29 high tech lighting, t5ho vs CF
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
joetaff
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29 high tech lighting, t5ho vs CF


Ok I'm confused, it seems like the current trends are moving toward t5s instead of CF. I am going to be doing a high tech, co2 injected 29 gallon (standard 30x12x16). I was looking into a coralife HO t5 that has 2x31 watt bulbs, giving me about 2 wpg. Vs a coralife 2x65 watt fixture that would give me 4.5 wpg vs the Ah supply 2x 55 watt kit giving me 3.7 wpg.

Does the wpg rule break down with T5's?? I know 2 wpg is alot less than the other two but does deeper penetration make a difference?? WhT would you all suggest I purchase for a high tech 29 because I am very confused.

1) coralife t5 ho 2x31 watt fixture
2) coralife pC 2x65 watt fixture
3) AH supple PC 2x55 watt fixture

Any input will be thoroughly appreciated, thanks!
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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The wpg rule only applies to T12 bulbs everything else it doesn't mean a thing.

heres a good thread i would suggest reading to give you a better idea on the different types of lighting http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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Please someone just tell me what light to get, I've been reading and reading and everyone dances around the issue. Should I do t5 or cf???? And what fixture do you recommend??
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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There's a thread about power compacts being a dying technology in the archives. I'm posting from a phone or I'd find the link for you. I started it when I was in your situation; I went with a custom T5 hood from Catalina.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Read Hoppys thread as noted above. It is a very good and helpful thread!


T5HO are great bulbs but don't over do it. Watt/gallon rule goes out the window. Other factors are in play with these lights (most importantly; height of light from surface of water, depth from surface of water to surface of substrate and quality of reflectors). 2 of these lights on this tank would likely give you high light.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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Yea that's the consensus I've seen. But all t5's are lower wattage but is more less in this case?? Would a 48 watt dual t5ho with individual reflectors be good? Or should I look at some of these 36 inchers and let it overhang for 72watts? I just don't understand this. I want to be able to grow almost anything in. 29 gallon. Just recommend a great fixture so I can take advantage of this big ALS sale..
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #7
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Ok you posted as I was posting and answered some of my q's. So really all I want to know is a good fixture that would work with what I want to do for my 29 gall.

Current satellite 30" 2x24
Coralife 30" 2x31
Current USA 36" 2x36
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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with T5 i don't think you need more than 2watt/gallon (this would be high light). But as I said other factors are more important to consider.

If it was me I would buy the 2 bulb T5 light with decent reflectors for this tank. But you still need to consider the placement of the light (height above tank). You will end up with medium to high light so don't forget that you will need pressurized CO2 and a regular dosing regime to keep up with demand of the plants (higher the light the more CO2 and ferts required by plants).

Trust me take a look at Hoppy's thread there are some easy to understand charts that will help determine your levels of light.

Edit: get the light that fits your tank. Don't overhang them.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joetaff View Post
Ok you posted as I was posting and answered some of my q's. So really all I want to know is a good fixture that would work with what I want to do for my 29 gall.

Current satellite 30" 2x24
Coralife 30" 2x31
Current USA 36" 2x36
What kind of setup? It's really a shame that most of these t5ho fixtures don't have separate switches it would give one more flexibility regardless of what they want to do with the tank.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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Yes I will be doing 5 lb pressurized set up, I want high light for sure, from hoppys thread this is what I think it says. 2 t5ho bulbs are high light on a 20 inch deep tank, since my 29 is 16" high, and I will most likely use the mounting legs which are roughly 4" so I'd be at about 20" so that means with a 2x24 t5ho I would have high light? I'm looking at ancurrent satellite 2x24 at big ALS that has individual reflectors. It's not as many watts as the coralife 2x31 but I don't think the coralife has great reflectors, so the current usa would be better? Thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joetaff View Post
Yes I will be doing 5 lb pressurized set up, I want high light for sure, from hoppys thread this is what I think it says. 2 t5ho bulbs are high light on a 20 inch deep tank, since my 29 is 16" high, and I will most likely use the mounting legs which are roughly 4" so I'd be at about 20" so that means with a 2x24 t5ho I would have high light? I'm looking at ancurrent satellite 2x24 at big ALS that has individual reflectors. It's not as many watts as the coralife 2x31 but I don't think the coralife has great reflectors, so the current usa would be better? Thoughts?
Hoppy's chart was made using T5HO fixtures that have amazing reflectors (when T5HO bulbs have separate reflectors for each bulb they give off so much more light).

If you buy a fixture with a single reflector then make sure you multiply the expected par on hoppys chart by about 2/3 because they will give off approximatly 2/3'rds of the par ( i tested this on my old zoomed fixture with T5HO 2x 24 watt lights over my 29 gallon tank and only got 35 par from a distance of 24 inches). If you buy a really nice light fixture with reflectors on each bulb then you can follow hoppys chart more.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhoe14er View Post
Hoppy's chart was made using T5HO fixtures that have amazing reflectors (when T5HO bulbs have separate reflectors for each bulb they give off so much more light).

If you buy a fixture with a single reflector then make sure you multiply the expected par on hoppys chart by about 2/3 because they will give off approximatly 2/3'rds of the par ( i tested this on my old zoomed fixture with T5HO 2x 24 watt lights over my 29 gallon tank and only got 35 par from a distance of 24 inches). If you buy a really nice light fixture with reflectors on each bulb then you can follow hoppys chart more.
Unfortunately it's not that simple. The Current and Coralife T5HO fixtures have individual reflectors and still don't equate to what's in the chart. OP, either one of those 30" fixtures would work. This is not an exact science. Your setup, co2, stocking levels, maintenance habits, water change discipline, etc, etc. etc. will dictate how successful you are. Best advise I can give you is make sure you have everything ready to go when you startup your tank and keep your lights at 5 to 6 hours and graduate up to 8 to 9 as the tank matures.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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Ok this is ridiculous, should I just do 2x55 ah supply? Or 2x65 coralife then, this exactly how every t5 thread is, everything is completely variable. Reflectors, tank height, stands, brand. No simple answers.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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Welcome to the wonderful world of planted tanks, where it's all an art and not a science.

FWIW, I wouldn't consider CF/PC lights after reading that thread I referenced above.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:46 PM   #15
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i have a a Hagen Glo 2x 39W on my 29 gallon and I see better growth than i used to have with my 2x 65w CF coralife fixture. Same plants, same ferts, same position on the tank.. etc.

this is not scientific at all, of course, just anecdotal. My vote is to get the t5ho rig versus the CF fixture. The t5 fixture was much smaller and the bulbs were cheaper at my lfs.
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