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Old 12-18-2005, 12:48 PM   #1
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blacklight for actinic?

i have a buddy that was planing on using a shop light from walmart on his tank and was using a blacklight for actinic replacement. i didnt think that this would work but could not explain why.what would be the problem with this and if no prob. then would there be any beneficial properties.

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Old 12-18-2005, 01:34 PM   #2
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Black light emits UV light. The amount of damage it can cause on life in the tank will depend on the UV type it emits (A/B/C) and the type of animals kept.

Marine lighting set ups use UV shielding for a reason....


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Old 12-18-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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Fluorescent bulbs are coated with a powder called phosphors. The "black lights" do not have these. Instead they have a purple colored glass.

The idea in a regular fluorescent bulb there is usually Mercury vapor that emits UV light when in a high energy state. The UV light emitted is absorbed by the phosphor coating on the inside of the glass. The electrons in the phosphors begin to tap dance around the atoms and re-emit light in the visible wavelengths. The wavelengths emitted depend on the phosphors used. The UV really does not make it through the bulb.

Your friends blacklight does not have these phosphors and therefore is emitting in the purple visible spectrum ( a little bit), but mostly in the UV range, which you cannot see. Most blacklights emit in the UVA range which is the least energetic of the UV range.

Will it be the same as Actinic light - no.
Will it harm the critters - possibly.
Will it be beneficial - I doubt it.

Hope this helps you to explain it to your buddy.

You know you are a true fish-o-holic if you can field strip any powerhead on the market.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:08 PM   #4
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thanks alot guys. i was pretty sure that it wpuld not be a good
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actinic, light

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