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Old 05-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
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T5HO lighting?

So I'm looking into getting a T5 light for my 29 gal planted tank. Any suggestions on what's good and worth the money?
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:05 AM   #2
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I know that aquaticlife, Hagen glo, and catalina make T5HO fixtures with excellent quality reflectors... Well that's what I've read anyways. What type of plants are you planning to grow? You thinking of going high tech with co2 injection?
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:22 AM   #3
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I have an aquatic life 36" and I'm very happy with it. With that said, the reflectors are not individual reflectors! It is a single reflector, molded to the 4 bulbs. And the fixture is faily expensive.. Mine was $350.

I cannot speak for the quality of Odyssea but people have been getting good results with those too. But seems to be a toss up. So if you are willing to take the gamble, An odyssea fixture is basically an aquatic life knock off from china (even with timer).
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g View Post
I know that aquaticlife, Hagen glo, and catalina make T5HO fixtures with excellent quality reflectors... Well that's what I've read anyways. What type of plants are you planning to grow? You thinking of going high tech with co2 injection?
Well I have a few low light plants and some high light plants like a red rotala, water wistera, red tiger lotus and dwarf grass. And my flora max isn't cutting it. I am do flourish ferts along with root tabs and do have a Hagen CO2 canister deal going. I mean its not to hi-tech but I feel it gets the job done.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoobLis View Post
I have an aquatic life 36" and I'm very happy with it. With that said, the reflectors are not individual reflectors! It is a single reflector, molded to the 4 bulbs. And the fixture is faily expensive.. Mine was $350.

I cannot speak for the quality of Odyssea but people have been getting good results with those too. But seems to be a toss up. So if you are willing to take the gamble, An odyssea fixture is basically an aquatic life knock off from china (even with timer).
So I was looking into getting an aquaticlife 30". I found one on amazon that's just under a $100. Should I be trusting amazon for something like this? And thanks for your input!
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Printerhands View Post

Well I have a few low light plants and some high light plants like a red rotala, water wistera, red tiger lotus and dwarf grass. And my flora max isn't cutting it. I am do flourish ferts along with root tabs and do have a Hagen CO2 canister deal going. I mean its not to hi-tech but I feel it gets the job done.
I use floramax and it does fine. Its essentially eco complete and it has a great track record. Its no ADA aqua soil, but certainly gets the job done. The problem might be more your lighting (hence this thread), ferts, and inadequate co2 throughput. That Hagen co2 is a yeast/sugar co2 generator right? If you don't upgrade to pressurized co2 just yet, you should supplement that co2 system you're using with a liquid carbon like Excel or Glut to compensate. Are you monitoring co2 saturation/dissolution with a drop checker?

Maybe consider going with dry ferts like GLA's PPS-Pro package to get a more comprehensive ferts regimen going.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g View Post

I use floramax and it does fine. Its essentially eco complete and it has a great track record. Its no ADA aqua soil, but certainly gets the job done. The problem might be more your lighting (hence this thread), ferts, and inadequate co2 throughput. That Hagen co2 is a yeast/sugar co2 generator right? If you don't upgrade to pressurized co2 just yet, you should supplement that co2 system you're using with a liquid carbon like Excel or Glut to compensate. Are you monitoring co2 saturation/dissolution with a drop checker?

Maybe consider going with dry ferts like GLA's PPS-Pro package to get a more comprehensive ferts regimen going.
Alright so maybe I will give you my setup. That might help you help me more.
I'm using an under gravel heater cable with 20lbs of white sand on top of that and the 20lbs of Eco complete and another 10lbs of black sand. I have 10 root tabs through out the tank. My yeast/sugar co2 injection does about 7 bubbles a min through a drop checker. I'm dosing with flourish potassium and iron and just regular. I have your typical submersible heater and then just a flora max Florissant bulb going for about 10 hours with 1 1/2 break where it shuts off. Now from what I have heard is that you can use all the ferts you want but if you don't have the proper lighting the plants won't go anywhere.

Now I have had a planted tank about 4 years ago and it did just fine with the flora max bulb. By I think before I didn't have any high light plants like I do now.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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Ohhh... "flora max" is a light! I thought you meant "floramax" as in the substrate that is exactly like Eco Complete.

Yes... lighting is an important component to growing plants. By all means, upgrade.. but in terms of your co2 generator... 7 bubbles a minute is really REALLY low! You need like 1 bps at least. A drop checker is a visual device you fill with a pH reagent solution and 4dkh. It reacts to the pH in the water to give you a visual estimate of how much actual co2 is being diffused into the water. For example, the drop checker will be blue if there's not enough co2, green with just enough, and yellow when there's too much. I suspect with 7 bubbles per minute, you'll be in the dark blue. If you upgrade your lighting to the dual t5ho fixture, especially with good reflectors, you'll need to upgrade that co2 system or supplement your current system with Excel (or Glut).
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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So I went ahead and got a corallife T5 light at the lfs. It's a dual bulb, 6700K and a colormax. So hopefully that helps out a lot. I had also gotten the excel too. Just not ready to upgrade my CO2 yet. I might check into a drop checker though.

And to correct myself the bulb I was using was a flora sun by zoo meds.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Isn't the coralife T5 a NO (normal output) rather than a HO (high output) fixture?
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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**** I didn't think of that. It probably is since I didn't see the HO. So will I still be lacking in light then?
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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It will probably put you in the low to low end of medium lighting... I recall reading somewhere that it would be more cost effective to get a single bulb T5HO (like a Hagen Glo), rather than a dual T5NO because the light output of a good quality reflector will beat it. Plus having to replace the NO bulbs annually will get costly in ratio to the amount of light you're actually getting. I also recall reading that the coralife T5NO is the same as the Aqueon T5NO... both use uncommon bulb sizes that forces you to buy from them rather than having the almost endless options of standardized T5HO bulb sizes. I'd return it to be honest... you'd be better off with a dual bulb T5HO from Odyssea.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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Alright. Thanks. I will have to do so then.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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The Aquatic Life T5HO will have better reflectors than the Odyssea. However, the trade-off is the Odyssea, while having mediocre reflectors, is inexpensive and comes with 2 bulbs from Aqua traders.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Yeah and I was looking at the aquatic life on amazon and was thinking of going with that one. And from what I found in the odyssea is that it doesn't come in a 30". Not that it is that important.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
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You might want to look at Fishneedit.com...they have cheaper fixtures, in money and in quality but they work well.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #17
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I will have to check into that. But I had just called my lfs and asked what they had for t5ho. And well I can't exchange my light in unless it is defective. So I'm stuck with what I got for now. I'm sure it will work just dandy, just maybe a bit more costly with buying bulbs every year.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:10 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear that.. That's a terrible return/exchange policy. Good luck with the new light.

Edit:
I'm not sure what the inside of the fixture looks like, but you might be able to increase its intensity by adding in some reflectors, maybe even painting the inside white as some do with other non-HO lighting. You can research that if you feel the intensity is lacking.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #19
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I was trying to research my suggestion just now and stumbled upon this disconcerting thread on the 30" coralife t5no... Hope yours doesn't encounter problems like these guys...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=173692

Edit: so after skimming a few pages on that thread, I'd recommend, since the LFS won't take it back, try to determine when your fixture was built. Apparently the older units, which can sit on a LFS's shelf for years, have design flaws that can burn out bulbs, stop working prematurely, and/or melt the splash guard. The solution, if you have an older model, is to contact Coralife directly and try to get a newer model switched out.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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Alright will do. Man thanks for all the help. You have been a saint with this.
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