View Full Version : need lighting help
03/04/2006, 08:57 AM
Need lighting help, I have a 46 gallon bowfront with 55 lbs fiji live rock 60lbs live sand. No fish or inverts yet. It has been up and running for a little over five weeks now. I added the live rock two weeks ago. I am now in need of lighting and I do not want metal halide. I would like to go with T-5s here is a link to the one I am considering.
I have no plans on any sps or anomones. I would like a candy cane coral and then star polyps and maybe a leather. Please tell me if these light will work for this.
03/04/2006, 09:09 AM
T5s are a great lighting source but need to be used with individual reflectors in order to get their advantage.
If you are sure that you are going to keep a softy tank only then the lights are probably OK. But you will have regrets if you later decide that you want to keep a higher light coral.
It is more money but you would be much better off with something like this
Disclaimer - I do not have direct experience with either product but do have a DIY T5 lights running off an IceCap 430 ballast w/ individual refllectors. They are stinkin' bright
Oh yeah - I can hook you up with some star polyps and other softies :D
03/04/2006, 09:14 AM
How should I put this.....Lets just say that ANY T5 unit that doesnt have individual reflectors for each T5 bulb is less than useful...? Is that kind enough?
Anyway DO NOT make the same mistake I did. Get yourself a good unit that has the right reflectors or build yourself a retro (cheapest option). Go with one of the following.. Tek or Aquatinics hood. If you dont mind a retro, buy the Tek retro kit from reefgeek, or buy the parts yourself using Icecap reflectors (the best available), or buy the parts and computer designed reflectors from Aqualux which are about 99% as good as the Icecap and alot cheaper.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.
03/04/2006, 09:37 AM
Tek or Aquatinics hoods Were can I look at some of those. Do you have any links
03/04/2006, 11:00 AM
I am wondering why you are saying no to MH? I thought that same in the begin of the hobby, due to the cost of the MH. Now I can't wait to replace my ballast and refire my 70MH over my 7 gallon tank again. If you are dead set on no MH, then fine get T5s, but any inclination what-so-ever about MH, do it. I personally think that is a little bit of sun in each one of those bulbs b/c they are so bright.
Agreeing from above, a light is only as good as the reflector behind it. Just think, no reflector means that you are only getting 50% of the bulb's usefulness and no point it lighting the other bulbs with non-individual reflectors.
Best of luck figuring out everything.
03/04/2006, 11:31 AM
I have never found a metal halide that I liked. And I dont like the heat it generates. I prefer the T-5 look also
03/04/2006, 01:11 PM
I had to build a custom bow'ed canopy for my bowfront tank. A 46 gallon would be a beast to curve. I had a couple days of fun building one that is 16" wide, it could take a week plus for a 36" one =).
Good luck with the T5 only projuect, I would love to see pictures once it is running.
03/05/2006, 03:05 PM
HEY FELLOW PANA GUY I HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING T-5 LIGHTS ALSO AND I LIKE THE TEK LIGHTS I HAVE LOOKED ALL OVER AND REEFGEEK.COM HAS THEM JUST ABOUT AS CHEAP AS I HAVE FOUND THEM I THINK WHEN I AM READY I AM GOING TO GET ONE FROM THEM THEY ARE CHEAPER THAN THE ONES ON EBAY. THE TEK LIGHTS ALSO HAVE A LOW PROFILE LOOK AND IT IS PRETTY CLEAN LOOKING. I THINK YOU CAN GET THEM IN SILVER OR BLACK TOO.
03/05/2006, 03:35 PM
03/06/2006, 05:23 PM
I have also been looking into the T5 I have a 55 gal Tank are the 8 bulb lights to much or should I use the 4 light I have read that the 8 may to much for a softie tank.
03/06/2006, 09:34 PM
8 bulbs is WAY too wide for a 55g....even the 6 is too much. The 4 would probably fit just about perfect. Though as noted, T5 is not very good for softies. Its simply too bright and most wont do well. If you want softies go with VHO or PC, or low watt halides like 150w ones. 4 T5s may not sound like a lot of light, but over a 55 its a hell of a lot. I have only 6 on my 75 and many things dont like it.
03/06/2006, 11:41 PM
I would just like to say that my zoanthids love my 70w MH over the MB7. Somedays I think they are reaching up to hug it:inlove:
03/08/2006, 07:19 AM
Well I have decided on the tek light. I am going with the 4bulb setup
03/08/2006, 08:48 AM
I think that will be plenty good for you. In fact it may very well be too much light for some softies/LPS. Those Tek units are nice. Not quite as good as the Icecap units, but they are very good.
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