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Old 10-21-2006, 01:08 PM   #1
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T-5 vs. Compacts

I'm a newbie to SW so I've been reading and reading constantly, but it seems like the more I read the more confused I get. Eventually, I would like to have some corals. Nothing hard core, just the basic easy to maintain ones...anemones, shrooms,etc. I know a lighting upgrade is necessary, but which one? I have a 26G which is about 21" tall, 23 3/4" length.

Is this considered a "tall" tank?

If so, will a 2x65 watt fixture be enough light for the things I want?

My main confusion is with the T-5 lighting. From what I've been reading, T-5's give off more light than a PC? Even if the T-5's have lower wattage?

I was either gonna go with a Coralife 2x65 watt PC fixture or the Nova Extreme 4x24 watt T-5 fixture. Any input would be great to ease my confusion.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:04 PM   #2
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First off, a mild correction. Anemone are not considered one of the easier things to maintain and MOST require high lighting.

My preference would be the T5's
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:07 PM   #3
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PCFs, as opposed to the screw in CFs, are basically bent T5s, so their performance is compareable. Practicallity and cost then become the factors to decide which is better.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:47 PM   #4
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The corals that you named off except the anenomie are moderate light corals. Either one of those lights will do for those corals. And as Mrs Hare said the anenomie will need more light.
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Old 10-21-2006, 05:29 PM   #5
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Now the confusion sets in again. Ok, so if 2 moderators tell me an anemone will need more light, it must be true, but I've been reading a lot of posts and there are people who are able to keep anemones with moderate lighting. Maybe I got mixed up or something.

So in order to keep an anemone I would need some MHs?

I've been searching everywhere and the highest wattage I could find for a 24" PC fixture is 130 watts and 96 watts for a T5 fixture. If I want any higher wattage I would have to go MH.

Does anyone know of a 24" PC fixture or 24" T5 fixture with more wattage than as I described above?
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Old 10-21-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
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Depends on what anenome. I have 3 rock flower and a bubble tip under t-5s and all are doing great!. Rock flower and condy do not require as much as light as some others 3-4 wpg is adequate IMO. Otherwise 4-6 wpg is probably better. With a 2x65 I would say you are GTG. IMO MH is really only needed if you are planning on clams.

More importantly should you put an anenome in a 26g especially if you are thinking of corals. Anenome can become free roaming for no reason and if they decide to settle next to you coral, the coral will probably lose. Just some more to think about.

HTH,
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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cool...thanks for the reply afilter. So basically, if I put in a 2x65 fixture that would give my tank about 4-5 wpg. [quote]Anenome can become free roaming for no reason and if they decide to settle next to you coral, the coral will probably lose.

What will happen? Will the anemone kill the coral? And if so, how?
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:13 PM   #8
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Very possible anenome can kill or severly damage most coral.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
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IME They just require more light intensity than those 2x65 can give. I think if you go with either as Mrs Hara said I would go with the T5`s.
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:54 AM   #10
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WPG is a horrible rule. I could put a 5W light over a 1 gallon tank and keep absolutely nothing photosynthetic. Its all about actual light saturation and specific light intensities in the tank.

T5s, WITH individual reflectors, are much more efficient than CFs. Good T5 readymade fixtures are SLS Tek lights and Aquatinics. Or use IceCap SLR reflectors with a retrofit for a canopy. T5 without a reflector per bulb are not really worth it.

I would suggest at minimum a 2 bulb 24" T5 fixture. Don't be misled by the T5s being half the watts though. For anemones, I would suggest a 3-4 bulb fixture. Use at least 1 6500k bulb such as a GE, plus ATI AquaBlue or Blue+, plus a single UVL Super Actinic. Adjust bulbs depending on how blue you want it.
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