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Old 10-29-2006, 08:17 AM   #1
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FOWLR lighting - PC or T-5?

Still working out the details for this 50 gallon FOWLR tank.

So, I've narrowed my lighting choices down to two: the Nova Extreme (T5) and the Satellite PC (both made by Current).

I really like the sound of the T5 (if I understand correctly, the bulbs run cooler, more bulb choices, better reflectors, bulbs last longer, etc.) The problem starts when I look at wattage. The T5 fixture has (4) 39 watt bulbs (156 watts total), and the PC fixture has (2) 96 watt bulbs (192 watts total). That works out to 3.12 watts and 3.84 watts, respectively. The tank is 18 inches deep and I plan on going with a few low-moderate lighting corals/inverts. My question is: is there that much difference between the wattage? Is one type of lighting better than the other? Does it really even matter, with the tank only being 18 inches deep?

Thanks for all the help so far!
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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I have the Nova on my 55G and love it. I am not a reefer, so those folks should be a long to help you.
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Old 10-29-2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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If your thinking about adding corals your no longer fowlr. With fowlr you can use no fluorescents. More light is more light, will affect coral choices and how they grow.
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Old 10-29-2006, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJS4
If your thinking about adding corals your no longer fowlr. With fowlr you can use no fluorescents. More light is more light, will affect coral choices and how they grow.
Okay, so other than a correcting my terminology, can you offer any practical advice or thoughts? I know lighting affects coral choices-- that's why I'm asking now, rather than later.
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
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I'm also considering T5 lighting for my future reef tank. I think that is what I will choose because as I understand it, in addition to what you already listed, the T5 bulbs are cheaper to replace and last a little longer and they put out more lumens than PCs. So, I will have fewer watts with T5s, but brighter lighting. Does the Nova have individual reflectors for each bulb? I've been told that is definitely the way to go. I'm looking at the 6 bulb Tek Light for my future tank and I know it has individual reflectors. I'm not sure the Tek Light comes in a 3 foot size though.
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:52 PM   #6
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I am planning on a few corals. You may want to shoot for 6-10WPG, the higher number is better for more "needy" corals. Sorry, I don't know what corals need what lighting, but I believe the above is a decent range.
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:53 PM   #7
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The nova give your more options on lighting. You can use different bulb, have them turn on at different times, etc.
Both will work to grow some corals. I have had button polyps growing in my tank from day one and I only have 160 watts of no t8 fluorescents and 64 watts of no t8 actinic light less than 2 watts per gallon. My tank is 24 inches deep. I had it at 18 inches deep I moved it to 8 inches from surface and its multiplying faster and growing faster. My choices are very limited at this wattage but it can be done.
What do you have in mind when you say corals and invertebrates?
You may want that extra wattage to meet the needs of a particular organism.
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:49 PM   #8
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If you are planning on low-moderate light corals both of your choices will be OK. I only have the same wattage as you mentioned in the begining post and my tank is a low-medium light tank. These are the corals you would be able to have.



Just a note that I have had this same wattage for nine years now
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:37 PM   #9
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That looks like exactly what I've got in mind, Melosu! What type lighting/watts per gallon do you have on that tank? What size tank is that?

Really nice looking tank, by the way.

Sev- the Nova doesn't have individual reflactors, which is the only complaint I've heard about the fixture.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:54 AM   #10
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Mine is neither that you mentioned. Mine are VHO . Super actinic and a 50/50(actinic white. 125 gallon.
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