T5 vs T8 in reef aquarium

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Jan Levine

Aquarium Advice Newbie
Oct 1, 2011
Hi all...new aquarist here
75 Gal tank with 120 lbs of 7 year old cured live rock...lots of 'shrooms and colorful growth < see attached>...much more grown in just the 4 weeks I had had it up with 12 fish..
Am about to buy some coral frags off Craigs list...have two 4' relector lamps with T8's in them...one blue other white
...Question....most coral advice says use T5s....but the fact that I have TWO T8s...is that more than enuf for most corals...


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From everything I have read, it won't be enough. I have two T5 54W and that isn't even enough. I am building a new 6 lamp T5.
+1 for 6xT5

Get ATI bulbs and the German reflectors. You'll be very happy

Absolutely wanted the ATI however, money is an issue at the moment. LOL Going to go with some off band (very good reviews so far) that I can get locally for $5.00/lamp cheaper than ATI on-line or $15.00/lamp cheaper than ATI purchased locally. It may not be as good but it will still be much better than the stock 2 lamp I have now. :)
T8s don't put out as much light nor can you get a reflector for it to utilize all the lumens that a T5HO can put out, so the PAR on a T8 is no where near as high and nowhere near as good at penetrating the water.

if money is tight just stick with the low light shrooms you have right now and once you can afford the T5s then go to a full out reef
Thanks to you both

Advise much appreciated...will go spring for the T5s b4 putting in the corals and will pist pix of results....Thanks again guys !
Nice tank so far! You will see you will love the new corals once you have the new lights!
Good luck and keep us posted ;)
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