We like to take delivery of the stand first even before the go ahead for the display tank build.
This is a go/no go stage. The stand might not look right in the room as a piece of furniture and nothing can fix the problem. It is hard to envision most any piece of furniture in advance. A tank and lights won’t make it any better. Return the stand, fix it, “eat it”, or sell it.
If this is your first system and you are not 110% committed, then consider taking delivery of the stand first before ordering anything else.
LEDs of course. At a minimum, we want a fixture with white chips from CREE, a full spectrum of colors, integrated tank mounts (sits on the top rim of the tank). Cost is a concern but this is not a place to skimp.
The tank and stand are about a week away, so it is time to pick a light fixture manufacturer and supplier (if the two are not the same) and model.
Please stay tuned …
For the fixture, we also want a thin, edge-to-edge (for lack of a better term) unit. For a manufacturer we chose to look at Reef Breeders first.
The next step is choose a model.
Note that like most electronic devices these days, the maker is likely not the builder. The supplier does R&D, design and maybe some final assembly, and outsources the components and build.