Catalina Aquarium light fixture thoughts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Catalina Aquarium light fixture thoughts?

I'm thinking about picking up one of these fixtures and was wondering if anyone out there has had any good or bad experiences with them. I'm looking at either the 48" 123 T5HO or the 48" 1234 T5HO fixtures (both come with 3 power cords for unlimited lighting combos) for my 55 gallon. I know I probably won't use more than 2-3 of the bulbs ever, just want the option of higher lighting if I upgrade my tank in the future. One concern I have is their lack of active cooling. Also, you can't really tell how well the fixtures are built from looking at a picture.

So, if anyone has either of these fixture or any Catalina fixture please post your thoughts, reviews, pros, cons, or whatever here. Thanks for your input. This is pretty much the last step in my light buying procedure and would love to see over 2 months of research made worth while with the right purchase. Or if you'd like to recommend a different brand feel free. I'm looking for enough light to grow a carpet of the most demanding ground cover plant if you need a starting point.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 02:47 PM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 03:29 PM
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I'll simply state that I have no personal experience with Catalina lighting products. However, I'm in the process of switching back to FW after 12 years on the SW side. I'm just passing along this Reefcentral thread only because I remember a good number of similar issues being reported there on Catalina fixtures. Again, just passing along info.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...light=catalina
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 04:11 PM
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Does Catalina give some big discount on custom made fixtures? Just browsing their site shows some awfully expensive lights.. $300+ for a T5 fixture without individual reflectors? Might as well get a ATI or Tek at that price point.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 04:45 PM
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All it takes to light a 55 gallon tank well enough to grow anything you want to grow is a single T5HO 54 watt bulb, with a very good reflector and a true HO ballast, in a light sitting on top of the tank. If you use a normal two bulb fixture, it should be suspended about 6 inches above the top of the tank. More bulbs than that is just inviting algae to take over the tank, and BBA rarely turns down such an invitation.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
All it takes to light a 55 gallon tank well enough to grow anything you want to grow is a single T5HO 54 watt bulb, with a very good reflector and a true HO ballast, in a light sitting on top of the tank. If you use a normal two bulb fixture, it should be suspended about 6 inches above the top of the tank. More bulbs than that is just inviting algae to take over the tank, and BBA rarely turns down such an invitation.
In a nutshell..........
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone for the links.....

When i did a search i got a million posts back. Some people listing their equipment, some people recommending Catalina, etc. Thanks for helping to locate those threads and for your input.
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