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  #1  
Old 01/09/2008, 02:18 PM
ReefDreamz ReefDreamz is offline
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How much better are these T5's than my PC's

Right now I have the current orbit fixture its got 4x96w PC's

This new fixture from current has 6x39w T5's

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewIt...s~vendor~.html

How much better is this than the PC fixture? Could it be used for SPS and clams?

-Cody
  #2  
Old 01/09/2008, 02:22 PM
The_Browns The_Browns is offline
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  #3  
Old 01/09/2008, 02:28 PM
ReefDreamz ReefDreamz is offline
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Thanks.
Here:
http://www.current-usa.com/nova_extreme_pro
  #4  
Old 01/09/2008, 03:22 PM
cd77 cd77 is offline
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You might want to post in this forum.

Looks like the unit has individual reflectors which is good. My first inclination (assuming this is for your 46G) is to say you'd be OK with SPS, don't know about clams. Definitely ask in the lighting/equipment forum about what types of bulbs to get also.

FWIW, I've owned Coralife, Current USA (both T5 and MH) and Aquactinics fixtures, and I put my Current USA fixtures at the very bottom of this short manufacturer list. TEK fixture may be another one worth looking into that isn't quite as expensive as Aquactinics. Seriously consider MH though too
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  #5  
Old 01/09/2008, 03:34 PM
ReefDreamz ReefDreamz is offline
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Really I owned both the current orbit 2x96w and now the 4x96w and I have not had a problem with either they both work perfectly. Also this unit comes with bulbs "SlimPaq high output T5 lamps offer a quantum leap in lamp performance, with more than 50% higher output compared to an ordinary T5, T8 or T12 fluorescent systems" and its only $300. But I'm not trying to compare T5 fixtures to other T5 fixtures I'm trying to compare 234w of T5's versus 384w of PC's.
  #6  
Old 01/09/2008, 04:13 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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I'd guess they are similar. It's hard to say exactly how much more efficient T-5's are - there just isn't great quantitative data available. The individual reflectors should help the T-5's penetrate deeper, but they won't likley have the same advantage at the surface. Most people seem to say T-5's are "way" better and they probably are, but I have no idea how to quantify "way"
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  #7  
Old 01/09/2008, 04:40 PM
Aquabucket Aquabucket is offline
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HOT5s are much better than PCs due to the fact that the bulbs have higher PAR values than PCs. In fact some of the actinic and bluer spectrum bulbs have PAR values comparable to daylight bulbs.

The problem is many people still think of a bulbs light output to be based on watts. This is a poor way to compare bulbs. Watts are nearly the amount of energy used by the bulbs and is not an indication of how much beneficial light they give off for corals.

PCs also run hotter and are harder to cool due to their poor shape. When fluorescent bulbs run hotter they lose efficiency, spectrum and overall life. The shape of a PC bulb also wastes a lot of light with a good portion emitting upward.

Overall T5s are a much better choice.
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  #8  
Old 01/09/2008, 04:54 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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Aquabucket, can you define "much" in terms of PAR value? This would be a great Reefkeeping article - hint hint
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  #9  
Old 01/09/2008, 05:03 PM
pledosophy pledosophy is offline
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I went from 192w of PC lighting with individual reflectors to 156w of T5 lighting (the old Nova) that all shared a single reflector. The difference was ridiculous. Made me feel silly.

I originally planned on running the T5's with the PC's. The T5 was just to supplment. But when I couldn't tell whether or not the PC's were on cuz the T%'s were so bright, I just stopped using the PC's. When I moved I never set them back up.

I'm running the old fixture witht he 4 39w bulbs on a single reflector and have had no issues with my crocea which is about 1' under the lgith in the last 10 months. It is growing.

Just started trying the SPS, will have to see.
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  #10  
Old 01/09/2008, 05:11 PM
Aquabucket Aquabucket is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by m2434
Aquabucket, can you define "much" in terms of PAR value? This would be a great Reefkeeping article - hint hint
RC member Grimreefer has quite a bit of info available in the Lighting and equipment forum.

Basically the T5s put out enough PAR for higher light demanding inverts like acropora corals, clams and anemones. PCs simply can not emit enough PAR to sustain many of the creatures that T5s can.
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  #11  
Old 01/09/2008, 06:48 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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I've been looking for a comparison of T-5 to CF to MH's for a while and can't find any. If anyone knows of any, then please let me know.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aquabucket
PCs simply can not emit enough PAR to sustain many of the creatures that T5s can.
Really? I have a feeling that if you could direct 1000W of PC light at a 10g, you could keep clams


I had 4x65W PC's on my 20G and switched to a sjngle150W HQI. To my eyes the PC looked much brighter, however this doesn't say anything about the PAR values. I didn't do any kind of acclimation and my corals didn't seem to even notice the change. This suggests that the PAR value isn't dramatically higher than the PC's, if it's higher at all. But the best guess I can make is to say that they are similar. If so, this would mean that the MH's are .73 times more efficient than the PC's. Based on the behavior of the corals I really doubt it's much more than that, if any, but this is just a guess...
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  #12  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:07 PM
Aquabucket Aquabucket is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by m2434
I've been looking for a comparison of T-5 to CF to MH's for a while and can't find any. If anyone knows of any, then please let me know.

Really? I have a feeling that if you could direct 1000W of PC light at a 10g, you could keep clams

I had 4x65W PC's on my 20G and switched to a sjngle150W HQI. To my eyes the PC looked much brighter, however this doesn't say anything about the PAR values. I didn't do any kind of acclimation and my corals didn't seem to even notice the change. This suggests that the PAR value isn't dramatically higher than the PC's, if it's higher at all. But the best guess I can make is to say that they are similar. If so, this would mean that the MH's are .73 times more efficient than the PC's. Based on the behavior of the corals I really doubt it's much more than that, if any, but this is just a guess...
Placing 1000ws of PCs over a standard 10G tank is not applicable. The size of PC bulbs limit you to how many bulbs can fit over the tank.

There is plenty of data out there with regard to the PAR values of PCs, T5s, and MH. You are basing your statements on unscientific data and merely your perception of things. Whether you think the PAR values are dramatically more is not the issue. The fact is the values are more and with deeper tanks this is dramatic enough to make a difference whether certain species will thrive long term in captivity.
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  #13  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:25 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aquabucket
Placing 1000ws of PCs over a standard 10G tank is not applicable. The size of PC bulbs limit you to how many bulbs can fit over the tank.
I'm sure if you were cleaver enough you could design a reflector to do so.

Of course, I wouldn't recommend it


Quote:
Originally posted by Aquabucket
There is plenty of data out there with regard to the PAR values of PCs, T5s, and MH.
Where? There does seem to be data on MH's but I've never seen published PAR values for PCs or T-5's.


Quote:
Originally posted by Aquabucket

You are basing your statements on unscientific data and merely your perception of things.
Yes, that's what a "guess" means...



Quote:
Originally posted by Aquabucket

Whether you think the PAR values are dramatically more is not the issue. The fact is the values are more and with deeper tanks this is dramatic enough to make a difference whether certain species will thrive long term in captivity.
It does make some difference, I think you could keep more with
384w of PC light than a single 39W T-5. The question is where to draw the line. Is 78W of T-5 lighting more than 384 PC? How about 117W or 156 etc... ?

Don't get me wrong, for the most part I agree with you.
Personally I would prefer T-5s or MHs any day, due to the efficiency, but it's naive to say that T-5s are more light regardless.

My point is we need published data to be able to quantify the differences.
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  #14  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:38 PM
Aquabucket Aquabucket is offline
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The main point I am trying to make is it does not matter how many PCs you put over a tank they are still limited by how effective they penetrate the water as depth increases. Simply having more PCs by wattage in a limited amount of space will not allow them to penetrate deeper areas of the aquarium. Basically you will have a more widespread pattern of light but that light will be limited to the upper portions of the aquarium.
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  #15  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:20 PM
ReefDreamz ReefDreamz is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I have one acro frag high up in the tank. It was blue when I bought it now its brown, I have many zoa frags that are healthy but are not growing, and I wont even attempt a clam. My params are right on, I have no algae, my tank looks immaculate (props to deltec). If I switched to 234 watts of T5 would my acro color up, would my zoas grow faster, could I keep a maxima? Based on your responses I think its worth a try.
  #16  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:38 PM
cd77 cd77 is offline
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They don't claim the efficiency of their reflectors (that I found) and the "SlimPaq high output T5 lamps offer a quantum leap in lamp performance, with more than 50% higher output compared to an ordinary T5, T8 or T12 fluorescent systems" advertisement doesn't tell me what they consider an "ordinary" T5 system to be. Sometimes you do get what you pay for though.

It may be worth a try, yes. But, I'd still post in the Lighting forum and (as suggested by Aquabucket) also ask The Grim Reefer for bulb recommendations. The combination he suggested for me is absolutely stunning. My 70G is now entirely SPS, running 7x54W T5-HO bulbs. Assuming running similar bulb combination and similar quality fixture, you can do the W/G calculations -- but again, as suggested earlier, PAR, reflector quality, choice of bulbs, coral depth, etc.. are all more important than just watts per gallon.

You'll also want to take care introducing your new light, by starting with a lower photo-period and gradually increasing it so as not to shock your corals.

Good luck!
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  #17  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:38 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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Browning is typically a result of nitrate. It usually suggests that the zooxanthellae, which is brown, is growing too fast as a result of excess nutrients. They may color up if you switch as the pigmentation appears to be photoprotective, but, thats assuming you can limit nutrients first. The genneral Idea of SPS tanks seems to be to blast the heck out of corals with excess light, so you get pigment formation, and limit the nutrients so zooxanthellae stil dosn't grow fast...

I think you would be fine with clams and SPS corals with the T-5's. I've seen PC tanks with SPS and clams, but you are probably much safer going with T-5's.
As I said before, with individual reflectors, they should penetrate deeper, so you would not need to keep them right at the surface.
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