Question for Lighting Gurus

scashman

New member
I have a 55g tank that is 21" deep. Currently have 265 watt PC fixture on it. Was looking at upgrading to T-5 so I can house more types of coral. I'm a poor student so the only one in I can realistically afford that I've found is a 216 watt fixture. It has 4 bulbs with a "contoured single lamp reflector".

I'm wondering if this is enough of an upgrade to justify the investment or should I wait until I can afford better lighting.

Thanks
 

chaderic26

New member
If I had a 55 again I would do the lighting diy style. You can usually find an icecap ballast that can run t5's pretty cheap on the buy and sell forum. Then you would just need endcaps , reflectors, and bulbs.

Check out hellolights.com lots of diy stuff if you end up going that route.
 

BrianOKC

Member
The power of T5's are the individual reflectors each bulb uses. If its 1 solid reflector across the whole light. I would wait until u can afford to purchase a better light system such as the TEK light or something similar were each bulb has its own reflector.
 

scashman

New member
Thanks for the input. There is no canopy, so I think DIY is not a possibility. Regarding reflectors, the specific light I'm looking at is the Current Nova Extreme. I believe that the reflector is one piece but is contoured to simulate individual reflectors.
 

pwhitby

RC Sponsor
Team RC
I would still try and do the individual reflectors if possible.

if its a full hood you want, look at thye tek fixtures.

P.
 

OUPike1833

I dose OxiClean!
I would say the upgrade is well worth it. Most companies seem to be using a singe reflector that is contoured to each individual bulb (the Sundial that I have is like that). TEK fixtures are superior and have the same contoured reflector, but they do use higher quality materials. If you feel comfortable with DIY, you can get great results with that route as well.

Plus the bulb choice with T5 lighting is nice, you can create your own look within your tank.
 

Young Reefer 03

New member
if youre looking at the nova extreme already, take a look at the nova extreme pro. i think its about $50 more, and it has individual reflectors.
 

scashman

New member
Actually the Pro is about $140 more and I think it would be too wide to fit on my tank. I believe it also has the contoured reflectors.

Pike, I was actually starting to look at the Sundial. How is that working out for you? I got away from the extreme because of so many complaints about fan noise.
 

cjilge

New member
I have the nova extreme and it works fine. I think there would be more par at the bottom with the individual reflectors, but I to was on a budget. I added a 2 bulb retro to mine later "when I had some extra cash" and will eventually upgrade to an 8 bulb reto. However I get good growth and great color out of mine now with the 4 bulb nova extreme fixture. good luck!
 

OUPike1833

I dose OxiClean!
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15505525#post15505525 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by scashman
Pike, I was actually starting to look at the Sundial. How is that working out for you? I got away from the extreme because of so many complaints about fan noise.
The few coral that I have in the tank at the moment seem to really be liking it. The coralline algae is spreading over the rock work and glass like wildfire. One major problem though is the stock bulbs aren't that great, but they do work. ATI or Giesemann bulbs are a great investment to improve the light. So that is kind of a hidden cost when it comes to purchasing a Current fixture.

I don't really notice the fan noise coming from the back of the fixture. The built in timers and moonlights make it a nice all in one package.
 

cjilge

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15507172#post15507172 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by OUPike1833
The few coral that I have in the tank at the moment seem to really be liking it. The coralline algae is spreading over the rock work and glass like wildfire. One major problem though is the stock bulbs aren't that great, but they do work. ATI or Giesemann bulbs are a great investment to improve the light. So that is kind of a hidden cost when it comes to purchasing a Current fixture.

I agree the stock current bulbs are not great but they would be ok for a month or so, wouldn't go past 6 months though. I replaced mine @ about 4 months and my corals grew much faster :) The fan is a little noisy
 
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