ATI T5 Noobs and Experienced Reefers. Regrets?

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Which do you prefer?

  • LED

  • T5

  • Hybrid

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SeekR1

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I am looking at getting a 60" ATI T5 6 bulb fixture. Completely new to this hobby besides freshwater experience.

I know this is very debatable, has anyone run LED then switched to T5?
Ran T5 and switched to LED?
Ran T5, switched to LED, then back to T5?
Ran LED, switched to T5, then back to LED?
Maybe even running hybrid?

What was everyone's expierence with switching lights?
Pros and cons of both?
Which one won you over?

Just looking for everyone's opinions! :cool:

Best-Reef-aquarium-LED-lights-2020-Orphek.jpg


Urhf0TIKq30TDFjkFWCzAeRGW9rhaM2slzZ7jRlPV1U.jpg
 

Tamberav

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I started with LED then went hybrid then full T5.

I like the no crap, just works, grows anything of t5 without having to mess with settings. Parts are also replaceable and a ATI t5 fixture can last forever. I also love the great coverage. I do have one LED bar attached to it but only run it dawn/dusk just to get that backlight poster pop for a little bit.
 

rtparty

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Yes, to all of it...I have run every type of light there is and mixed many of them. I ended up back with halides since nothing else provides what they do. T5s are very close but lack the shimmer and contrast. I ran all T5 for years and years though and had great success with them.

My new 250 peninsula will be a Reef Brite halide/LED hybrid. 3 - 250w halides with 2 - 60" XHO bars.

If I was doing T5s again, I would run T5s with LED supplements. Not LEDs with T5 supplements if that makes sense.
 

SaltyT

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I started with T5s but switched to LEDs about a year ago. I miss my T5s for all the reasons Tamberav mentions. The only reason I switched to LEDs is because I got tired of receiving broken bulbs every time I ordered them. My LFS never had the bulbs I needed.
 

Tamberav

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I started with T5s but switched to LEDs about a year ago. I miss my T5s for all the reasons Tamberav mentions. The only reason I switched to LEDs is because I got tired of receiving broken bulbs every time I ordered them. My LFS never had the bulbs I needed.

Where did you order bulbs from?

Just curious, I have never gotten a broken bulb before. I ordered from Marine Depot (when they were around) and Premium Aquatics.
 

SaltyT

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Where did you order bulbs from?

Just curious, I have never gotten a broken bulb before. I ordered from Marine Depot (when they were around) and Premium Aquatics.
Lucky you! My delivery guys must be rougher on packages than yours. I ordered mine from Marine Depot (still miss them) and BRS. Such a pain to take pics of busted bulbs w/o getting shards of glass everywhere to get a replacement.
 

ryshark

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Lucky you! My delivery guys must be rougher on packages than yours. I ordered mine from Marine Depot (still miss them) and BRS. Such a pain to take pics of busted bulbs w/o getting shards of glass everywhere to get a replacement.
I don’t think that powder in them is something you want to breath in either. I’ve had the same experience with needing to take pics of broken bulbs.

I got 8-bulbs in last week though and no breakage. So far I haven’t had any break from BRS, they package them up well. As soon as I picked up the packing tube last week, I rotated it up/down and was happy I didn’t hear any glass.
Buying them every Black Friday sale is a good way to save and know it’s time to replace.
 

SaltyT

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I don’t think that powder in them is something you want to breath in either. I’ve had the same experience with needing to take pics of broken bulbs.

I got 8-bulbs in last week though and no breakage. So far I haven’t had any break from BRS, they package them up well. As soon as I picked up the packing tube last week, I rotated it up/down and was happy I didn’t hear any glass.
Buying them every Black Friday sale is a good way to save and know it’s time to replace.
Yes! I used to order mine around Black Friday too for the same reasons. Great tip!
 

shwareefer

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Originally I was halide/T5, then went to LED, now back at T5 but I am going to add some royalblue strips for dusk dawn soon.

I consider T5 the most idiot proof with two caveats:
1.They can be alot brighter than you think and I still think a par meter is a good idea especially for HO.
2. I worry how long this light technology will remain available with evolved views on the environment.
 

ScottB

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T5 and LED hybrid over my growout systems just plain works.

Over my display, I've gone LED, then 8X80watt ATI T5, then back to LED (Stratons). That last switch was NOT based on growth; those things can grow corals.

I went back to LED for fixture aesthetics, color pop, heat and noise.
 
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SeekR1

SeekR1

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I am definitely drawn to t5's with a led strip for that pop. With me being new, the fact that I can mount it to height, put in certain bulbs, and turn it on seems like one less thing to worry about while spending time learning other aspects of this hobby. I have been curious about halides just not currently interested. Does anyone actually run the 8 bulbs for a wall to wall sps tank? I am obviously not going to try sps yet, but my current tank is 150 so no upgrading for YEARS. Still trying to decide whether to get the 6 or 8 bulb fixture.
 

ScottB

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I am definitely drawn to t5's with a led strip for that pop. With me being new, the fact that I can mount it to height, put in certain bulbs, and turn it on seems like one less thing to worry about while spending time learning other aspects of this hobby. I have been curious about halides just not currently interested. Does anyone actually run the 8 bulbs for a wall to wall sps tank? I am obviously not going to try sps yet, but my current tank is 150 so no upgrading for YEARS. Still trying to decide whether to get the 6 or 8 bulb fixture.
I was running ATI 8X80 watt T5 on a 58" tank. I ran out of space fast.

Right side.JPG
 

mfinn

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I am looking at getting a 60" ATI T5 6 bulb fixture. Completely new to this hobby besides freshwater experience.

I know this is very debatable, has anyone run LED then switched to T5?
Ran T5 and switched to LED?
Ran T5, switched to LED, then back to T5?
Ran LED, switched to T5, then back to LED?
Maybe even running hybrid?

What was everyone's expierence with switching lights?
Pros and cons of both?
Which one won you over?

Just looking for everyone's opinions! :cool:

I went from Radions over my lps tank to 6 x 24 watt T5's, but soon afterwards added a pair of 24" Reef Brite XHO's.
I guess I got addicted to the led glow.

On this tank, I've very happy with T5's. Everything is growing great.

I've used T5's several times in the past so I knew it was a good choice.
 
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SeekR1

SeekR1

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I was running ATI 8X80 watt T5 on a 58" tank. I ran out of space fast.

Right side.JPG
That looks gorgeous! Was it strictly sps? Or are those zoanthids? Also I got a powdered blue. Came with the tank when I bought it from someone moving. Gonna be hell adding fish going forward.. he’s already getting the mirror treatment from messing with my hippo.
 

InvaderJim

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I switched from LEDs to t5s for the exact reason Tamberav mentioned. Set it and forget it, and grow everything. Choosing a bulb combination was the hardest part, and even that's hard to mess up. Haven't regretted it once
 

dragon99

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I started my last tank with LED's (AI Primes), switch to an 8bulb T5, then switched to "better" LED's (GHL), and then switched to a 6-bulb ATI T5 fixture. I had no intention of ever changing lights again on that tank.

I started a new tank 2 years ago and started with the ATI T5 hybrid (8xT5+LED). It is AMAZING. All of the great benefits of LED: sunrise/sunset, ramping, color adjustment, full blues, etc.

T5's are amazing for their even spread and plug and play ease of use. I left LED's behind previously because I couldn't stop myself from tinkering with them (adjusting settings). T5's are so much easier to use. For me, there is a bit more heat to deal with, but that's easily overcome with a fan across the top of the tank.
 

hotdrop

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I’m very happy with t5. Price can’t be beat and coverage is fantastic. The only downside is ATI controller is kind of ******. It has problems with starting up after a power failure and looses setting most of the time. It needs a fully dedicated breaker otherwise the power noise during a reboot causes it to go into fail safe mode.
 

MaxTremors

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I’ve used everything (regular fluorescents, VHOs, power compacts, metal halides, T5s, and LEDs). I can’t imagine using anything other than LEDs going forward (though I probably thought the same thing about halides and T5s). Personally, I think T5s alone look flat and halides have heat issues and I’m not a fan of having to replace bulbs. If I had a larger tank and was focusing on SPS, I would consider a T5/LED hybrid, but otherwise I like the look, the controllability/programmability, growth, and the lack of heat and bulb replacement with LEDs.
 

ScottB

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That looks gorgeous! Was it strictly sps? Or are those zoanthids? Also I got a powdered blue. Came with the tank when I bought it from someone moving. Gonna be hell adding fish going forward.. he’s already getting the mirror treatment from messing with my hippo.
Thank you. Yes I had some nice zoa colonies going as well. That picture is a couple years old now and I have since rebooted the aquascape. But the PBT is still the tank boss.
 
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