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Seems like with the evolving T5 and LED tech, a new MH-lit tank isn't the most foresighted advance for Oceanic. I would much rather see AIO's with stock LED or T5 options. It would afford the aquarist with more versatile color options and a reduced power bill to boot. I am not sure if there are still patent issues outstanding with LEDs; that would of course need to be taken into account.

Captive Aquatics

A quick analysis of T-5 vs Metal Halide lighting for nanos:

- T-5s are fluorescent, which means yearly replacement (MH bulbs are good for 4+ years - don't believe me? Take a par meter to your old MH bulbs - they're still perfectly good, I promise!)
- It's less efficient (PAR / Energy) than MH without large parabolic reflectors
- T-5s still run very hot if the efficiency of the bulb size isn't maximized with large parabolic reflectors

Additionally, there aren't HO T5 bulbs manufactured under 24" in length, putting a minimum size requirement on the tank, especially when considering the optimum size of the reflectors to obtain the efficiency that makes T-5 a viable lighting option (3-4x the width of the bulb). T-5s can be great and efficnet for wide, shallow aquariums, but that is the only circumstance in which I'd consider using them.

Granted, LED, on the surface, is awesome. However, real-world results are still up in the air. Anthony Calfo has mentioned that according to his preliminary data, corals fare very poorly under LED lighting. And, as you mentioned, there is the patent issue. However, if LEDs do turn out to grow coral at least reasonably well, I definitely look forward to smaller formfactor all-in-one nano aquariums in the future.

Until LEDs prove themselves, MH is by far my favorite lighting method.


Thanks for the break-down. As for the size of T5 lighting, nanocustoms.com should soon be announcing smaller options for HO lighting - 18" bulbs with internal reflectors from UVL (should give Current a run for their money). There's also talk of smaller 12" bulbs, and a PC-R option (small format T5 PC). That may open up new doors for AIO tanks.

It's interesting to see the Nanocube line introducing an LED model. They're certainly placing a large bet on the tech. As far as real-world results, I personally use a nanocustoms PAR38 bulb and have seen better coloration and growth from my SPS than when I ran a 14k Phoenix 150w over the tank. I'm no expert and one case certainly does not constitute a general rule, but I do know LEDs are growing my SPS.

As for taking a par meter to anything, I would if I could find one that's affordable :).

Captive Aquatics

Sounds promising. Internal reflectors aren't nearly as efficient as external ones, but they still beat the heck out of no reflectors at all!

The main issue with seeing something (compact T-5 lighting in this case) in a popular all-in-one tank is "can it be cheaply mass produced in China?". All of sub-$600 all-in-one tanks that I know of are mass produced in China, hence their low prices. If Current is to begin offering this type of lighting, then that's probably the case, as the majority of their products are made in China.

It's good to hear of your luck with LED lighting - I have very high hopes for LEDs, myself. Have any pics to share?


Sure - at this point all I am seeing is basing with my acro frags. The monti caps are showing good growth and I have a pavona that is growing as well. Pics:

You can see the growth of the green cap by comparing the above pic with this one:

And the FTS with light:

My thread is on nano-reef.com under the same handle.


Tried to post a few earlier but I think I screwed up. Here's an acro that's basing nicely and a progression shot of a green monti cap over about a month:



And here's my tank with the PAR38:

I have more info on a nano-reef.com thread under the same handle. The PAR38 has been over the tank several months now and results have been all positive. However, my frags are small - I'm hoping I can grow them out to colonies under the LEDs and have a true success story.


Well...tried posting some twice and it didn't take. Check my nano-reef.com thread (same handle) for some pics.


And here's the announcement on nano-reef for the T5's:

And the link to Nanotuners:

Captive Aquatics

Very cool - thanks for sharing!

Captive Aquatics

Looks like the NanoCustoms 18" bulbs are up for sale - but T5 is old news now with all of the awesome LED advancements!

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