View Full Version : working my way up to T5

11/02/2007, 07:16 AM
I have a 48" PC coralife fixture with 50/50 bulbs in it and I want to upgrade my lighting. I am on a tight budget right now, just set the tank up (was freshwater).

My initial thought was to get the Nova Extreme unit, but from what im reading that is not the way to go....so.....Here is my thought.

My LFS carries a 2x54w ready-fit kit with Tek reflectors for 159. Would it be a good start if I added this to my setup? I would get 10K bulbs for this, and replace my CF bulbs with actinics only. This would give me 4 bulbs, 2 T5 and 2 PC.

Would that be a good start? I am starting out as FO but having some corals would be a nice addition and something I definately want to end up with

I am on the fence about MH. my setup doesnt allow for much in the way of hanging fixtures, and I dont love the look of a huge canopy. I do have a canopy, but its very slim. Heat/Power bill dont really concern me, but overall look/fit is important, since its in my livingroom on the same wall as my TV

Thanks in advance for any advice


11/02/2007, 07:37 AM
I'd say go for it. See about the Tek reflectors though. They have new ones out now called TekII, they're better than the original ones supposedly. I have a Nova Extreme 4x24 right now. It puts out ok light, but I'm not overly happy about it. You get what you pay for IMO. So I just ordered a 4x24 Icecap retro kit (their reflectors have been suggested as the best so far in the T5 Q&A thread). I'm getting them on Monday and when I get them setup and going, I'm going to take pictures of the difference. The only thing I can think of that may be a problem would be upgrading 2 bulbs at a time. If you eventually get to 6-8 bulbs for corals, you're going to have 4 ballasts. But if you're only keeping soft corals then 4 bulbs w/ individual reflectors should be fine.

11/02/2007, 08:49 AM
It just depends on what he wants to keep. If he has a 55g a 4x54w will keep anything, a 75g 6x54......But sure, if you can't afford it all at once then go slow, thats why retro's are so nice. The tek's aren't the best but there definately not the worst either. I'd start with an ati aquablue and a ati blue +, just leave your regular pc's the way they are for now. No since in spending any cash on them. Then maybe in a few more mths you get another retro and pull off teh pc's completely.