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Old 05-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #1
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T5 HO lighting

Hi, I am seriously considering DIY T5 HO lighting. Does anyone have any suggestions or would steer me in the right direction? Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:26 AM   #2
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I wish you the best of luck, that's all I can offer . I'm going to use plus rite metal halides on my next tank though. 14 dollars for a 250 watt 14k Halide? Wowzers!
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
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I know that at least one other person has used Aquacave to do their T5 DIY kit and I've been looking at that site as well:

T5 Fluorescent Aquarium DIY Components

I would recommend you purchase individual reflectors for each T5 light. Don't forget to do a build log!
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Go to Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits and check out their lighting kits. They're CPF, not T5HO but the one kit I built works great and I do the strip light kit which fit into my hoods, so it looks like a store bought light. I like to use CPF for one reason, the bulbs output doesn't drop off slowly like T5 (T8, T12 too) after a year or less, it stay linear until it just burns out which is estimated at 2+ years. Below is a link to my build thread.

Note to Sarcothelia: The MH might look like a good deal with cheap upfront costs, but wait until you get you electric bill after the first month. Wowzers! is what you'll be saying again.

AH Supply: 55w Strip Light Kit DIY Build/Review
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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I've read the reviews. The electric bill isn't any worse, and while the blues may not be as vivid as other more expensive halides it is definitely a bright bulb
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcothelia View Post
I've read the reviews. The electric bill isn't any worse, and while the blues may not be as vivid as other more expensive halides it is definitely a bright bulb
All I can say, is that 175 watts of MH is going to use that much power to produce a certain spectrum of light (say 10kK), but a CPF is only going to use 55 watts to produce the same spectrum (relative). Now the 175w is only 1 bulb, are you going to have 2, 3 or more bulbs? Multiply that 175w times however many bulbs you're going to use and you're talking a lot more on the electric bill. The math is pretty simple and there's no way around it.

The other issue with MH is the amount of heat produced per bulb and you may need to add a fan or 2 to cool your tank down, so you're talking additional power costs (minimal no doubt).

Don't get me wrong, I work with MH all the time and have for years and they're great lamps, but there is a price to pay.

Plusrite 2400 175 Watt Metal Halide For Aquariums T15 M57/E 10,000K | ProLighting.com
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
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It's a 250 watt. I got a pretty nice 250 ballast free for taking care of this guys tank while he was gone for a week (he had recently upgraded) so I figure I should go for it. I'm going to use one of those overhanging fixtures so it'll be over a foot off of the water (hopefully). I really want to have a tank with a lot of light loving SPS so I'm thinking close to 5 watts per gallon.

I was thinking if I successfully manage the SPS I could sell some of the frags and make up the difference in extra electric bills with extra coral growth. I mean, 14 dollars for a 250 watt 14k of decent quality as opposed to 100 dollars for a light of slightly higher quality and slightly longer life span is well worth less energy efficiency. Just so long as its not ridiculously less efficient I'd say it's worth it.

The only reason I'm considering them is because I saw a friend's tank, who had his bulbs going 3 months in, and they were brighter than other 14ks I had seen, though with noticeable less blue (still quite a lot of blue, however). I'll see how it goes as I'm not planning on doing this until the growth in my nano gets out of hand.

True a 55 watt CPF produces similar spectrum, but it's going to be visibly less light and it'd take more than 2 of those to flood a 100g with light. (though I do know I'm going to have to bite the bullet when it comes to choosing halides over T5s or CPFs).

My dream is housing an obligate corallivore, though that's too far fetched for now for me to even consider for years.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:57 PM   #8
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Great info, thanks all. I just hope it turns out a little cheaper. I will definitely post a build thread!
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:10 PM   #9
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Great info, thanks all. I just hope it turns out a little cheaper. I will definitely post a build thread!
A build thread is the least you can do for us lol. Oh, and pics, lots of pics please .
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #10
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Absolutely. I will take pictures as if was a proud father.
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