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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently ordered a 48" Catalina green light LED fixture for a 84 gallon tank I am setting up. It has 2x54w t5HOs and 2x 72 LED strips plus moonlights. I was wondering if anyone has some experience with this light or with using LEDs to grow plants?

The guy from Catalinas was helpfully and said that the LEDs are in the 10k-12k spectrum. The t5ho bulbs are 1 65k and 1 plant gro bulb (which is pinkish). Are these a good spectrum? Originally I was goin to use the LEDs just as a noon burst, but was thinking that since they have a much longer life span, maybe just using the T5s as a burst. Any advice?
 

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Looking at Catalina's site (and having one of their 4x54w t5 fixtures on a 75g), I'd go with the T5s for 3 hours, both for 2-3, and back to t5s for 3 more, or turn off the t5s and just the LEDS run until nightime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well i guess ill do a review when i get it. I'm trying to find a source to barrow a PAR meter. I have a friend that works at a botanical garden so I'm going to try and ask him. Does anyone else know a type of place that might lend or rent a PAR meter?
 

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The LEDs in catalina's fixtures are SMDs. From everything I've read on SMD LEDs, these can't compete with true high power LEDs (I.E., Cree, Luxeon, 1 watt and above). they definitely are not anywhere near 175w of metal halides. I would be amazed if they could reach a 1/4 of that output.
But none of that means they aren't useful, just that they might not be very useful to the plants. I'm very curious how much "shimmer" these LEDs would add to the tank. If they do, I personally think that alone is worth the extra cost.
And I think mac has the right of it - use the LEDs as a supplement to the T5s but don't count on them for plant growth.

For more info on high power LEDs, check out Hoppy's DIY LED thread here, or check out anything Evilc66 posts on nano-reef.com

Let us know how it looks when you get it set up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well if they don't help at all with plant growth i will be very disappointed. This unit cost a lot more than the regular t5ho fixture, and while i really am looking forward to that shimmering effect i also want some more plant growth watts.
 

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Having seen some of the tanks on here that only have 2X54w, I don't think you'll be disappointed either way. T5HOs are surprisingly effective. When it comes time to change bulbs, I'd throw another vote for the Giesemann bulbs, they look awesome!

Take a look at this thread, low PAR + good CO2 + good ferts = grow whatever you please, less algae worries.
 
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