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Old 04-26-2013, 03:45 AM   #1
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20L Reef, Help me pick a T5 fixture

I currently have a 16g bowfront FOWLR tank and I have decided to ditch it in favor of a 20 long. I am having trouble picking a light fixture. So far the two that I keep seeing are the Coralife 30 inch 4 lamp Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 Lighting Fixture Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 Light Fixture
and the AquaticLife AquaticLife 30" T5 HO 4 Lamp Fixture with Lunar Lights

Coralife Pros:
Really decent price
Cooling fan(it gets rather warm where I live)
Cons:
Irregular sized bulbs only available from Coralife

AquaticLife Pros:
Uses 24" bulbs so the nice ATI, UVL, Etc. bulbs are available
Built in 3 channel timer
Cons:
$100 more than the Coralife
No cooling fan

I dont know how important the fan really is as I have never used a T5 fixture before. The tank will house primarily softies with a few LPS. I would love to have a Condy anemone but I have read that 4 bulbs may not be sufficient. Has anyone used these fixtures? Are the other ones that I have not see or may have overlooked? Am I going overboard with a 4 bulb considering the corals I would like to keep?
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Aquaticlife is better quality and does not need fans,less to go wrong,better bulb selection by far also which is important.better ballast go with the aquatic life better now than later.20 long is 12" deep you will be able to keep more than you think most lps will be fine and some sps also. Condys idk you could try a small one.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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If you're down to those two, definitely go with the AquaticLife. I have their six bulb over my 75 and love it. You can easily buy replacement parts from AquaticLife if anythign breaks. It alos probably doesn;t really need fans on that model because you'll have 24" bulbs in a 30" housing, creating some extra room for natural cooling.

With the Coralife taking special bulbs only they sell, you'll be very limited in that respect. The Coralife bulbs are bottom of the line IMO. The stock AquaticLife aren't much better, BUT you can at least replace them with something better when the time comes.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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I have an aquaticlife 48" 4 bulb with moonlights. Granted mine is longer, it has 2 fans.
I would go with it for no other reason than the bulbs.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice guys I appreciate it. I am still kind of debating T5 vs some Par30s or 38s.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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Check into the Oddysea Quad T-5 HO's. They have had a bad rap in the past, but have gotten better. I bought 2- 36" Quad ho's. They are nice lights as far as I am concerned. They throw a good amount of light. PAR of almost 100 at 21". The ballasts are external, so if one goes you just unplug it, and plug a new one in. I bought mine from Topdogsellers, on ebay. I also have Coralife normal output t-5's on smaller planted tanks, and they seem to be ok, but are built a little cheap. Just my input!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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I have heard some people say the reflectors on the Odyssea are contoured around each bulb and some so they are not. How are they set up on yours?
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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They are not contoured around each bulb. The reflector covers all 4 bulbs, and is contoured at the edges. It throws a ton of light into the tank. Like I said it gives a PAR value of 100 at 21" deep. I have had to shut off 2 lights in each fixture to help with the BBA in my planted tank. And that's with pressurized CO2 Just too much light, until I get the co2>fert combo balanced.
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