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Old 04-18-2015, 07:47 PM   #1
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T5 vs. MH vs. LED

Well the title says it all...which do you prefer, and why?

Which lighting have you seen the best growth from?

I know most people love LED, but in my quest to find the best lighting a lot of people are using T5 and MH mixed, and hate LED.

I was looking at the Hydra LEDS but it seems like T5 has better growth from what people have said that I've asked.

Pictures would be appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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My reef tank runs fully off of LEDs. Great growth without issues. With wide optics, LEDs will have the same coverage as bulbed units.
That said, there isn't anything wrong with t5ho besides needing 6-8 bulbs to support high intensity corals and anemones.
Then there is mh. Great growth, but run hot. People run fans and even chillers to keep their tanks cool enough from turning into a sauna.


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Old 04-18-2015, 08:50 PM   #3
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My reef tank runs fully off of LEDs. Great growth without issues. With wide optics, LEDs will have the same coverage as bulbed units.
That said, there isn't anything wrong with t5ho besides needing 6-8 bulbs to support high intensity corals and anemones.
Then there is mh. Great growth, but run hot. People run fans and even chillers to keep their tanks cool enough from turning into a sauna.


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Yes, heat is an issue with T5 and MH, have you had any issues with hair algae or anything because of the LED?

What brand LED are you using?
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:55 PM   #4
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The people that say metal halides and t5's are the best lighting are simply not educated on LEDs. Replacing expensive lamps, heat, much higher electricity costs, and spectrum shifts are what you get from halides and T5s.
PAR is PAR, no matter what light source you are using. If you have enough PAR, corals will grow. The speed in which they grow depends on multiple things. In my experience, my corals have grown the same under all three light sources. I also use a PAR meter regularly, so maybe this is what the trouble was with the folks who "hate leds".
The bottom line is that many companies are putting all their resources into LED technology, and putting the other, inferior lighting on the back burner. This isn't just with the hobby, it's with every type of lighting, from street lights to refrigerators to autos...the list is endless.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #5
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The people that say metal halides and t5's are the best lighting are simply not educated on LEDs. Replacing expensive lamps, heat, much higher electricity costs, and spectrum shifts are what you get from halides and T5s.
PAR is PAR, no matter what light source you are using. If you have enough PAR, corals will grow. The speed in which they grow depends on multiple things. In my experience, my corals have grown the same under all three light sources. I also use a PAR meter regularly, so maybe this is what the trouble was with the folks who "hate leds".
The bottom line is that many companies are putting all their resources into LED technology, and putting the other, inferior lighting on the back burner. This isn't just with the hobby, it's with every type of lighting, from street lights to refrigerators to autos...the list is endless.

I see it the same way, PAR is PAR, no matter what source it originates from. T5 and MH are just as expensive to start up and the continuos 6 month bulb replacment would get old fast, which is why I never wanted to mess with that type of lighting.

So, it is seeming as LED is the way to go, no matter what some say, just the bulb replacment makes me want to go LED.

What brand LED is the best? I've been looking at the Hydras, any reviews on them?
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:37 PM   #6
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I don't have any experience with them yet, but a friend of mine bought a few of the SOL Super Blue units a few years ago and he loves them.
I do think Ecotech radion is the best though. Not personal experience, but know some folks that have them.
I'm a price shopper myself, so I use the Ebay hoopty fixtures. They can't be beaten for the price, and they grow coral quite well.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:46 PM   #7
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Are you talking about then165 W for 60 on eBay?
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:57 PM   #8
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Yes. I didn't see them for 60 though. Usually around 90-100 bucks or so shipped.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:06 AM   #9
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God I do love my Radions...Pricey though. The taos are a great priced option.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:11 AM   #10
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LED may have lots of advantages but when it comes to simplicity and the visual effect I still prefer T5. You need to pick the right LED brand since they are not created equal.
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