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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,
I decided to move this to it's own thread instead of continuing to highjack someone else's ;-). I have a 45 tall that I am looking to light. I am trying to choose between the Nova Extreme 30" fixture (2x24 watt t5)

http://cgi.ebay.com/30-Current-USA-...6243832QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

or the Jebo 30" fixture (2x55w power compact)

http://cgi.ebay.com/AQUARIUM-LIGHT-...4535887QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

The prices are comparable. I know that t5 is more efficient, but the wattage here if very different. Is the advantage that t5 offers enough to make up the two-fold difference in wattage? This is for a terrarium, so the lighting requirements may not be as high as if I was setting up another planted tank for immersed growth. If you have other suggestions for similar money/effort, I am willing to listen, as well. I am familiar with ahsupply and have several of their kits, but I don't want to build my own enclosure this time. Thanks for any responses!

TB
 

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I'd suggest you forget the obsolete Power Compacts.

But to me the T5 bulbs must be Giesemann Midday to do what you have heard they do to plants. We can call all other T5HO bulb with the general name "Great Chinese Fluorescent Bulb" because all of them produce an unknown spectrum. Look how they are being sold - as "10 000 Kelvin" or "6500 Kelvin" for example. That's a very primitive way to compare bulbs for planted tank.

The Nova fixture will give you the option to buy Giesemann T5s some day. But you need to use them with individual reflectors to get the most results. Forget the wattage. If you get the German T5HO wpg and Kelvins do not matter.

--Nikolay
 

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I'm beginning to suspect Niko is the marketing director for Giesemann bulbs since he practically swears by it. ;) I haven't used the bulbs but if I were you I'd trust niko on this.
 

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im an advocate for these same bulbs niko talks about. i listened to him and bought the giesemanns and i have 48W t5ho over a 45 gallon tank which most consider low light...let me tell you that i have great results growing "high light" plants...example look at the plantfinder and tell me what ludwiga cuba and L. aromatica say about their lighting requirements...im growing them under this light and they are expressing the pretty reds that are desired...if thats not enough proof that these bulbs pack a punch then i dont know what else to tell you.

maybe some pressurized co2 and maybe different fert ammounts would make them more red...im very new at this hobby but taking the advice of guys like niko is making it more fun and definitely easier.
iphone camera...i know it sux but it will have to do.




i know its not the most impressive thing you have ever seen but FWIW.

btw, im not trying to hijack your thread, just showing you what these lights can do...i have 48W/45G so we are talking 1WPG here...thats why niko says "throw the wpg rule away" when working with these lights.
 

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Two "small" details:

Stuckintexas has a hexagonal tank. It's is like 26". tall. Actual depth is probably about 23" if we consider the substrate.

On top of that crazy height one of his Giesemann T5 bulbs does not have a reflector. 2 reflectors side by side could not fit over the weird shape tank. So he has one bulb with a reflector and the other one is a free Willy.

Try mounting 1 wpg of any bulb over a 2 ft. tall tank and grow the plants he grows. The Bacopa in that tank has leaves measuring close to 3/4.


lildark185,

I wish I was somehow associated with reefgeek. I've send so many people to them, it's unbelievable. I haven't heard anyone complain I gave them bad advice about the bulbs.

--Nikolay
 

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Have to say, the MidDay's are just one sick bulb. ;) I agree with niko on them. Nothing else I've used is the same, and the growth I get under them is incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great replies, guys! Thanks so much for the info. You have me sold on Giesemann T5s for sure! I think I will go with the Nova. The new version that DrsFosterSmith.com sells have individual reflectors, so I think it would do just fine and is still relatively inexpensive.

You guys have me convinced that I should replace my current CFs on my 90 with t5s, as well.

Stuckintexas, I have over 3x as many watts/gallon over my 90 as you do and my Cuba doesn't look anywhere close to that nice! The nodal spacing is what really impresses me. That is amazingly dense growth. Well done. I wouldn't mess with your ferts at all ;-)

Thanks again, folks. As always, this forum is a great resource!

TB
 

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You can see spaces between those nodes? haha, jk...they are tight, huh? i think so.

question, if you say you are sold on giesemann now (im happy for you, good choice) then why are you going with the nova? are you planning on swapping the bulbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good question. Eventually, I probably will. Like I said, it's for a terrarium for the time being, so I don't think the lighting requirements are quite as high as if I was trying for aquatic plants. If I am wrong, then I can always rebulb with Giesemanns right away. I mainly wanted to make sure that the hardware was adequate for higher-end tasks in the future.

I think I will be replacing the bulbs in my 90 gallon with the Geisseman's, as well, once they get a bit older. Eventually, I would like to replace my CFs (also over the same tank) with t5 fixtures and Giesemanns, but that will have to wait for a while until funds replenish :)
 

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I went from a Jebo 4x36w PC to a 2x54w and 1x54w Hagen T5 HO set up about 6 months ago. The T5's blow the doors off the PC. Even at first when I only had the one 2x54w T5 next to the Jebo 4x36w the T5 looked about 20% brighter even though it was 25% less watts of light bulb-wise.
 

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Good question. Eventually, I probably will. Like I said, it's for a terrarium for the time being, so I don't think the lighting requirements are quite as high as if I was trying for aquatic plants. If I am wrong, then I can always rebulb with Giesemanns right away. I mainly wanted to make sure that the hardware was adequate for higher-end tasks in the future.

I think I will be replacing the bulbs in my 90 gallon with the Geisseman's, as well, once they get a bit older. Eventually, I would like to replace my CFs (also over the same tank) with t5 fixtures and Giesemanns, but that will have to wait for a while until funds replenish :)
remember you wont need as much total wattage when you go with t5ho...maybe that will save you some cash, maybe not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE: I ordered the Nova Extreme 30" 2x24watt t5 fixture from DrsFosterSmith.com. As usual, the order was well handled and shipped quickly from the Docs. However, when I got the fixture, there is a single (albeit parabolic!) reflector that covers both bulbs. I thought maybe they shipped me an older model so I emailed the Docs. They called me on the phone and said that they had talked to the manufacturer (Current USA) and that the company said that the parabolic reflector was what they meant by individual reflectors. The Docs, of course, offered to take the fixture back, and I may take them up on it - I haven't decided. I am very fond of it. It looks great, I just feel like I got rooked.

Here is the language on the DrsFosterSmith.com website (straight from Current USA, according to the Docs). You be the judge...

"Single light reflectors (SLR) increase useable light by 20%! Enjoy the benefits of the popular Nova Extreme T-5 Fixtures now enhanced with true individual reflectors."
 

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That does suck about the reflectors, but it won't matter that much with the terrarium. If it looks good, I would keep it. I keep poison dart frogs in very heavily planted terrariums, and the 24in tall tank that they're in only has two 23w spiral pc bulbs in them. On an aquarium, this would be less light than a 10IN deep tank would need to even grow vals. In a terrarium, you don't lose very much light at all since there is no water to defract the light. You definitely will not have any problem with T5 lights on the tank even if they only share one reflector. I wouldn't worry about it if you like how it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am in the process of getting this resolved. Current USA says that it sounds like I got one of their old models. I am trying to get DrsFosterSmith.com to change it out for what they say is in the ad. The new one actually does have crimps in the reflector that act as individual reflectors. They also have a better set of legs to fit on the tank. My unit has neither of these modifications. I think I just received an old unit that was sitting on the shelves at DrsFosterSmith.com. I will post again if and when I get this resolved.
 
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