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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 29 g tank presently with a 65 W Coral Life Power Compact and I have plants right now but all I have been able to really grow are amazon swords and other low light plants. I'm looking at upgrading, but don't know if I should just go with 2X65 W power compact or instead go with a T5 (such as 2 X 24 W). It's a hard call to make because while T5's are brighter, the wattage is lower (48 total watts for the 30' light which would fit my tank). I'm going for a lush tank with a variety of plants. Any suggestions? Thanks!

(I do plan on also using CO2 in addition)
 

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I've had both and prefer the T5's. Even though the wattage is lower you'll get more light into the tank than higher wattage PC's due to better reflectors and the shape of the tube. I have 2x54 over a 75 and have been able to grow every plant I've tried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea, that's what I keep hearing. So a 2X24 W is sufficient to grow almost any type of plant in a 29 gal tank? I suppose T5 watts violate the 2-3 watts per galon adage?
 

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Yea, that's what I keep hearing. So a 2X24 W is sufficient to grow almost any type of plant in a 29 gal tank? I suppose T5 watts violate the 2-3 watts per galon adage?
i've had 2x24w t5ho over my 29g for a while now. i think it really puts you at 'medium' lighting, which is more than enough to grow most plants. the only stuff that has not done real well for me sits in the 'needs high light' category. oh, and for what it's worth, i definitely need co2. the light spread is also better than a single 65w pc bulb.
 

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This is a topic that gets beaten to death, if you search you will see multiple threads asking the same thing. But ill give you my usual answer. My vote is just ALWAYS going to be T5...its far superior in almost every way. But there is a huge difference between a T5 fixture with individual reflectors for each bulb and one that has no reflectors. The SLR's (single light reflectors) make all the difference in the world!
 

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I read somewhere that the PC lights gradually loose color spectrum and the T5 just completely stop working when it needs replacing.

Is this true?
 

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I read somewhere that the PC lights gradually loose color spectrum and the T5 just completely stop working when it needs replacing.

Is this true?
from what i can gather, power compacts loose intensity over time. i haven't heard of them changing color temp. t-5's do loose some intensity over time but it's not nearly as much as pc's. you can literally run t-5's until they burn out.
 

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Well, if you ask me, that's convenient! I hate having to guess on bulb life. I never want to throw away a bulb that might even have a few weeks left on it :tongue:
 
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