Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures? - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 02-21-2010, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Hi all,

I'm looking to get a HO T5 fixture, 36", w/ two bulbs (39w each) for my 30g tank. I run low-tech, soil under-layer planted tanks.

I'm trying to decide between the Coralife Aqualight T5 HO Dual Fixture and the Aquatic Life Dual Lamp T5 HO fixture.

The Coralife uses two 39w HO T5 lamps, has parabolic reflectors, and a nice design. I would have to swap out the lamps though, since it comes with an Actinic and a 10,000 K lamp.

The AquaticLife fixture also runs two 39w HO T5 lamps, has parabolic reflectors and a somewhat boxy design. It comes with one 6,000 K and one "650 nm" lamp, which I'm thinking (hoping?) may be the pinkish one, similar to the "GE 9350" lamp which gives pleasing visual results.

Anyhow, do any of you have some feedback on these different fixtures? I've read one account where someone said their AquaticLife (running 4 HO T5 lamps) was silent. That's a big plus in my book.

Specific Things which I'm wondering about are

1) Efficiency of the reflector. The AquaticLife ones look a little more parabolic than the Coralife one, and some of Coralife's other fixtures pack lamps into a rectangular opening, creating a LOT of restrike and heat, making me wonder how seriously they "get" the efficiency of reflectors. (My 24" 55 w CF which hubby is trying to repair comes to mind; most of the light is just from the downward facing side of the lamp, grr)

2) SOUND. Neither unit has a fan, but my hubby is an audiophile, and uber-sensitive to humming ballasts and noises. I am sensitive to the sound as well, but it doesn't *quite* make me crawl the walls, LOL. Aside - I'm already slated to get rid of a new Odyssea 24" fixture, because it has two relatively loud fans, and is intolerable in the living room. We even refer to it as the "airplane".

3) Quality of the ballasts - If I were more of a DIY-er, I've read that the "Workhorse" brand ballasts are really solid and reliable. Any feedback on the longevity of these two fixtures?

Thanks VERY Much!
-Jane

Last edited by Jane in Upton; 02-21-2010 at 10:17 AM.. Reason: oops
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Also don't forget about Catalina's 2x39. Great reflectors and ballasts, also you can select what bulbs you want when you order it.

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/prod...c042309de36307
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

I got the coralife t5ho 36" with twin 6700K's in it, it fits under the canopy(barely)but is vented and well it works just fine, I dont like how you have to disassemble the unit to remove the plastic cover to replace bulbs but they are decent lights.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Hi,

Thanks for the quick responses!

I don't see the dual T5 HO Coralife ones offered with anything other than the "marine" lamps - Actinic and a 10,000 K. Did you swap yours out, WhiteDevil? And... good to know about having to disassembling the unit to change bulbs.

And Thanks, CraigThor, for the link to Catalina Aquarium - I wasn't even aware of them, but they look like they have good reflectors, and a 5 yr warranty on the ballast is impressive.

Thanks very much! I appreciate any others w/ opinions, as well!
-Jane
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane in Upton View Post
Hi,

Thanks for the quick responses!

I don't see the dual T5 HO Coralife ones offered with anything other than the "marine" lamps - Actinic and a 10,000 K. Did you swap yours out, WhiteDevil? And... good to know about having to disassembling the unit to change bulbs.

And Thanks, CraigThor, for the link to Catalina Aquarium - I wasn't even aware of them, but they look like they have good reflectors, and a 5 yr warranty on the ballast is impressive.

Thanks very much! I appreciate any others w/ opinions, as well!
-Jane
No problem there are alot of users that love this brand of light over at plantedtank.net, They are built nice and solid looking though, you can also get 4x39 and alot of other options if you look through there T5HO section. Choice of bulbs are 6700, 10000, plant gro, actinic they can use what ever you tell them too.

Craig
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigThor View Post
Also don't forget about Catalina's 2x39. Great reflectors and ballasts, also you can select what bulbs you want when you order it.

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/prod...c042309de36307
I have three Catalina lighting systems...great price, great quality, great customer service. I don't think I've ever read a "bad" thread about them.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Thanks so much!

The Catalina ones do look nice.....

One final question - are the ballasts quiet? My hubby is super audio-sensitive. I tease him that he can hear those "silent dog whistle" things, LOL!

Thanks very much you guys!
-Jane
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

I have two in the same room, no sound coming from them at all.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

Thanks very much London! Sound is a key factor here since this tank is in the living room.

I'm going to go with the Catalina fixture. The warranty on the ballast says these folks stand behind their products, and I was really impressed with the sense I got from the website that these folks really understand lighting objectives.

Thanks very much for all the input!
-Jane
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?

No problem I like to spend other peoples money its cheaper for me, uuhhhh guess not working on a large tank project now that is over budget...
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