Progressive Lighting Set-Up

Apollo7235

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Hello All,

I am working on selecting some lighting to get my 38-gallon reef tank started and I suppose my question is: can I begin with some simple T5's while I cycle my tank, add my sand and rock, and essentially just get the skeleton together, then upgrade to some nicer lights later on? Is there a point where I would need to make the switch or would I be able to transition to them at any time? If I would need to transition in order to switch to the nicer lights, how would you recommend I do so?

I apologize if I am duplicating a question. If there is already a thread that answers these questions, I would be happy to read it if someone can point me in the right direction?

Side Note: Any recommendations on your favorite lighting set-ups, basic to advanced, are absolutely welcome!

Thank you so much!
 

Brett S

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Frankly you don’t really need lights at all to cycle your tank. I’d probably avoid buying a ’temporary’ lighting fixture that you plan to replace in the near future. You’re just going to spend more money in the end that way.

T5 lighting is used by a lot of people though, and with enough bulbs there’s no reason why you couldn’t just use a T5 fixutre as your permanent light.
 
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vetteguy53081

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T5 is fine but if you start moving toward coral and anemones, you may want to upgrade.
If running t5 for coral, UV and actinic bulbs will play an important role
 
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Apollo7235

Apollo7235

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Frankly you don’t really need lights at all to cycle your tank. I’d probably avoid buying a ’temporary’ lighting fixture that you plan to replace in the near future. You’re just going to spend more money in the end that way.

T5 lighting is used by a lot of people though, and with enough bulbs there’s no reason why you couldn’t just use a T5 fixutre as your permanent light.
Good point! That will keep hubby happy in the long run, I think, haha! As of this moment, I already have a full hood with a light that came with the tank, so I will probably just throw a T5 in that while I cycle since it doesn't sound like it matters much in the beginning. Thank you!

T5 is fine but if you start moving toward coral and anemones, you may want to upgrade.
If running t5 for coral, UV and actinic bulbs will play an important role
I am certainly planning to move toward coral and anemones, so I will look into something a nicer. There is so much information and so many options for lighting, it's a bit overwhelming. As much as this seems it's a research-driven decision, it almost seems like it's as much trial and error. I suppose I'm just going to have to take a look through some builds and take the plunge!

Thank you for the response!
 
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