Help With Lighting (Retrofit)

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Dec 20, 2005
Warrensburg, IL
Hey all,

After a bunch of research, I have found that a lighting fixture isn't going to work for me as I have a canopy, and most of the High output lights will take about 11.5" width, which would take up the entire width under the canopy.

I am now looking at Retro Fit lighting.

I have found that I can get the T-12 Lights which is what I see most major LFS using for their instore lights, for about $150 which will run 4 110w T-12 VHO Bulbs.

I was wonder what everyone's thoughts were on the T-12 VHO lighting?

I know Metal Halide's run alot hotter, CF's run hotter, don't last as long, and are expensive.

But before i ran out and bought T-12 I wanted to see what others know about them?


Melosu runs VHO lights on his tank, so I'm sure he will be by to comment. I'd say either VHO or T5 would be a good option for you. T5 also run hot, but not near as hot as MH. T5 also penetrates well vs. MH. I don't know how well they do as compared to VHO. Probably quite similar.
Thanks for the Reply.

I have been reading a little more on the VHO T-12's, and it sounds like it's the best way to go. To Get the same wattage out of T-5's It would take 2x more lights.

Does anyone have info on the internal reflectors vs extrenal type?

I am looking at the Company URI, which Offers an Internal 180 Degree Reflector. For me, that would be better only because I have space restrictions, and an external reflector would take up more room. However LiveAquaria offers an external reflector that will hold 4 T-12's and fit in a 8.5" width, so I could make that work if it is alot better than the internal reflectors..

I am looking at 4 110watt VHO t-12's. Probably 2 Super Actinic, and 2 White Actinic. They offer Super Actincs, Actinic White 50/50 or Aquasun bulbs, Does anyone have input on Which of these is best?


TheChad said:
Does anyone have info on the internal reflectors vs extrenal type?

I buy my VHO bulbs from URI. They have the internal reflectors and do a good job of focusing the light into your tank. I dont have a canopy so to me the internal reflectors help keep the light from blinding others in the room as the light is focused into the tank which means more light in the tank and not in your room. I love my VHO lights and I do use the super actinic and 50/50. I also do use a external reflector also but more to hide the bulbs then reflective use since I dont have a canopy. Here is a pic of my tank so as to see the color hue of my lights.


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