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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I got some 29 gallons(the standard 29 over 20 long) I am pulling from storage now that I have a bigger house. I don't seem to be able to decide between a 65 watt power compact flourescent or a double t5 48 watts. I have been told the t5s would be better as they would penetrate to the bottom better. I realize that watts does not necessary tranfer to light output but I don't get how the t5's penetration would be different. This would seem to be a reflector issue. Since I need to get about 5 of these currently and another 7 or 8 later whatever I liked to get it right the first time. The lights I was looking at are about 70 dollars each. Someone with both advice (or any good advice) would be much appreciated. Is there a better way for not a whole bunch more? Should I wait and get the four strip lights? Thanks I am now just about in analysis paralysis.
 

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A power compact bulb is going to put out a lot more heat and it will limit your selection to using just one bulb. 48Watts of high output (HO) T5 lighting used in conjunction with good reflectors, preferrably individual reflectors, will trump a 65 PC light any day of the week. The dual T5 configuration will produce less heat and it will allow you to tune into your preferred color as you can use two different colored bulbs. I currently use 48 W of T5 over two tanks with one 8K aquasun and one 10K reef bulbs and I get superb light penetration and color rendition. I am still amazed at how well my reds pop.

T5 all the way baby!
 

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Why go t5 HO, why not just t5 NO? My understanding is the increased light from t5's is due to the bulb being so small allowing almost all of the light output to be directed / reflected into the tank. I have the coralife t5 freshwater fixtures over a 20 long, 2 of them, and with all the bulbs running it is bright.

I'd like to see someone estimate the wpg equivalent of the t5's. My amateur eyeball only evaluation is that these are 1.5 times brighter then a CF of the same wattage.
 

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Brighter is one thing, for sure T5HO are brighter especially if you use them with the individual reflectors. But if you use Giesemann Midday T5HO you can grow plants with much less wpg. No CF bulb has such a spectrum.

The only reason to choose a CF over a T5HO is the size of the tank. 20" and shorter tanks can't accomodate a T5HO. Unless it's some kind of Chinese T5HO that you really don't even want to consider.

--Nikolay
 

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T5 ho is better but power compacts are ok too. If you want a better light go with t5, if you are trying to save $$$ go with compacts.
 

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a NO T5 lamp (48") is ~36W, a HO lamp is 54W. going HO means more light with less lamps. and if you can provide individual reflectors, you get even more light.

the WPG rule is thrown out the window here, but i still followed it when figuring out how many lamps to put into my DIY canopy.

the best way to figure out how much light is being produced is having a light meter in the middle of the tank on top of the substrate. empty of water of course :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys uh people got be correct nowdays. I had google but really had not found a good concise explanation coupled with experience. I so leary of advice from anyone at any store. I got married about thirteen years ago and for the most part put up my aquariums. A few years back we bought a much larger house on six acres. I missed my aquartic life. Back then I had almost 2000 gallons of aquariums( in the 90's). Thanks again for the sweet holiday present of good advice. Wise advice is the best present if taken one can get. I hope all has a good holiday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cory keeper
you have confused me did you mean t5no for one instead of t5ho
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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I've got the 18 inch version of the Current USA T5 - I've had it for about 6 months and no complaints.

I've got both t5's and PC's and would go with t5's any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks
I just brought 3(to make sure I like them) before I buy the rest. The only thing thats bothers me now is that ship with 10k bulbs. I was sought of wanting 6.7k bulb but I guess I will try and see how plants do.
 

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You should have waited a little bit for me to inform you that current packages the same fixture in a freshwater bulb combo which includes a 8k and 10k bulb instead of an actinic. You might call up Marine Depot and see if they can switch you out for the "freshwater" version of the same fixture.

This is what you want

 

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Where do you guys buy reflector material or reflectors? Wouldn't wrapping a current/crappy reflector smoothly with tin foil, make it perform a lot better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sorry
Coralite I been waiting to jump for a few weeks. However marineland was out and I went to here
http://www.aquaticexchange.com/product_info.php?products_id=1976
Not having dealt with them it I put it on Disvover card. They did show that it for freshwater but with a 10k light. I guess I could always put the new bulbs on ebay(hate to support them) and get something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh I forgot to mention it was $180.77 including shipping(close to St Louis, Mo.} for the three I bought. Marinedepot would have been $210 . Being cheaper didn't hurt their case and they supposedly have stock. I feel better when I see them ship thro, and then be able to look them over, I bought too much mail order to believe the in stock thing until I get them in a reasonable time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
hey Chris
before deciding to buy I was thinking to build. I had look at some mirrored wall tile at the local lumber yards. I thought I mention this because they were a second surface mirror(the mirror on the back side}. Hey for a really different approach and have everyone thinking you crazy anyway { like me} how about all those shiny bad burnt cds and dvds. You could even heat them and shape them the way you want. Even easier put your favourites on them and leave them in your car over a form, guarantee to melt in nothing flat(mutter mutter @#[email protected]#$)
 
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