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Old 03-24-2009, 04:16 AM   #1
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T5 lights

Eventually when setting up my tank I was going to just buy a kit for $180; this was until I decided I will want to corals eventually. I am going to buy the tank and top separately; and am looking for a rather decent price for T5 fixtures. I do believe Halides are probably going a little overboard however I could be wrong. Any suggestions? The tank is 48x13x(18 or 20); it is a 55 gallon.

Is this set any good? the 48" marine

Coralife Aqualight Double Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=13733

I know its recommended 4-6 watts per gallon, and this is not something I am setting up right away. Corals will come down the road, however I don't want a useless lighting system then just to upgrade.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:13 AM   #2
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Well you could goa couple of ways with it. If you don't mind to spend a couple of extra dollars and a bi handy with a saw and hammer, you could build yourself a canopy that could house Halides. You can get them failry cheap on E-bay or from a hydroponic store. But, if you don't want to do that, there are many companies that make a 48" fixture that will fit on a 55gallon that have both the actinics and the halides. Some come with the led lights for night (moon) lighting. Here is an example. I am not sure of the quality of the lighting system itself though. But when buyin lighting, go by the old adage "you get what you pay for" 48" Metal Halide Aquarium Reef Light 716W T5 HO LED NEW - eBay (item 300302177152 end time Mar-31-09 12:05:01 PDT)

Like you said though that you don't want a useless lighting system then just to upgrade. You might as well go for gold and get a better lighting system than a T5. Don't get me wrong, T5s are great, but halides are better.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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The set you list is power compact and not T5, incase there was any confusion. I would not purchase any lighting from Ebay, especially T5, without knowing all the Manufacturer parts (most of the time they are cheap knock-offs with poor quality). For a fixture I would either go with an ATI 4x54w or an Aquatinics TX5 (5x54w). If you want to build your own canopy a Tek or IceCap 4x54w.

Front
ATI Blue Plus
UVL75/25
GE 6500K Daylight
ATI Aquablue

or if a TX5 just add another Blue Plus, UVL 75/25, or an Aquablue depending on how tinted blue you want aesthetically.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:29 AM   #4
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Setting up halides would be great you are right; but out of my price range. Granted I understand where your coming from; brand new fixtures for halides are crazily expensive.

I do not mind spending $250 at most for lighting. And that's pushing what I wanted to spend. However I am slightly confused; is there a difference between using T5's and the Compact fixture I posted?
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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T5 lighting is more expensive than PC, but much more efficient. T5's are flourescent bulbs that run cooler and brighter (better par per watt?) along with giving the user many more coloration options. ReefGeek.com is my preferred retailer unless you go with Aquatinics.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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PC's are basically bent t5's. The main difference is in the (forget the term) but the amount of light lost when it is reflected back into the bulb. PC's are cheaper, so I went with them.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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I just bought the t5 current usa nova extreme for my tank(still setting up). It is awesome. Plus it will be good for my corals. It has 4x54 watt actinic blues 4x54 watt 10k daylight lights(mixed together its quite blinding with nothing in the tank and the glare off the glass...haha) and 4 white lunar leds. I have blue leds on my FW tank and love em. I did not think i was going to like the white lights and was going to order 3/4 watt blue leds yet i waited and Im glad I did as the white lights are awesome as well and literally looks as if the moon were beaming into my soon to be filled reef tank.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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Post pics when you get a chance. Please
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:01 PM   #9
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I have come down to going with T5 HO's; but just to clarify.

Two of these 48" Double's
(Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures)

Would be better than
Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Coralife Aqualight Double Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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Hey Justin. You have officially opened a can of confusion. For at least 10 year's now there has been discussion on which is better, T5's or CF(power compacts). Well it comes down to the reflectors. Power Compacts are great, I have one set over my reef tank. The problem with this is that only 25% of the light goes directly into the tank while the rest directs up and both sides and doesn't always get reflected back into the tank. I also have the Hagen Glo t5's over the same tank in conjunction with the CF's. With the correct reflectors you can get over %50 more light put back into your tank using the t5's so it is not wasted. The only problem with the Hagen is there are no individually contoured reflectors or individual reflectors at all. So it won't put out as much light as we had hoped into the tank because some of it is reflected back into the bulb wasting energy. T5's have also been known to shine with intensity deeper in a tank than CF. (Don't quote me on any of this, I just did tons of research and this is nearly my opinion out of what I had read)

Sorry if this has confused you. But I am in the process of getting new lighting myself and have decided to go with t5's after doing tons of research online. We all live on a budget these days so I was looking for some bang for my buck.

Hope this helps Justin!
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