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questions about T5 lights and refugium lighting

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Rownsurf

Member
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
21
Location
Norfolk, Virginia
Hello,

Ive been setting up my 75 gallon reef for about 4 months now. I'm currently running an aqualight 260 PC with moonlights. I'm interested in supplementing some T5 lighting as well. I'd looked at MH, but the heat and price to run/upkeep is a bit much, especially on the electric bill I share with roommates. They're starting to notice! ;) So just wondering if anyone had seen any good deals on T5, and how many bulbs I should look for. I'd like a preassambled fixture.

Also, I've recently used some old plastic tank dividers I had sitting around to divide the 20L sump. Have my euroreef protein skimmer and mag return pump and using the middle section as a refugium. What sort of light would be adequate for this. Any suggestions on brands or good sites to buy would be appreciated!

thanks,

Justin
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I would avoid MH lighting myself if your worried about cost, depending on your rates it can easily add another $30 or more to your electrical bill per month. When I had them it was an additional $60 per bill. I was spending more on lighting than I was on entertainment for the month.

I don't have a comment for your T5 question, but Melev on Reef Central turned me (and alot of people) on to this type of bulb for a refugium ...

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=313318

I bought a similar one made by Lights of America that puts out 1025 lumens. (From Home Depot) It and a clamp on fixture were only $13, in my sump it has made a huge difference. It takes up less space, runs cooler, and has more focused light just for the refugium part of my sump so I'm not lighting up the return pump and entire underneath of the stand. I've also had a huge jump in growth compared to my old PC lights which were two 32W bulbs and a bulky hood.

They put out a pretty yellow light but for a refugium it looks fine. I plan on trying to light a planted FW tank with them as a experiment.
 

fishermann

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Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
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Searcy, Arkansas
Desolas is rite on the money with that HD lite for the sump, it works great. If you want to keep sps corals you well need the MH's, if not you for sure don't need them. Softies and LPS well do just fine under t5's or pc's and so well anemones. If you want clams you should have MH's. Desolas is rite about the heat and the expense also. It depends on what you want to keep as to what you should do.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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Seattle, WA
also with lighting make sure to plan now and it'll save you money in the long run. I went with PC's first on my tank and within a month or two I went with metal halides. Guess I am just a lover of metal halides and that is the only light I would have on my tank. With adequate ventilation and all I don't have the heat problems. My tank temperature goes up about 2 degrees during the day. No light I've seen beautifies a tank quite like metal halides. :)

If a year down the road you ever want to get a clam or an anemone then you should go ahead with MH's.
 

fishermann

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Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
Location
Searcy, Arkansas
my MH's added about 40 a month and they do run hotter then my pc's on my other tank by quite a bit. You do not need MH's for anemones. Some softies do not like MH's and have to be put under ledges or down really low when maybe you would like them higher on the reef
 

fishermann

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Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
Location
Searcy, Arkansas
mine was around 60 with two tanks, skimmers, sumps, with pc's on all, when i converted the 75 to sps only and put 2-250 MH's my bill went up another low 40's amonth, had to add AC in a window to keep the temp down[ even with 3 fans in the hood ] .
 

DonW

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Dec 15, 2003
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Tacoma, WA
I have to agree with Matt. I would probably wait for MH. My power bill went up by about $10 with my tank upgrade pumps and lights. I think most people bore sooner or latter and upgrade to MH. You can get tiny t-5 hellios that are self contained for about $25 at most good LFS. They make cool supplimental lighting and will light any fuge on a budget. I have four 3ft units on my tank and even the clams open up when they come on. As clumbsy as I am, I would not put a clip on or any other loose fixture over my sump.


Don
 

Rownsurf

Member
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
21
Location
Norfolk, Virginia
Thanks for the response everyone!

I'm going to go check for that bulb for the refugium tonight!

As for the display tank lighting, will it be worthwhile to go ahead and add some T5 to the 260 watts of PC I currently have, or just let it be for now? Anything but clams and SPs really will do acceptable under PC?

Justin
 

Abissus

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Feb 8, 2004
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Redmond, WA
I don't know if it is true or not. I read somewhere that MH has cheaper maintainance than VHO. Mostly because VHO's spectrum changes within 6 months and MH hold their spectrum longer, so replacement VHO's are going to more expansive.

Comments about that?

Joyce
 

fishermann

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Messages
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Justin you are rite pc's are plenty for softies and you can get 10k pc's that make your water shimmer almost like MH's do. I have ran my pc's for eighteen months and still had no cyno show up, they claim you can get 2 yrs out of pc's, I haven't tried for that long. You could probably use some more lighting if your tank is a little under lit' it is more the look that you want. I haven't used T5's so can't speak about them. The sump lite from HD clamps on and well not go anywhere, I know several people who use it. I don't use vho's so don't know about their life span.
 

Rownsurf

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Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
21
Location
Norfolk, Virginia
Yeah, I have 2x 10k and 2x Actinic PC on there now. It looks fine as far as I'm concerned, for the time being anyways ;) Was more concerned about whether the anemone and any begiiner corals I put in would need the extra light just yet.

Thanks again for all the help!!
 

fishermann

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Messages
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Searcy, Arkansas
My 3yr old brn lg ten. anem. is under 96 watt 10k and a half actinic and half 10k 96 watt pc's and is doing just fine on my 20" deep 58 oceanic tank and he is on the bottom and is about 12" dia. AS long as your corals aren't sps you should be fine.
 

Rownsurf

Member
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
21
Location
Norfolk, Virginia
Hey all,

Went out last night and bought the clip on housing and looked for that builb, but I could find it in my area. I bought a Sylvania brand 75 watt halogen par38 for indoor/outdoor use. All the specs seem the same, but of course no color/temp on box. Assuming this comes out to be 5100k, should this bulb work the same, or is there soemthing else about the Commericla Elec bulb?
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Rownsurf, if I remember right from looking at that bulb you bought when I was comparing it didn't have near the lumen output as the PC bulbs have, but I could be wrong. If it is high enough output it should be fine for just macro's, etc.

mattseattle, I'm in Lynnwood (Sno. County PUD) I say $60, but it is actually $30/month, we're billed every 60 days. My PUD bill dropped from $250 every two months to $190 once I shut my lights down. I was also including into that the cost of running the fans and the dehumidifier as a result of the MH's, so I am wrong, the lights alone won't cost as much.

I also agree, hands down MH is the best lighting you can use IMO, but it's gotta work for your situation as well. Having an apartment with it's own weather system wasn't working for me. :)
 
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