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Old 09-03-2008, 05:46 PM   #11
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Correct...there are only 2 slots for bulbs in this standard lid. Also, this only confuses the issue to me. I know what the recommended lighting and all that is for the types of corals..etc. however, my orginal question was pertaining light wattage versus light spectrum and which one to look for.

I currently keep some soft corals in a 75gallon with that 2-32w blue Actinic 420 bullbs and they are doing well. I have had them for about a year now. So, I'm comfortable with the standard t-8 lid although i have considered a t-5 unit.

my originial question got lost in all of this. so, hopefully someone can help me with that question.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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The short answer is 2 40w normal oputput fluorescent bulbs is probably not enough light in a 90g tank for any coral unless it's at the top of the tank, and you will be limited to only soft coral.

As far as your bulbs, an actinic has very low PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). It's not of much use to coral, it's more for eye candy. I'm assuming the other bulb is a type of 50/50 (actinic/full spectrum) bulb. Generally they have more PAR are thus are better for all around coral growth/health.

74 to too cold. Stay between 76-80.

thanks for this response. this answers my question as to which bulbs i should be looking for and the reason why. now with that said, is the wattage more important or is the kelvins more important? Also, is there a brand of bulb that stands out from the rest? in other words, would a 40w 6,500k bulb be better than a 15w 20,000k bulb?
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #13
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By the way, I don't want to come off as a smarty pants because I'm really not trying to be one. I'm just a novice at this and only know my own experiences. I would never discount anyones advice or suggestions. You all have been a big help.

I just didn't want to be swamped with a bunch of technical or non-related answers to my question. However, I sincerely appreciate everyones input.

as a result of such help, I will certainly raise my tanks temp. to 77 or so and I will certain look further into changing over to t-5 units. Even with t-s units, my original question would still be posted...LOL
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:34 PM   #14
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Wattage and kelvin are equally important
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:29 PM   #15
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
is the wattage more important or is the kelvins more important?
You are trying to compare apples to oranges. Wattage is not all that important. You want the most PAR you can get. There are 175w mh bulbs that put out more PAR than some 250w mh bulbs. Less wattage but more PAR.
Kelvin is the color temp of the bulb. A 6500K bulb will give great coral growth, but look somewhat yellow. A 10K bulb is white. A 15K bulb is white with a blue tint. A 20K bulb is very blue and generally will have the slowest growth.

Quote:
is there a brand of bulb that stands out from the rest?
For what type of lighting?
CF - I never used them, but the UVL bulbs have a built in reflector which should increase their output.
T5 - There is a gigantic thread on RC with more info than you can possibly image on T5's. If you got a few hrs, it's good reading if you want to know about T5's.
MH - Sanjay tested a ton of bulbs and ballasts. You can find it all here.

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would a 40w 6,500k bulb be better than a 15w 20,000k bulb?
Again...apples and oranges. The 40w will use more electricty, it will look yellowish but have more PAR. The 15w will use less electricity, will look blue and have little PAR.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #17
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Thanks ccCapt.....I think I finally get it. So, my search should not be for wattage or kelvins....instead, it should be for PAR. In doing a little reading, am I to understand that a kelvin rating of 5,500K bulb would give off more PAR than a 6,500K bulb? and a 6,500k bulb would give off more PAR than a 10,000K bulb?

the higher the kelvin rating, the more useless to corals the light becomes? and a very low kelvin rating is just as useless? so, if I want good coral growth, I should look for something between 5,000k and 7,000k?

am I on the right track or am I still being thick headed? teach me....lol
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #18
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Generally, yes, your on the right track...lol. All bulbs are different tho. You can have a 15K bulb with more PAR than a 10K. Alot depends on the manufacturer.
While you would get the best growth from 5k to 7k, the tank would look like crap, IMO. It would look very yellow and most of the colors of the coral would look washed out.
I use Iwasaki 15K mh bulbs. In the past I've used 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and 10K. I am vey happy with the growth and color I get from these bulbs.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:12 PM   #19
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I see what you mean about the coloration with those lights.....however, could i adjust the color by using a combination of bulbs....for example:
1. 40w/65k bulb
2. 40w/20k bulb or 40w/10k bulb
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:16 PM   #20
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Also, how do you know or how could I find out which bulbs give off the best PAR? What do I look for as it relates to that?
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