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View Full Version : VHO -> T5 conversion (w/ IC-660)


slimytadpole
03/14/2006, 02:22 PM
So I'm a little out of the loop, here, and T5 is new to me.

I have a 75 gallon with 4x110 VHO. 2 x URI Super Actinic, and 2 x URI Actinic/White 50/50.

The end caps are cracking, so I'm looking are replacing everything but the ballast (Icecap 660). So I've got the option of sticking with what I have, or switching over to T5.

However, I know nothing of T5, so I wantted to know what the advantages were, and if I could use those advantages given my ballast. From comments on this forum, I understand that the 660 doesn't drive a T5 like other T5 ballasts, but I'm not sure what the difference is.

So the questions:
1) Given a VHO tube at 110w, what is the T5 equivalent that woud give the same amount of light?
2) What wattage would I be looking at for a 4ft tube?
3) Is it possible to use the Icecap 660 to drive T5s in a configuration that would give me more light than my current 4x110w VHO setup?

Horace
03/14/2006, 03:07 PM
your ballast will overdrive 4x54w T5s to 4x78w. They will be much brighter than the typical T5 that is standard driven. It will be a HELL OF ALOT more bright than your getting right now for sure if you get good reflectors (icecap are the best). a 4 bulb setup with an icecap 660 is enough light for SPS and will probably cause issues with softies/LPS because its too bright. If you have alot of softies/lps I would consider just getting new VHOs, otherwise you will toast your corals. Overdriven T5s are extremely powerful. Even standard driven ones are pretty darn powerful...much more powerful than 4 VHOs anyway.

slimytadpole
03/14/2006, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the fast response.

Part of the problem I'm having is that my LPSs have been a bit "bleh" since I upgraded form a 29 to a 75. They used to be very close to the surface of the 29, and very happy there. In the 75 I'm periodically moving them around, and they away do better with more light. But VHOs just don't offer the opportunity to give that kind of light to the whole tank.

So I was hoping a move to T5 (I have no interest in MH) would give me a marginal boost in light. From the sounds of it, it's going to be a bit more than marginal.

I'm wondering, though, if I can get away with a 3-bulb configuration, with the option of installing the 4th if and when I feel the time is right (or never, if a 3-bulb T5 configuration would the marginal boost, over 4x110 VHO, that I'm looking for).

chrisc615
03/14/2006, 03:50 PM
After alot of reading about T5s here on RC I was scared away from them. They sound great for an SPS tank but many say their LPS(85%+ of my tank) just don't like T5s.

nebraskareef
03/14/2006, 03:50 PM
You could do the 3 bulb for awhile w/ the 660 no problem. Thats probably what I would do. You can always expand. Who knows, by the time you decide if you even need the 4th, price may go down as well.

I say, go with 3.

Horace
03/14/2006, 04:03 PM
You coudl just go with lower PAR bulbs too... For example getting the True Actinic instead of the Blue+. That will help some. But I will say with 100% certainty that 4x78w overdriven bulbs is going to be alot more than you have now. Perhaps even more than double.

bassnman11
03/14/2006, 06:29 PM
If you convert and you think you are getting to much light, you can remove a reflector or 2 and just use a white painted hood. I did this to aclimate my livestock to the T5s, starting with 2 bulbs and adding one every 3 days, then added the reflectors in the same pattern. I am running 4 x54s on a 55 gal and they are bright.

horkn
03/14/2006, 08:50 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6955227#post6955227 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by bassnman11
If you convert and you think you are getting to much light, you can remove a reflector or 2 and just use a white painted hood. I did this to aclimate my livestock to the T5s, starting with 2 bulbs and adding one every 3 days, then added the reflectors in the same pattern. I am running 4 x54s on a 55 gal and they are bright.

thatsa greta idea bassman.

even turning a reflector upside down and pointing up instead of down will help acclimate corals to the t5ho brightness.