at a very cool temp.

Also plasma lighting

sampster5000 07-04-2011 04:35 AM

A San Antonian! Good to see some more guys from here on the forum. Come by Alamo Aquatics sometime and I can help you with your tank :)

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