View Full Version : Led or t5?

08-01-2014, 08:00 AM
Ok so I am upgrading from my very successful 55g planted discus tank to a 120g

I currently run a odyssea quad t5 36" lamp

When I transfer over I am considering two options

Buy another 36" t5 or try out the green works Evo 36" quad led with 44 3watt 6500k led bulbs

Looking for thoughts opinions or any experience with either of these fixtures

08-01-2014, 10:23 AM
I haven't tried those specific fixtures so your mileage may vary. I do have several low tech planted tanks ranging from 5 gal to 75 gal. I have tried LEDs on the largest & on the smallest. I am less than impressed with the results on the LED tanks. The small tank has been very difficult to avoid major algae outbursts & the large tank struggles to keep even low light plants alive, much less growing & thriving. I have way better growth with a single T5HO over a 55 than with the Satellite LED+ on the 75. I plan to stick with T5 for the foreseeable future on any future light purchases.

08-01-2014, 11:31 AM
The LED light wattage per diode makes a huge difference. Some LEDs are so low wattage they will not penetrate water more than a few inches and high wattage diodes cause algae blooms in shallow tanks without CO2. Current LED lights range from .01 to 3 watts per diode. Guess which ones are the cheapest. On a 55 gallon a 48" 3 watt diode light is about 4x the price of 48" T5HO. But you will replace T5HO bulbs over the lifespan of the fixture whereas you will probably not replace any LED's. The higher wattage LED lights do not have near the energy savings as most LED lights.
On smaller shallow tanks most any LED light will do well but on larger tanks it gets far more complicated and tends to favor T5HO. IMO

08-01-2014, 01:37 PM
Before I bought the LED fixtures that I have, I checked out the PAR info (lots of info on plantedtank.net for that) for the various depths of tank & thought I purchased fixtures which would work with those tanks & for the type of plants I wanted to keep. I have been disappointed. One fixture is a Finnex Ray2 & the other is the Current Satellite LED+ fixture.

08-01-2014, 02:16 PM
I recently upgraded to a 110g and asked whether I should do LED or T5HO lights. I was told that if I wanted to do LED I needed to find one that said it was a plant LED and even then it might not penetrate to the bottom of my tank. I ended up going with a 60" odyssea quad T5HO with a timer and I think it is a great light. All of my plants are doing very well. I don't have any demanding carpet plants so I can't say if the light would be enough for them, but again, it has worked very well for me.