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Old 05-24-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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New lighting for the new aquarium

T5 looks like the way to go for me. I ruled out Mh with local skyrocketing energy prices. SO...The new tank is 6' long 125 gal. I am thing about getting a 6x80 of 8x80 72 " fixture?
See here:
http://www.aquauniverse.com/componen...hop/Itemid,31/
Is more wattage needed at 8x80=640 watts (5.12wpg) vs 6x80=480 watts (3.84wpg). I also do agree that WPG may not be a great rule assuming T5 is more powerful (lumens) then PC or VHO.
FYI- my corals are mostly softies with a hammer currently.
I think both seem to be enough power???
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
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It looks like that unit you've a link to does not have individual reflectors for each bulb, but rather one large reflector. The true power of T5HO bulbs are reached when using high quality individual reflectors, like the ones on this unit:

http://www.reefgeek.com/products/cat...ng/104194.html

That one's a 48" unit, though. You'd have to look for a 60" unit. Or go with a retro kit.
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:55 PM   #3
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It actually a 6' unit I need (72") Thanks for the reflector note I have seen some retros with the individual reflectors. Now it makes sense
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:18 PM   #4
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Have you thought about DIY retro power compacts? I have a 48" tank with wood top inclosure and I got a 4x PC unit and a 2X T5 unit 2 years ago. These units were "complete". Both units BARELY fit (lengthwise) into my hood. The PC was a worse fit. ONE year later the PC unit burned up. Both were ODYSEA. The PC was about $150 and T5 was about $75 in Ebay, if I remember right.

About 6 months ago, I bought a complete DIY PC unit for under $100. a one piece metal reflector, twin remote ballasts, and LED night lights. I put it together myself in under an hour. I have still have the T5 unit, I use that for actinic light, but it is NO WHERE NEAR as bright as the PC units, even with regular bulbs. I found that for the money, PC was the way to go, and DIY was better for me since I have that wood hood thing to deal with.

I can't stress enough the GREAT IDEA of remote ballast. no heat from them in the hood, no danger of salt water shorting it out, and I can have different sets of lights come one different times with two of them. Check it out, it is worth the look. I was on a tight budget and liked the T5 too, but PC was a lot cheaper for the output.

Only downside - One power chord for 2 T5 blue bulbs, One for LED night lights, TWO power chords for four PC white bulbs, one power chord for my sump light, total FIVE power chords and 3 timers for my lights alone. Don't get me started on my powerhead situation.

David
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebailey46
It actually a 6' unit I need (72") Thanks for the reflector note I have seen some retros with the individual reflectors. Now it makes sense
Well, 'doh' to me! 6' I translated somehow into 60". :P Anyway...

I just received this 6 bulb retro kit:

http://www.reefgeek.com/products/cat...ng/104439.html

It would be overkill for softies and lps only. I'm setting up a 125 gallon mixed-reef tank, SPS and clams as well as some lps and softies. I figured I'd stagger the bulbs, so on the ends of the tank there would be a bit less light so the lps and softies should be ok there. The tough part has been designing a canopy to house the T5's close to the water, house a Calfo-style closed loop manifold, and still give decent access to the tank for maintenance. Gonna be building it in the next week or two, should be interesting.
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abnmojo
Have you thought about DIY retro power compacts? I have a 48" tank with wood top inclosure and I got a 4x PC unit and a 2X T5 unit 2 years ago. These units were "complete". Both units BARELY fit (lengthwise) into my hood. The PC was a worse fit. ONE year later the PC unit burned up. Both were ODYSEA. The PC was about $150 and T5 was about $75 in Ebay, if I remember right.

About 6 months ago, I bought a complete DIY PC unit for under $100. a one piece metal reflector, twin remote ballasts, and LED night lights. I put it together myself in under an hour. I have still have the T5 unit, I use that for actinic light, but it is NO WHERE NEAR as bright as the PC units, even with regular bulbs. I found that for the money, PC was the way to go, and DIY was better for me since I have that wood hood thing to deal with.

I can't stress enough the GREAT IDEA of remote ballast. no heat from them in the hood, no danger of salt water shorting it out, and I can have different sets of lights come one different times with two of them. Check it out, it is worth the look. I was on a tight budget and liked the T5 too, but PC was a lot cheaper for the output.

Only downside - One power chord for 2 T5 blue bulbs, One for LED night lights, TWO power chords for four PC white bulbs, one power chord for my sump light, total FIVE power chords and 3 timers for my lights alone. Don't get me started on my powerhead situation.

David
The T5 unit you got sounds like it's a 'normal output' T5. You won't get a 2 bulb T5HO (High output) unit for $75. The T5HO bulbs with individual reflectors blow away PC's.
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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I could easily go with a retrofit since this tank will be built into a wall and i have a large ajoining area to put it in. The thing I was worried about was the fact I would have to shield off the retrofit from the water so the saltwater doesnt creep onto the sockets? (basically making a closed off unit) I may just run closed top and open sump, and just build it with a retrofit.
By the way I run 48" 260 watts of PC now on my 72 gal. I do love them but I was hoping to go a lil Tim Tool Man Taylor and get some more juice!
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:19 PM   #8
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My plan is to run the bulbs bare about 4.5" over the water. That retrofit kit comes with moisture proof end-caps, so that shouldn't be a problem. Might need to wipe down the bulbs/reflectors once a week, but that should be it.
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:43 PM   #9
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I don't know about the T5s. I really don't. I was under the impression that you were on a tight budget, and from what I have seen, T5 fixtures can get super expensive and i was unable to find any DIY retro T5 setups that were competitive with MH or PC in price/output when I was fixing up my lights. If I had a setup like yours, I would look into the pendant or retro MH and run VHO for actinic, possilbly PC for actinic. Pendant MH fixtures are VERY cheap, almost as cheap as the retro MH fixtures, and no where near as expensive as the $900+ complete hood setups at the LFS.

The endcaps I used were the waterproof type. They sit about 6 inches over the water, and salt does get on the reflector and bulbs, but I wipe this off from time to time with a very soft cloth and clean fresh water. The ballast sit on a shelf next to my setup, so no danger from heat or shorting out there.

Anything over 48" is going to cost you $$$ as you know. I would think MH would be the way to go there. I would think 2 MH and a couple of VHO or PC would be a lot cheaper in the long run than those 6 or 8 bulb T5 units I have seen, and you would get a lot more light for the tank. I guess it all depends on what you want to keep in the tank. If you want those corals, I would go with the MH.

Whatever you do, be VERY careful about putting a closed unit-type fixture in there, I did burn up my first sealed PC unit because of the heat and my hood enclosure was open in the back. Check out your options on something with a remote balast would be my advise.

David

PS - My twin T5 unit is a 80wat per bulb HO unit. I got it on Ebay over 2 years ago, and bid on a new-in-the-box unit and won. I am positive I spent less than $100 on it, but it is not the best piece of work. ODYSEA or some such stuff from China. the friggin name plate fell off of it soon after I got it. The PC unit from them burned up. 'nuff said.
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