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Old 11-25-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
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LED or T5...?

Hi guys, I was sold the idea of LEDs on their long life (and low energy consumption), but I'm now hearing that they don't put out as much light, so T5s would be better...!

For an approximately 4' x 2' x 2' planted tank, what do you think would be better please...?

Thanks


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Old 11-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #2
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That's a tricky tank.. there's really only a couple leds out there that will give you high par in that tall of a tank. A build.my led will take you anywhere you want to go. A Eco exotic eseries will give you medium light. A pair of finnex ray2 and planted plus will give you low medium light. What are you wanting to grow? T5 will be a cheaper initial star up for higher light, it will add up over time though..

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Old 11-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Brookster, I'm starting to realise this is a pretty deep tank and that LEDs will struggle to penetrate.

What will I grow? I'm not sure, but I'd like to keep my options open. Something hardy and easy to care for that will give my little guys somewhere to hide and some colour. That's kind of my next challenge, but for now I don't want to limit myself to only low light plants, in case that's not what I end up with... I'll look up those suggestions, but I'm in UK, so hope they're available...

I'm starting to think, I may just go T5s. The guy in the shop suggested 4 x 39w duo bulbs...? I just don't want to have to deal with the size, heat and replacement bulb costs if there's a suitable LED solution...!!!


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Old 11-25-2014, 11:37 AM   #4
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I would do metal halides with t5s


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Old 11-25-2014, 11:43 AM   #5
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The t5 would probably be the best bet given your circumstances. I know another member in the forum ordered a bml to the UK and it seems to have been a bit more trouble than its worth thus far..

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Old 11-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #6
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Metal Halides to reach the depth cause they're more powerful...? But they are also more expensive and hotter right?

Would 4 x 39w T5s be sufficient?

I don't think I need super bright, but don't want to go to all this time trouble and expense, only to fall short on lighting... The LFS guy suggests the above, (4 x 39w T5) but I've learned to question what I'm told by those guys...

And would I need a cooling fan

Sorry, lots of questions.


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Old 11-25-2014, 01:41 PM   #7
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My fixture houses 4 t5s and a metal halide I payed 135 for the fixture and you can run all the lights separately mine I use for a reef aquarium but since they can be ran separately if there's to much or to little lighting u can just turn one off. The metal halides might be over kill on a planted aquarium but if that's the case just keep it off and you will always have the option if you ever decided to do a reef aquarium. I personally don't like LEDs, they look nice but I had problems with mine not being bright enough and the light only hit directly under the fixture just my personal experience with LEDs


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Old 11-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #8
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To me there's nothing worse then buying a 200 dollar or more light and it not being bright enough


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Old 11-25-2014, 05:33 PM   #9
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The ray2 gives ~50 par (open air test) at 24". Given that you'll have a few inches of substrate in there, that # is still a good estimate imo. A single one won't give very good front to back coverage.

Metal halides use a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. I would avoid them if possible, on a FW tank.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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I think I'll go for T5s. I have no intention of switching to marine, so I think they sound like the ones for me.

Thanks again for all your advice. It backs up what I heard elsewhere. I'd hoped for LEDs to be a good idea, but at least I feel like I know what I'm doing now.


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