Am I crazy for thinking MH + t5 ?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by pdxmonkeyboy, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. pdxmonkeyboy

    pdxmonkeyboy Well-Known Member

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    hey there,
    I just ordered a 72" x 36" x 24" rimless tank so I'm trying to decide which fixture would work best. I am mostly SPS and i am not a fan of tons of rock work.

    I also do NOT like the disco ball look of many of the LED I have viewed.

    i have a giesemann aurora on my 48x24 but it is not going to have enough oomph to light a 3 foot wide tank.

    sooo.. i have been looking at the 60" giesemann MH and t5 fixtures. i am just really nervous about going with MH as man they can be hot and I keep thinking.. maybe I should be chasing the latest LED technology??

    I wasn't really thinking MH until I watched a BRS video lately and man they light was sooo even and so powerful. One phrase stuck with me for sure.. "no amount of phone apps, programming choices or complex light cycles is going to grow coral"

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    System will be 300 gallon display.. 130 gallon fuge/sump in basement. thank you!!
     
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  2. taj0930

    taj0930 Active Member

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    I still believe that is the gold standard
    If you can manage the heat & electricity consumption then it is a no brainer
    Some will throw bulb replacement $ at you as well but you see allot of those same people constantly switching led’s
    That method is proven and would undoubtedly produce ideal lighting for healthy coral
    What about just t5?
     
  3. rockskimmerflow

    rockskimmerflow Well-Known Member

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    You won't regret it. I've never understood the idea of saving a few bucks a year on power by going with a light that doesn't please the eye as much as the proper color spectrum and blending offered by Metal Halide and fluorescent light combinations. Many of my customers have started out with LED only to add either T5 or metal halide to the existing LEDs and sometimes even scrap the LEDs all together once they see the difference. The beauty of systems with replaceable lamps is that you basically get a brand new light every time you change bulbs, whereas with LED you have to ride out that light degradation curve for the whole 4-5 year lifespan if you want to get your value from the high initial purchase price.

    Don't get me wrong, I run tanks with only LEDs and have great success with corals in them, but I've never walked up to a tank for the first time and not immediately been able to tell it was LED lit. They just don't inspire that sun soaked coral lagoon aesthetic anywhere close to the feeling I get with halide. When somebody tells me the cost is no object and they want the best, I spec metal halide/T5 hybrid every time. If you could get at minimum 2 x 250w and 4 x 60" T5s on that system I think you'll do well- you could obviously go bigger or with a different configuration if it suited your tank better.
     
  4. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You definitely won't regret the Giesemann Spectra. I had an Aurora and then changed it out for the Spectra.... I don't regret it for a second! Better color and growth hands down over the Aurora.

    This is my 48" Spectra over a 60" tank. 2 x 250 watt Giesemann 21k MH and 4 x 54 watt Giesemann Actinic T5.

    [​IMG]Broadfield Reefer 450 Sep 2017 by Toby Broadfield, on Flickr
     
  5. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Looks are subjective. You'll be able to grow coral just fine with MH. Go with whatever appeases your eye the most!
     
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  6. pdxmonkeyboy

    pdxmonkeyboy Well-Known Member

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    thanks so much for the advice!!

    I'm going to look at the 60" giesemann spectra.
     
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  7. Anthony kolodziej

    Anthony kolodziej Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I think you will be surprised how well your current fixture will cover that tank
     
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  8. pdxmonkeyboy

    pdxmonkeyboy Well-Known Member

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    ^ not really. it is only 48" long and I have spent a whole day with a par meter in it. It doesnt throw out as much light as you think it does.

    The real question is... 48" spectra or a 72"?

    I am thinking that the 48" about 9-10" AWL would do pretty well and not spill as much light...?
     
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  9. aabjones888

    aabjones888 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I use two 250w halides and four 54w t-5s on a 4 foot tank and love it. I don't really notice the heat, my tank goes up one degree. I love everything about my light, but it is all personal preference.
     
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  10. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I just setup a 180. t will be a fish only for a while but when I start putting corals in it I will be using my 3 MH fixtures. the color is very nice & no unnecessary bells & whistles.
     
  11. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    No doubt you should get those halides on!!
    I don't think we can even try to compare MHs/T5s with LEDs!
    Get the 2 X 250W with 4 tubes.
    Giesemann Spectra!
    I'm very excited for you!!
    Grandis.
     
  12. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is a difference between "can grow corals" and "can grow corals very similar to what we see in the ocean".

    Funny... I just came from a local store and was talking with the owner about the only tank they have Radions on.
    I asked him: How is the fixture's performance for your zoas? He said: "They are using that fixture in all USA and it's supposed to do good for the zoas, but that light is only for looks."
    One kid at the store said right there: "Are those Christmas lights?"
    I couldn't hold myself and just LOL!
    Many can say it's a matter of taste. My taste is for healthy flourishing corals, offering the max we could for their health.
    that's why I aways recommend MHs/T5s.

    I thank you for posting your experience here.

    Grandis.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  13. jeremy

    jeremy Well-Known Member

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    If your going to do halide. Do 3 250 watt halide with t5s. That's a big tank to only use 2.
     
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  14. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Corals don't see light like we do.
    Your statement is mostly about looks than to be concerned with the best you could offer to the tank.
    Same is when people try to justify the use of LEDs with their electric bill.
    This is only my opinion.
    Grandis.

    Edit: :p
     
  15. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, maybe 3 would be the best. Depends on the aquascape/type of fixture.
    Grandis.
     
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  16. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yeah, I would do the 72" fixture. Because the 60" Spectra still only has 2 MH bulbs... which is the same as the 36" and 48" fixture.
     
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  17. jeremy

    jeremy Well-Known Member

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    If you were going with a floating canopy. I would do 3 large reflectors. And some reef Brite strips.

    I did halide-t5-led on my 180 20170814_153414.jpg

    60 inch t5 front and back. And 12 inch blue reef brites each side of halides.
     
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  18. Donovan Joannes

    Donovan Joannes Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Personally I would blast my tank with MH but living in a tropic where daily temperature average is above 35 degree celcius, running LED will be the best solution (overall tank running cost). If your room temperature is cool enough, and the addition of MH doesn't turn your room into a sauna, go ahead and invest on MH.
     
  19. pdxmonkeyboy

    pdxmonkeyboy Well-Known Member

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    well, as it turns out the spectra is only available in 48 or 72.

    since I am spending a truly stupid amount of money to have a 6' rimless tank built, I really don't want to build a floating canopy... but I may end up building one anyways.

    I'm concerned that the 72" spectra will just blast the entire room with light. no?

    in terms of aquascape in my tank I probably won't gave much on the ends of the tank anyways.

    So I guess the question is... how is the light spillage on the spectra? does it throw much light lengthwise..?
     
  20. Donovan Joannes

    Donovan Joannes Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Light spillage should be minimum with proper reflector but the most annoying thing about a tank without canopy is light upward reflection. I saw quite a few setup with shimmer effects on ceiling and back wall. Floating canopy might be the right answer for you :)
     
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