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Hello all,

Proper lighting is very confusing and I could use some help. My uncle gave me his fancy light fixture for his saltwater tank after he upgraded, which I'd like to use because it is much nicer.

I currently have a 48" L 16" W 30" H tank that is lit with (2) 48" T8 LED shoplights at 4000k.

His fixture is 48" t5 HO with (2) 10,000k bulbs and (2) 420/460 bulbs at 39 Watts with fans that are built-in to the fixture. Obviously, I can't use these..

Would I be able to replace these bulbs with 4 T5 LED 48" 5500k @ 34 Watts?

If so, would using 2 bulbs in the morning and night and 4 bulbs for a couple hours in the middle of the day work?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

(There are currently no frogs that could be hurt in the process as the tank is has been acclimating for a couple months)
 

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I only use a single sunblaster t5h0 light on my tanks (when I use fluorescent lights) and it lights the tank nicely. I'm not sure what the brand name of sunblaster is in the USA, sorry.

More light isn't always a good thing. In many ways my tanks are fairly dimly lit compared to many other people's tanks.
 

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Pay close attention to heat whenever you use fluorescent lighting over dart frogs. If you can keep the temp in the tank low enough and you can find the right spectrum of bulbs and you don't mind replacing them every 6 months or so, this might work fine :)

Mark
 

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Pay close attention to heat whenever you use fluorescent lighting over dart frogs. If you can keep the temp in the tank low enough and you can find the right spectrum of bulbs and you don't mind replacing them every 6 months or so, this might work fine :)

Mark
This is why I don't often use t5ho lights for my frogs anymore. Upgrading to LED lights was not overly expensive.

Fluorescent lights actually help me in the winter as my frog room sits around 65F most of the time (outside of the tanks) but I avoid them in the summer
 

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My experiences growing plants with T5HO and LEDs has been that about half the wattage of LED gives the same growth as T5HO, and the LEDs are (often, depends on the fixture) dimmable, which is worth a great deal when it comes to keeping dart vivs.

If you've been happy feeding power to those hungry T8s, you may like T5HO, though keep in mind that per lamp they'll put out about twice the light (considering better reflectors, higher PF ballasts, better options for lamp choices, and so on).
 

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Proper lighting is very confusing and I could use some help.
Stop. Just stop, please. Answer a few questions for us, would ya?
  1. What are you trying to accomplish with lighting? Brick-red broms and bedazzled frogs? You mentioned frogs, I assume you'll be doing dendros?
  2. What is it about your current lighting that is holding you back from accomplishing whatever it is that you want? Is it the spectrum, the lumens, the heat output, the power draw, the lack of full-width (16") coverage, the wimpy down-punch (30" H)? Are your supposed-to-be-red broms actually a watery green? What's the problem with the way you're doing it right now? And are you sure it's actually a problem?
  3. Is this "free stuff" from your uncle either 1) the best or 2) the cheapest option for filling your deficiency? I have often found free stuff to very often be no damn bargain whatsoever. Just a shiny object that distracts me from my true path. But, sometimes it's a good deal. It depends.
  4. What other options have you explored, and possibly liked or rejected?
  5. What other options have you not looked at, that might be better, or cheaper, or whatever it is you're trying to maximize or minimize?
 

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I have a fairly densely planted chameleon vivarium that is 36" tall, so a bit taller than yours but in the ballpark. I use a quad T5 and it works well. Now, I need to use t5s for UVB for my chameleon, I prefer LEDs for frogs. But it works fine. I actually have the 4x T5s, two floodlights, a regular LED bulb, and an incandescent grow light for basking. All those combined gives me good plant growth throughout the vivarium and has been working great for the chameleon.

The chameleon likes temps 10+ F above what the frogs want though. I'd plug it in with the bulbs you have now and see how much heat it generates.
 
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