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I have 2 standard single bulb T8 lights, one is 36" and the other is 72". They are both in very bad shape and need to be replaced. I have decided to keep the covers but replace the fixtures inside. I went to Home Depot and found plain fixtures that i will get.

But i am totally light ignorant, so here's my question: Which strip is better, 2 T5's at 21 watts? Or 1 T8 at 38 watts? Obviously i can do the math as far as watts go, but i just need to make sure i am getting the right thing. NOTE: These are not HO lights and i don't need HO.

Thanks in advance
 

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I have 3 T5 fixtures and 5 T8 fixtures. Overall the tanks with T5 lighting look brighter, more clear, and more vibrant then the tanks with T8 lighting.

The main cons i have with the T5 are they put off more heat. In smaller tanks i have noticed more algea growth with the T5s. Its harder for me to find good T5 bulbs locally so most of the time i order them online. Also generally speaking you'll spend more money going T5.
 

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T-5's are really coming down in price....

Are T-5's more efficient in terms of electricity?

-Ryan
 

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absolutely!
 

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My T5s really make my tanks "pop". My one tank with T8 lighting looks dull by comparison. However, algae is not a problem in the T8 tank, whereas it is in the T5 tanks. It's worth the extra work though.
 

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I always seem to fear "overlighting" the tanks.... but it seems a dual T-5 fixture is pretty standard set up... whereas I run single T-8's over all of my tanks.

I guess I should give the T-5's a try.

-Ryan
 

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Ryan,

In a nonplanted tank, I think the lighting is for us, not the fish. I like a well lit tank, so I have T5s. I've seen others who prefer a more subdued look. Just use what looks good to you.

Jman :thumb:
 
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