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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I've flipped through QUITE a few of the threads that are turned up by doing a search for catalina, but they all seem to focus on the t5 fixtures.

Does anyone here use the power compact fixtures? I assume they are built just as well as the t5 ones are, but I need to know for sure. I'm one step short of ordering a Dual Satellite, because those are the PC fixtures I know and love (not to mention one of the few ones out there that come with *white* lunar lights-- blue lunar lights look so ridiculously fake).

But the equivalent Catalina fixture would save me about $50 or so (and I don't really need the lunar light, as much as I don't want to admit that). Then again, with the Catalina I would have to purchase the splash guard separately, if I'm not mistaken.

Anyway, in order to make an informed decision, I thought I'd ask here. I already love the Current Satellites, and they are on sale right now at the doctors'.

Thanks.
 

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Church,

I have bought PC fixtures from Catalina for myself and a couple of my buddies, and I have to admit, Catalina works great. I mean its not ADA light, but it works great. All my plants does well under the light. Catalina does not include splash guard on their lights, BUT thats 2 - 3 dollars tops if you go to a local plastic store. Check to see if you have Tap Plastic where you live.
 

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I have a PC bulb over my 29 gallon tank. Manufacturer, current USA, told me that bulb life is approx. 9 months. Also the fans are a bit loud. I got a 120mm fan for $5 on EBau and put it on the side

I have read that T5HO fixtures are more efficient than the PC. Read that the T5HO bulbs life span is 16-24 months. Here is a low priced T5HO light by Current USA

For what size of tank is the light going to be for?

I am not using the splash guard for my fixture, 24in. I enclose my tank with glass. Thus if you need and it is the right fit I would send it to you for the shipping cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's for a 36" tank. 45g. But I'm looking at a 2x96w fixture if I go the PC route, because the tank is tall, and I want high-light. If I could afford one, I'd like a 4x39w t5ho fixture. That'll have to be for later.

I like the Current USA fixtures. I've had single and dual satellites before. They are awesome lights once you replace the actinics. But I keep hearing how great Catalina fixtures are, so I wanted to know if people use their PC ones, or are they just famous for their t5 ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dang I'm starting to think that there really aren't too many people who own the PC fixtures. :(
 

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Well since you aren't getting replies about the PCs how about writing the company's to get the lumen's, par, and life span of the unit, bulbs, etc.? Have you tried another forum, like APC
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nah I've learned that the same people who post here post everywhere else, so I usually talk myself out of posting in multiple websites. It looks like I will be going with a Dual Satellite which is what I was leaning toward anyway. I think Catalina is just known for their t5 fixtures.
 

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I owned one of their PC fixtures, but it was one of the really small one bulb ones, just for my 10gal tank. Like all PC fixtures I've ever owned, I felt it was too hot for our FL summers so I stopped using it (went back to the old T8 strip for that tank).

I think if the larger PC fixtures come with fans they should rival other PC fixtures as far as build quality.

Though I wasn't impressed with the moonlights that came on my old 48" Solar T5HO, so if that's a feature that means much to you, you may want to research those a bit.
 

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i have a catalina pc 2x96. had it for over a year and it works great. my only complaint is that it get's super hot.
My Current USA PC fixture runs hot too. I cool it with a 120mm fan. Does your fixture have fans? The fans for this unit run loud. Told this is normal for the fixture.
 

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... It looks like I will be going with a Dual Satellite which is what I was leaning toward anyway. ...
Go for the Orbit vs. the Satellite fixture. Its reflector is much wider (around 1 1/2" to 2" wider). It is the same size as the AHSupply side-by-side reflectors. The reason is that the ballast is mounted on top of the reflector instead of beside it like the Satellites plus the whole fixture is 1" wider. It will give you better coverage. I have two of the Orbit fixtures.
Orbit: http://current-usa.com/orbit.html
Satellite: http://current-usa.com/satellite.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So basically the only real difference between the two is the reflector, right? I'll get better coverage with the orbit because it's wider?

I was just looking around for deals. Lowest I found so far is $150. Plus I'll have to order another bulb to replace the actinic.
 

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So basically the only real difference between the two is the reflector, right? I'll get better coverage with the orbit because it's wider?

I was just looking around for deals. Lowest I found so far is $150. Plus I'll have to order another bulb to replace the actinic.
I failed to mention this about the Orbit reflector. It is not only as wide as an AHSupply side-by-side reflector; it is multifaceted with similar bends like the AHSupply reflector too. It is the best PC reflector that I have seen. It is much better than the Satellite's and the AquaLight's reflector.

Sadly, AHSupply no longer carries this reflector.
 

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I am using a 24in satellite over my 29 gallon tank, 30 in long. I am improving the reflection buy making a metal frame to go around it. Used metal gutter and some metal from plumbing section in hardware store. Only 2 inches on the sides have a little lower lighting.
 

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