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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im in the process of setting up a 180G planted discus tank. Probably going with mostly low light stuff....val, swords, nothing crazy. When i bought the tank i got along with it 3x 250w halides w/ballasts and 1 400w w/ballast. The reflectors were junk so in the garbage they went. My problem is i think with 72" tank running 2 250 wont get me the coverage i need and im sort of up in arms about what to use. Im thinking of selling all the MH stuff and going t5 may be a better idea. But looking for some other input on what may work better.
 

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Got the same question.

I've been looking at the catalina 72" line/t5's. Thinking of the 6/80w fixture and using a timer to get a lower light/lower tek system. Most posts on Catalina lights are positive/good value oriented.

Looking for feedback as well from the more experienced...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Only problem with T5 is the staggering on the bulbs that will have to happen. I still may look into them. I also have an ice cap 660 ballast laying around i would love to utilize. However the only way that happens is with a 4x4" T5 setup. Make length on those ballasts is 16' Im thinking about a 4x96w PC lighting setup. I can get bulbs, endcaps and reflectors for about 185 while utilizing my ice cap 660
 

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Ditch the MH. They are all too powerful for a planted tank. The absolute best MH reflector will give you 2'x2' coverage, meaning you'll need 3 to cover a 6' tank. 3 150w MH is good for a 6' tank, but any higher wattage is a bad idea.

Don't get 80w T5s. They are only 5 ft and you'll have to stagger or end up with shadows. Get 36" 39w T5s and put them end to end.

Catalina Aquarium is a good place to get them. If you want a stand a lone fixture, they can do that, but if you have a canopy or are building one, they have retro fit kits which are great.

4-6 36" 39w T5s would be great, line up side to side so they make either 2 or 3 rows. 2 for low light, 3 for med-high light, 4 rows if you want to have a big midday burst.


Other options to give you 6' feet of bulb length are 2x96w PC side by side so it's 6' of bulb, or 3x55w PC so it's 6 ft of bulb.

Personally I'd go with the T5s. More efficient, so less electricity costs, better coverage, less heat(only slightly).
 

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Ummmm, really dumb question...

How do you support the 36's? I can't hang the fixtures from my ceiling and will be replacing my existing hood to use these t5's (ie my tank will be 'open air').

I like the idea of greater coverage and have read there is greater flexibility in finding replacement bulbs, the 36" fixtures do all of this. Just thought I had to use the 72" as the tank sides(2) were all I had to support the light fixture.


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilies/redface.gif
 

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Ummmm, really dumb question...

How do you support the 36's? I can't hang the fixtures from my ceiling and will be replacing my existing hood to use these t5's (ie my tank will be 'open air').

I like the idea of greater coverage and have read there is greater flexibility in finding replacement bulbs, the 36" fixtures do all of this. Just thought I had to use the 72" as the tank sides(2) were all I had to support the light fixture.


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilies/redface.gif

Well, my first suggestion would be to bend some light bars and hang them from those. Simple enough, fairly inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Only problem i have with T5's in the price. Most 6x36w setups even diy/retro are around the 400 range. The 4x96w PC's i can use my existing ICECAP 660 and just get bulbs/reflectors/end caps. I figure im going to start with this and maybe if i need more light grab a 2x36w T5HO retro kit w/ballast and line them end to end in between the pc's.
 

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Just so you see What my lights look like in my canopy , But I have 3 ballasts
{ I witch I had gone with Ice Caps instead } for my 110g tank {60x18x24}
I am redoing my tank and will go with 4 lights { first and last banks } and 1 or 2hr noon burst with all 6 banks.

http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_Fluorescent/IceCap/SLR_Retrofit_Kits/

Reef Geek has nice Retro kits, this is where I pick up mine couple of years back for $125. each
At the time I bought mine with/out the bulbs.

http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5...tput_Retrofit_Kit_w!_Bulbs_by_Sunlight_Supply
 
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