Question What's better: LED or T5's?

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djfrankn

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Hi everyone. I have a 55 gal SW FWLR and I recently started to add a couple of soft coral frags. I currently run 2 24" Coralife Aqualight Deluxe single linear strip (split one on each side of the tank). I know that I'm running low on wattage since each fixture provides 65 watt only. I was thinking to either get a Nova Extreme T5HO (2-10k/2-460nm actinics) or go with a LED fixture.
The only thing that holds me from setting my mind up is the fact that the LED are 3 times the price of a T5 fixture. Also, I've been told that Power Compacts are not the best choice when you want to grow corals. So but would be the best choice?. Besides, I read in some forums LED's are not suppose to be the main light provider for a reef aquarium, is that true?.

Thanks for any help.
 

ryanr

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Hi djfrnkn, welcome to fishlore

I thought the addition of corals to a FOWLR upgraded you to a reef

Anyway, corals have very specific light requirements in order to grow. I believe that LEDs, whilst they can be bright, don't provide the necessary spectrum of light required to successfully grow coral.

My suggestion would definitely be to go with T5HO, or VHO if possible. I would also consider a multiple tube setup, allowing you to add the necessary spectrums of light.

There's some great advice here on fishlore at https://www.fishlore.com/keeping-coral-reef-tank.htm

Hope this helps, and I'm sure some of our salty experts will be able to offer further insight.
 

ATP

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djfrankn

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Thanks... but in the end, which is really the best?

So, I get a brief explanation from two different people. I saw some DIY plan for a LED setup in which actually LED lighting is the main light (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1587273). The only downside I see and is also the base of my doubt about them is the investment which anyhow (If I choose the LED) is going to be above the 600$ while picking some type of T5's is going to be probably half that price. Then another question arises: which is best performance/value, 4 o 6 T5's?... Thanks again.
 

ATP

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So, I get a brief explanation from two different people. I saw some DIY plan for a LED setup in which actually LED lighting is the main light (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1587273). The only downside I see and is also the base of my doubt about them is the investment which anyhow (If I choose the LED) is going to be above the 600$ while picking some type of T5's is going to be probably half that price. Then another question arises: which is best performance/value, 4 o 6 T5's?... Thanks again.
In the long run, LEDs will be much cheaper since bulbs won't have to be replaced for over 10 years. I'm going to replace all of my Metal Halides and VHO on my 120 with LED probably next year.
 
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