4 36" T5 on 65 gal Mixed Reef Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by JMetaxas, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. JMetaxas

    JMetaxas Active Member

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    Curious about your opinions. I have 4 T5 36" bulbs over my 65 gallon tank. (36" wide, 24" deep(height)

    Would this be considered a low light tank? I do have SPS very high in the water column (top 3rd). It's only been a few weeks so I can't really comment on growth.

    The soft corals are doing well.
     
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  2. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have two 60" miro t5s over my tank and two more that will be here any day now. I also have a Seneye par meter being delivered this week. I plan on taking par measurements using two bulbs and then again using four bulbs and will post my findings hopefully Sunday.

    As of now I don't have a clue what my par is at. Maybe someone has a par measurement using four 36" t5 bulbs?

    Following as I would also like to know.
     
  3. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Type of bulbs and fixture will matter. 8 bulb ATI can put out 600-700 at the surface and 500 6-8 inches down. If you cut this in half and make a bunch of assumptions, then lower/medium light SPS could be fine on the upper part of the tank. Some of the best SPS do not require a ton of light.
     
  4. jacksonpt

    jacksonpt Member

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    Agreed. Ive got a 4x36 over my tank (36"long x 12"wide x 20"tall) and it's dang near overkill... so a good 4x39 with good bulbs should be a really good fit for a mixed reef.
     
  5. JMetaxas

    JMetaxas Active Member

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    That could be an issue regarding good fixture with good bulbs. I’m running an Odyssea fixture with their own brand bulbs. (36”) Two Actinic and two 12K. (Cost $80 in total ! ).

    I bought ATI bulbs but haven’t installed them yet.
     
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  6. Water Dog

    Water Dog Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    What kind of 4 bulb fixture do you own? Fixture design is very important in terms of T5 output and efficiency. Things like ballast type, proper cooling and most importantly, individual reflectors for each bulb will determine how effective you your fixture is. That is why ATI fixtures are the gold standard when it comes to T5 lighting, as they incorporate all three of the design features I mentioned.

    *Edit - Oops, just saw your response on the fixture type. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  7. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I suggest a par meter. I'm using a Seneye reef. Some lfs will even rent one out if you call and ask.
     
  8. Water Dog

    Water Dog Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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  9. JMetaxas

    JMetaxas Active Member

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    No doubt the Odyssea fixture is considered low-budget.

    That being said, I personally am not a believer in "you get what you pay for" for most cases. Of course, to a certain point, that's true, but I would first like to see real PAR #'s of an ATI fixture with ATI bulbs versus Chinese Odyssea fixture with their own bulbs.

    I'm not suggesting an ATI fixture doesn't put out more light, but it would be nice to know just by how much. 20%, 50%, double?
     
  10. Water Dog

    Water Dog Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I would say it’s more the difference in design features that matter, not necessarily price. There’s a long thread over on RC, comparing an ATI Sunpower and a Giesemann Natrixx II. Both fixtures are considered premium. The Giesemann fixture is actually a good bit more expensive than the ATI and also has individual reflectors. When compared side by side, the ATI, because it has active bulb cooling, put out well over 1/3 more par than the Giesemann fixture, which does not have active bulb cooling. So I would say that a properly designed fixture will without question, put out more par... regardless of price.

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2555781
     
  11. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    How high over the tank is the fixture ?

    And yea, you’ll want to swap the tubes.
    They do grow great corraline though.
     
  12. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Edit: never mind... I misunderstood.
     
  13. A. grandis

    A. grandis Valuable Member

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    ATI fixtures will drive the bulbs better because of the cooling system which runs the bulbs/ballasts more efficiently and gives them better PAR and longer life.
    Investment in German engineering equipment never comes void.
    There is a huge difference between the 2 fixtures in the long run. The individual reflectors of the ATI fixture is also what makes the difference.
    Getting the best bulbs you can afford and having a cheap fixture won't give you the best out of those bulbs.
    Does the Odyssea work? Yeah, ok. The fixtures from Amazon also work. I had a Nova fixture and worked fine, but soon realized that the ATI would be the very best thing I could purchase to replace that. That fixture is 10+ years old now and I still get very good results with it! Just can't go wrong with them.
    Good luck.
    Grandis.
     
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