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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I had a T5HO 2 bulb fixture form Odyssea and with nothing to compare it to I figured It was good for it's price. When I upgraded my tank from a 55 to a 75 I felt I didn't have enough spread with the 2 bulb fixture anymore. Instead of buying a brand new fixture I picked up a single bulb Sun Blaster fixture from my local hydroponics store. From what my eyes can see, HUGE DIFFERENCE! This one single bulb fixture was brighter then both bulbs in the Odyssea fixture together, I had the Odyssea fixture 5 inches above my tank and the Sun Blaster 10 inches above the tank and it was still putting more visible light into my tank. Of course I know PAR is what matters but I don't have a meter. I assume it must be due to a much better reflector with the Sun Blaster and the poor ballast of the Odyssea. I decided to sell the Odyssea and picked up another Sun Blaster light, so now I have 2 of these 10 inches above my tank, and it's definitely much brighter in the tank (hopefully not too bright, haha).

I just thought I'd mention this for anyone looking to purchase an Odyssea fixture or who might be looking for a cheap alternative. Of course the sun blasters are not made for aquariums so they have no splash guard or anything and don't look as nice, in my case I have glass hoods on my tank, so it's not really an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah, they must, because there's a huge difference in brightness :)
 

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If your T5NO light is the Coralife T5NO fixture, almost any light is brighter than that. I think the Odyssea lights have better reflectors, even if they still aren't very good.
 

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You have to consider what you are getting for the price though. I was looing at the 4x 54w T5HO 48" fixtures for my new 75 gallon. At only 108$ Its a good price. It may not be the best light on the market (or anywhere near, I know). But for what I would use it for it should suffice.
+1. If it works for you, it's a good deal.
 

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they are very much you pay for what you get, I have heard numerous things on the odyssea, from those that hate them to those that love them.

They have magnetic ballasts or they actually have electronic ballasts

the bulbs are poop, the bulbs are ok.

From what I can tell and read, the ballasts are electronic ballasts, not very good ones, but they are. That and the bulbs themselves are not the best quality, when mine gets in those are two of the first things I am changing, especially if the ballasts are indeed electronic, no re-wiring just get new ones and go. The reflectors are junk but as with everything else, you get what you pay for. The way I am basically looking at mine (ordered a 72") get the shell, and all the little peices, new ballast (60-100 bucks) new bulbs (probably another 100) and then some reflectors (another 100) 150 for the original fixture. So roughly comes out to $450 for what will be a decently nice 72" fixture, which is like HALF of what you would pay for a middle to upper quality one :)

They are cheap they are not the greatest, but if you know what your getting in to, and what you want to do with them, not a bad a little investment and I know a few people around here that have them and love them.


Hope this doesnt come out sounding like a rant, just trying to shed a little "light" on it haha :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh yes, they're definitely fine if it's what you're looking for, i just felt like i was getting poor growth and when i upgraded to my 75 gallon from my 55, I just didn't think there was enough spread for the width of my tank. I figured adding one more cheap light would help that, but then i noticed how much brighter the 1 sun blaster light was in comparison to the odyssea. I didn't really want to fork out a ton of money for an expensive light, not to mention shipping costs so decided to sell the odyssea and buy another sun blaster. With 2 individual lights i could spread them out further, and i have glass tops, so the lack of splash shield doesn't worry me much. I've had a BBA problem for a bit, but am going to overdose some excel to try and rid that. I've already noticed some enhanced growth in my plants and even some more color, so I'm thinking I made the right choice, and hopefully once I kill off the BBA, it will remain in check :)
 

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For me, replacing the ballasts is far too much work. I might replace the bulbs somewhere down the line. But, once again, it works for me.
Because:
For a 55, (according to Hoppy's chart, Thank you!) I could go with 2 Normal Output and get medium light, or 2 HO, have too much light, or 1 HO, and that would be just right. BUT, you can't really buy a 1 bulb HO, unless you go retrofit, and I don't have a canopy. So my logic is, crappy 2 bulb HO is ABOUT equal to 1 HO, or slightly more than 2 NO. Either way, it puts me somewhere in high light.

Anyways, my point was that it works for me. :p
 

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If you plan on replacing the ballast(s), you HAVE TO REWIRE THE ENTIRE FIXTURE or it will not work! Trust me, I tried and have completed putting a workhorse 7 on my 4x24w odyssea fixture, absolutely will not work unless you take apart the whole fixture and rewire it yourself properly. Idk what or how they had it wired before, but those are not electronic ballasts like you would ever buy at a store anywhere and totally different wiring.
 

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If you plan on replacing the ballast(s), you HAVE TO REWIRE THE ENTIRE FIXTURE or it will not work! Trust me, I tried and have completed putting a workhorse 7 on my 4x24w odyssea fixture, absolutely will not work unless you take apart the whole fixture and rewire it yourself properly. Idk what or how they had it wired before, but those are not electronic ballasts like you would ever buy at a store anywhere and totally different wiring.
If this is true, Odyssea probably did that to deter people from swapping out parts.
 

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Odyssea fixtures use normal output ballasts apparently.
No, they are just crap HO ballasts. They run at higher wattages than NO, but will be pretty badly beat up on by a good HO ballast.

If this is true, Odyssea probably did that to deter people from swapping out parts.
They did it because they are cheap. In each ballast box, which run two bulbs, there is basically two separate ballasts on a single board. It's not like a good ballast like a Philips Advance, or Fulham Workhorse that actually run the bulbs in parallel on a single ballast. The wiring is different as a result.
 

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I have said it once and I will say it again for the price they can simply not be beat. I have a 60" version over my 120 gallon and I can grow absolutely anything I want. As I did at one point have a nice dutch style layout. Got rid of it only because of the constant trimming. Now I only run 2 out of 4 bulbs since all of my plants are low-medium light and everything is going perfect. A lot of other 4 bulb fixtures I have seen only have one ballast. Love the fact that I can run 2 bulbs at a time and alternate from day to day. Also I have always used the stock bulbs. I just don't see the reason to invest in anything more expensive. If someone could give me one good reason the other lights will do something that my light is not when it comes to growing plants then I would make the switch.

This all reminds me of the debate on eheim filters I have used the sunsun ones now aquatop I believe off of ebay and they are dirt cheap, silent, and work flawlessly. What more could you ask for?

PS: My tank has a depth of 24 inches so this is no shallow tank.
 

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Oh I agree that the price is totally worth it! Especially if you swap the ballast(s) for a quality one(s) you can't beat it for the money.. And thats including having to buy the seperate ballasts. If I had to do it all again, I'd still choose odyssea over a tek any day of the week.. Same reason I went with a sunsun over an eheim. It does the job perfectly and at a great price, so why not ^^
 

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Holy, quick question. So swapping out the ballasts requires you to rewire the whole fixture. Not a huge deal, just for clarification, does this still apply to the new models that are out? Furthermore someone said its basically two ballasts in one housing... could you just use 4 smaller ballasts and make a direct swap? 2 smaller to replace the one? Lastly! I have read that you can use I beleive it is.. "icecap" ballasts which function as a direct replacement for the odyssee ballasts same pin style apparently, does that mean they are designed as a similiar ballast?
 

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I just mounted my 36" 117w Odyssea and it looks pretty good. Right now my only concern is a very high pitched whistle...any have any ideas? This is the one with the timer as well... I think it's a useful tool.
 
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