T5HO Lighting


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 29, 2006
I currently have a AH Supply compact fluorescent lighting setup on my 36" x 18" x 20" discus tank. Right now I am using a single 96Watt 6700K bulb. I also use the AH Supply DIY canopy.

I do have some areas in the tank that are lacking light due to the single 96 watt orientation.

My current bulb is due to be replaced (about 9 months old).

Would it be wise to get rid of the power compact 96 watt and replace it with (2) 39Watt 36" T5HO lights? Or is that overkill for this tank?

I am not sure how I can use the 36watt 16.5" pc bulbs to fix this problem.

Any suggestions?


A few months ago, I replaced the 96w PC (Coralife) fixture with Hagen's GLO dual T5HO fixture on my 36 x 12 x 18 tank. This was due to needing to replace the faulty electrical fixture more than "getting the right lighting". I had read enough about T5 that I wanted to try it over another PC fixure.

Asthetically, the tank looked a lot more evenly list. There were fewer shadows, especially along the sides. The whole tank "seemed brighter". (As an aside, I first used the Hagen Life Glo 2 lights, but they seemed to have a slight green tint, and the color just didn't look right. I'm now using Current SlimPaq 6700 from Drs. Foster & Smith).

I can't make any technical comments on the lighting. With the PC lighting, I was having phenomonal success as an algae grower, but I'm certain that was due more to "learning experiences" than my lighting being wrong. I'm having fewer "learning experiences" these days.


Prolific Poster
Jun 23, 2008
Hi Shane,

I have a 50G (close to yours) and I'm using 2 x 39W T5HO tubes.
This brings us to about 1.5WPG. No overkill.
Fits in the tanks with low PAR value. (I think :D )

Other than the occasional green spot algae on aquarium glass, I'm pretty much algae-free.

Hope it helps,


P.S. It'll be good if you already have a PAR meter so you can test out the T5 tubes in your tank. I'm trying to budget for one but I'm afraid the Reefcast offer might be gone then. :(


Junior Poster
Aug 16, 2008
I have 4 55w 6700K cf bulbs in my 50 gal.
No algae.
No shaded areas.
12 hrs on each day.
EI fert. Overpopulated with rosy barbs. Excellent plant growth.
I get the bulbs from AH supply. They seem to be the most reasonably priced.