lights? MH vs LED(radion) or T5?

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by skmo41, Sep 3, 2014.

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  1. skmo41

    skmo41 Astrea Snail

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    Location:
    Gastonia,NC and Clover,SC
    I am new again.... I had a 55 gal that was I thought pretty successful minus the algae issue. Then downgraded to a 20 gal with a clown, 2 turbos and one mean as all get up damsel. Been up for about a year. Due to finacial strains... getting married havent gotten back to starting up a 55 the right way...Anyways I want to do a 50 or 55 gal tank preferably a cube shape or corner tank. My question is about the lighting and the change in lighting. Few years ago MH were and may still be considered the best as far as I could tell. But Radion has new LEDs gen 3 and was wondering for a 50-55 gal setup with some fish and corals(polyps, xenia or mushrooms) what would be best? The LEDs are expensive, but are they worth it and are they better than MH for a 55 gal setup or would a T5 or compact be more than sufficient? Prefer to spend less than $500 on a light but again if the new top of the line LEDs or MH or T5 are worth it I can rationalize and convince the wife.
     
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  3. dienerman

    dienerman Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    I have gen 3 Radions on my 60 cube and they do everything I could ever want. They look great suspended from the ceiling too! There are other less expensive LED options out there if you do not need or want all the bells and whistles though. The benefits of the LEDs are that there is no ongoing expense of bulb changes and less energy cost. Plus they put a lot less heat into the tank. Very controllable in terms of getting the look you want too. Just my 2c. welcome back!
     
  4. SaltyClown

    SaltyClown Sea Dragon

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    Go LED. Go with kessils. For your tank get,1 a150w sky blue and 1 a150w ocean blue. $450 for both lights and the shimmer effect is amazing.
     
  5. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

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    Personally if you just want to do a softy reef, do a 4 bulb t5 fixture.

    However if you plan on going SPS and other corals, I would suggest something a bit more powerful. I've always been one to choose MH or T5 over LEDs, but that is just me.

    You can make any system work for you. Look at member 2in10's old 75g build, that was under T5. It just goes to show there isn't one system that is "better" than the other, they all do the same thing in the end, assuming you get the right set up. (I will admit LEDs can do a bit more than MH or T5, but who wants to run a tank on rainbow mode? lol) If it were me, I would go look at all the pro's and con's of each system and compare so see which better suits you.

    Shimmer can be achieved by MH too.
     
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  6. BoB123

    BoB123 Spaghetti Worm

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  7. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    MH > T5 > LED in my opinion.
     
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  9. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    Having tried all 3, I agree. However, in terms of efficiency and heat, flip those around.
     
  10. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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    IMPHO, you're paying for a name, and the fact that you can make sun ups, sun sets, etc. with Radions.

    My Leds I"m using are more powerful- Yes, I PAR metered them,
    are full spectrum, and have two channel dimmers.
    Lets just say- they'll grow sps, and all the rest well.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GU0CHUU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I have 3 of these over my 180- and couldn't be happier
    Theyre about $100 each- shipped

    Just saying
     
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  11. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    I'm a halide T5 guy, perfect combo in my opinion. Led lights have come a long way and as todd said the expensive led fixtures may not be needed. His tank speaks for it self. I would buy a fixture with excessive light because once you get your softie corals it won't be long until you get LPS and sps. It will happen so buy it once.
     
  12. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

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    Definitely for softies, if it were me, I'd go t5. Theyre easy and largely foolproof. Halides are beautiful, but they're hot and not always the most aesthetically pleasing (though some are). I use a t5/LED combo I really like, but its costly.

    Go t5. I also relearned this hobby after being out for a while and my foray into LEDs messed me up. Theres nothing wrong with them, but I think they're best placed in the hands of folks smarter than me.
     
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