Reef Aquarium Lighting

Information and suggestions



The purpose of this site is to attempt to make both our lives a little simpler by making the T5 information easier for you to find and save me the hassle of answering the same questions over and over and over again. This is my first attempt at a website so cut me some slack, it is a work in progress.



Why do I do this crap?

A funny thing happened on the way to the office in April of 2000. Some dufus idgit thought hitting me head on to avoid the station wagon he was about to rear end made more sense than to go into the ditch I ended up in after we collided. I can tell you from personal experience if you get a Nissan pickup airborne heading into a ditch don’t expect a soft landing.  I came out of the ditch disabled and unable to do a real job, unless of course you know someone who will pay me to work from a recliner. I picked up the reef hobby to keep from going crazy watching too much daytime TV although it is amazing what you can learn from it. Time as we know it doesn’t exist on soap operas, Rod Serling was a demented genius and nobody, I mean NOBODY fucks with the Barclays or Cartwrights and lives to tell the tale.


Anyway I stumbled across T5 lighting back when people heard T5 and thought they missed a couple of Terminator sequels. Pretty soon I got more into what I could raise under these lights than just what I could raise. After being told I couldn’t keep that with fluorescents enough times and having a few debates about how much reflectors added to the lamp output I bought a PAR meter (Apogee should be paying me royalties for all the meters they’ve sold off my recommendations) and started testing lamps and equipment. Being the T5 answer man has snowballed to the point where we end up here.



How did I learn about this stuff?

It is actually kind of related to my old job. I used to have to calibrate color laser printers and copiers back when it was all manually done. You had to have a good understanding of how colors mixed to do that which is why I have a pretty good idea what a certain mix of lamps will look like. That and a whole lot of experimenting with different combinations.  During training we also learned about light waves, photons, color rendering and a bunch of other cool stuff that relates to lighting. I also have a lot of time for research, or at least did.



How do I get paid?

I don’t which is why I don’t run out and buy the latest and greatest stuff to hit the market. I have to limit my purchases to things I might actually use or can at least sell and recoup a little of my investment. I might look into adding a PayPal account at some point so people can donate which would allow me to at least buy lamps when they come out, maybe even the low end fixtures but for now we will leave things as they are.


*this is just a hobby for me. I do the best I can with what I have to work with but I can’t provide the conditions needed to guarantee I won’t get it wrong once in a while so consider the information here one man’s opinion. Apparently the manufacturers can’t either judging by the lack of any published performance data. 

The Grim Reefer