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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been using T5s since i got into to hobby. My area doesnt have a big variety so I never get to see anything but T5s. My 90 has 3 plain jane t5 coarlifes on it...., 3actinics, 2 10k, and 1 colormax for the bulbs.
Im putting together a new Tangyinkan 55g tank and I was thinking maybe its time to drop a few extra bucks and get a nicer set of lights for it and my 90g. I was thinking LEDs or T5 HO. Whats your suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So from what I'm reading online the Marineland LED fixture doesnt allow you to have both the 10ks and Actinics on at the same time. Is this correct?
 

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nwr2339 said:
So from what I'm reading online the Marineland LED fixture doesnt allow you to have both the 10ks and Actinics on at the same time. Is this correct?
That's incorrect. The options are to have both the blue and white LEDs on at the same time or just the blue LEDs on.

Here's a detailed review of them if you want more info:

http://reefbuilders.com/2010/02/26/doub ... ption-led/

I have 2 36" units (36" is the actual length) on my 72" 110 gallon and am very happy with them. On a 90 though (which is deeper than a 110) they might be too dim.
 

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I have one 36" fixture on my 180 (6') and love it too. I keep deeper water fish that appreciate the dimmer lighting on the edges and my sand sifters sit right under the lights.

This pic was taken before my tank cleared after adding new sand so you can really see how the LEDs act as spot lights. With clear water I don't see any spot lights

 

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Here is my 36" double bright on my 75g. Seems about right for this size tank and dont think it would be too terribly dim but if you prefer bright lighting I would go with the T5HO.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the Review link. When you read the specs online it says three way switch with x# of 10k lights, x# of blue, and off.
The only think holding me back is that if i have to buy 2 of these to get the same color enhancement on my tank im going to stick with some T5HOs. I would have to buy the reef ready 48-64" as of now anyways. Thats $365 for one fixture! Maybe ill drive an hour away and see if they will take a return for store credit if i dont like it.

here is my tank as it is now

http://www.cichlids.com/uploads/tx_user ... 6d5e1a.jpg

http://www.cichlids.com/uploads/tx_user ... 3160ea.jpg
 

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nwr2339 said:
When you read the specs online it says three way switch with x# of 10k lights, x# of blue, and off.
The only think holding me back is that if i have to buy 2 of these to get the same color enhancement on my tank im going to stick with some T5HOs.
I wonder if that's an error. The three way switch on mine is white/blue, off and just blue. You can't turn the white lights on by themselves. I just flipped my light over to double-check each setting on the switch and confirmed this.

The thing that would hold me back if I was in your shoes is how dim the light would be on a 24" deep tank (unless you're setting up a deep water tank like 713J - nice looking tank BTW :thumb: ).
 

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I have to be honest in what I am seeing in the pics of the Marineland LED's. Maybe it's the camera but they seem to be way too dark. Especially the 36" on a 180. And in the one night shot, it's way way too blue IMO. Maybe because I'm not seeing it in person, but I would go with a T5 set up.
 

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I have 2 - 36" double brites on a 225 - 30 inch depth and I find them plenty bright - but that,s me and I like dim to dimmer light - although I still have them blocked off some with a couple of magazines. The light definitely penetrates to the bottom no problem. If you like the brightness of T5 and moreso T5HO ( a lot more lux output) you probably won,t like the double brites. Like a previous poster I have deepwater fish and catfish and the lights are exactly what I was looking for - I previously had T5HO,s and found them way too bright and unnatural - you could do surgery under those lights - just didn.t seem right for my eyes and my fish seem a lot more relaxed under the LED's. But everyone is different - I also like the shimmer effect with the LED double brites and the price is very reasonable.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input. I'm thinking the T5HO are for me after what I've seen and heard. I still really want to give the LEDs a try though. maybe ill put them on the Tanganyika tank I'm setting up. The tank wont have so much red in it so i wont have to worry about missing out on the colormax bulb that really makes my peacocks color pop. Either way ill post a pic of what they look like when when i get them. No matter which kind of lights i get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
zimmy said:
nwr2339 said:
When you read the specs online it says three way switch with x# of 10k lights, x# of blue, and off.
The only think holding me back is that if i have to buy 2 of these to get the same color enhancement on my tank im going to stick with some T5HOs.
I wonder if that's an error. The three way switch on mine is white/blue, off and just blue. You can't turn the white lights on by themselves. I just flipped my light over to double-check each setting on the switch and confirmed this.

The thing that would hold me back if I was in your shoes is how dim the light would be on a 24" deep tank (unless you're setting up a deep water tank like 713J - nice looking tank BTW :thumb: ).
Btw....thanks for looking on your fixture to see how it works Zimmy. I thought it seemed funny that they wouldn't turn on both at the same time. Just some funny wording i suppose. Also, thanks on the tank too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
man i'm indecisive. LOL....I found a good deal on some Reef Ready Marineland Led. More LEDs and supposedly lasts 50,000hrs compared to the Double Bright which is 17,000
 

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nwr2339
Ever consider making your own led light? You can make it as bright as you want. I used 3w LEDs and they are brighter than my rack of hot5s

Cree LEDs with a mean well driver are bright enough to grow corals... They'll be bright enough for a cichlid tank!
 

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I had the same dilemma - really wanted LEDs mainly for their low wattage and long lifespan but since i wanted some plants in my tank, opted for T5 HO instead - also my LFS was able to show me both on the same tank with water - one at a time - and the T5 HO was way brighter than LEDs - the fish don't likely care (and likely prefer dimmer LEDs) but much of what we do to the tanks are for us, not for the fish.
 

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Aedes
you can grow freshwater plants under the Cree 3W LEDs and if you wanted brighter than HOT5 could ever be, just get more powerful LEDs... ever see a 100W LED?
 

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The LED will pay for themselves with such little power usage.
 

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Another advantage of the LED lights is they put out FAR less heat than a T5 system. For some that doesn't matter, but here in Vegas, for 8 months a year tank temperature rising is a real concern.
 
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