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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have 2 shop lights over my 75 gallon tank that are ODNO. I have no clue how to repair one, and they barely fit inside my canopy. I have to take off my canopy (big & awkward) to get my hands in the tank. I am going to take care of that soon.

My question is which set up to go with for the next set of lights. AH Supply or Commodity Axis?

AH Supply
4x55 watt Bright Kits Item # 30554 $129.99
4x 17.99 (Bulbs) 71.96
Total $201.95

5500K - Warmer with CRI = 92 = Excellent
6700K - Noontime Sun on Bright Blue Sky Day
55x4 = 220 watts times the excellent reputation reflection MIRO and increase of light actually entering the water/tank



Commodity Axis (T5 HOD)
54 watts = 47 inches (fits better than shop lights & easy to move)
10,000K Daylight $26.99
x4= $108.00

or Pink For Plant Growth $27.49
x4= $109.96

I have the Commodity Axis on my Nano Reef Tank (13 gallons) and they work okay there.

I am trying to figure out which gets the better refrac or total amount of light entering the tank between the MIRO reflection for the AH Supply or the reflectors that come with the T5 Commodity Axis bulbs.

I have to say the fact that I am not handy makes me inclined to go with the Commodity Axis, but I am willing to become handy if it is worth it in the end.

Your comments, feedback, opinions and experiences are HIGHLY appreciated.
Thanks,
Jimbo205
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I know that I have not been online in the hobby for quite some time, but I would really, really appreciate someone's feedback here. I have read a bunch of threads and while some people may be able to understand all the details, sometimes I just find them more confusing.

If you read this and have an opinion, please voice it. Maybe it will benefit someone else also.

Thanks.

I appreciate it.

Jimbo205
 

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I don't know what kind of reflector you get with the Helios lights. They sure are cheap, and the ballasts they use are a bit of a gamble... they might last a couple of years, or go up in smoke early on.

You don't need to be a handyman to screw the AHS kit into a canopy.

Personally I always prefer T5 over PC lighting, I think T5's are more efficient (looking at comparable reflectors). In your example, I think the AHS reflectors are much better than the Helios.

If you knew someone with experience that could help you wire up something in your canopy, you could buy the parts and pieces and get a pretty good setup for a bit more money than what you would spend on the Helios.

For something ready-made, search for Catalina lighting. They have some good-looking fixtures for reasonable prices.
 

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On the whole, T5 with good reflectors will work out better than PC these days.
But, AH Supply's reflectors are top notch.

Commodity Axis is an importer, exporter and manufacturer of products for the Aquatic industries.
That is their description.
My translation of the above - Chinese made for the US market.
For tank lighting, quality of the reflector matters a LOT and I doubt there are many here who can speak to the quality of the reflectors on their lighting products. Yet.

If you wanted an opinion on Catalina, TKE, Coralife, or any of the other well known products I expect you'd have lots more responses.

By the way, in a casual search, I can't find a source for their 48" fixtures. Just bulbs. Unless the price on line is for a bulb and fixture.
 

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Looking at the Commodity Axis website, http://www.commodityaxis.com/ProductData.aspx?id=67, it looks like they only have T5NO lights - 38 watt 47" long bulb fixtures. If so, and assuming their stuff is good quality, which I know nothing at all about, you would probably need at least 4 of those "kits" to get to high light intensity, and possible 5-6 of them. AH Supply kits are not 48 inches long for any of them, but using two 55 watt kits mounted in a line would cover the length very well. Two pairs of them, spaced several inches apart, should give you high light on that 75 gallon tank. That is what I would use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HO T5-II-54D-R
UPC: 006903723565
Wattage: 54
Color: 10,000K Daylight
Length: 47"
Width: 2.31
Height: 1.58
Daisy Chain Jumper: no
Length of pig tail: 22"
ea $26.99

On Sale! $0.00 Add to Cart
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you very, very much for the feedback. This is great. You all seem to have the same questions as I. I am hoping that the above information is helpful. The ones that I get that are 23 inches long for my Nano Reef Tank have the reflectors and the ballast built in. When the 10,000K bulbs burn out a year later, I throw the old away and get the new replacement with everything built in including new screws & mounting clips for those that like to install on wood framed canopy or light fixture. The actinic of course do not last as long. I use them until they burn out. For the cost that has worked on that Nano Tank.

Still not sure what do decide on for this tank. If they are 54 watts a piece, how many do you think I should use? Or do you think I should invest in AH Supply and use them for the long haul?

Again, thank you very, very much for your input. I really do put a lot of trust in fellow hobbyists on this forum.

Thanks again.

Jimbo205
 

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If you already have experience with the Helios lights I'd say go for it...

Since they are easy to install, you can add more later on. If they do have reasonable reflectors, I'd say with 3 of them you would get some medium light levels. Are you going to be using CO2/fert dosing?

I'd personally go with two of the daylights, and one of the pink ones. Nice mixture for a crisp, colorful looking tank. Light green plants like Hygros, water sprite etc might look a bit washed out though.

If you want higher light you could probably just add a fourth fixture later on.
 

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If those T5HO lights are as efficient as Tek lights or Catalina lights you would probably get high light intensity (around 100 micromols of PAR) using 3 of them spaced about 6 inches apart, with the bulbs 2-3 inches above the top of the tank. Given how cheap they are that would be a good thing to try, and as Wasserpest said, adding another one if you need to wouldn't be hard to do. If you want the light fixture to hang above the tank, you would need more bulbs - with 4 bulbs, spaced 4-5 inches apart, you would want to have them about 6-8 inches above the top of the tank. But, they may not be as efficient as Tek or Catalina fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you already have experience with the Helios lights I'd say go for it...

Since they are easy to install, you can add more later on. If they do have reasonable reflectors, I'd say with 3 of them you would get some medium light levels. Are you going to be using CO2/fert dosing?

I'd personally go with two of the daylights, and one of the pink ones. Nice mixture for a crisp, colorful looking tank. Light green plants like Hygros, water sprite etc might look a bit washed out though.

If you want higher light you could probably just add a fourth fixture later on.
Wasserpest, I do have a CO2 Red Sea System but do not currently use it. I found my plants grew well enough without it and the canisters ran out faster than I was willing to go to the store. When I did use it, I had it running into my RENA 3 Canister Filter (wish I love - got it for a great price from Urkevitz).

Thank you for the comments on the colors. That will be very helpful.

When my canopy soon allows me to get my hands into the tank easily, I am sure that I will have much more fun with my tank; getting to do a little bit of something each day (or other).

Thanks again.
Jimbo205
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If those T5HO lights are as efficient as Tek lights or Catalina lights you would probably get high light intensity (around 100 micromols of PAR) using 3 of them spaced about 6 inches apart, with the bulbs 2-3 inches above the top of the tank. Given how cheap they are that would be a good thing to try, and as Wasserpest said, adding another one if you need to wouldn't be hard to do. If you want the light fixture to hang above the tank, you would need more bulbs - with 4 bulbs, spaced 4-5 inches apart, you would want to have them about 6-8 inches above the top of the tank. But, they may not be as efficient as Tek or Catalina fixtures.
Hoppy, thank you.

I was planning on just putting them right on top of the glass top. I may purchase some 1 inch by 1 inch wood (that dimension is not cheap) and built a frame to attach the lights to.
My canopy is 12 inches tall. I think the guy that built it for me thought I might purchase Metal Halide light fixtures from him (I am guessing).

What are the advantages of having the lights HANG over the glass vs just resting ON the glass?

Thank you again for the advice. I value it very much and am printing out this thread for myself.

Jimbo205
 

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AH Supply stands by their products. They have been very helpful in the past with any issues I have had. And they include all the parts that you need to install the fixtures.

You should do a search for GE 9325k bulbs (well, that's what they're called, but I don't think they're really 9325k). These bulbs can be ordered online and they fit in an AH Supply kit. I know some folks on this forum have raved about these bulbs. But I should add that I have had very good results with the bulbs that AH Supply sells with their kits.

My own personal preference is to have the option of raising or lowering my lighting above the tank. That is not possible with all setups, however.
 

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One of the secrets to planted tank success is daily routine maintenance. For example, reaching into the tank when you see a dying leaf, and removing it immediately. Or, pinching off the growth on a stem plant that is getting too big. Or, removing a dying fish before it can rot in the tank. Or, reaching in and "fluffing" the plants. These are all easy to do when the tank is open topped, with the lights hanging several inches above the top of the tank. In fact it is hard not to do that when it is that easy to do. That is one big advantage of a hanging light fixture.

Another advantage is to even out the light intensity throughout the tank. The higher above the tank the lights are, the more uniform the intensity in the tank, both front to back/end to end and top to bottom. That avoids the extremely high intensity you get with a light right at the top of the tank. I don't think I will ever do my lighting any other way now that I have tried hanging lights.
 

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Thanks for posting about Commodity Axis. I will look into them for future lighting needs! If I can get the light I want for $30, awesome! I don't use high light tanks so one bulb would be perfect for 90% of my tanks. Lighting my 150g just got easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The usernames are the same (this is a good thing) but my Profile History is different........ deja vu all over again..

At this point, I may order one 47" to see if it fits well on my 75 gallon tank with canopy.

I borrowed my buddy's circular power saw and did what needed to be done.
I have come to the conclussion that except for the occaissional real live buddy hobbyist in your hometown - you are all on your own. Take that how I mean it and not necessarily how it came out. Your best buddy is the down to earth guy at Home Depot that tries to help you out with whatever part you have in your hand. If you can understand the MIT PhD online, you also are way ahead of the game (if you are lucky enough to understand what he said........) I got the hinges and put them on. Structurally, I think the front 1/3 of my canopy is stronger than the back 2/3 but I will work with what i have. I have 3out of 4 lights working on my ODNO. Barely fits, but it will work for now.

Why I haven't done this years ago is beyond me. Except for the fact that buddies that I knew were handy - well I thought I should let them show me. WRONG. Just do the freaking thing......

Sunday is another story.. let's see just what I can do in what little time is left over after the Mrs. plans the family day. I am hoping to get my hands into the tank to do a LITTLE BIT of something in the tank and then sit on the couch and read my fish magazines....

Whether to finally stick with Commodity Axis or AH Supply will come down to cash flow. I am not sure how much I am loving anything about my canopy or lightting system at this moment. But I have been trapped out of my tank for long enough. I am glad that I finally got to use the Circular Power Saw and was able to do what needed to be done.

Burks, great to hear from you. Hoppy, you too. Nice to see some familiar names.

Wasserpest, I don't know you yet but from what I have read so far you and [email protected] seem like pretty smart cookies. Jart, I very much appreciate your input.

Thank you.

Jimbo205
 
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