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Old 04/21/2017, 08:36 AM   #26
Reeferman1019
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You will need all 48 inches of T5 fixture. The poster above was saying that if you get a supplemental LED panel, to get one that is smaller since they spill light off of the edges. The T5 won't do this and you want to be end-to-end.

The problem with four bulbs is that they won't cover 24 deep very well unless you raise it way up. A pair of two-bulbs that has some distance between then would be better than a single four. I would get an 6 or an 8, but four could work. It depends on the fixture, but usually, you can turn them on in pairs, but read up before you buy one.


I was looking into the BRS 4 bulb Sun Blaze in the 48inch length...now kinda can't decide either with the 36 vs 48 length


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Old 04/21/2017, 09:30 AM   #27
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You will need all 48 inches of T5 fixture. The poster above was saying that if you get a supplemental LED panel, to get one that is smaller since they spill light off of the edges. The T5 won't do this and you want to be end-to-end.

The problem with four bulbs is that they won't cover 24 deep very well unless you raise it way up. A pair of two-bulbs that has some distance between then would be better than a single four. I would get an 6 or an 8, but four could work. It depends on the fixture, but usually, you can turn them on in pairs, but read up before you buy one.
That's not what I was saying, he interpreted me correctly. I'm saying a 36" fixture for T5 no matter when they are alone or a supplement.

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Old 04/21/2017, 09:47 AM   #28
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That's not what I was saying, he interpreted me correctly. I'm saying a 36" fixture for T5 no matter when they are alone or a supplement.

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so go with a 36" fixture 4 or 6 bulb?


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Old 04/21/2017, 10:24 AM   #29
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so go with a 36" fixture 4 or 6 bulb?
You can put 4 bulbs in a 6 bulb fixture, but not 6 bulbs in a 4 bulb fixture


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Old 04/21/2017, 10:45 AM   #30
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You can put 4 bulbs in a 6 bulb fixture, but not 6 bulbs in a 4 bulb fixture


any brands of fixture you like from BRS, Marine Depot, Amazon, or any other brands etc


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Old 04/21/2017, 11:32 AM   #31
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any brands of fixture you like from BRS, Marine Depot, Amazon, or any other brands etc


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I think ATI and Geismann are considered the gold standard, but someone else should chime in as I don't have much experience with T5 fixtures.


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Old 04/21/2017, 02:01 PM   #32
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On an ATI six bulb unit 4 bulbs and 2 bulbs have different power cords.


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Old 04/21/2017, 02:09 PM   #33
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My apologies for the misrepresentation of your comments. Sorry.

You might have to search pretty hard to find somebody else who suggests a 36" T5 fixture for a 48" tank. This is a mistake IMO. Your output is going to be small on the last 10-12 inches on each side of the tank instead of the last 4-6 inches.

ATI and Gieseman are VERY good. Aquamedic, if you can find one, are pretty good. Some of the Hydroponics fixtures are better than some of the cheap retro kits. A bad T5 setup is not really worth owning. A good one can grow anything and probably last a decade.


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Old 04/21/2017, 02:39 PM   #34
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just build a canopy yourself and use a retro fit kit. I just bought this one.
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/hamilt...-retrofit.html
just buy what ever you want and make the canopy big enough to add a fixture or LED's later.
You can make a canopy that sits on the tank or a floating one


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Old 04/21/2017, 03:05 PM   #35
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just build a canopy yourself and use a retro fit kit. I just bought this one.
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/hamilt...-retrofit.html
just buy what ever you want and make the canopy big enough to add a fixture or LED's later.
You can make a canopy that sits on the tank or a floating one
Can you point me to any DIY plans for a floating canopy?


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Old 04/21/2017, 03:06 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by booyaa138 View Post
just build a canopy yourself and use a retro fit kit. I just bought this one.
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/hamilt...-retrofit.html
just buy what ever you want and make the canopy big enough to add a fixture or LED's later.
You can make a canopy that sits on the tank or a floating one


I was just gonna get a 48" 4 Bulb T5 and hang it over tank 12" over water line using 2 Blue+ and 2 Coral+ Bulbs


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Old 04/21/2017, 03:09 PM   #37
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I was just gonna get a 48" 4 Bulb T5 and hang it over tank 12" over water line using 2 Blue+ and 2 Coral+ Bulbs


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I will supplement with LED strips in the future


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Old 04/21/2017, 03:50 PM   #38
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Can you point me to any DIY plans for a floating canopy?
Use the search function and search floating canopy. lots of them come up in peoples builds.


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Old 04/21/2017, 03:52 PM   #39
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I was just gonna get a 48" 4 Bulb T5 and hang it over tank 12" over water line using 2 Blue+ and 2 Coral+ Bulbs


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Just trying to give you a cheaper option. You said above you didn't want a fancy fixture with dimming and advanced features.


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Old 04/21/2017, 04:03 PM   #40
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Just trying to give you a cheaper option. You said above you didn't want a fancy fixture with dimming and advanced features.


I will look into the BRS retrokit lighting options. The setup I listed above will work well too ya think?


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Old 04/21/2017, 10:25 PM   #41
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Lots of great info on here. All forms of light can work nearly as well as the next if used properly. Cost will be all over the map. In my own experience, LEDs have a certain look to them that is really nice. Radium metal halide bulbs have what I consider to be 100% perfect look to them. I literally have no complaints. But at the end of the day, my corals seem to just generally respond best to t5ho. I like the way my tank looks for the most part. It lacks the led glow and the metal halide brilliance, but my coral just grows better. It's a more forgiving light source and leaves absolutely nothing up to guessing on spectrum or coverage. So that's what I choose. For your tank a 6 bulb 48" sunblaze minimum, ati preferred, hung 12" off the water would be perfext


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Old 04/21/2017, 11:17 PM   #42
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I will look into the BRS retrokit lighting options. The setup I listed above will work well too ya think?


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Yes it will. The only problem I see is if you want to add LED's later. Might be hard with that fixture. If you want to buy that fixture then I would buy the 6 bulb setup and just start with 4 bulbs.


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Old 04/22/2017, 01:59 AM   #43
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led is the most convenient and less costly on the long run


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Old 04/22/2017, 06:01 AM   #44
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led is the most convenient and less costly on the long run


That's a blanket statement that isn't entirely accurate. Ones tank size and brand of fixture will determine if it's cheaper. Under lighting it with two black boxes would be cheaper than a brand new giesemann spectra, yes, but a pair or trio of radions pro will not be cheaper than a 6 bulb ati sunpower. Not even through the life of the fixtures


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Old 04/22/2017, 07:23 AM   #45
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Reeferman1019,
As far as 36in vs 48in, I have a 5ft tank. I have received both opinions in regards to whether to match the length or not. Many have said the 48in would be perfect, a couple others said I should go with the 60in. Thing is, numerous reefers use 60in T5's for a 72in long tank, and seem to do fine with it. If you go with 36in T5's, then you need to take that into consideration with aquascaping and coral placement along the outer 6in of length on either side. Same goes for whether to get 4 or 6 bulb. I know you keep referring to being 12 in height, but that does not matter when considering # of bulbs. What matters is depth (front to back). If you go with 4, then you will have less depth to work with when placing corals than if you have 6. So, any of these combinations are possible, but will affect coral placement and type. The more length and depth of T5's, the more spread out your coral placement can be and the more light demanding corals you can have. Make sense? The great LED vs. T5 debate can go on forever, but I am fairly convinced that the BEST is hybrid solution. It just makes sense. It just sounds like right now, your budget isn't going to allow for hybrid set-up. So, first decide what your goal is for this tank as far as SPS dominant, LPS, softies, mixed reef, etc. Picture how you want it to look, minimal design with a lot of open swimming space on the sides or filled out from front to back and side to side. Then choose b/t LED and T5's. It's your decision, and should be an informed one, with all the info provided on this thread. I think you will find that for your budget, T5's will be the cheapest up front. The reefbreeders suggested by Ron are I think the best compromise b/t price of LED's and quality(little to no disco effect and features provided), but one of these units maybe out of your budget? The videos of some of cheap Chinese black boxes I have seen do have considerable light separation and discoball effect that just ruins it for me personally, but they would be in your budget and do grow corals for sure. My budget is limited too, but maybe not as much as yours, so I am going to do some sort of reefbreeders LED with T5 retrofits. This gets me that hybrid set-up for still under what I would pay for some of the more expensive all LED set-ups like ecotech radions, kessil, or AI. Good luck!


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Old 04/28/2017, 02:19 PM   #46
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thx everyone for the great help I went with a 48" 4 bulb T5HO will run it for a few then possible upgrade


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