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  #1  
Old 01/23/2007, 11:24 AM
baloutang baloutang is offline
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Location: California
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Easy to switch to T5's from VHO's?

Hi,

I'm currently running 60" Icecap VHO's with a 430 ballast. I was wondering how difficult it would be to replace/convert that to Icecap T5's. Here's what my current, lighting/hood setup looks like.





Let me know if this is a relatively easy project or something that would be more time consuming.
Thanks,
Dave
  #2  
Old 01/23/2007, 11:27 AM
clayspst clayspst is offline
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how far off the water are your VHO's
  #3  
Old 01/23/2007, 11:33 AM
baloutang baloutang is offline
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VHO's are approx. 10 inches above water
  #4  
Old 01/23/2007, 12:02 PM
Amphiprion Amphiprion is offline
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How old is the ballast? If it is dated post 1996(ish), then it should drive T5s. As far as conversion, it is as simple as getting new endcaps. The wiring, etc., remains the same.
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  #5  
Old 01/23/2007, 01:47 PM
rooroo rooroo is offline
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I switched half of my VHOs out for T5s. I have one 430 ballast running 2 36" T5s and another 430 ballast running 2 24" VHOs (actinic only). I did this because the actinic VHOs are much nicer than the actinic T5s.

So on a 430 Ballast, you can only run two T5 bulbs. You also need to be sure to run fans on the T5s when lit. But otherwise the switch out is a simple as swapping out endcaps, bulbs, and adding reflectors. Mine required a lot of rewiring because I went from 1 ballast to two.

If you have any questions let me know.
  #6  
Old 01/23/2007, 03:42 PM
baloutang baloutang is offline
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Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

Rooroo, how is your setup working for your corals? I was thinking about modifying my setup similar to the way you did yours.
Can any one suggest a good place to get the endcaps and bulbs from? This is my first switch out of lighting for this tank as I inherited this from the previous owner.

Thanks,
Dave
  #7  
Old 01/23/2007, 05:08 PM
rooroo rooroo is offline
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My corals were doing very well. Actually, I don't think theres much difference in the corals between the T5s and the VHOs, but I think the corals colors just look better. I actually had some problems with the bulbs I bought because I wasn't blowing fans on them at first, so they burnt out very early. I haven't had my T5s on for about a week now, but I've got my new bulbs and will be getting things up and running very soon. I really liked the difference in color I got from the T5s. The VHOs make the blues and reds pop a lot but the color is a lot whiter.

Once photobucket is working I'll post a before and after pic of my tank.
  #8  
Old 01/23/2007, 05:12 PM
rooroo rooroo is offline
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Here's what the setup looks like:



Before with VHO only:



After with 1/2 VHO and 1/2 T5 10K bulbs.

  #9  
Old 01/23/2007, 05:13 PM
rooroo rooroo is offline
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Oh, and excuse the conditions of the corals. I had moved them to a new tank not long before and they were recovering. I promise I will get good photos soon.

I got my endcaps from I think Drs Foster and Smith.
  #10  
Old 01/23/2007, 05:33 PM
baloutang baloutang is offline
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Thanks again for the pics. I don't know if I can do a T5 conversion, because of my tank size the T5's would be a step down from the current wattage I have and I would need to compensate with an additional set of lights and ballasts. I'm going under the assumption that there's approx. 3-7 watts per gallon. The T5's I was looking at are around 55. Let me know if I'm assuming incorrectly.
  #11  
Old 01/23/2007, 07:06 PM
Roland Jacques Roland Jacques is offline
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I would not do that switch.

Im in the middle of doing a light improvement also.

1. From what i can tell T-6 VHO put out about Twice the PAR as T-5 HO.

2. you can use your same end caps just they way they are. and from what i heard the price per lamp is about the same as t-5s.

it looks like win win to me. now finding them is another story. you have to call All seas Marine and find a dealer they are mostly LFS that have them.
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