T5 bulbs for coral or conversion to metal halide


New member
I currently use a 48" T5 as the light source in my tank. I'm hoping that someone out there can provide me with the specs of the right/best bulb to use for the T5 as well as some of the hardier corals/macro/photosynthetic creatures they would sustain. The tank is on the deeper side approx. 30" deep. I don't want to shock the fish that are in there now by increasing the light dramatically ie: converting to metal halide with out some transition. Any suggestions if T5 isn't ample what metal halide system should I go with. I have been looking and I found one on ebay for $300, I'm wondering if the fixture would be just as good if replaced with quality bulbs as a $700 fixture, they look the same to me.


New member
Cant really answer these questions without knowing exactly what T5 fixture and bulb combo you have now. Also need to know exactly what MH fixture you are looking at on ebay and what the $700 fixture is.

It almost sounds like you are using a single T5? If so then no, that is not even close to enough light.
IMHO, I would also say that for a 30" deep tank, 2 or 3 250 watt MH would be good, 2 or 3 400 watt MH would be even better.
It depends on what you are wanting to keep.
I like the looks of 20000k, like a Radium bulb, or 14000k like a Phoenix.
I dont know enough about LED to give an opinion.

Please, we need more info.