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Old 09-01-2005, 07:12 PM   #1
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Ok, time to buy new bulbs?

I know I'm 'supposed' to replace PC's every 12 months max...but I thought I could squeeze more life outta them...especially since FW plant geeks used to say to replace PC bulbs on planted tanks annually too, but that turned out to be un-necessary. In FW plants, the degradation of spectrum in PC isn't enough to bother plants...they still get enough red and blue peaks to grow happy.
From what I'm guessing, marine inverts mainly need blue peaks, hence the use of actinics and 10,000K temps.

Well I won't lie, my bulbs were purchased and used since July of 2004, 14 months of 12 hour daily use. I figured I'd push these bulbs past 1 year, until I saw a reason to change them...see if I could maybe disprove the same myth for the marine people.


Lately, I'm seeing lots more algae on the glass...very thin 'dust' algae that wipes right off. Several pieces of live rock are sprouting very bushy green algae clumps, that I can pull off for the most part...some golf ball sized (I wanted to see if it grew into any specific shape...nope)
Now I'm gettin weird fuzzy brown algae on equipment parts, and my coralline has been peeling off half the back wall of the glass tank.
My mushroom and yellow polyp colonies look ok but my button polyps are starting to look bleached in a few spots, and some of them are losing, or keeping retracted, the little hairlike tentacles at the tips of the button.

Nitrates and phosphates are undetectable. calcium and alkalinity both within a range to keep happy coralline. temp fairly stable thanks to a fan.

Its my bulbs, isn't it? Too old to provide enough usable spectrum, so now things go downhill, right?
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:26 PM   #2
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If you want to test to see if it is the bulbs try replacing one and then the other to see if the algae goes away and if the corals open back up. And if its not then you know you have some other problem.

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Old 09-01-2005, 07:29 PM   #3
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I would say definitely time to replace the bulbs malkore!
I've heard to change them at 6 months to a year, with a year pushing it.

By the way LOVE the new avatar!!! Must be nice :P :P
God grant me the serenity to accept the thing's I can not change, the courage to change the thing's I can and the wisdom to know the difference!

R.I.P Walena K. Cox
7/7/62 - 8/11/2002
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Old 09-02-2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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Thanks Jermz. It is nice

Well during cleaning last night, I foudn that my reflectors and bulbs were very caked up with salt residue. So I cleaned all that off.

Would you guys suggest I replace the actinic, or the 10,000K bulb first?
I figure I'll just order both to save on shipping, but I don't wanna blast the tank with too much new light, as I've heard that's rough on corals.

And I'll keep that used 10,000K in case I ever make this a planted tank.


Actually, what do you think of the SunPaq Dual Actinic 420/460 nm ?
I've been running an Actinic03 from hellolights.com. The sunpaq is on sale for the same price at drsfostersmith.com and there's a few other things I could pick up from there as well if I'm ordering anyways.

nevermind, I went ahead and went with the hellolights.com bulbs.
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bulb, bulbs

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