T5 vs Gen3 vs Gen4 over 300DD

mlb75

Premium Member
Looking for opinions on a possible lighting upgrade. Those with actual experience with the fixtures greatly appreciated but any and all opinions wanted.

I've got a 300DD (72x36 footprint) and have been using an ATI Powermodule 8 bulb 60" fixture over it for several years. When I first set the tank up it did great and I had crazy growth and colors from all kinds of SPS and LPS in the tank (even though it was only 60" I could grow SPS in the far corners on the bottom), I add that only to point out that I'm not dissatisfied per say with the T5 setup. Life got busy and the tank slipped back a few notches on the priority and for the last couple years has been on cruise control with only a few corals and a bunch of fish. Fast forward to now and I was on the fence about taking the tank down but decided I like it and decided to do something better with it again. That being the case I've been going in and cleaning things up and deciding on how to go forward which brings me to lighting.

I've been considering moving to LED for awhile now since it seems to be the future, draws less power and puts less heat into the tank (my understanding) so the question I put to you is should I make the switch?

I've found a good deal on a set of Gen3 Pro fixtures so should I consider them or are the gen 4 stuff really that much better? I can get the Gen 3 pro units for basically half the price of the Gen 4 pro units which is the real kicker since I can't seem to find much on the pros and cons of the two gens. Also is it really worth it to shift from the T5 fixture to the LED? I'm guessing that power consumption won't be that much different but I do like the idea of having more configurability with the LED's so it's not a hard on / off of the lights etc. and would love to put less heat into the tank so I don't have to keep the house as cold to compensate (I'm not going to run a chiller).

Is it worth it to shift to LED and if so are the gen 4's worth the extra money? My intention as I rebuild the tank will be to do roughly 65% SPS with 35% LPS and zoo's.

If I do the LED's will 3 do it or would I need 4 or more? I thought about doing two over the center section and one over each side section if that makes sense.
 

Voodoojar

New member
MY OPINION... I wouldnt switch to led. To me thats just flushing money down the toilet on an inferior soultion. If anything id add a couple 250w MH and really up your game.
 

mlb75

Premium Member
I appreciate the opinion but the aesthetics of the fixture is important to me as well and there's no way to add halides to the existing system. I don't have a top on the tank so everything is visible and the existing fixture is roughly 60"x24" so it covers most of the top of the tank...
 

BrettDS

New member
Unfortunately coverage on the radion LED's might be a bit of an issue for you given the footprint of your tank. The recommended coverage area is 24"x24" per light and you can go up to 30"x30" but you definitely get a lot of fall off at the edges and corners there. With your 36" deep tank you may have a hard time getting good coverage from front to back without using 6 fixtures. Depending on how you have your tank aquascaped you might be able to get away with mounting the lights more forward or more back and just not lighting the front of back of the tank well. If you don't have any photosynthetic organisms there it would probably work.

I have three radion gen 3 xr30w pro's over my 220G tank, which has a 72"x24" footprint and they have been working well for me, but I worry about your extra foot of depth.
 

mlb75

Premium Member
Thanks, that's a concern of mine as well but having used a 60" fixture with success and the fact that I don't have rock against or really all that close to any walls was thinking I'd be OK, that's also why I was considering adding a 4'th so I'd have two in the center section near the braces and one over each of the outside openings in the top. With you're tank is the light week at the front or back?
 

BrettDS

New member
T5 vs Gen3 vs Gen4 over 300DD

With you're tank is the light week at the front or back?


No, I don't feel like the lighting is weak in the front of back of my tank, but again, my tank is only 24" deep, which is within the recommended range.

Two lights in the center and one on each of the ends might be a good compromise. With careful placement of corals I would think that could work out well. And you could always add additional lights on the ends of you really wanted to.

Actually, I just had a great thought. You could go with six xr15w pro's. They have the same pucks as the xr30w pro's, but since they have one puck per fixture it would allow you to space them out more front to back. The retail cost of six 15's would be the same as three 30's.
 

gus6464

New member
You basically have the best T5 fixture ever made. You would be downgrading and your energy savings won't be as much as you think.

You want a slight upgrade? Stick 2x 60" reefbrite XHO's on the ends. Way cheaper too.
 

reefwiser

New member
I would put a Giesemann Spectra on the tank to light that tank properly with LED is going to cost you a mint.
An they look great. With the new Ballast from Reefbrite there is large heat issue on my tank.
Dsc243Large.jpg
 

Reefnub

Member
Another option is to gut your current fixture and add the radions in there. You would need 5 radions in your size tank with an additional supplement of t5 imo.
If cost isn't a problem, id go g4pros and t5 supplement. The g4pros should diffuse light better and give a better spectrum.

I'm currently running 4 g3pros with 2 t5's in my 60x30x26 sps tank with excellent growth and coloration so far. The t5 supplement isn't a must, but highly recommended.
 

Breadman03

New Old School
Premium Member
I've got a pair of G4 Pros over my 150DD. They seem to light it pretty well, but I'm sure that I'll have shadowing issues when I can get some colonies to grow. I had non-lighting issues with my tank that I'm just about done correcting, so get back to me in about a year to see how it progresses.

I don't know that they are the right answer for you. You've already got a rocking fixture, and I suspect that your interest in new lights has more to do with getting excited about revamping the tank than it does actually addressing a problem. I'd snag some new bulbs and get on a maintenance regimen. Use some of that light budget for livestock :)
 

Hentz

New member
Breadman03 made a solid point. Your interest in new lights might be making you more excited due to revamping the tank than anything.

My answer is simple. Buy the used Radions. Why? Because you're already buying them at a really good price as you said. Radions hold their value well. If you sell your fixture now to help pay for these, chances are you'll be able to pay for new light fixture if you end up not liking LED and wanna go back to T5.

If you've never had LED'a, you'll never know if you'd have better success with them or not. Of course stability is always good, so don't go back and forth multiple times. But give yourself your OWN opportunity to run LED's over tank.

If possible even, buy the used Radions until you know forsure or not (after 6-8 months) if you'd like them while keeping your T5 fixture. That way you wouldn't have to wait for a new fixture.

Personally I've had great success with both LED and T5. I love T5's since I can just plug and play. Especially when my Hydra 26's had terrible connection to my wifi (routers fault in new house). I went back to T5's just since my wifi WAS such crap. Would I go back LED's? Without a doubt. But I don't feel the need too so I'll keep my T5's until further notice.

Just my $0.02!
 

ReefCowboy

New member
G4's are IMO one of the best fixtures out there. Look around for comparisons, there is a thread here in RC for D2mini's tank(reef discussion) where he shows pics comparing the old G3 and the G4, and there is a big difference in coverage. With leds, do it right or don't do it, youll save yourself down the line.

T5's and MH's are excellent, but through time become boring with their respective downfalls.
 

mlb75

Premium Member
Thanks for all the responses. One of the things I'm fighting with the most is heat in the tank, would the LED's help with that vs the T5 setup I've got now? If I go this route and I'm intending to decide today I'll run four G3Pro's.

I'm not going to add anything to the existing fixture and would never gut it, the fixture is to nice and I'm looking for a clean look not a Frankenstein project, nothing against them since I've had them in the past but a clean look is as important as the quality of the light to me. IMHO what's the point of a beautiful reef inside the tank if you have something on the outside of it that draws your attention away from it.

Thanks
 
Top