Ok, I have 2 tanks. One is a 4 bulb T5HO covered one that used to house my reef. It is not an over priced FOWLR
. I upgraded everything for my 55 reef. I read and researched for what seemed forever.
The problems with T5 and MH
, that I found is that they truly aren't cheap. Replacing bulbs every 6 months is best practice, with these bulbs costing you about 200...which is what it cost me to upgrade the bulbs for my 4 bulb unit! Then there is the heat. MH
obviously has heat under their belt. But depending on the T5's and how close they are to the water surface there can also be heat issues. The tank with my 4 bulb always ran hot until it was no longer a reef and I started only running the actinics on it...because it looks nice.
Now for my BFF, LEDs. I'm running 2 Radions above my 55 gal
reef. They pack a punch. I'm still fine tuning their intensity and the more I adjust the more I go down. Peak is 80% power currently, but not for very long at noon. It keeps my SPS
happy though. Why do I run these expensive powerhouses? Because at the time nothing else does what they do. For some things, that is still the case...BUT man, if there were dimmable taotronics LEDs at the time I would be rocking those above my tank. They are cheap and do the job.