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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently use LED lights on my 75 gal 4 ft tank and have been happy with them. Although, they could be brighter. However, in the back of my mind I wonder how my tank would look with T5 HO lamps (2 or 4 lamp). All the stores I've been to carry the 2L fixtures. Some use the 2L with the aid of fluorescent lamps to show case their empty tanks.

I don't really know what the 4L T5 HO would look like on my tank. Perhaps it would be over kill, but I would hate to upgrade to a 2L and find out later I really wanted a 4L . So, I made an impulse decision and ordered the 4L T5 HO with lunar LED. I don't have it yet but could this purchase do more harm then good for my tank? Is it possible to complain it's too bright? If it was too bright I could always remove a lamp or two right? Or are these fixture wired in series and all 4 lamps must be on? Impulse purchases kill me...
 

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It depends on which light you got. Some have separate switches and power cords so in theory you could switch one bulb so when you only have one bank running you have one of each bulb on.
I was having the same inner debate with which light to buy and ended up going with a 4 lamp with the separate switches cords, so I could reduce light output if it was too bright. It was supposed to be here today and I just checked the fed ex tracking and saw that they tried to deliver it to the wrong address so I won't get it til tomorrow :(
 

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What type of Cichlids do you have? If you have any colorful MBuna T5 is the ONLY way to go IMO.. Since its a 4 bulb setup I would run two 10k and 2 Actinic bulbs in a 2x2 setup so 1 10k,1 actinic,1 10k, 1 actinic.. If you have an SA tank, LED's look good on those planted setups.

You will not be disappointed with the T5 setup, that is what I currently run.. and there is never too bright if you have mbuna :thumb:
 

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I don't know why lights are so expensive in the aquarium world, there is just not that much to them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JimA said:
I don't know why lights are so expensive in the aquarium world, there is just not that much to them?
I guess people don't have time to build their own fixtures. You have the housing, mounting brackets, wiring, the appropriate ballasts to ignite the T5s, the tubes, maybe a controller if you want a timer, and of course the switch.
 

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you're just not looking at the right type of LED lighting ;)

I am a fan of go overboard (4 tubes) and then use a dimmable ballast (if able) or turn off one or two of the bulbs if you find they are too much. It is always nice to have the flexibility to run a reef or planted tank later on
 

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I ordered one of these on Saturday, T5 HO lights with the 4 bulbs and the LEDs and lunar lighting, (think it has to white light bulbs, 2 bluish light bulbs and then the LEDs. I pick it up tomorrow, so I guess we'll see if tomorrow night if its "too much", lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, I've been anxious and excited about my purchase of the 4L T5 HO light and finally got them home last night. I took some pictures so that you can compare with me. I'll let you be the judge.

WITH LEDS (before)


WITH 4L T5 HO 2x 10K 2x Actinic (now)


Here are my thoughts
- The LED in the evening/night provide a more relaxing mood in the living room where the tank is displayed. However the 4LT5HO can be switched to 2x white on only which will calm the brightness.
- The LED, although not as bright has the 4LT5HO do hide the powerhead, heater, spray bar, intake and the magnetic cleaner well. Not as noticeable.
- You can see in the (now) photo that the LED fixture is low profile compared to the high profile 4LT5HO that sit 1-2 inch above the tank.
- The 4LT5HO does put more light in the tank allowing the fish and rocks to be more noticeable
- The 4LT5HO allows me to program my lighting up to 1, 2, and 3 zones.
- LED were less expensive than 4LT5HO (although this is not a fair comparision... if anything the cost should be compared to the 2LT5HO)
- The 4LT5HO have 3 fans that are constantly running which I'm concerned that over time will get louder. I can already hear it now. Similar to a computer fan.

I haven't compared the two lights during the day yet. I think this is where the 4LT5HO will have an advantage over the LED.
 
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