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Old 03-16-2005, 11:37 AM   #1
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T5 lighting - pros/cons

I'm looking into getting a 90g sw setup, upgrading from the 37g that I have now. I can't seem to find any definitive information on T5 lighting, pros/cons. What I can gather so far is that MH may be the best choice, but they generate a lot of heat. I may have a problem placing an MH in the canopy that I'm thinking of purchasing. T5 lights I've read are the "up and coming" light source for sw aquariums, but let's say I had a choice between VHO, PC, MH or T5 are there any sites with a good comparison of the pros/cons of these sources? I have seen some T5 options on eBay that look pretty good, comparing just wattage to $.

Oh btw I now have a FOWLR, but in my new tank I will be adding anemones and some coral - probabably not sps. So I'm thinking my lighting requirements won't be that great...maybe 260-360W total.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:26 PM   #2
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Well I am doing both. I have three 400W MH's on my 180 that come on for 6 hours a day and the rest of the 12 hour photo period is ligthed by t-5's. They look really nice and all my macro and coralline has responded very well to this new setup. before i just ran my MH's all 12 hours but as you mentioned they heated too much. now my swing is just from 78-80 throughout the day.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustybrannum
Well I am doing both. I have three 400W MH's on my 180 that come on for 6 hours a day and the rest of the 12 hour photo period is ligthed by t-5's. They look really nice and all my macro and coralline has responded very well to this new setup. before i just ran my MH's all 12 hours but as you mentioned they heated too much. now my swing is just from 78-80 throughout the day.
Interesting...I'm wondering if I don't need to deal with sps coral, are there any drawbacks to a t5-only light source? Are MHs primarily for corals that require absolutely more intense light to grow? Or do t5s provide little benefit (long-term cost, heat, etc.) over PCs or even VHOs?

Maybe I should investigate a light that has both mh and t5s, but even in that case what does t5 give you that pcs, vhos don't? I have read that they are more intense lighting than pcs and vhos...closer to the intensity of mh.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:54 PM   #4
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i have 6x54w tek light system from reefgeek.com. that is 3.6w/gal. some one on another forum uses 2.8w/gal in a 55 gal and has successfully kept and had great growth for almost a year lps, sps, and clams.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:16 PM   #5
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i have 6x54w tek light system from reefgeek.com. that is 3.6w/gal. some one on another forum uses 2.8w/gal in a 55 gal and has successfully kept and had great growth for almost a year lps, sps, and clams.
The Tek system is one I've been thinking about. There is also a seller on eBay who has a similar configuration, 6x54w T5s for $260.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:07 PM   #6
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From what I have gathered so far on T5 ligthing, you don't need nearly the amount of watts per gallon as you would with say MH, PC, or VHO.

I have read many sucess stories of people keeping SPS and Clams with less that 3 wpg of T5 ligthing... which is amazing considering you'd need more than double that with PC's for Clams to be successful.

I am thinking about making the switch (from PC to T5) once I get a canopy for my tank.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ASpec
From what I have gathered so far on T5 ligthing, you don't need nearly the amount of watts per gallon as you would with say MH, PC, or VHO.

I have read many sucess stories of people keeping SPS and Clams with less that 3 wpg of T5 ligthing... which is amazing considering you'd need more than double that with PC's for Clams to be successful.

I am thinking about making the switch (from PC to T5) once I get a canopy for my tank.
Yes I have read that in some places as well... I'm heavily leaning towards T5 at this point vs. PC or VHO.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:57 PM   #8
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i would recommend the tek light system mainly due to the parabolic reflectors it comes with. this is the most important feature of the tek light system. pretty much 100% of the light is reflected back into the tank which is why you can get away with less than 3w/gal (although i am not condoning it). i also have a 90gal tank which is done cycling so i am slowly increasing light time. just be careful because some t-5 light systems on ebay are selling for much cheaper prices because they don't come with parabolic reflector's. in the end, you get what you pay for!!!
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