WEll PCs are definetly alot Hotter... PCs are said to last about 1yr but I found that they may last 6m tops... T5s are really nice... They are pretty cool to the touch... Light output is so much better than PCs and are said to last about 2yrs... I have also seen people keep SPS/Clams with some pretty amazing colors under t5s... IMO if you are debating Skip the junk and go for the better... IMO PCs are Junk and should never have been made..
I respect your opinion. My opinon is somewhat different. I have 4 96wt pc. bulbs. I like them alot. Here is a picture of what they can do. I am not in any way downing t-5s. I believe if you compare prices, of a 4 x96 watt pc fixture, a 6 x54 watt t-5 fixture and a 2x 175 watt MH plus 2 vho fixture. If you shop around you will be amazed. I have found High quality well made mh+vho retrofit fixtures new in box on ebay for less than I paid for my compact and less than I can find a comparable t-5 fixture. I have to say if I had it to do over again, I would of bought MH from the start. Now I have alot of money tied up in PC and will be switching to MH. I dont think they are junk, just not enough to do what I want, the way I want to do it. I am keeping acro, anmeone, clams, motipora, hydnophora, and merlina under pc, so the obviously work. LOL Here is a photo could it be better with MH? YES!!!!! that is the next step in my tank. HTH you to make a good decision. Steve
I do tend to prefer the H.O. T5 to the PC for those reasons, but one thing misleading & I would have to dig deeply to find it but typically All fluorescent have a usefulness of 6 months, testing has proven regardless of how bright they look, PAR fall off is about the same time. Use the T5 & make sure to also invest into good reflectors, this is very important.
Oh yea with the right set of MH, it doesn't need suplementing with fluorescents, & will support just about anything you want at a reasonable cost. So if you decide to use a combo, it maybe even cheaper going just a set of mh so you can op for electronic ballast.
Look on ebay, check the company out real good, I have seen what I think are quality retrofit systems with xm bulbs for under 400$. That is so close to what it costs for 4x96watt pc or 6x54watt t-5 that in my opinion I was wrong to every buy pc. I like them, but I wish I had just got mh. HTH Steve
I was told by my local fish shop that the t5 fixtures are being discontinued. Does anyone have any info on this ? I'm afraid of getting into something with no future.
I also have ruled out MH due to heat. I don't have a chiller. I'm looking at putting just softies in my tank (65 gal 48 x 15 x 21 deep). If I get the t5's I will only have 324 watts (6 x 54). PC's in the 4x96 watt (384 watts) cost quite a bit more. Is the extra 60 watts worth it ? Do I really need it. I like the compact design and less heat of the t5's
Funny, this is new to me, I may be wrong but I think your LFS is a little off on this idea. In a matter fact I'd dare to say T5 is getting more popular these days. The cost issue for 65watts, I'd probably go with the T5, but consult your LFS first, (joking) heat can be an issue regardless what you use. Locating fans is a good way to reduce heat, there is options before going all out on getting a chiller, which BTW is nice if you can afford one. I have VHO's & MH with lots of fans, I know I'm pushing 82 at times, I also keep fans blowing in the hood & in the sump when needed.