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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 65g. Currently has 2 x 96w pc lighting. One is actinic. The other is 10k I don't have any high light plants. Don't run CO2. (no plans to). No algae problems either.

I was thinking of switching to a T5HO fixture. The Nova Extreme FW version of 2 x 39w is reasonable priced, and according to the mfg site the right fixture for my size tank. But I'm having a hard time comparing that type of lighting with what I have.

I don't know if I really need a 4 bulb fixture (more $$). I'm guessing I'd muck with the bulbs at some point, so that's more $$.

So I haven't pulled the trigger and ordered the two bulb fixture for fear that the tank will appear "dim" in comparison to what I have now, in addition may not be enough light for the non-demanding plants I have.

Do you think the two-bulb fixture is bright enough where it T5HO? I know that 68watts of T5HO is not the same as 68watts of pc. When you start talkng about lumens you lose me :help: I have a par meter for my reef tank. That seems much easier :tongue:

so...2 bulbs...4 bulbs...? :)
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Even running just 2 bulbs you'll need to raise the fixture off the tank to avoid algae, with no CO2.

If you want to get pressurized CO2, then I'd get a 4 bulb fixture... but you'll still probably only need to run the 2nd bank of bulbs for a short "burst."

If you're happy with the plant growth you're currently getting, and/or don't want to get pressurized CO2, I'd leave well enough alone and stick with your current fixture. Upgrade to T5HO and you're going to have to experiment to find that "sweet spot" again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yah, it figures things are running well with the POS fixture I have. lol. That's why I want to change it. It's an old Odyssea that's been overhauled a couple of times (ballasts & fans replaced). Doesn't always fire up, is noisy, etc. I'd really like to ditch it.

So I figured here's my chance to reduce the power load of the tank (and my electric bill). That's why I was looking at the T5HO's.
 

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How much PAR does the current fixture give you, at the substrate level? If you determine that, it isn't hard to figure out how many T5 bulbs you need to equal it. One problem is the 18 inch depth of a 65 gallon tank, making it hard to get uniform lighting at the substrate with only one row of bulbs. A four bulb fixture suspended a foot or so above the tank would eliminate that problem. But a 2 bulb fixture might do the same, if the PAR you want is low enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
good question Hoppy. I'll get out the PAR meter and check it. They're pretty new bulbs, so now is a good time to measure. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well, it's kind of broke, lol. I can't trust the current fixture enough to put it on a timer. So I think that means either fix it (again) or replace it. I'd rather do it on my terms, them when it croaks and I have to do it when I'm totally broke (they never die at a good time, do they). :)
 

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I totally understand wanting to replace an Odyssea fixture, I won't ever own another one, personally.

The Nova fixture would probably work for you, I'd just get a suspension kit so you can raise it if you need to.
I own one, its not bad... puts out a lot of light, sure it isn't very focused, but for the price you can't beat it
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I know, the Odyssea is junk. It's not stock any more...the ballasts & fans have long since been replaced. But finding things that fit are a pita.

This brings me back to the 2 bulb or 4 bulb T5HO Nova question. I'll measure the PAR on the current fixture and see what that is and go from there.

Plus, I use the glass lid(s) on the 65. So in addition to the cross beam on a 65, there's the plastic joint of the glass lids that can sort of throw a shadow. I'm fearfull of going without a cover...I hate finding fish chips. That's a real problem with SW. Is it as big an issue with FW?
 
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