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Discussion Starter #1
Im setting up a new 29g and Im trying to decide between two Coralife fixtures, either a 2x18w T5 or a 65w CF. Im planning to run DIY Co2 and dont plan to move to pressurized on this tank at all. Im leaning towards the T5 since that will give me 1.2 wpg which I would think would be about the same actual light as the 65w CF since the T5 are more efficient, but Im still not sure if the higher wpg of the CF would be better due to the height of the 29g. So should I go with the T5s or the higher wpg of the CFs?
 

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I have both fixtures, and you can't go wrong either way. I think in your case, I would opt for the T5 fixture.

The 65W CF is great. I've had two last over 5 years. It feels way more durable than the Coralife T5. It does a great job. Bulbs only last 6 or so months though and are well over $20 a pop.

The Coralife T5 is really nice too. It is Normal Output, not HO as many of the T5 fixtures on the market are, but it is still very bright. A few bad things first....The reflector is not too efficient, and the fixture feels a little cheap at first touch. I have also heard a few people say these fixtures have totally quit working prematurely. The sliding legs are cool, but you can really only use the fixture right down on the water unless you rig something up, as many people do. (Talontswiad) and Kyle3.

That being said, it has a very streamlined look, the bulbs are about $10, and I think it would be the right amount of light for a 29 without pressurized Co2, assuming you are growing slower growing low light plants. The bulbs also last a really long time. (how long is up for debate, but much longer than the CF lamps.) I love this fixture now that I've had it about 6 months. I would suggest purchasing another 6700k or 10000K bulb when you purchase, because the pink colormax bulb that comes with it is very undesireable IMO.

Hope that helps a little. If you search Coralife T5, you'll find a bunch of posts about them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah Im going to be running open top and Im not real keen on the little slide out mounts and Iv always wanted to try those adjustable mounts too. Are you running a coralife on your 29? Do you get any dead spots from the bulb being 21"?
 

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Yeah Im going to be running open top and Im not real keen on the little slide out mounts and Iv always wanted to try those adjustable mounts too. Are you running a coralife on your 29? Do you get any dead spots from the bulb being 21"?
No visible dead spots at all. It's really bright. I'm sure a PAR meter would say otherwise, but the light is pretty good across the tank, even when I take off the mounting legs and set it directly on the tank.

One more thing... I think the little slides on the T5 fixture work pretty well if you are using the appropriate size fixture and don't have them slid out but less than an inch. I can see where it would be a problem if you tried a 24" light on a 30" top though.
 

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The 65W CF is great. I've had two last over 5 years. It feels way more durable than the Coralife T5. It does a great job. Bulbs only last 6 or so months though and are well over $20 a pop.
I impulsively bought a CF light fixture, used. Debating when the bulbs goes to buy 2 from Catelina, $35 for 2, or buy a T5 light fixture. What do you mean by more durable than the Coralife T5 fixture.
 

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I'm using the 30" "Fresh Water" Coralife single 65w CF on the mounting legs over an open top 29G and I really like it. The price is pretty good in most places (I got mine at Hellolights on Ebay) and it's well made. There is a noticable drop in lighting where the bulb ends though it's still pretty bright.
 

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Are you running a coralife on your 29? Do you get any dead spots from the bulb being 21"?
That is what I have over my 29 gallon tank. Except for where the powerhead is the light seems consistant. I am only running it for 3hrs and then 20w of T8 Aqua-glo due BBA
 

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I impulsively bought a CF light fixture, used. Debating when the bulbs goes to buy 2 from Catelina, $35 for 2, or buy a T5 light fixture. What do you mean by more durable than the Coralife T5 fixture.
Well, I could be imagining this, but the casing just feels much more substantial on the CF fixture. I may just be less careful with it because I've had it for a long time. I've used it for painting in my house a lot. It's been dropped at least 5 or 6 times and still works great. The T5 on the other hand is much lighter and smaller, seeming more delicate. I have NO evidence to back this theory up so take it for what it's worth. :D

I still think the Coralife T5 NO fixture is just as good of a value. They are both a good deal for the money.

I know what you mean about the tossup between new bulbs, or a new fixture all together. That's a tough call. It's time for a new bulb on my 29.
 

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Well, I could be imagining this, but the casing just feels much more substantial on the CF fixture. I may just be less careful with it because I've had it for a long time.
So then even though it is used the ballast should last a long time. Seller told it was slightly used for her was upgrading, thus seems in great shape.

How do the reflectors of the CF fixture and T5 fixture compare? How dose the T5 fixture sit on the tank?

Do you have links to the tanks so I compare the difference in light?
 

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So then even though it is used the ballast should last a long time. Seller told it was slightly used for her was upgrading, thus seems in great shape.

How do the reflectors of the CF fixture and T5 fixture compare? How dose the T5 fixture sit on the tank?

Do you have links to the tanks so I compare the difference in light?
I'll take some up close photos of both and try to get them posted first thing in the morning.
 
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