Tropical Fish Keeping banner

T5 HO or traditional fluorescent fixtures and bulbs?

1111 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  sandybottom
Is the hobby dying off? There seem like fewer and fewer choices.

Today's question: for 36" long aquarium, is it better to use the old standard fluoresent plant bulbs or the newer T5 HO bulbs. {the full spectrum led at about $300 are poor price value solution}.

My go to used to the All-glass but their 36" uses 24" bulbs. I don't know what advantages there
are to the T5HO for fresh water. For salt water, no brainer. But concerned since it's HO the fish will think it's too bright and hide all the time. The 36" dual bulb hoods are difficult to find. My 48's would stick out 6 inches and so that is unacceptable except for temporary emergency lighting.

I haven't found a lumen comparison and only discussion I have seen talks about how much brighter the fish are.
1 - 1 of 6 Posts
:lol: hobby dying off because the bulb selection is less varied? Nope.
What you are running into are U.S. federal energy mandates and the discontinuation of older technologies such as the incandescent bulb and the "standard" T12 (1" diameter) fluorescent bulbs. Manufacturers are moving toward the T5 size. My hypothesis is that the T8 also is going away eventually (not anytime soon), although I really likeT8 bulbs!

Regarding the T5HO. Great lights, but unless you are running high pressurized CO2, too much light! I have a 125g w/CO2 and have a T8 single bulb strip light across the back. Plants at the rear do great. I'm using T5HO (single bulb) in the front and, if I'm not careful, I get BBA. Other issue is I can't find a great T5HO bulb that I like - they are either too "blue" or too "red" unless I mix two bulbs and then, it's too much light!

Short answer: T5HO will work, but you may need to use window screen to cut the light levels down. Better to go with a T5 "normal" output or a T8 if you are worried about algae and not using CO2. The T5 fixtures/bulbs are metric, and I think they come in a 34" size?
See less See more
1 - 1 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.