MH or T5

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Manic, 26 Jul 2010.

  1. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Hey everyone,

    So lately I've been mesmerized by the reef central forums. What I have found is that every nice sps tank always uses T5's and not metal halides. So finally after sleepless nights due to reading, I've decided to go T5. It offers so much more colour choices and according to most threads provides more growth and colour. Now the thing is how many should I go for? My tank is 900mm X 900mm X 600mm (High), so obviously I have to go for 39W T5's. My scaping is such that I don't have corals 100mm from the back and 100mm from the front, so I only need 700mm of effective lighting.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2010
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  3. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    Well... How deep is the tank? If it's over 500mm, I'd still go MH. If it's not, then T5's should be ok. As far as I'm concerned, it's all about depth penetration. The deeper the tank, obviously the more power you will need.

    With regards to how many? I'd go for at least 6 x 39watt. 8 would be better.
     
  4. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    My water is 550mm deep. I promise you if you look at all the reef central forums tank depth means nothing, they are all running T5's. Zeovit even suggests running T5's instead of metal halides. My corals are all off the substrate though, so the light needs only be effective to about 350mm. I was thinking 8 t5's.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2010
  5. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Manic, you wont go wrong with T5's dude. It was the best move I made. My corals seem to grow better and look better in terms of color. My tank is 800 wide and I run 10 * 54W T5's. 10 should be fine on yours as well.

    In terms of light penetration, im sure you have seen some of the T5 lit tanks that are 750 deep on some of the international forums? It is all about water clarity. Run carbon, and you will have crystal clear water, therefore better light penetration.

    My tank is 600 deep and my light unit is 20 cm's above water level and I still get very good light penetration. Im planning on lowering it soon though for improved growth and color.
     
  6. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    So why the push for everyone to go MH? It's so confusing to me really... With 10 T5's you're running 540 watts of lighting. What's the difference between that and 2 x 250watt Halides? Seriously? Now I'm stumped. I always thought that MH's were the better way to go, and now I'm being told otherwise? I'd have preferred to only use T5's, personally... Too late now.
     
  7. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    Thats exactly what I thought (If you want sps then MH are the only way to go). Do yourself a favor and look at all the tanks that have won tank of the month on the zeovit forum and reef central forum, they all use T5's only.
     
  8. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    Been looking at them for a while now... I think for ease of installation, if you're doing the DIY thing, then MH is far easier to install. But if you're going to be buying a lighting unit, then I guess it's up the your own discretion. Granted, maybe a combination of both is then better? T5's and Halides? I have 2 x 150watt Halides and 2 x 54watt T5's. They are sitting a little too high for my liking, being 30cm or so above the water line, but they work like a charm.

    Oh well... More things to consider for the next tank setup... Which may be sooner, rather than later...
     
  9. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I'm just going to go full T5, it seems to give the best results. Hopefully I'll sell my 250W MH.
     
  10. SCOOBY

    SCOOBY SCOOBY

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    But will it cost to change bulbs if you have 10 x 54w t5 vs 2 x 250w MH?
     
  11. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Another good thing about T5's is, if you find your tank too white, add more blues, if it is too blue add more whites. If you want more of a pink or Actinic look........
     
  12. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    It depends how your priorities are set. Money vs Coral colour and growth.
     
  13. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    That is where the problem comes in Scooby, cost of bulbs. Then again, blues can always be run longer than white bulbs, as we use blues more for coloration rather than growth, so you can save a bit of money that way.
     
  14. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    Thats the way I'm thinking. Lets say you want growth for a few months, then just use 10 000K globes, you want colour, just swop a few out. It just makes it so much easier than a single globe.
     
  15. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Exactly Manic!
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    T5 with individual reflectors...
     
  17. FransSny

    FransSny

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    I personally think its not a MH / T5 thing...more important to get the correct spectrum of light, ie a lot of light is not always better than the "right" light. I think it is easier to achieve with T5 's due to the reasons already mentioned but MH does give an amount of WOW to a tank...my 2 C
     
  18. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    So then a combination of the 2 is better then? I get that... And you get the shimmer from the MH's... Personally, I really like the shimmer effect.

    So the correct colour spectrum is what exactly? 10 000K - 20 000K? I know plants like the redder spectrum. So best corals spectrum? If you look at the ocean's colour under water it's more blue, so around 14000K should be better right? Or am I totally off the mark here?
     
  19. neil.h

    neil.h

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    I haven't seen a lot of the tanks on reefcentral or Zeovit, but the flexability that T5's offer is quite a big plus point. Also not all pendants are created equal with reflection and ballasts playing a big role.

    I've got a Real Ocean 8X39W unit over my 600 deep tank that will be predominantly be softies and i'm going to try the following setup:

    3X 10 000 - 12 000k depending on whats available. Probably Sylvania to start with
    3X 6500k
    2XActinic

    Which should give a decent balance between white, yellow and blue/purple. Otherwise its easy enough to replace a tube for a different spectrum one.

    If I had the money, I would get one of the ATI units with the Power module :drool5::drool5::drool5:
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What about a Combo?

    2*150W MH plus 4*54W T5 = about 500W

    Same as 2*250W MH, but with option to "play" with different colour tubes.

    Interesting, had same discussion this afternoon at Dorry with Dewald and a another customer.
     
  21. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    Neil, that is going to be yellow, i have 10 000k x 3 and 20 000k x 3 (aqua medic tubes) and it is still a tad to white for me, thats just my opinion though
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2010
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