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Old 11-14-2003, 04:42 AM   #1
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Why do we need actinics on a reef tank?

I have 1 x 175w 10k MH + 2 x 25w NO florescents. Do I really need to get actinics too? What is the purpose of actinics?
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:03 AM   #2
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There appears to be anecdotal evidence to suggest that coral's grow and color better when lit with a light that is heavy in the blue portion of the spectrum. Actinic also makes certain fish and coral fluoresce so it does make the tank look a lot pretty, imo.

Do you need them? I guess you don't really *need* them. But like I said earlier, a lot of people believe they are actually good for coral.

I notice that you have both NO and a MH. You could put actinic's in that NO light strip. I doubt those 50w of NO bulbs are helping much anway since you already have that MH.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:26 AM   #3
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What is the size of your tank?

Actinic light helps simulate the natural water specitrum that your corals live in on the wild reef. As you get lower in the water the color spectrum starts to drop off till the only light that gets thru the water is the blue/violet side of the spectirum. Actinic lights peak at 430nm range and most of our corals are most sensitive to this particular color specitrum range when it comes to photosynsis.

Standard 10K bulbs have some light in the actinic color spectrium but if you look at the spectirum charts for the differnt kelvin ranges you will see a huge spike on the actinics in this range vs the small peak in the 10K bulbs.

http://www.reefs.org/library/article..._lighting.html

The above is an EXCELLENT link about the benifits of actinic lighting.
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:04 AM   #4
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Thank you for your replies, I learned a lot. I am going to change those NO bulbs to actinics. Which brings me to another question:

Do I need to get a special ballast for the actinics? Also where should I get the bulbs from? I didn't find these at home depot.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:18 PM   #5
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Nope, actinics use the same ballast as regular florescents. The best place to get them would just be at your LFS. Or online if you don't mind the wait. I have dual 175 MH's and dual 40watt NO's like you, and I put actinic bulbs in. It really brightens up many of my colors making my green especially very vibrant. HTH
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:04 AM   #6
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thanks coralcaper. I am gonna order em online.
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