MH Light, T5 Lights, or CF lights???

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by sandman, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. sandman

    sandman

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    I am looking into some new higher powered lighting for my tank. I want lighting that will be good for coral growing. I was told wave length matters more than watts when growing, then I was told that wattage is most important and 3-4/gallon is ideal for growing all corals. So what is it?

    I am looking into T5 or Cf if there is a difference? I am afraid MH will be too hot in my house. I have felt them in a closet before and they are really hot. These 2 are the one's in particular I am interested in. Can you tell me if they are any good..

    36" Power Compact Aquarium Light Hood 192W Reef tank | eBay

    36" 156W AQUARIUM LIGHT T5 HO HOOD REEF FISH SALTWATER | eBay

    I like the first one except it has 3 switches and 3 power cords where as the other one only has one cord and 2 switches.

    One thing I have been learning in this hobby is that everyone has there own methods, own ways and own testimonials. I think I take in all the advice and try to make the best decision.
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  2. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    MH in a closet...hmmmm....anyway I like the option of multiple power cords because you can have them on seperate timers. for example you might want to run actinics only at the beginning and end of the light cycle, but maybe in between you want them all on or just a 10000K. generally speaking 4W per gallon should be fine. Technically speaking what really matters aside from the right color or wavelength is the amount of lumens or how far the light penetrates into the tank. The lights you listed above should be fine for most corals. I use a MH for SPS. some folks here will have some good input.
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  3. sandman

    AmberSunrise

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    I went with t5 because I love the huge color selections and they are less expensive than MH.

    The good thing about the extra cords is that you can plug them into a separate timer if you want each bulb to come on at different times. For instance you can do dusk and dawn with a single purple bulb so that you get different looks and colors from your corals.

    What kind of corals do you want? I actually only have about 2 watts per gallon and all my corals are healthy but I don't have high demanding corals.
     
    AmberSunrise, Aug 1, 2011
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  4. sandman

    AmberSunrise

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    Irensing.....jinx lol
     
    AmberSunrise, Aug 1, 2011
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  5. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    Lol!!!
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  6. sandman

    sandman

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    lol..closet..it wasn't mine.. haha. I like your timer theory, i never thought of some corals or fish needing different lights or maybe all at certain times.

    My tank is 25" deep so what kind of lumens or would penetrate the water and provide a good wavelength?

    By the way what is SPS? I am not familiar with all the acronyms yet. i think LFS would be local fish store
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  7. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    SPS = small polyp stony
    LPS = large polyp stony

    25" with those lights would be fine. If you're going to have a mixed coral tank then you put the high light demanding corals up high and the low ones at the bottom
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  8. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    this is really un-necessary for you to know at this point and most reefers don't think twice about it so I probably shouldn't have brought it up. The amount of lumens is measured with a par meter. Check out this link and scroll the the middle of the par measurements. Mr. Saltwater Tank’s LED Experiment This is a comparison between MH and LED. You can see that an LED ballast that is a 1/4 of the power of MH has pretty good penetration, but it is directional (bright light only below the ballast). The T5, VHO, CFs will not be directional like an LED. they will fill the whole tank. In short, because of all the knowns (light type, tank size for a given amount of water, etc.) watts/gallon works. Also, when I first started I had the 24" version of the first link up top. I ran a 10000K in one and a 10000K/actinic combo in the other.
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  9. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    also the little blue night lights are cool. I don't run them all night, just til about 330 in teh AM. The night lights can help stimulate nocturnal activity. when i started using them my coral banded shrimp started to breed regularly.
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  10. sandman

    sandman

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    thanks for the video above. Very interesting and informative. i think I will go with the Fixture with 3 cords for now. Plus I can change bulbs and colors in the future, when I become a little more experienced, depending on the coral I will grow.
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  11. sandman

    irensing Controversial Reefer

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    keep in mind you can't change the bulb type, just the color
     
    irensing, Aug 1, 2011
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  12. sandman

    sandman

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    What reason would I want to change the bulb type? I know I'm limited to the wattage.
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  13. sandman

    little_fish Moderator

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    You would be much better of with the t5 lights because those bulbs put off so much more usable wattage than the pc ligthting
     
    little_fish, Aug 1, 2011
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  14. sandman

    sandman

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    Do you mean the 156W T5 would be better then the 192W CF style light or are these the same kinds ok lights? Both appear to use flouresent tube lighting. Just one is a single light while the other one looks to be one light with about 2-4 tubes on it.
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  15. sandman

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    They probably put out about the same light but the T5 is obviously more energy efficient and produces less heat.
     
    Sir Alex, Aug 1, 2011
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  16. sandman

    little_fish Moderator

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    the fewer watts of t5 lighting will give your corals more usable lights than the higher wattage of pc lighting.
     
    little_fish, Aug 1, 2011
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  17. sandman

    sandman

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    Thank You.. so the other light is called a PC light then....
    Also I can change bulb colors and wattage output, if the fixture can handle it on the T5 I am assuming? I think I am going to go the T5 route then.
     
    sandman, Aug 1, 2011
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  18. sandman

    Chris_150G

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    If I could start over right now I would either get staight LED or T5 with an LED supplement. The price on LEDs has come down and they are the money. Only LED and MH will give your tank a shimmering effect.

    Go on Youtube and look at different tanks to see the different set ups out there. If you cant afford what you want, look on Craigslist for a deal.
     
    Chris_150G, Aug 7, 2011
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  19. sandman

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    24" - 30" T5 HO Light Hood Aquarium Marine Cichlid 48W | eBay

    • 1x 24" T5 Dual fixture
    • 1x T5 24W 12000K lamp (Free Item)
    • 1x T5 24W Actinic lamp (Free Item)
    • 48W total

    30" INCH HO QUAD T5 AQUARIUM CORAL LIGHT FIXTURE 96W | eBay

    • 1 x 30" T5 HO Quad Aquarium Lighting fixture.
    • 2 x 24W T5 HO 12000K bulb. (6700K and pink bulb is also available upon request)
    • 2 x 24W T5 HO Actinic bulb. (6700K and pink bulb is also available upon request)
    • 2 x Dual LED moon lights.
    • Acrylic Anti-splash Guard
    • 2 x Mounting brackets.
    • 96W power output in total
    Do either of these look good for lighting for our tank? We have a 29 gallon (30''L x 18 3/4'' H x 12 1/4'' W). We're going to have live rock & sand.. then adding coral. I kinda like the 2nd one.. it just sounds better lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
    LoveJC03, Aug 18, 2011
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  20. sandman

    marcah

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    the second one of the two would be closer but it does not have individual reflectors which means alot of your light is wasted..you really should look into lights with individual reflectors like these Catalina Aquarium..
    they will be more exspensive but far better for keeping your corals..
    Not saying it has to be those but ones like it..
     
    marcah, Aug 18, 2011
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