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  1. #1
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    VHO's VS. HO T5's ???

    Need your advise of going with either VHO's or T5's for my 90 gal tank (currently in the works). Just want to know what would penetrate the water better and give me a few more options with corals and so on... Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    T5HO bulb size makes individual parabolic reflectors possible. That lets them outperfom VHO's in general. I've seen people keep SPS, clams etc quite easily under a T5 fixture. Biggest complaint most people have is that they cant keep mushrooms or low light corals (barbeque)... of course, you could put them in a cave...

  3. #3
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    Really?? even with a 24" high (90 gal) tank I would BBQ my softies??? I'm thinking 4 bulbs 54 watt each ho's ? Would that fry my softies?

  4. #4
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    Here's a monster thread on ReefCentral about just that...http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...5&pagenumber=1 I'm not quite sure if that link is gonna work or not.. but the jist of it is - difficulty keeping low light critters (posted by a 90G) owner in fact.

    Having said that, there are work arounds, like caves and overhangs. Also, T5s with individual reflectors do open up a lot of options for high light corals that you'd have a harder time keeping under VHO.

    I just got my IceCapT5 retrofit last week, so I'm afraid I can't give much first hand advice, other than - don't look right at them. 8)

  5. #5
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    BTW, if you do decide to go with the T5s, Ivan here at Aquaria Canada gave me a pretty good price on a full retrofit kit (ballast, wiring harness, bulbs, endcaps, standoffs, and reflectors).

  6. #6
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    Cool

    on the flip side of that is,
    VHO actinics are way nicer and make the corals look better then whats offered by T5 actinics.
    also, setting up 4x T5 lamps with individual reflectors is pretty costly. having never owned T5 lamps this is just stuff I've read and having seen T5 setups I don't think there any better or brighter than VHO so its your call.

  7. #7
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    This is the set up that I was loking at to me it looks like 1 reflector with both bulbs inside but you cant really beat the price for 49.99 x 2 I'm guessing. BTW there moon ligts look reaaly good as well.

    I didnt think that with these 2 HO t5 units I would fry my softies...

  8. #8
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I don't see how T5s can fry softies in a 90G tank if my 250W MH lights don't fry my softies. I find it hard to imagine a T5 out performing a MH lamp at a 2' depth...

    Speaking of depth, it's also my understanding that VHOs penitrate deeper than T5s as well, but I could be misremebering.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cryptoterrorist's Avatar
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    Well here's my perspective on T5's. I have a T5HO setup and keep SPS, LPS, and Softies (including Mushrooms and Zoas). I only have a 33g with a depth of 18. Any deeper than that the T5HOs really start falling short. Johnny Rock is right about the individual reflectors being the big boost on T5HOs. The reflectors direct more light into the tank where it can be used. Now keep in mind that the intensity or strength of the bulb doesnt change. Its just that the reflectors deliver more useable light within the depth that the light would normally penetrate without any reflector.

    This ability to penetrate is also why everyone should be considering the light intensity vs. the tank depth. IMO 18 is fine for everything with T5HO, not T5NOs, but when you hit 20 you cut out SPS and some LPS (here you should go with a Vho setup for SPS and LPS). At 22 youre looking at a softie tank (here you need Vho for LPS but should get MH for SPS and LPS). When you hit 24 forget T5HOs all together (Vhos would be good for softies but, at this depth youll need Mh for SPS and LPS). Some may argue this but my philosophy is; if you dont know any better but I dont think anyone would argue that if you follow this youll have better colours and overall success.

    No Im not any sort of expert but I have done a lot of reading, looking and asking questions and this is what Ive come out with.

    And as to cost, it would have cost me just over double for a Vho setup and added another 2/3 of what I paid with the T5HO for a Mh setup.

  10. #10
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    Gotta say, I'm mostly just reposting other people's experience with the T5HO setup. In fact, not many will complain about frying softies, but it has been mentioned. As far as penetration goes, again, it's reflector dependant, and there are a few threads on RC that have PAR readings at different depths... interesting reading if you're into objective evidence.

    I'm really not sure how intense the double bulb reflector set you mentioned would be mp123, but I'm pretty sure your softies would be safe. Probably run into the deep water issues that Cryptoterroist mentioned though.

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