I'm fairly new to the saltwater hobby. I have been keeping freshwater planted tanks for about a decade now, but I realize that saltwater aquariums are a little bit more involved. My tank is a FOWLER and established, but I would like to upgrade my lighting so I can get some corals and maybe a BTA eventually. Right now I only have PC
lights. I'm going to keep them and add four T5 54w HO
bulbs. That equates to 476 w (PC
lighting: 65 x 4= 260; 54 x 4= 216) over a 90 gallon tank means that I'll have 5.28 watts per gallon. From what I've read, PC
lights don't penetrate as deep as other lighting types, so I would keep the PC
's at the back, where the rock work is nearly to the surface of the water. Then the T5 lights would be the front half. Is there any problem with that? I was thinking that some lower light corals could be placed lower on the rock work and would be covered with T5 lights. If I were to eventually get a BTA, it would be placed higher up where it would get a mix of T5 and PC
lights. Again, can anyone see if that would be a problem?
Now here comes the actinic issue: I've been reading numerous conflicting statements about them. Some say that they are worthless and only used to enhance certain colors in a saltwater aquarium while others say that they are vital to coral growth since they penetrate into the water deeper than 10,000K bulbs. I began researching this because I need to replace my PC
bulbs right now and I want to get 50/50's, but not if only using 10,000K will be more beneficial. The same goes for the T5 lights, I don't want to get two bother with getting two actinics along with the 10,000K if the actinics aren't useful.