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Hi everyone, I want to upgrade the lights on my 90 gal tall planted tank but not sure which one is the best. Big Als has an Aqualife T5 2x54 watt fixture, if I were to buy 2 it would give me a combined total of 216 watts or 339.12
( T12 watts ) for a combnined price of $379.98

They also have a Coralife PC fixture with 4x65 watts or 351 ( T 12 watts ) for the same price.
Please let me hear your opinions, pros and cons for both types.:biggrin:
 

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I bought a plant light on ebay 4x54 T5 with 6700k bulbs and a cool moonlight led for $99. I did a lot of research and read that the ebay lights were junk. I looked at the lights that my local shop sells and the one I bought is built just like the name brands. So far the light has worked great.
 

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Like they're saying, t5's are the right choice for you, particularly because you have a deep tank and they have a light-penetration capability that exceeds the PCs.
 

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T5 all the way. The bulbs last longer, are cheaper and there is quite a variety. You can buy $7.00 GE Starcoats, or $20.00 Geismanns and they both work well. Also with PCs, you have to determine whether it is straight pin or square pin when buying replacement bulbs. PC bulbs cost more and should be replaced every 6 months.
 

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Yep, they sure are bright. I just replaced my 2 mh 175 watt pendents with the Hagen GLO T5 HO 54 watt X 2. I've got it hung a good foot above the tank and the light penetrates very well in my 18" deep 55g. Looking to slow the pace down in my tank and I'd dare say that 1 54 watt would even work on my tank they're so bright.
 

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I have both and would recommend T5 fixtures as well. The bulbs last longer and are cheaper to replace.
 

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You definitely don't need to replace PC bulbs every 6 months. They are good for about 18-24 months before losing a significant amount of intensity. But, they do suffer an initial loss of intensity during the first 2-3 months, then maintain that intensity for up to 24 months. (I have some data to support this.)

"Penetration" is not a relevant term for light. All light "penetrates" the same. It takes roughly ten times the height of water that we use in our tanks to cause a significant loss of intensity due to the water absorbing the light. And, the intensity of the light directly under a PC and a T5HO light are about the same at a given distance. The advantage of the T5HO bulb is its longer length, so the bulb covers a longer tank for a given wattage. (54 watt T5HO = about 48 inches long. 55 watt PC = about 24 inches.)
 

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You definitely don't need to replace PC bulbs every 6 months. They are good for about 18-24 months before losing a significant amount of intensity. But, they do suffer an initial loss of intensity during the first 2-3 months, then maintain that intensity for up to 24 months. (I have some data to support this.)

"Penetration" is not a relevant term for light. All light "penetrates" the same. It takes roughly ten times the height of water that we use in our tanks to cause a significant loss of intensity due to the water absorbing the light. And, the intensity of the light directly under a PC and a T5HO light are about the same at a given distance. The advantage of the T5HO bulb is its longer length, so the bulb covers a longer tank for a given wattage. (54 watt T5HO = about 48 inches long. 55 watt PC = about 24 inches.)

And to add to Hoppy's post, because of T5's linear shape, efficient reflectors are easier to make and implement, adding to T5's advantages in light output as well.
 
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