Tropicl Fish

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One of the most confusing aspects of setting up your tank is the lighting to use. Today there are many types to choose from, including the Incandescent, Fluorescent and the Metal Halide.
In this section I will give a brief description of each type and then some of the aquarium uses for each.

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  • Metal-Halide:

    The new kid on the block, Metal-Halides are the ultimate in aquarium lighting (and price). They are the best lights for Freshwater plant tanks as well as Saltwater mini-Reefs. These bulbs produce a very bright, high quality light. They come in the the most varied of color temperatures ranging from 4000o to 20000o Kelvin and the Actinic 03 needed by Reef tanks.

    Metal Halide fixtures are designed to either hang above the fish tank or be mounted in special tops, in order to disperse the light and the amount of heat radiated to the aquarium. Although the ultimate in lighting, due to their high cost and special safety requirements I do not recomemend them for the beginner.

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    There are four main aquarium lighting situations.

    1. A Freshwater tank with no live plants.
    2. A Freshwater tank with live plants.
    3. A Saltwater fish only tank.
    4. A Saltwater Reef or semi Reef tank containing live corals and invertebrates as well as fish.

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    #1 Freshwater tank with no live plants
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    #2 Freshwater tank with live plants
    The options and choices involved in this type set up are a little more diverse. The plants in the tank need more high quality light for Photosynthesis. Here you can use two different types of systems.
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    #3 Saltwater fish only tanks

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    #4 Saltwater reef and semi reef set ups

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    basics continued.