Need some input...

April F

New member
or maybe an offer to sell...

Short story - my 36" Current pc fixture has died. I've verified the bulbs are good, but one side won't come on. I'm assuming a ballast went bad (it smoked alot when it died! Scared me to death!) The other side acts like it may be weak, and I was looking into replacing the old bulbs anyway.

So.... considering I'm looking at +35.00 each for 2 ballasts and at least that or more each for 2 bulbs, it's becoming apparent that it will be more cost efficient to replace the entire fixture.


I know everyone has their favorites, but for my situation which fixture do you think would work best for me? Where is the best place to order your suggestion?

Keep in mind that this is mostly a simple fish only tank (seahorses) that are my main objective. I keep caulerpa's and would like to also fill it with softies eventually. Price will definitely be an option (no way am I gonna go for thousands of dollars worth of lights on this tank), as will heat (seahorses HAVE to stay cool) and aesthetics (I like the looks of the blue tones - hate a tank with a yellowish or stark white look.)

The tank is a 36" tall tank, so light will have to get to the bottom. I like the looks of the fixtures with a MH bulb in the center and PC's (?) on the outside perimeter, but that may be overkill, and too hot. What do you all think? Does anyone have any fixtures like I've addressed here that I could either try out to see if I liked them, &/or buy?

Or....does anyone have any Current APF120-1/96PLL ballasts that work but are no longer being used? I liked the fixture I had, but can't see completely rebuilding it for basically the same price as new. What would you guys go with?
 

GregC

New member
With softies and seahorses, and a need to keep the tank cool, I would just go back with PC's. Best bang for the buck. Good light, good temps and will support what your needing it to do. With new ballasts and bulbs you will basically have a new fixture, unless the fixture is ugly or rusted etc, really no reason to replace the entire thing. Most other lighting options will give you a heat problem other than T-5 and even they put off some heat, granted not Metal halide heat, but heat none the less
 

dustinc

Active member
I would go with a Nova Extreme Pro t5 fixture... It is a lower end T5 fixture, but for what you're wanting it for, it will work great.... Virtually no heat, great light penetration to the bottom, and a ton of bulb options to build the color you want... Plus the fixture is on sale at drsfostersmith.com for just over $300. That's what I would do in your shoes. Good luck!
 

Lytehouse

seeker of knowledge
Premium Member
If you are shopping online stores, try some of the sponsors here:

drsfoster&smith.com

reefgeeks.com

hellolights.com
 

cody6766

Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
You can get a 2 bulb T5 retrofit for a little over $125. There is a fixture from fishneedit.com that's pretty cheap. T5s have better color options than PCs and you'll have the same or less heat.
 

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
I would suggest T5's as well, for selection in color... You would only need a 4-bulb fixture, usually with two actinic and two "daylight" bulbs... that way if you decided to add different coral, you would be set to go. Seahorses really like gorgonia... :cool:

LL
 

April F

New member
Thanks for your input - those are exactly the type comments I was hoping for. I was thinking T5's, but didn't know the general consensus on them.

Cody - the retrofit kit you talked about. Is it a retrofit for the fixture I currently have? It looks brand new, so that might be a way to go if I'm gonna have to rebuild it anyway. Do you have any model #'s (or whatever?) for me to go by, and where would I find one?

Several of you have mentioned selection in color on the T5 bulbs. The bulbs I've located so far seem to be fairly inexpensive (in comparison to the $75.00 PC's I was quoted yesterday!) but I haven't seen a lot in the way of colors besides the regular daylight and actinic. Where is the best place to find what you guys are talking about?

George, I like gorgonians too, but never had much luck with them. Maybe it's always been a lighting issue....I've got a couple places I've not looked at listed above, so I'll check them out and see what will seem to be the best.
 

cjilge

New member
I like giesman bulbs I've been kicking around the idea of selling my nove extreme fixture and going with retro t-5's. Mainly cause I keep wacking my arm on the fixture. I do like the fixture though! I run 4 aqua blue +, 1-daylight 10000k, and 1- true actinic. my fixture is a 4-bulb, and I have two retro's. I will be trying a pro color bulb soon though. I bought my lasty round of bulbs @ Wet Pets in Norman, paid the same price as online, with out freight.:)
 

Lytehouse

seeker of knowledge
Premium Member
April,

If you will call an online vendor like reef geeks, or visit a lfs like wet pets, with the specifics of your fixture you will get a lot of help on retrofit kits for T5's. Telling them your goal for color will get several suggesions on bulbs as well.

Good luck

Thanks for your input - those are exactly the type comments I was hoping for. I was thinking T5's, but didn't know the general consensus on them.

Cody - the retrofit kit you talked about. Is it a retrofit for the fixture I currently have? It looks brand new, so that might be a way to go if I'm gonna have to rebuild it anyway. Do you have any model #'s (or whatever?) for me to go by, and where would I find one?

Several of you have mentioned selection in color on the T5 bulbs. The bulbs I've located so far seem to be fairly inexpensive (in comparison to the $75.00 PC's I was quoted yesterday!) but I haven't seen a lot in the way of colors besides the regular daylight and actinic. Where is the best place to find what you guys are talking about?

George, I like gorgonians too, but never had much luck with them. Maybe it's always been a lighting issue....I've got a couple places I've not looked at listed above, so I'll check them out and see what will seem to be the best.
 

cody6766

Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
the retrofit I'm talking about is an in-hood retro, meaning it's bulbs, bases and reflectors meant to be built into a canopy. If you don't have a canopy you're better off looking for a T5 fixture, much like your PC one.

For pics of the color advantages of T5s, check out some of the T5 threads in the lighting section. There is a lot to see.
 

skiformance

skiformance racing
I like giesman bulbs I've been kicking around the idea of selling my nove extreme fixture and going with retro t-5's. Mainly cause I keep wacking my arm on the fixture. I do like the fixture though! I run 4 aqua blue +, 1-daylight 10000k, and 1- true actinic. my fixture is a 4-bulb, and I have two retro's. I will be trying a pro color bulb soon though. I bought my lasty round of bulbs @ Wet Pets in Norman, paid the same price as online, with out freight.:)
chris watch that ati pro color. in mine with 2 ati blue + uvi super actinic. its turned my tank lunar mars red. i also has more algae growth. i went to the figi purple and haven't looked back.
sorry for the hi jacking.
 

dustinc

Active member
+1 on ReefGeeks.com. That's where I got my fixture and absolutely love the Customer service and help provided since I was new to T5. I'm running 4xATI Blue+, 1xFiji Purple, and 1xGE Daylight bulb and the color combo is perfect.
 

glass1

New member
I have a 36" coralife 192watt Compact Fluorescent light with moon lights.Its only been used for about 6 months.It needs a bulb-would part with it for less than half price.
The light is like new-hardly used.
 

April F

New member
Gary, I've sent you a message.
Thanks everyone for all your help.
Sounds like this weekend is going to be an LFS weekend! Woohoo!
 
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