View Full Version : 150w T5's fixture or 150 Metal halide

09-13-2010, 01:31 AM
Hi Everyone,

Just started a 38 gallon and have 32lb of totoka rock, my plan is to have 2 percula clowns and skunk shrimp,eventually add some corals and i don't want to be too limited on what i can choose.

My issue is should i invest in this Aquaticlife t5 fixture

or this coralife Metal halide

I like the T5 fixture because it has the bulit in timer and LED's but i know once it's bought, that the max light i will have.

The Metal halide however is small enought that i can eventually add a second one for a total of 300w.

Would really like to hear your suggestions.


Sebae again
09-13-2010, 05:09 AM
I had a 38 with 4 t5 bulbs and it did great. I had softies ,LPS and clams no problem. With the 38 you will need 2 off the Coralife 150 and if you went to a larger tank one day,you would probably want 250 watt halides or equivalent.

09-13-2010, 06:17 AM
First of all, Welcome the Canreef, man! We'll be both your support group and enablers from now on, so welcome to the family.

Ok, just my opinion onj these lights but... neither. Here's why:

The metal halide, while nice and bright, is going to need some sort of actinic supplimentation unless you go to a really high colour temperature bulb, in which case growth is likely to be slow (depending on what you are wanting to keep). A 150W 20,000K bulb over 38 gallons would look great but wouldn't really cut the mustard in terms of actual output. So to get around this you will need actinic lighting and trying to set up actinic flourescents with the clip-on halide is a real pain in the arse. Trying to get two of those units over the tank would be an equal or greater pain. And on top of all that, you lose the actinic option which is actually quite nice for the evening.

Of the two options, I'd say the flourescent fixture is the better bet as you can fiddle with bulb combinations until you find something that works for you. That being said, don't be hung up on the built in timers; go to walmart and pick up a programmable plug timer for $20 (I think the manufacturer is Woods... I can get back to you on that though) and it is significantly more advanced than what you would get built in to the fixtures. Take a look around for flourescent fixtures; there's a lot of options there, though I'd recommend performance over features beacuse if you end up getting into something like SPS or clams you'll wish you have that performance.

I'm really not trying to be mean here or anything, man, so sorry if I'm sounding like a jerk.

From one guy who's start from the beginning to another, of all advice I could give to you from everything I've learned is: Do it once and do it right. What I mean by that is, get a good mental image of where you want to go and start now in planning to get there. Find local people who do this stuff and go look at their tanks and ask questions... it's worth more than gold!.

Doing upgrades along the way ends up being WAY more expensive in the long run. I know forking out the $$$ in the beginning hurts but it works out in your favour in the end. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Take a look around here, your local clubs and craigslist for used gear; you can get some high end stuff for a pretty good deal. I ended up finding one of these (http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/mh-calp36/Coralife+36%22+AquaLight+Pro+Metal+Halide+Fixture+-+1+x+150W.html) for a steal (except in a 24" model). These are a much nicer set up than the clip-ons (which I also considered at one point.

I know you're just planning on two percs and some cleaner's at the moments but just you wait... Have you ever seen someone addicted to drugs? Ya, reefing ain't too far off...

09-13-2010, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the advice guys.

ScubaSteve, Your not being a Jerk at all! lol

I appreciate the honesty and i agree with you that i should do it right the first time. I learned that lesson when i tried starting off a few years ago with a 10 gallon nano... That was a diaster, fish kept dying till i just gave up.

The Aquaticlife has a cool feature that allows you to control the on/off period for each light, Actinics, 10k and LED's, so not sure that can be done with an external Timer unless there is a power cord for each light.

Are there any other flourescent fixtures you would suggest?

09-13-2010, 03:36 PM
Love t5s hate aquatic life as a brand name why not go both get a combo light you could find one on here second hand for fairly cheap. I would have to agree with Steve in those two I'd take the t5 I run a 33with just a halide but it's a high end bulb 20000k the brightest I've ever seen for color and is quite costly(price of s fixture lol)I would seriously consider paying good money for a quality light than selling it layer fir 1/3 the cost just to upgrade anyways, everyone does it myself included and like Steve said it will cost you way more:)

welcome to canreef!!!:) cheers:)

09-13-2010, 04:09 PM
Man... can't seem to find anything used...
I like the coralife MH/Actinics combo but i can't afford the 600$ new.

Wife is gonna shoot me, just spent like 225$ on live rock and 110 on a RO filter. lol it is an addiction!!

09-13-2010, 04:18 PM
This looks interesting...


09-13-2010, 04:44 PM
I'll second the coralife fixture. I run a 48" on my 125, and they are a really nice set up with the MH, supplemental actinic and moonlights. I just use cheap timers to have everything go on and off easily.

09-13-2010, 05:12 PM
if your interested in the drive to edmonton i got a mh combo for sale plus 3 t5 fixture all various sizes and anpother mh diy for sale with an aquamedic ballast for 3 250w halides and t5's all lights are under 400

09-13-2010, 05:37 PM
Laval, PQ to Edmonton would be a helluva drive for lights. :biggrin:

09-13-2010, 05:47 PM
Ya pretty far, but thanks for the offer!

09-13-2010, 06:40 PM
i saw an ad on here in buy sell for a 24" guiesman 150 w mh with 2 x 24w t5 for a reasonable price...

maybe 3 days ago... not sure if they ship tho..

09-13-2010, 07:56 PM
i saw an ad on here in buy sell for a 24" guiesman 150 w mh with 2 x 24w t5 for a reasonable price...

maybe 3 days ago... not sure if they ship tho..

Those are stellar fixtures! I've drooled over them a few times.

I remember seeing an ad on here for someone selling a bunch of fishneedit halide fixtures for pretty cheap. I can't remember if they are straight up halides or combos but the price was right to get started with at least.

Have you checked eBay? Look around at sites like JL, Bulk Reef Supply and a few of the other sponsors around here. There are some good deals to be had. A friend of mine actually called up a store and asked if they had any used fixtures; he got a deal at 25% of the original price!

Personally I am quite partial to halides or halide combos so I can't really recommend any one T5 fixture in particular but I've seen and heard good things about the Sunlight Supply fixtures (http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/sl-t5tl3606/Sunlight+Supply+Tek+Light+6+Bulb+T5+Fixture+(36+In ch%2C+6x39W).html).

Oh, I would also recommend learning the skills of misdirection, comparative cost arguments, white lies and paying in cash. It'll delay the inevitable a$$-kicking from the wife and keep the credit card clear in case you need to flee the country. That or get her hooked on reefing as well and then you're in the clear :razz:.

Tell me, what is your plan (or hope) that you would like to do? Have you seen any example tanks that you like? Is there any one specific form of livestock you prefer? (My livestock is like 95% coral... so high light it is!!!). Let's get a discussion going and see if any of us can make some recommendations or someone around here says "Hey, I've got a deal!".

Just saw this: http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=67955
Raf (super nice guy!) is selling the 48" version of my light for $300! Killer! Ever considered a 48" tank?:razz:

09-14-2010, 01:20 AM
HAHAHAA Scubasteve you kill me:laugh:
Ya I try and sneak stuff into the basement as much as i can..hard to hide the big stuff and the kids rat me out sometimes!

I like that Sunlight fixture, pretty good deal.
Thing is my tank is a 36 1/4(l) x 12 5/8(w)x 19 3/4(h) and that fixture is 15.75 (w) so i don't think it will fit.

My goal is

1. max 2 fish ( Percula clowns ), i think 38 gallons would be more than enough for them to thrive.

2. Anemone for them to host, not necessary but i find it cool!

3. An interesting shrimp....Haven't decided yet..

4. Some zoo's forsure

5. If everything goes well maybe some SPS or LSP corals?? or maybe a clam.

Then one day if something happens to my oscar in the 75G, i may move everything over.