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Old 11-14-2010, 09:29 PM   #11
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If you have a fixture with an electronic ballast, it will work with either T8 or T12. <The endcaps & length are identical between T8 & T12, so they are physically interchangeable.> The electronic ballast and the T8's are both more efficient. They might cost a few bucks more, but you will save that in electricity in no time. <A T8 is about 15% more efficient than the T12.>

If you get an old style T12 with an electro-magnetic ballast (or worst yet, the big old magnectic ballasts), you will have to swap out the ballast to run T8. < Not only are the old ballasts big, heavy & inefficient, they also hum ... I would avoid those at all cost!>

T8's are the most cost efficient way to light a tank. Plain T5's are prob not that much better & is not worth the extra cost IMO. If you want to go up from T8, get T5-HO's with a good reflector.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:06 AM   #12
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Don't confuse teh T5s that you buy at the depot with the T5s we use for reef lighting. those are T5HO.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:47 AM   #13
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From what I can see there is no particular reason to buy T5's unless a T8 bulb wouldn't give you enough light for the width of space you have under your hood, or your vertical space is limited too.

If intensity of light isn't an issue then just go with a T8. I have the opposite problem, T8's are too bright!
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