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Old 03-16-2005, 12:11 AM   #1
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T5 setup users? what to do?

hI,
this is to all the T5 users out there.....I have a 55gall and want to start a reef tank started with any coral but the clams and sps.....is this set up the best i can get for around 350 dollars or is it overkill....and are the reflectors that come with this set crap? Ive done lots of reading of everyones thoughts on lights for a reef tank and this is what i have come up with....

CoralVue 48" Dual T-5 Retro Kit.
Includes reflector, 4 bulbs, electronic ballast,
waterproof endcaps, and power cord.

to see image:
http://www.captivereefs.com/captive...ID=LT-CVT5RK4-4

I have read about the slr relectors and the icecap 660 ballast and i am most likely going to replace the ones they come with....

or will 4-48 inch VHO's with the icecap660 be better?

who has T5's and likes them.....what would you do with about $350 dollars to spend on a lighting system for a 55gallon.....someone please make up my mind for me?
I am overflowing with data!

nico

thanks...
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:46 AM   #2
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
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I agree with Nico. I'm also confused. I'll be doing a 120gal tank and can't figure out what kind of lighting to get. Whats the big deal behind the icecaps?

Also, does anyone why the reflectors are metal not real mirrors..? I would guess that the a real mirror would reflect a ton more light which is what everyone's trying to do, right?

TIA!
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:21 AM   #4
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The metal is polished and is acutally better than a mirror. Mirrors have imperfections and quite frankly are heavyer than a light weight polished metal reflector. In addition the reflector can be angled easily allowing for maxium and focused reflectivity.

IceCaps is the best ballast for florecent bulbs on the market. It can autodetect NO,HO,VHO,PC and T5 bulbs and send the approprate conditioned electricty to the bulbs. By getting at the very least the IceCap660 ballast you can maximize your flexability by being able to simply switch out endcaps and bulbs should you want to change bulb types.

When it all comes down to it the lighting we pick is as much a personal choice as anything else. Some love VHO while others hate VHO. Some will tell you something like "Once you see MH you wont want anything else.", etc. I personally have PC on one tank and VHO on another and if I where to do it over again I would do VHO on both. The bulbs last longer and quite frankly I like the color output of the VHO's as compaired to my PC's. Unlike this thread is asking for I dont have T5 experence nor have I seen a tank with working T5 lights.
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:12 AM   #5
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Ahh, so that explains the mirrors.. And it's cool that with Icecaps you don't need to buy a new ballast if you decide to swap from HO to, say, VHO. But, honestly, how often does the 'average' person decide to swap lighting..?

I guess I don't really know what the price difference is on an icecap versus a 'normal' ballast but I'm not too sure I would pay extra for icecaps. I doubt that in a year or two (or more) that I would decide to change my lights (maybe I would add lights and more ballasts but not change). Besides, in a year or two, who knows what will be out there for lighting... Icecaps might be old technology by then.

However, T5 lights sound like their the way to go being the new technology which will hopefully be around for some time.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:28 PM   #6
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as long as the t-5 reflectors are "parabolic," i wouldn't hesitate to point you in the direction of the t-5's. just be careful because some sites sub different reflectors, which is probably more important than the lights themselves. the t-5 tek light system uses the good parabolic reflectors. i have 90gal w/ 6x54w and it is unbelievably bright. tank is still cycling though.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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I dont see Icecap getting ousted anytime soon from the top of the florecent ballast world. They have been the ballast to have for the last 5 years and I see them being in that spot for another 5 easily.
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