View Full Version : Looking for a new lighting fixture, need advice!

12/08/2011, 03:59 PM
Good evening all

So I'm on the hunt for a new lighting fixture and will be looking to buy within the next few weeks (Christmas bonus time!!!):beer:. The daylights on my fixture are off more often than not when I walk in the door from work (I'm pretty sure it's a bad ballist). I've pretty much got it narrowed down to a few choices, and maybe you guys can give me some advice.

First off, I was talking to a friend of mine, who is also an employee at a LFS, and he was pretty adamant about metal halides. He went on to lead me to Aquatraders to look at their Oddysea MH/T5 combo. The price is very attractive, but the reviews I'm reading on here, and elsewhere, are discouraging. I am considering MH, I love the shimmer effect and the amount of light, but there are a few things leading me away from going down that road... cost to run/maintain, heating my tank up, and turning my bedroom into a sauna. Also, due to the size of my tank, the bulb would be directly above the center brace in my tank, casting a huge shadow.

If I stay with T5HO's, I was looking at the 6 lamp fixture by Aquatic Life. They have all the features I want; built in timer, built in lunar LED's, and the ability to customize which bulbs I want. I'm sure it'll cost a bit more to run than what I have now, due to having 6 bulbs as opposed to 4, but they should get the job done.

Lastly, I am considering Aqua Illumination SOL. I would LOVE to make the jump to LED's, and they are considerably less than the Radeon. Salty Supply has everything I would need for two...
I was told that LED's may not be able to penetrate the depth of my tank though... it's roughly 28 inches deep at the sand. They do cost considerably more than the T5's, but the cost of running/upkeep will be minimal. I wouldn't have to spend $100+ on bulbs every year!

Each of these options has pros and cons, and I'm sure I would be happy with any of them... just want the most bang (AND SHIMMER!) for my buck as well. Thanks for any advice!