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Old 11-22-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
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T-5 OR PC?

I'm ready to buy some lights for my 55 gallon tank so I can grow some soft corals. I've narrowed it down to t-5 or pc. Any suggestions on which is better. Not sure exactly which brand but its either 4X54 watt t-5 with lunar lights or 4X65 watt pc with lunar lights. I've heard that t-5 run cooler, cost less to operate, and last longer. Any input will greatly be appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:05 PM   #2
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I have the nova extreme T5 and love them. I think if you want corals, the more wattage the better (within reason, of course). I'll let the reefers feild the selection of corals and their lighting requirements.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:29 PM   #3
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I thought I heard someone say that the T5s have more light intensity than the PC`s. I believe you`ll pay more for the T5`s also. I`ve never had one but that`s what I`ve heard from others. I`ve always had VHO`s.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:46 PM   #4
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Not sure which is better but I think longevity is the same. 10-12 months will be about it for both bulbs. T5's are more expensive from what I have seen. You can get some really deals on 55/65 watt PC bulbs sometimes.

I use T5's for my actinics on my display and I use PC bulbs for my frag tanks downstairs. I like them both. If you go with T5's, make sure you get one large reflector. Eric Borneman had a T5 fixture that had separate reflectors for each bulb and there was dead spots in between the reflectors per a PAR meter. Nothing to do with the bulbs, just a bad reflector design.

Not a clear cut winner IMO. Get a fixture that you like and can afford. Performance will be similar.
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*180 gal Display, 100 gal basement sump, 33 gal refugium, 3x250 MH, 2x160 VHO actinics, zoos, some softies, LPS & lots of acros and other SPS.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisz
. If you go with T5's, make sure you get one large reflector. Eric Borneman had a T5 fixture that had separate reflectors for each bulb and there was dead spots in between the reflectors per a PAR meter. Nothing to do with the bulbs, just a bad reflector design.
I'm going ot have to disagree with you here... individual parabolic reflectors out perform a flat reflector but a ridicolous amount. I can't find the link now but I belive Sun Light Supply did a test with a light meter a little while back and their individual parabolic reflectors increased light to the tank by about 300%. I would recommend the Ice Cap reflectors, they don't stain as easily as the sunlight ones do.

I know how most of you feel about RC but here is a HUGE thread on T5's.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...5&pagenumber=1

The Grimreefer is the T5 GOD, there are a few others that know their T5's extremly well too.

Most people are saying that T5 bulbs will last 18-24 months before shifting spectrum if they are kept running cool.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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Borneman stated that using a par meter he was able to actually find dead par spots under the light fixture. His reasoning was that it had to be due to the individual reflector design. Not saying T5's are bad in any way as I do use them but I don't think Borneman would lie.

I am a very low tech person when it comes to this as I don't need the best to have what I have. My livestock grows at a rate that I am happy with and it looks appealing to my eyes I don't know the fixture he used so maybe it was just that design. I was just trying to relay what I heard. I honestly don't know how many designs of reflectors there are. I should have stated what I said differently.

Steven Pro disagreed on the 18-24 month longevity of the bulbs though. I have not read the info you provided as I am just stating what we were told at the conference.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:34 AM   #7
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Understood, I'm just stating what I've read on T5's lately. I was considering switching from halides to T5's so I've been reading up on them on RC.

There are so many variable's involved, maybe the individual reflectors Borneman was using were not designed as well as the IceCap or Sunlight parabolic reflectors, maybe he spaced them too far apart? I don't see how you would have dead spots with placing reflectors next to each other. The reflectors are only 2.5" wide and are not that direct that you would have spots in between them...but I didn't see his test so I'll have to try and find it. I wouldn't suggest he is lieing but I've read counltess posts/test of individual reflectors performaning head and shoulders above flat reflectors. That's not saying you can't have good results with flat reflectors, you certainly can, I'm just saying much more of the light is sent back into your tank. I'm looking for a couple of the test now but can't seem to find them, I'll post back when I do.

There is some debate on longevity of bulb life but I do konw cooling or not cooling the bulbs has a HUGE impact on bulb life. Some are saying they should be replaced every 8-12 months but I've seen spectral graphs where only minor noticalble shift took place at 18 months. Here is a test on cooling of the bulbs where they dropped from a par of 161 to 113 if not properly cooled: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...=t5+reflectors

Ballast have a huge impact on amount of light as well, the ice cap ballast overdrive the bulbs and produce about 50% more par as seen in this test with only debatle not proven decrease in bulb life:
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...=t5+reflectors


Do you need this expensive top notch equipment to run T5's successful..no of course not, but with some of this equipmnet you can easily duplicate the intensity of MH's that cannot be done with PC's or VHO's.
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