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Old 03-27-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
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Contructing T5 Fixtures

We are thinking of setting up a 20 gallon frag tank from what we have laying around. What we dont have though is the appropriate lighting fixtures to do so. When we went to a hardware store the other day we noticed that they have everything you need to construct your own regular flourescent fixtures. Is there anywhere you can get these same parts for a T5 fixture and would this be aquarium safe? If we can find everything else the only thing im not sure about is if they sell reflectors or where we can find one. What do you guys think? Has anyone else tried this?
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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You would probably be best looking online at like Hellolights.com and ReefGeek.com for T-5 retros. When reefers are talking about T-5's, unless stated otherwise, they are talking about T-5 HO. The ones that are sold at hardware stores are pretty much always NO, unless they sell lights for horticulture, and are not really ideal for frag tanks, unless you have a lot of them and that wouldn't be really efficient.

HO means High Output
NO means Normal Output

What kind of coral(s) do you plan on fragging?

I am about to set 2x ten gallons (connect, one above the other) as frag tanks and I'm still trying to decide what I want to use (70,150,175 MH or 2x 24 watt T-5 HO, or overdriven T-5's)

Quality reflectors are extremely important and one thing usually overlooked by people is the importance of water clarity for light penetration.

Many, many options. HTH
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:18 PM   #3
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if i may suggest...check out AHsuppy. great lights w/ much more effecient reflectors.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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How are those in anyway more effecient than IceCap and Tek reflectors?
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
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I agree with Lance. The T5 reflector should have a w "ish" form for the maximum light output. It's kinda hard to see in those pics, but they don't seem to be built that way.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:07 AM   #6
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read the web page and u will understand why. they do work and are highly regarded in the planted community. i wan't suggesting that they we're more effecient than the options lance presented, but certainly more effecient than the ones found at the home depot. sorry for the confusion lance.

36 or 55 watt Bright Kits

edit... i checked out the icecap t-5 and they appear to be similiar in shape. but, i haven't found a complete kit[doesn't mean they aren't out there] and they are a generally much more expensive product. better or worse...who knows. unless u have the means to measure lumens inside the aquarium, who's to say which is better.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:24 AM   #7
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T5s are FAR more effecient then PCs not to mention the bulbs last longer and don't get nearly as hot. The individual reflectors that TEK uses focuses the light and make it a much better option. I have MH, T5, VHO and PC lights on various tanks and my money for a frag tank is on the T5s. I got the TEK 48" retro kit its about $118. For a 20g tank you could easily go with a 4x24w setup. I talked to your son about the different options and from what he said I think the T5s are the best option for you.

Oh and btw, T5s have been tested with PARmeters and they generate at or near MHs, PCs don't come close to that. They are comparing PCs against PCs not with T5s.

Go with the T5s. I have them and love them. The LFS where I buy all my corals uses them on their grow out tanks with awesome results. TEK!!!
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:30 AM   #8
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They (AH supply) don't sell T5s which are more efficient lights than PCs. And you can get comparable lights, fully made, here: Catalina Aquarium. Though they will not have as high quality reflectors.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:44 AM   #9
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fair enough, and good info guys.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:22 AM   #10
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Depending on bulb combination and reflectors T-5's can produce much more PAR then MH on tanks < 24'' deep.

Tek reflectors (48'' reflectors are 3'' wide) are slightly wider then IceCaps so they give a better spread of light when using 2-4 bulbs but when you need to put 6-8 bulbs in IceCaps are better since you can fit more in a smaller space (48'' reflectors are 2.5'' wide).

In your case for a 20 gallon you could go with one (or two depending on what corals) of the Tek ready fit kits -http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_...eady_Fit_Kits/

The intial cost is probably more then most other lighting options but they utilize less energy then mh's or pc's and you dont have to worry about heat so it would be cheaper in the long run.

HTH
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