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Old 05-23-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
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T5 vs LED for Freshwater Planted Tank

I know there is another thread on this, but I felt like it was mostly dealing with saltwater aquariums, and I just want a simple answer. I plan on setting up a new planted freshwater tank that will require high light. Which should I go with and why? Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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If you're willing to build the fixture yourself, it's hard to beat LED. Check out the LED link in my signature to see my high-light planted tank using LEDs.

Here's my list of reasons to go LED:

1. Energy savings - I'm using 30W of LEDs on my 20H. I'd have to use two or three times the wattage if I was using T5HO lights to achieve the same results.

2. No bulb replacement - LEDs last much longer than T5HO bulbs. My LEDs are rated for to put out at least 70% of their original output for 50,000 hours.

3. Flexibility - LEDs are small and don't require reflectors, so you can creatively pack a lot of light into tight spaces. You can also pull off cool sunrise/sunset effects if you're good with microcontrollers.

4. Spectral output - Plants like red and blue light. LEDs don't put out much light in the yellow-green spectrum that algae likes and plants don't.
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