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Old 10-27-2004, 12:13 AM   #1
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ive got lighting questions!~

ok, so im lost in the world of lights, can i get some help. ive been doing a lot of reading and so far ivce come to this conclusion, i have no idea what the use of any of these lighting porducts are, like vho, metal halide, actinic, flourescent, etc, what light does what, and why are the diff types nessecary for reef tanks, or what types are good for healthy corals and fish alike? thanks for all the help.
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Old 10-27-2004, 12:22 AM   #2
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VHO lighting are very powerful flourecents that need stronger ballasts (Ballasts allow the lights to run at their wattage. one tube = about 100 watts (im noy sure here)

MH is the most powerful type of light that can mimic natrual sunlight also creates a pleasing shimmering effect. one bulb can = 400watts

Actinic refers to a blue light that stimulates coral growth, it is ussually created by some kind of tube light. Also creates a sunrise sunset affect when used with other lights

flourcent are your basic 20 watt bulbs that come with a tank they are not powerful and have varied spectrums.


Reefs require strong intense lighting to mimic natrual sunlight so corals can use the light and grow properly. Some corals prefer more light than others.

lighting for fish isn't as much of a concern they can acclimate tos most lighting situation.

Another option is Power Compact flourescents, they are rated at 65, 96, and 55 watts, they ususally are your best bang for your buck and work for soft, and LPS corals. as long as there is enough of them. If you plan on having a thriving reef with a good mix of corals look into MH combos with VHO or PC
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:58 PM   #3
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Metal Halide is the most intense and requires the most energy to run and gives off the most heat. It is however the best light for a reef. The bulbs last about 12 months.


Power compacts are flourescent bulbs that are a little more energy efficent thean MH and also put out good light. I recomend these for anything other than SPS or clam tanks. THe bulbs last about 10-12 months



Actinic light is the blue bulbs you see on most tanks. They help bring out the color in the corals and provide acorals with a blue spectrum in the light.


For most tanks without SPS or clams a PC hood will do fine. However if you want to move up to SPS and clams than i would go with at least 250 watt MH.

VHO is a high output flourescent bulb. It put out good light but it does begin to degrade after about 4 months and bulbs should be replaced after 6 months. They do use less power but in my opinion are good for supplementation to MH lighting.
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