Originally Posted by talontsiawd
Though I like the Coralife/Aqueon T5NO fixture, the 30 in bulbs can be a pain. I don't like to shop online which means it may take me a few stops to get a replacement bulb. Now that Petsmart carries them, it is a bit easier. Nobody besides Aqueon makes these bulbs (you may find Coarilife which is exactly the same if they have old stock) so you are basically limited to their bulbs.
Not the worst thing but you only have 3 color choices for fresh water. I don't like the look of the Colormax bulb at all, personally. The 6500k bulb is a bit too yellow. The 10,000k is fine. I use a 6500k and 10,000k in mine.
Secondly, I have had some bulbs only last for 6 months. Many more have only lasted about a year. I have had 3 of these fixtures for about 6 years so I feel that my experience wasn't one fluke bulb or anything.
On the plus side, they do look very sleek and are very small. That's part of the reason they work well on low tech, they are not designed well in terms of reflectors and bulb placement. That is good for lower tech, and makes them more appealing to the eye.
I don't think it's a bad way to go, but you may want to consider a fixture with 24 inch bulbs so you can dial in your color better, as well as having choices of different brands. I wouldn't discourage you from this light however, though I personally recommend replacing the Colormax bulb with a 10,000k to give you a 6500k/10,000k combo.
id probably end up getting a 24" fixture anyways. because the bulbs are easier to find (not that 30" are that difficult to find online)
i decided not to get the solarmax, epople have jsut been saying its not worth getting. so its either a coralife (if i can find one,aquariumguys doesnt have them listed anymore) or an oddyssea...and im thinking a 1 bulb would be enough? what are your thoughts?