FAQs about Aquactinics Lighting
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The T5 X Factor/Reef Lighting 11/1/09
I have been reading up on T5 lighting and I've got one more
question for you. I found what I think could be a great T5 fixture but
the wattage seems a bit low for a reef tank (546 watts).
<Mmm, not really with the T5 HO lamps, would be very
From what I have read on the forums some fixtures seem to have an X
factor that makes
them better watt for watt vs. other fixtures.
<The "X" factor relates to their TX5 Hybrid which is a
combination of T5 and LED lamps. They likely are better watt for watt
incorporating individual 98% reflective Miro Silver reflectors and
For example ATI fixtures are known to provide a higher PAR value on
their systems than other higher wattage T5 systems.
<And likely because of their great reflectors. The PAR acronym
actually means parabolic aluminized reflector in the lighting world.
Most stage lamps are called PAR lamps.
For our use, it means the amount of light from a given lamp that will
reach our corals. Obviously, the higher the PAR value, the more intense
An example here...URI manufactures fluorescent lamps with a 180 degree
internal reflector. The reflector greatly increases the PAR value of
The Constellation fixture by Aquactinics look like it has some special
features but does it make up for the low wattage? It has individual
reflectors that are 98% reflective and I have heard that the bulbs are
over driven but I'm not really sure.
<The lamps are not overdriven, but driven to the high limit of the
lamp's capacity by regulating voltage through an electronic
ballast. The company would never get an UL approval otherwise.>.
Do you guys know anything about this fixture? I would like to use it on
a 72 x 24 x 24 reef for soft corals and LPS corals.
<They are pricey, but have heard no performance complaints on my
end. A very well made fixture in my opinion.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re The T5 X Factor/Reef Lighting 11/2/09
One follow up question. Would I be able to put clams or SPS corals in a
24 inch deep tank with this lighting. Even with the nice shiny
reflectors I don't know if the clams will get the light they need.
I called my local fish store that sells this product and they told me I
would only have 3 watts per gallon so I wouldn't be able to. I
don't think that rule really holds true anymore with all the new
innovations with lighting...but it does leave me with more questions
<Steve, I haven't any actual user experience with T5 lighting
systems, but I have recently been told by Steven Pro of Ice Cap that
these systems can be capable of providing enough light for clams and
SPS corals. His input is pasted below.
"You can get a T5 lighting system to provide more than enough
light for that size tank and its inhabitants, but there is a world of
difference in T5's.
Ballasts, reflectors, and the individual lamp choices make all the
A 546 watt fixture likely uses 14 39 watt lamps. That could work,
depending on the brand.
VP of Sales"
<Aquactinics uses the Ice Cap 660 and 430 VHO ballasts and their
Miro reflectors in some of their systems, and are regarded as one
of the best ballasts available, capable of driving T5's to their
upper limit. The information Aquactinics provides on the 72"
Constellation fixture does not state the type of ballasts used. You
might want to contact them as to the ballast performance in that
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>