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Old 04-30-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
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Upgrading Lights to T5HO

Lately, I have been feeling like my aquarium is a bit light starved. I have power compacts over it, with a fluorescent strip light in front. I'm thinking of upgrading to T-5s, but have seen that some hobbyists use more actinic bulbs, giving the water a bluer effect. I'm thinking of keeping more sps corals, and I've heard that corals react better to blue light.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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That's not necessarily true. Most of us put way more blue over our tanks than corals need. Picture them in their wild habitat. We use a lot of blue because we like the look, and it makes the colors stand out.
What size tank do you have?
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #3
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75 G display, with a 35 G sump
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:33 AM   #4
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If your going the t5 route then I'd reccomend a 4' 6 bulb fixture minimum if you want sps. An 8 bulb would be better but another option is LEDs which you could light that with 2 panels
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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Just to follow up on the above posts. What was said about 6 bulb or higher is correct about sps. In a matter being economical, leds are the better choice. The technology has reached a point you can get them for 200 a piece. It might seem peicey, but a 6-8 bulb t5 will be similar if not higher. Along with that, bulbs will need replaced every 6 months at ~200 a pop. Leds will need replaced ~10 years.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:58 AM   #6
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I replaced my T5s once a year, but they are at least 20 dollars a piece for quality lamps, so you are looking at $160.00 a year minimum for the T5s. As you can see, no one touched on halides because they are obsolete in my opinion. A ton of heat, also expensive lamps (you would need 2 a year at about 60 bucks a piece), and a lot of electricity usage.

As for the LED technology, you can do the job over your tank for about $320.00, and they do last much longer than halides and T5 lighting. If you take a look at my tank build there are links to different LED fixtures that are in that price range. You can also go for the more expensive ones that have more options. It's not necessary to spend the extra dough however.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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As always, X is on point. On my 55, I spent the extra cash for Radion LEDs. Mostly because I had a nice tax refund coming my way this year. There are several, much cheaper LED options that are discussed throughout these forums.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'd like to stay away from the metal halides since I also keep a few softies and zoas. I'd like to look into the LEDs. Also, can you suggest certain acropora morphs that are relatively easier to keep. Also some experience on ORA acropora.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Ora's stufd is the bomb. Plain and simple. The easiest acro is a green slimer to my knowledge.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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Are they really getting good results with LEDs and SPS corals? Tech seems really new to me. Are they getting good growth rates with LEDs? Does anyone have good research resources to look at? Lot's of questions but love the idea of LED's but want to make informed choice to go with them.
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