t-5s or leds - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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t-5s or leds

i have a 29g planted tank and wondering should i get 30in marineland double bright leds or should i get 30in coralife aqualight HO t-5 dual lights? which one would the plants like more?

Last edited by tankman12; 12-03-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 07:24 PM
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A dual T5HO would put you into bright light territory, which means you would need to inject CO2. Probably not the road you are wanting to go down (but maybe).

However, the Marineland Double Bright fixture is not all the bright despite its name. It would probably work though. The standard 24" T8 fixture works just fine if you already have that. Just get a Zoomed "Ultra Sun" or a Hagen "Life-Glo" tube in it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 07:40 PM
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I concur on the T5, that is going to be too much. As for the LED, I have no direct experience with these, but from my reading I gather there are some very good lighting units available. Higher initial cost, but savings on the use (low energy) and longevity. As long as you get good planted tank units, and here I can't offer much. One thing to look for is the angle of the lens; many LED are 120 degree, which dissipates the light sideways. But those with 90 degrees are apparently well suited to aquaria. Then there is the issue of intensity.

The 24-36 inch Marineland has 12 1-watt LEDs, producing 600 lumens. This is good light, and better than a single T8. Now that I've seen this, I may well try it over my 29g. It lasts 5-6 years, which means no buying T8 tubes every year (which cost $22 here for this size) so that alone pays for the unit. This unit also creates the effect of sun shining through water, which is something I've always appreciated when visitng the Vancouver Aquarium.

Not saying this is better, but it is worth considering in my view.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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so i should try the marineland LEDS
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 08:48 PM
I'd personally get a single HO T5, but depends what kinda light levels you light to work with. I like more light then less. I agree the dual T5 is gonna be alot to try and handle without CO2, but the LED isn't a lot of light IMO. Really comes down to your preferences since you will be the one maintaining it, and the higher the light the more work.

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-04-2012, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tankman12 View Post
so i should try the marineland LEDS
I don't think Marineland is the greatest product, but it is a good one for the price. I would say go for the LED's for sure. Definately get the "double bright" or it won't be enough light.

If I were you, I'd read the reviews on Amazon about this light, to get as much input as you can. Going with LED's is better, IMO because you don't have the cost of changing out bulbs every 9months, and they run cooler, and are more cost effective in the long run, as pointed out already.

Prettier too. You get a nice ripple effect in the water. More realistic :)


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post #7 of 10 Old 12-04-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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how would i get co2 in the tank besides with the reactor
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-04-2012, 04:00 PM
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That's the only 'safe' way, there are liquid CO2 supplements but they are made from a rather nasty chemical I wouldn't want to use with fish. I say 'safe' because you still have to monitor the amount of CO2 you are adding.

Some people who do DIY CO2 with yeast use something (I can't think of its name right now) that looks like a bubble ladder. It's a series of sloping bits of plastic that make the bubbles of CO2 travel back and forth as they rise to the surface. I'm not sure if those actually work though to get the CO2 dissolved into the water.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-04-2012, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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i tried the diy co2 thing. the formula worked but the bubble never went in through the tubes
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-04-2012, 05:20 PM
Then you had a leak in your system since pressure needs to build up for that to work. With a well made DIY CO2 system you could probably run a tiny ceramic diffuser(which requires a lot more pressure). Main issue with DIY yeast CO2 is its not very stable and its also a pain to maintain.

And it is just called a CO2/bubble ladder, they do work but they are big and pretty ugly IMO.

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