All T5 or T5/LED Hybrid?

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ReefinIt

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Reefbrites are great, Orphek bars too. If you want great coverage like t5s and color pop from Leds over a 120 gallon. I would absolutely go straight to the 36" Reefbrite metal halide unit with the XHOs attached front and back. Awesome coverage, spectrum, natural shimmer plus color pop.
I'm actually looking at halides now. I used them in the past, loved the look and growth was amazing. I just wish I could find a MH/T5 hybrid fixture because two 250s won't cut it and two 400s is too much electricity.

Do you think the reefbrites with two 250s would be enough? I know when I had just four 250s over my 240 gallon the light wasn't evenly distributed.
 
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Giesemann with 2 X 250W and 4 X T5s will be perfect for the 48" X 24" X 24".
If you can find a 48" Hamilton Cebu will also be great, but that fixture is kinda bulky. The Giesemann is elegant and has a tremendous distribution.
You could also buy a ReefBrite halide pendant system with ReefBrite XHOs on each side. I'm not a fan of LEDs and prefer the Giesemann instead. That is what I have now.
You can order the Giesemann online from EU or be lucky and find an used online or locally, but you need to be very lucky to find a used Spectra or Infinity cause there are so many people going back to halides/T5.
 
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Giesemann with 2 X 250W and 4 X T5s will be perfect for the 48" X 24" X 24".
If you can find a 48" Hamilton Cebu will also be great, but that fixture is kinda bulky. The Giesemann is elegant and has a tremendous distribution.
You could Also buy a ReefBrite halide pendant system with ReefBrite XHOs on each side. I'm not a fan of LEDs and prefer the Giesemann instead. That is what I have now.
You can order the Giesemann online from EU or be lucky and find an used online or locally, but you need to be very lucky to find a used Spectra o Infinity cause many people are going back to halides/T5.
I'm having trouble finding the Giesemann online in the US. Kinda pricey too since it doesn't come with a ballast, but I do like the fixture. Do you know if electronic ballasts fire single ended bulbs? I think I still have my E ballast from years and years ago.
 
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I'm having trouble finding the Giesemann online in the US. Kinda pricey too since it doesn't come with a ballast, but I do like the fixture. Do you know if electronic ballasts fire single ended bulbs? I think I still have my E ballast from years and years ago.
Yes, they do fire either DE or SE bulbs. I still prefer to use the recommended magnetic ballasts for each particular bulbs I choose, but I have used E-ballasts for years without any problems. What e-ballast do you have? I'm assuming you prefere SE bulbs. The Spectra is worthy to buy and spend the money! They will build your fixture for US specifications and you will have it forever! Well made and solid quality!
 
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Yes, they do fire either DE or SE bulbs. I still prefer to use the recommended magnetic ballasts for each particular bulbs I choose, but I have used E-ballasts for years without any problems. What e-ballast do you have? I'm assuming you prefere SE bulbs. The Spectra is worthy to buy and spend the money! They will build your fixture for US specifications and you will have it forever! Well made and solid quality!
I forgot the name of the ballast. It might have started with a 'g' and was green or purple and dimmable.

250w DE bulbs were just a pain to get out of the fixture. I've broken them before trying to get it out. On my 240g I used SE with magnetic ballasts, but the ballasts crapped out. Do you prefer DE?

I'll do some more digging on the Spectra. If I can't find it, I think I'm just going to go all T5. I just feel to do LED right, I would need to dump 2k into it.
 

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I forgot the name of the ballast. It might have started with a 'g' and was green or purple and dimmable.

250w DE bulbs were just a pain to get out of the fixture. I've broken them before trying to get it out. On my 240g I used SE with magnetic ballasts, but the ballasts crapped out. Do you prefer DE?

I'll do some more digging on the Spectra. If I can't find it, I think I'm just going to go all T5. I just feel to do LED right, I would need to dump 2k into it.
The green ballast you are talking about was the Galaxy, and the purple was the Lumatek. Both were amazing and well known in the hobby. They were selectable ballats. Today we can find LuxCore and IceCap selectable. I used LuxCore with Giesemann Spectra for years... no problem.
Yup, lot's of money to invest on LEDs just to have to upgrade in the near future for the "next model", as all we know is very likely to happen for that nice hype that drives this hobby today... Besides, the results using either MH/T5s or T5s only are still superior for most application IMHO because of the coverage and light qualities MH and/or T5s have. I know it's a matter for personal preferences too, and that is what we need to go with! I prefer SE bulbs too. I use 150W DE when I need for smaller aquariums though and the bulb change is something we just have to get used to and make sure we don't force the glass.
Here is a nice video for those who want to understand how to change those DE bulbs and avoid braking them:
You can order the Spectra here:
Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 7.56.28 PM.png

I am not sponsored by any company! Some have thought I was sponsored by Hamilton in the past! LOL! No, I'm just a hobbyist!
 
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The green ballast you are talking about was the Galaxy, and the purple was the Lumatek. Both were amazing and well known in the hobby. They were selectable ballats. Today we can find LuxCore and IceCap selectable. I used LuxCore with Giesemann Spectra for years... no problem.
Yup, lot's of money to invest on LEDs just to have to upgrade in the near future for the "next model", as all we know is very likely to happen for that nice hype that drives this hobby today... Besides, the results using either MH/T5s or T5s only are still superior for most application IMHO because of the coverage and light qualities MH and/or T5s have. I know it's a matter for personal preferences too, and that is what we need to go with! I prefer SE bulbs too. I use 150W DE when I need for smaller aquariums though and the bulb change is something we just have to get used to and make sure we don't force the glass.
Here is a nice video for those who want to understand how to change those DE bulbs and avoid braking them:
You can order the Spectra here:
Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 7.56.28 PM.png

I am not sponsored by any company! Some have thought I was sponsored by Hamilton in the past! LOL! No, I'm just a hobbyist!
Galaxy! that's what it is. Yes, selectable, not dimmable.

Thanks for the link. I'm going to price it out and see if I can swing it.

The 8 bulb ATI dimmable for $662 is looking appetizing, maybe add some led strips on the side. Still cheaper than the T5/LED hybrid.
 

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Galaxy! that's what it is. Yes, selectable, not dimmable.

Thanks for the link. I'm going to price it out and see if I can swing it.

The 8 bulb ATI dimmable for $662 is looking appetizing, maybe add some led strips on the side. Still cheaper than the T5/LED hybrid.
Yes, my preference for T5 only, instead of T5/LED combo, comes specially for the distribution and uniformity of the light. I always say that the "real estate" in a T5 only system is so important for that uniformity and for the spectrum throughout the combo. When you place a LED in the middle it kinda brakes the simplicity and uniformity of the whole thing, specially because the LEDs will have to be in that little space where a nice T5 is supposed to be. Besides, it's a high price and a complete unnecessary move IMHO!
You won't NEED any LED strips to supplement the 8 bulb T5 fixture. That money would be much better if invested on the Giesemann Spectra. The Sunpower alone will give you amazing results!
The dimmable Sunpower won't make any difference to the corals. I have used 2 of them in different systems and I hated when there was a power outage cause I had to reprogram the little computer in order to set the right time. And to burn the bulbs and all that... nah!

The Giesemann Spectra with the halides in other hand will provide the complete spectrum (from real UV to IR) and the strongest intensity, in the safest way there is, with the amazing shimmer and still can be supplemented with those nice 4 X 54W T5s, as one the very best supplement options there is IMO, to mimic skylight when the "sun" (metal halides) are off. There is absolutely nothing that will substitute a halide/T5 combo, as we all know.
 

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The 8 bulb ATI dimmable for $662 is looking appetizing, maybe add some led strips on the side. Still cheaper than the T5/LED hybrid.

$374
Plus 3 ai primes
Total-ish $1012..
Subtract approx $80 for 4 less bulbs.. :)

$1105 if you "upgrade" to 2 Hydra 32's instead of the 3 ai primes
180 watts total at full replacing the 216 watts of t5's
Again subtract $80
$1025....
$363 more expensive.
.

2 Reefi Uno pros would set you back $900 plus $374 BUT you would add 540 watts to your 4 tubes.
$1274 and 756 watts of photons.
Oh add $80 for 4 tubes.

Not sure how they fit the hybrid frame though. The 110 degree spread fits better than 90 degree LEDs.

Problem is not insurmountable.


The 2 "styles" ( all tubes vs tubes plus led/ mh) are different.
Thought you needed another angle to look at.

There would be no need for dimmable t5's.
 
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Galaxy! that's what it is. Yes, selectable, not dimmable.

Thanks for the link. I'm going to price it out and see if I can swing it.

The 8 bulb ATI dimmable for $662 is looking appetizing, maybe add some led strips on the side. Still cheaper than the T5/LED hybrid.

A sunpower with leds strips is still a t5/led hybrid. Wattages just weighted differently
 
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Yes, my preference for T5 only, instead of T5/LED combo, comes specially for the distribution and uniformity of the light. I always say that the "real estate" in a T5 only system is so important for that uniformity and for the spectrum throughout the combo. When you place a LED in the middle it kinda brakes the simplicity and uniformity of the whole thing, specially because the LEDs will have to be in that little space where a nice T5 is supposed to be. Besides, it's a high price and a complete unnecessary move IMHO!
You won't NEED any LED strips to supplement the 8 bulb T5 fixture. That money would be much better if invested on the Giesemann Spectra. The Sunpower alone will give you amazing results!
The dimmable Sunpower won't make any difference to the corals. I have used 2 of them in different systems and I hated when there was a power outage cause I had to reprogram the little computer in order to set the right time. And to burn the bulbs and all that... nah!

The Giesemann Spectra with the halides in other hand will provide the complete spectrum (from real UV to IR) and the strongest intensity, in the safest way there is, with the amazing shimmer and still can be supplemented with those nice 4 X 54W T5s, as one the very best supplement options there is IMO, to mimic skylight when the "sun" (metal halides) are off. There is absolutely nothing that will substitute a halide/T5 combo, as we all know.
The only thing I don't like about T5s is the flat look. I was thinking the LED strips would add some shimmer and pop. Not sure if the T5 would drown in out though. I think the Spectra is going to be out of my budget unfortunately.


That was my original plan, aquatic life hybrid with first kessils but too much shimmer for me, then 2 radions but it just doesn't seem worth it for the cost. I'm skeptical of cheaper LEDs. Some that I've seen had distinct static like look on the sand. Not sure if AIs have that issue. Two 32s and the aquatic life would be in my budget, but I don't think they would fit in an aquatic life t5 hybrid fixture and I'm set on some level of T5.

Such a hard decision since it's not a trivial amount of money. An ATI 8 bulb T5 fixture non-dimmable is $500, I already have 4 bulbs from my current T5 fixture so add on another $100 for the other 4 bulbs. If two radions and the aquatic life t5 was enough, I would probably do it, but from my reading it's not going to be enough.

A sunpower with leds strips is still a t5/led hybrid. Wattages just weighted differently

Yeah, you're right. But I feel the strip LED would be very minor compared to the T5.
 

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You can go on and on here.

The question is really what you want. I want even blanket low cost ATI fixture. Twenty min per year to replace bulbs is stupid argument by prepaying 5 years of bulb replacements on LEDs.

I have one cord for 8 t5 bulbs, one cord for metering kalk at night, and one carbondoser electronic co2 meter for calcium reacto. There is just not much to go wrong! Yes only thing since 2003 improved is accuracy of CO2 dosing. and tank powerheads.

You can easily have 6 plugs for lights, and 4 plugs for dosers etc. More plugs is more failures. I even replace all wall warts with industrial PSU on din rails
 
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You can go on and on here.

The question is really what you want. I want even blanket low cost ATI fixture. Twenty min per year to replace bulbs is stupid argument by prepaying 5 years of bulb replacements on LEDs.

I have one cord for 8 t5 bulbs, one cord for metering kalk at night, and one carbondoser electronic co2 meter for calcium reacto. There is just not much to go wrong! Yes only thing since 2003 improved is accuracy of CO2 dosing. and tank powerheads.

You can easily have 6 plugs for lights, and 4 plugs for dosers etc. More plugs is more failures. I even replace all wall warts with industrial PSU on din rails
Yea I agree. I'm going with the T5 to save $$. Got an 8 bulb ATI for $500 and I'm adding a reef brite XHO actinic for the pop (hopefully it does). With the money I'm saving on the light, I'm buying an ATO, doser, and an A3 Apex Jr.
 
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$500 + $160 ( bulbs maybe ) + $226 ( 36" xho) = $886
3 ai primes ($212.94 each $639 total) plus 4 tubes hybrid ($374) plus 4 bulbs ($80) is around $1093.
To be fair one " may" need to change the secondary lens out occasionally due to browning but the failure rate isn't well documented.


Now this has nothing to do with PERSONAL choices... that is your choice, just economics.
Nor do I claim one better than the other.


Yea if you were going full G6's and hybrid or pure g6's you save a TON of cash with your pick.
 
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oreo5457

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Halides with T5 would be my vote. Yes, you change bulbs every 12-18 months depending on how you run them but, LED requires you to change the entire fixture every 5-6 years through built-in obsolescence.
"Requires" is a personal choice.
If you are referring to " mechanical failure" well data goes both ways.
 

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This thread is beginning to delve into the usual silliness these threads tend to do. Nobody HAS to replace anything on any sort of schedule. If someone swaps their led units every time a new generation comes out, that’s their prerogative. It is by no means necessary.

Im on year 4 of my photon v2 reef breeders and honestly have no plans to change or upgrade them at any point. This model has been out for what…6-7 years now? Some of the highest respected sps growers in the country are still using theirs for that amount of time.

What’s happening with this “you HAVE to replace your leds every 5 years” is just a misinterpretation of the advice of a sales person. Unpopular opinion, I know.
 
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$500 + $160 ( bulbs maybe ) + $226 ( 36" xho) = $886
3 ai primes ($212.94 each $639 total) plus 4 tubes hybrid ($374) plus 4 bulbs ($80) is around $1093.
To be fair one " may" need to change the secondary lens out occasionally due to browning but the failure rate isn't well documented.


Now this has nothing to do with PERSONAL choices... that is your choice, just economics.
Nor do I claim one better than the other.


Yea if you were going full G6's and hybrid or pure g6's you save a TON of cash with your pick.
This 5 cords to plug in and 3
$500 + $160 ( bulbs maybe ) + $226 ( 36" xho) = $886
3 ai primes ($212.94 each $639 total) plus 4 tubes hybrid ($374) plus 4 bulbs ($80) is around $1093.
To be fair one " may" need to change the secondary lens out occasionally due to browning but the failure rate isn't well documented.


Now this has nothing to do with PERSONAL choices... that is your choice, just economics.
Nor do I claim one better than the other.


Yea if you were going full G6's and hybrid or pure g6's you save a TON of cash with your pick.
That will work fine.. But realize you are using inferior LED actinics to replace the true actinic t5's in all likelyhood., while complexity just goes up with not much reward. I would not buy AI myself unless doing a softies tank.

Keeping SPS tank past 5 years is less about methodology and more about managing crappy hobby grade equipment. Yes some is less junky than others. You can save money but some stuff will be junk or unserviceable.

Things I find that do not fail much are ATI ballast, Sicce AC Pumps, Danner Mag Drive Pumps, Tunze Osmollators. T5 Bulbs, Ecotech MP40s are decent if mounted far away and you replace wetsides.

My Shuran heater just failed and I got two more as spares on BRS. It really never ends.

Screenshot 2022-11-25 123920.jpg
 

oreo5457

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But realize you are using inferior LED actinics to replace the true actinic t5's in all likelyhood
There is no hard evidence regarding that statement. Only subjective opinion.
Oddly may have to add a "smidge" of green and amber to an led "actinic" fixture (creates a fake white tint).
Now where you get it right is the fact that getting 50000hrs out of leds with a nm < say 420 is somewhat not possible to date.

atiactinic.JPG

This 420 nm diode covers 90% (CRUDE ESTIMATE) of the spectrum of a t5.
Can add a bit of 440 royal blue if you prefer
atiactinicled.JPG


I added a touch green and amber.. just because.. ;)
 
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