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Old 12-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
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T5 Lights for 55 gallon FOWLR

Hi,

I need to replace the lights for my 55 gallon FOWLR. What is everyone's thoughts on these fixtures on eBay?

108W - $73.90
216W - $134.90

They seem pretty cheap so I'm not sure about the quality. I'm also open to other suggestions. I might step up to some basic corals at some point, so I'd consider a capable lighting system, but I'm also not looking to spend too much.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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for future basic corals i'd probably take a shot with the 4 lamp fixture. CE certified is europe's "UL" listed. i don't know if that makes anyone feel any better though. i've never tried one of those. you might look on the local forums for a used fixture of better quality first.
if you give these no-name fixtures a shot, make sure you report your findings.
btw, i knew a guy in NE philly that was selling a 48" metal halide fixture. want me to give him a call and see if it's still available?
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thanks,
Doug
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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Neither unit says anything about having a fan. Do you think they will run hot? Previously, I had two 40W fluorescent bulbs (no fan); will the 216W T5s cost a lot more to run?

The unit only has a single power-cord but says "Individual Timer Compatible (NOT Included)." Any ideas how that works? Is that a DIY project? Or can I buy timers? I'd ask the seller but I'm sure they are going to tell me what I want to hear.

Also, thanks for the offer on the MHs, but I'll pass for now.

Regards,
Patrick
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #4
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well, it's 80 watts as opposed to 216....you'll have to do the math.

i have no idea about how to add timers with 1 cord. you'll have to do some re-wiring i imagine. how else could it work?
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #5
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It's probably a poor translation from Chinese, copying the text from whatever unit they copied. The 4 bulb unit has ...
'Separate On/Off Switches to control Fluorescent Lamps, Actinic Lamps, LEDs" So I guess you add a timer for on/off and YOU are the time for the daylight and moonlight LEDs.

Two more things bother me about this unit:
It does not state individual parabolic reflector for each bulb. That means instead of getting 95% - 98% of the bulb output into the tank you may get significantly less than that.
The lack of fans probably means the unit will run hot.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for input. What price/performance units do you guys recommend then?

Regards,
Patrick
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:25 PM   #7
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i'd rather have this one here-
Tek-Light
if i was trying to pinch pennies. even with this fixture you'll have to change out the lamps (you would have wanted to with that fixture you posted as well...). high PAR lamps like ATI or giesemann will run you about 20 bucks a piece.
if i was considering a reef, i would go at least 6 lamps for your tank. i wouldn't be concerned with 2 cords, but i don't think you would be able to utilize a 6 lamp hydroponics fixture over your tank because of the dimensions.
hydroponics fixtures don't have to "fit" anywhere special so they make the reflectors larger and hence the fixture is wider. the thing i like about them is they sell them by lumens, unlike aquatic fixtures, and also because they are generally cheaper. they still use identical parts though. (from what i have seen the difference between the tek 6 bulb aquatic fixture and the tek 6 bulb plant fixture is that the aquatic fixture has 2 cords. they are otherwise identical)

so, you should look for a 6 lamp T-5 HO fixture. current, or sunlight supply are both middle of the road fixtures that will do the job effectively.
if you look on ebay, you might find a 6 bulb current nova extreme pro for a discounted price. i believe current sells their refurbs there.
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