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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,
i have a 60gal tank (39"x17"x21") and i want to know what is a good size t5h0 light for my tank. it will be a planted tank with co2 injection


i'm debating either a single 36" t5h0 or a double 36" t5h0. i don't know if a single 36" is enough or do i need a dual 36" t5h0.

and about the t5h0 fixtures; should i get a t5h0 retrofit kit or should i get this light fixture and put in some good reflectors in them.
 

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you should either buy one or have someone who knows how to make them make them, or experiment, if you're good with your eyes and hands its easy, i used aluminum flashing at one point but got a much thinner aluminum for the other pair, my fixture is a 4 bulb, but works just the same, if you make them make 1 per bulb and make it parabolic
 

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Well, as an example that may help:
I have the odyssea 4x24 on my 29gal that's 30" long. I bent the legs so it sits about 5-6" off the top of the tank. I tried running 1 bulb per ballast and blew both ballasts. Replaced it with a workhorse 7 and properly rewired the entire fixture as it's not setup for electronic ballasts. Once done i ran two bulbs but had a hard time keeping up with ferts and co2. Now I run just 1 bulb in the third bulb slot so it sits over the middle of the tank. I run 1 GE ecolux 6500k 24w t5ho with pressurized co2 and it's more then enough, I'm getting reds in my stem plants at 5" above the 2" deep substrate, if there was no co2 it would be an algea farm. I dose 1.5 times the recommended EI dose for a 20-40gal tank with very nice results so far. Hope that helps give you an idea :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
See, I'm so confused about lights. Some say 4 t5ho, some say 1, and some say 2 for my tank and don't know how much is enough without having too much which is a algae problem
 

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The AquaticLife fixtures seem to be a good combination of quality (not elite quality but better reflectors and other quality than many fixtures), price (not the absolute least expensive but definitely on the lower end of the price spectrum) and they are planted tank friendly (they offer freshwater combinations that include a good daylight (6000K I think) bulb and a roseate or pink grow bulb type bulb.

The Drs. have the 36" dual T5HO AquaticLife fixture in 36" for $120.

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+22134&pcatid=22134

I just turned my 20" fixture upside down to double check the reflectors and while they are individual reflectors and look pretty good they aren't the full ridiculous mirrored parabolic reflectors. I am no expert but I would guess that they would sort of qualify as entry level when it comes to high quality individual reflectors. I can't imagine how it would be worth the effort to change out reflectors of this quality (though I can see how someone might need the extra intensity and would purchase super high end reflectors to start with).

I won't gaurantee it but I just measured the mounting legs and I *think* that if they were moved all the way to the outside on the 36" fixture you could fit them over the lip of a 39" tank.

These particular fixtures are also linkable so that you could hook the unit up with a second fixture but IMO if you had such a deep tank to require that you might want the two fixtures seperated anyways to cover more of the tank front to back.

The fixtures are basically drilled so that AquaticLife hanging mounts can be attached but they don't come with the actual clips or anything. I haven't looked into it to see how hard it would be to DIY a hanging kit for them so if you plan on hanging the light fixture you would need to either purchase the hanging kit from AquaticLife or figure out how to DIY.

For reference:

Not ten minutes ago I opened a GLO dual T5HO that I had recently ordered because a) they were out of the aquaticlife fixtures and b) the GLO fixture came with mounting hardware and more mounting options and I knew that I might end up with an open top tank.

The GLO fixture did not have individual reflectors and by the time that I bought the (not included) bulbs it ended up being about $30 more. The build quality looks and feels high but unless I turn the unit on and it is magically brighter than the AquaticLife by a significant amount I can't see as how I would ever recommend it over the AquaticLife fixture.
 

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glo<aquaticlife, the reflectors on the aquaticlife fixtures are decent, however a simple hardcore polishing would make them better, that or even taking them out and upgrading the shape, I like pulling my lights a part =p I tried a lot btw, and for the money I have kept the odyssea and aquatic life fixtures and just did some upgrades, for instance on my odyssea I put 4 royal blue cree xp-es, the monnlighting is now much better, I did the same with the aquaticlife however i put in 6 in a line, I also updated both reflectors with home mades, or recycled, I wouldn't waste money on glo myself even though I own one
 

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I run a 2 bulb GLO fixture on a similar sized tank. (36"x18"x24")

As was previously mentioned, there are fixtures with better reflectors. 2 Bulbs works very well for me, but I don't think I could get away with running a single bulb. I should mention that I haven't actually tried though.

Personally, I think running 2 single bulb fixtures would be a better choice as you would get better light spread. With my 2 bulb fixture I have issues with areas of the tank getting overly shaded which keeps my ground cover from growing well in certain areas.
 

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i think i will go with 2 24" t5HO for my tank. what do you guys think?
And line them up end to end or what? Seems like an odd combo.

I don't know exactly how the spread (front to back) on an 17" wide (front to back) tank would be with one two bulb fixture but that would be my only concern with getting a 36" 2 bulb T5HO fixture but unless someone has more specific experience with that particular tank size it seems like getting one 2 bulb 36" fixture is the obvious solution.
 

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I run a 2 bulb GLO fixture on a similar sized tank. (36"x18"x24")

As was previously mentioned, there are fixtures with better reflectors. 2 Bulbs works very well for me, but I don't think I could get away with running a single bulb. I should mention that I haven't actually tried though.

Personally, I think running 2 single bulb fixtures would be a better choice as you would get better light spread. With my 2 bulb fixture I have issues with areas of the tank getting overly shaded which keeps my ground cover from growing well in certain areas.
a good way to fix your spread problem would be to raise the fixture a couple inches
 

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what are some good t5 reflectors? tek II and what about this:
http://www.hellolights.com/24singlelampparabolict5reflector.aspx
Gullwing type if you are mounting them in a hood

Normally if you have access to view the lighiting (viewing in the shop) turn the fitting over and look at it with the bulbs in(and switched off), the more of the bulb you can see in the reflector the better (I.E. it should make the bulb look as wide as the reflector) some only reflect the right/left side of the bulb and some reflect the right AND left side of the bulb (gull wing type) this is down to the design of the light fixture and available space. The more reflection captured of the light emmitted from the top of the bulb that is not facing the water and redirected downward the less number of bulbs you need hence the statment earlier from another member about 2 bulbs with good reflectors = 4 bulbs.

hope that helps
Robert
 

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