T5 vs Metal Halides

red clay

New member
I have a 55 gallon mixed tank. I did have 2x MH on my tank but the hood was crap (bought it off ebay). So I bought from marineland a hood with 6x 56w T5s (336). I have considered buying a light with a MH that totals just under my current lights' total wattage. Is it better to have T5s that equal the same amount as the halides, or are halides so much better that no matter how many T5s you have, you still are better off with MHs.

Thanks
 

Froggy

Reef "Hobbyist"...right!?
Take wattage matching out of the equation. You can have success with either type of lighting, halide or T5. It really comes down to personal taste between the two as they are very different forms of light. It is very important to use quality bulbs and fixture/reflectors with T5's, moreso than halides IMO. I have become such a fan of T5s that I personally will never go back with halides. I love the results I have been getting and the color customization/bulb mixing. You should use one T5 bulb for every 3 inches of tank width for proper coverage. Any more is just a waste. So I would go with whatever light you like seeing your tank lit with.
 

tst400

New member
i like the colors u can get out of t5 but also like halides so i do both.. win win

sent from my iphone slayer
 

dorkymk3

helpful reefer
I use both over my 55g mixed and love it..... using a 250w 20k radium with 2x39w t5HO with ATI blue + and ATI purple +.
 

Toadally

New member
Agree... I have used both. It's a personal preference whichever you like the look of. I can tell you that you will get more heat from the halides.
 

jerpa

Team RC
I would agree that watts is not a good measurement for lighting effectiveness. Good reflectors are just as important with MH as they are with T5's. A good reflector will allow you to mount the bulbs far enough off the water that heat shouldn't be much of an issue. They will also allow you to use a lower wattage bulb, or get more spread and use less bulbs. Choose which lighting you think looks better and then choose the proper setup, be it MH or T5. You can get more than enough intensity to grow whatever you want with both.
 

Michigan Mike

Freedom costs a buckofive
I like my t5 sunpower and I like my current outer orbit 150 hqi + 4 t5's + blue/white led moon lighting. It's hard to beat t5's when you have a good fixture but halides can grow coral. It's up to you and what's best for your tank even more.
I do like having my outer orbit because I can use 4 t5 and have pretty good color and when I flip on that hqi with the t5's it's awesome.
IMO The watts per gallon rule only applied when power compacts where the go to lights. LOL

I guess you could fit a 6 bulb t5 fixture over a 55g (?) but 4 bulbs are more common. I think a 5 bulb aquactinics tx5 fixture would be pretty sweet with the extra bulb.
 
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red clay

New member
I actually have a 6 bulb T5 fixture. The types of bulbs (actinics, whites, and pinks) each hood houses dependent upon each person or the types of coral?
 

Michigan Mike

Freedom costs a buckofive
I actually have a 6 bulb T5 fixture. The types of bulbs (actinics, whites, and pinks) each hood houses dependent upon each person or the types of coral?

If you have a bunch of high light demanding SPS coral your not gonna want a bunch of actinic bulbs as they do not have the par, blue plus from ATI is a better choice than true 420 actinics.
 
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