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Adding light in 125g (6 footer)

825 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  MrBlackThumb
Got back into planted tank in my 125g w/center brace. Light is 2 96W CF old Current USA light fixtures in a row (to make 72"). The lights are only 1 inch above the glass top. I think I need more light, maybe more for better spread of the light. My experience with additional set of 2 96W (used to have 4 96W total) is WAY too much light, so I'm looking for something in between (performance and value).

Found this Coralife T5:
1. I'm looking for the 36in one which has 42W output (2 bulb, 21W each). This is not T5HO right? I'm not familiar at all with T5 or T5HO.
2. Intensity wise, is regular T5 (not HO) comparable to T12 4-footer shop light?
3. Any experience with this Coralife lights? Bad or good?
4. Any suggestion of alternative? I'm not in the mood of building hood etc.

Thanks in advance,
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Why do you believe you had way too much light with 4 of the Current USA 96 watt lights? With an 18 inch wide tank you should be able to put the two rows of 96 watt bulbs far enough apart that the light is very uniform and not too much light. Those light fixtures don't have very good reflectors, so I doubt that you would have more than low medium light with 4 of them.
For correction, the additional 2 96W were Coralife Aqualight Freshwater. Don't know if that made a difference. I was getting a lot of BBA in addition to very good growth, leaves closing after 7 hours etc.

However, I did opened up the Current USA 96W, the reflector looks pretty good, maybe on par compared to the ones from AHS (I got their 4X55W kits in my 75g). Don't know about the Coralife, never opened them, already sold them too. I should've kept them, but at that time I wasn't sure I'm going back to planted tank.

Right now with 2X96W, plants are growing albeit slower. Well, maybe I will just try this setup for a month and see how the plants are doing.

I also have glass top which has the black plastic/rubber hinges to open the 5 inch front of the glass for fish feeding which leave the back of the glass for lights.
T5NO with typical reflectors is better than T12 - more PAR for a given wattage. But, while reflectors for T5HO are almost all very good, reflectors for T5NO rarely are that good. With typical T5HO reflectors you should get a little more than half the PAR that a T5HO light gives. Until I get some good PAR data with various T5NO lights I'm not sure just how much light you get from them. Many people use Coralife T5NO lights for low light tanks about 20 inches high. Usually one 2 bulb fixture for a standard 55 gallon tank. But, a wider tank like yours would probably need two rows of them, widely spaced to adequately light the whole substrate.
Thanks Hoppy. What is it in T5HO that makes it give more light compared to PC, watt per watt? I read your sticky on PAR comparison of several types of lights. Is it the two bulb design on PC, i.e. light restrikes on the other bulb?
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