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Ok, so Im moving my reef to the smaller 20 gallon cube tank. I have enough to fill it up about 75% to the capacity that I'll want it, with coral. Well, I have crappy lights on it right now, because I only have a fish in there, nothing else living. Well, now I need lights!

So do I put the different spectrum of T5s, like a couple 10ks, and a couple actinic across the top? Or go for just a 24" PC set up, or I found a 20" MH fixture that looks ok as well.

Ive heard you can fry stuff with T5s, which could be scary, but it also sounds positive. Obviously T5s are putting out a lot of efficiency if they can fry things, and IVe never heard that with MHs. Im trying to keep maintenance down (like replacement costs, and electricity bills), but I Dont want to compromise TOOOOO much.

Ive heard good about T5s, but the fact that theyre rather cheap, and the "watts" look low, scares me away. They seem very half ***. I know "watts" are thinking in the 80s, and now its about efficiency. Im still very very green when it comes to all this, and IVe been looking for about 2 hours now, and am getting a brain cramp deciding between the 3 lol.

The tank is 24 wide, by 16 tall......
 

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You know that's a loaded question! It depends on what your aiming to do with your tank. What are you going to keep in the tank. Different corals/animals have different needs. Your water quality will have something to do with it also-if you have super clear water the light will penetrate to the bottom easier. Which brings up the bottom. A substrate will absorb light whereas BB will reflect the light. T5's have been used to grow SPS corals which require high light-but in many of those tanks the water quality/clearness is top notch. It's hard to answer your question. Could you give more details about your tank, your filtration, what and where you want to go ultimately-and don't forget the money issue-you want to change whatever bulbs you do get about every 6 months (although I've heard the T5's can go about 10 months).
 

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I really like the sunpod 20" mh. Comes in 70 or 150. I have seen one set up and it really was excellent lighting. If I had the money thats the way I would go but this is just my opinion.
 

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Jflip2002 said:
Ive heard you can fry stuff with T5s, which could be scary, but it also sounds positive. Obviously T5s are putting out a lot of efficiency if they can fry things, and IVe never heard that with MHs. Im trying to keep maintenance down (like replacement costs, and electricity bills), but I Dont want to compromise TOOOOO much.

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I always heard the opposite. I think the MH may increase the temperature a lot on that tank. T5 are cooler for what I heard, never had them myself but I would be affraid if anything got hotter than MH.
Definatly do not get the PC. I think the real options are T5 or MH. On MH maybe a 75W.
 
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