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I bought some super cheap t5's

I am a cost-no-object type of guy when it comes to reef aquarium systems. It's almost always to buy the best up front than purchasing something substandard early on and having to constantly upgrade. Having said that, I found impossibly cheap t5 lights that I just had to try out.


I've been slowly replacing our LED fixtures in the greenhouse here at Tidal Gardens for the past few months. LED are great for what they do best, that being energy efficiency, control, and bulb life. If you are looking for those things, LED fixtures are a great option. Here however, I've noticed the corals grow and color up so much better under t5 fluorescents that I started swapping out LED fixtures in favor of t5.


I considered going with the highest end fixtures the hobby had to offer, but I came across some horticultural grow lights on amazon that were less than $100 shipped 2-day Prime with bulbs included. These lights may be total garbage, but for that price, I am willing to give them a try. Either way, I'll let you guys know how it turns out!

Than Thein

One thought on “I bought some super cheap t5's”

  • Brian

    hey Than,

    I'm curious how this T5 unit ended up working out for you? can you provide the link to the specific units you purchased on Amazon? I've been thinking about adding some HO T5's to my frag tank along with the current LEDs or possibly converting to all T5's. I have Kessil LEDs along with 4 T5 HO bulbs on my display tank and I've seen really great results and awesome growth with the combination of the LEDs and T5's. Since starting my frag tank with all LEDs (2x Current Orbit Marine Pro units) I haven't seen anywhere near the same results. Your post caught my interest because I really think there's something to be said for the tried-and-true coral growth under T5's and I'm not completely sold on the idea that LEDs alone can produce the best results. Anyway just curious which unit you purchased and how the results have been so far. Also, which T5 bulbs are you using?

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