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Old 06-14-2009, 02:07 AM   #1
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varying bulb types in a reef aquarium

Hey fellow reefers. i have a 24 gallon jbj nano cube which has 2 x 36 watt 50/50 (10kk/ actinic). ive read that actinic bulbs are in the good range for coral photosynthesis. my question is will it benefit the corals i have in my tank if i switch out one of the 50/50 s for an actinic bulb? or do i want the white and blue light in equal amounts?
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:12 AM   #2
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forgot to mention its compact fluorescent
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:27 AM   #3
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I am not an expert, I am sure on this site there will be one, but the lower the Kelvin the yellower the lighting looks but allows fast coral growth........so high K rate slower growth looks good with the colours etc if you have 10k bulb will aid growth the actinic will give the colour........personally I would leave it if it looks nice and corals are fine leave them on
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:22 AM   #4
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i have two 65k how will that work with corals

there 25 wats for a ten gallon tank
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:35 AM   #5
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is the 65k actinic ones?
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:44 AM   #6
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no they are 6500k mini compact
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #7
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I would leave the actinics where they are then and try and find a 10k variant for your white light........... only to help your coral growth......6.5k are okay and if it's working then leave it as is............
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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I personally think actinics are needed in the reef aquarium. You know the blue part of the spectrum is what penetrates into the ocean to the corals. Liveaquaria says " Actinic Bulbs - Emit light predominantly from the blue end of the color spectrum. Recreates light conditions found in deep water and provides the light energy necessary for proper photosynthetic coral growth. Actinic bulbs are ideal for reef aquariums."
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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There always seems to be more to read in this hobby. This topic is no exception... I found these articles interesting, maybe you will too.

Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine - Feature Article: Coral Coloration and Incident Light: A Photographic Essay

Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine - Feature Article: The Best Lamp Is...
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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The 1st link you posted is a great article by my friends Sanjay Joshi and Ken Feldman. (Ken will be speaking at MASNA in Atlantic City this summer on organic carbon and protein skimming in case anyone is going) In a nut shell, what that article says is the reason corals look different under different kelvin temp bulbs is because the corals reflect the color of the bulb. The bulb does not give the coral more or less color. So a coral grown under 20k lighting might look more colorful than a coral grown under 10K lighting, but take both corals and put them under the same light and they look the same.

But back on topic, actinic lights are basically eye candy just to make the corals look more colorful. A full spectrum 10K bulb has all the blue light needed for photosynthesis.
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