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Old 02-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #1
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is actinic lighting essential?

This is more for a light expert. But all opinions are wanted as well. A guy I work with has a sps dominate tank and has 6 bulbs but all but the one is 12000k light by ati and just 1 atinic. His tank looks great and has been doing so for 2 years with explosive growth. Do you guys think atinic is 100% needed for sps? Or is it more for looks? Let me know what everyone thinks.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:45 AM   #2
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Not a light expert but I am trying. Corals need a wider light spectrum. The combination of 12000k and acnic (blue) suffice the requirement. However, the blue has a double purpose. It simulates also the dawn and moonlight. I notice all my fish act as if its time to go to bed when 10000k is out and wakes up in the morning when blue is on.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:21 AM   #3
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Light transmission is my field of study.
There is one big difference between actinic lights and standard white lights ( ie 12000K). Actinic lights emit their energy on a very narrow band of light. A white light emits it's energy over a wide band of light covering most or all of the visible spectrum.
Picture a graph of the light emitted for both. For the actinic the graph peaks in the 420 or 460 nm range (or both ) but does not extend much beyond that frequency. White light have a much wider band. For bulbs with the same wattage rating, the area under the curves must be the same. So for the actinic bulbs they have a much higher peak output in the spectrum the zoo bacteria need.
But if you have enough white bulbs they will still provide the energy the corals need.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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Would it be better to have say 3 white and 1 atinic, 3 atinics and 1 white, or 2 white and 2 atinic? (Based on a 4 bulb fixture). I'm very curious.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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my 4 bulb mix is 2 blue plus 1 coral plus and 1 purple plus ati bulbs as recommended by the grim reefer on another site, he is a lighting expert
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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Actinic bulbs typically cover the light ranges of 420 and 460 nm. 420 nm is violet and 460 nm is blue. The zooxanthellae bacteria in corals typically absorb one or both light wavelengths. So maximizing your bulbs in those ranges should provide a better environment for your corals. The white light is to make your corals 'look' better.
I also have 2 blue and 1 violet actinic bulbs plus a white based on the light fixture manufacturing recommendation.
Btw this is getting into biochemistry which is not my expertise.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Also the reason for the blue is that it is the color of the spectrum that makes it thru the water to the corals. I use 2 super actinic and 2 50/50 bulbs on my VHO setup.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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What about MH lights? A lot of people don't have atinics with them? Is it more wider spectrum?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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It's all about PAR. You don't need any actinics providing you have enough PAR, and the same goes for daylight bulbs. The morning and evening transition is unimportant. Corals are photosynthetic like plants, they need a certain amount of light for a certain amount of time, and that's it. Lights that dim, simulate lightening storms etc. are just for human enjoyment.
The success of your friend's tank is more than just his choice of lamps.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
It's all about PAR. You don't need any actinics providing you have enough PAR, and the same goes for daylight bulbs. The morning and evening transition is unimportant. Corals are photosynthetic like plants, they need a certain amount of light for a certain amount of time, and that's it. Lights that dim, simulate lightening storms etc. are just for human enjoyment.
The success of your friend's tank is more than just his choice of lamps.
I am aware of this my friend. I was curious about lighting requirements. To boost my knowledge a bit more. There's a lot of things we all don't know about lighting. Not to just me, everyone who might read this thread just might learn somthing new today.
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