Question on t5ho lights or metal halide
I have a 150 tall freshwater planted tank and I want to upgrade my lights from a double bulb and a single bulb shop light. I'm not sure of which way I want to go. I found a deal on 2 metal halide lights with every thing included for $200. Then i was thinking of going diy with t5ho lights. Do the metal halide lights use more power than the t5ho lights ? Any help on this would really help me decide which way to go.Thanks.
I have never used metal halide, but from my research it seems they use much more power, produce more heat, and obviously are quite bright. They are suspended above the tank, so that creates an issue with viewing, and may also be a factor depending where the tank is located in your home.
At this point, the question is what you want to achieve. While metal halide can work over large high-tech systems the T5 fluorescent tubes will likely be more practical especially with a lower-tech system. With the HO (high output) and now VHO tubes, you really cannot have a situation where more light is needed beyond what sufficient T5 tubes will produce. And it will be less expensive to install and operate.
Knowing the tank dimensions will help us recommend adequate T5, along with what sort of planted tank you envisage.
Thanks Byron My tank is a 150 tall which is 48x24x30 tall. The plants I have are 4 jungle vals, 3 micro swords, 2 bunches of anacharis, 2 cyptocoryne wendtii, 2 cyptocoyne balansae, 1 undulatus, 3 java ferns, and 3 amazon swords. I am using a liquid fert from petco but can't recall the name. I'm using root tabs for the rooted plants. I have ordered the seachem flourish comprehensive and the flourish tabs and will be starting to use them as soon as I get it. The only plants that seem to be doing well are the jungle vals. I have discus in this tank along with 15 black neons 20 neons 2 clown loaches, I do a 20% water change every week. Amonia is 0, nitrates 15ppm. The water supply for water changes is hard water.
This less intense light (though it is still bright to me) will also suite the fish better. And some floating plants like Water Sprite.
The problem with T5 lighting is the brightness. There are NO (normal output) tubes, but these are not easily available depending where you live, and since they are roughly equivalent to T8 but for more cost, I can surmise why. The HO are much more intense light; I tried two 48-inch T5 HO over my 90g and then over the 115g for a week but it was far too much light. I took it back for a dual T8 fixture.
Tubes can be bought in hardware-type stores for a few dollars. The "daylight" types by GE, Sylvania, Phillips having a 6500K work fine; I use them.
Thanks Byron; I have decided to try the t8 lighting and with the ferts comming next week I think I would be good going that route. Thank you so much for your help, I am always reading thru your posts, and your 4 part article on plants was very helpful also. Thank you. Osti
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