Leathers finally opening

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jun 15, 2011
I have had a PC light with 2 55 watt bulbs in my tank for about 3 months now and my leathers have always been shrunk down and a dark brown/tan color. I added a 65 watt PC fixture to my tank, so now I have 175 watts total. My leathers are finally opening up and i just added the new light today! Why is this?
I didn't think that PC light was good for corals... recommended for fish only tanks. It is more expensive but if you switched to T5HO lights I'm sure you would see an even bigger difference.
I was looking to switch 4 24w T5 unit, but I would only have 96w then, and i have 175 now. I would add more the 4 T5's but it simply wont fit. So stay with the 175 watts of PC or 96 watts of T5?
What size tank do you have?

96w of T5HO is WAY better than 175w of PC lighting IMO. They are in a different class of lighting.
4 T5HO should let you do any coral in that size tank I think.

I really don't have experience with PC lighting and hope someone else will chime in here as well but I'm just relaying what I have read in the past. Every time I've seen someone mention PC lighting everyone asked if it was fish only or coral and if they mentioned coral they recommended not using PC lighting. I say this because I could be wrong since I have not first hand experience with them.
PCs aren't terrible, but T5s blow them out of the water for sure.

I kept softies in my biocube (know someone who's keeping lps currently) with no problems.

2g2ner: If you're going to get the 4bulb T5HO fixture, get a 30" one. I don't know of many but I do know of one that would be great for you (I plug them all the time) Cheap for what you're getting for sure, this fixture would allow you to keep a great variety of corals

30in 4Bulbs fixtures
I know i keep asking but it just seems hard to believe 96w is better then 175w. is there that much of a difference? and would i be able to put corals in that require more moderate to high light?
Yes you definitely would be able to keep those corals, granted you would have to put them higher up in the tank but you'd be able to keep them.

The difference is efficieny, PC bulbs were desgined poorly in that they lose a lot of light inside the bulb itself from restrike and they aren't as efficient in putting the energy into light instead of heat, etc.

Reference, I had 48w PC lighting over my tank, now I have just 36w and I'll be able to keep much higher light corals with no issue where before I wouldn't have even thought of it.

Watts are no matter any more in the aquarium lighting, especially since certain LED fixtures (certain one I'm referencing being 21w) is comparable in light ouput (intensity, for simplicity's sake) to a 150w MH in a certain tank/area
Wow thats a big difference. I have been into the saltwater seen for about 7 years now and i had a 75 gallon tank, and when i had that, PC were the big thing and the best! So I guess im behind the curve big time!
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