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Old 12-18-2005, 01:20 AM   #1
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Question on bulbs....

What is the best setup for bulbs? I was looking at some fixtures, and some are sold with your choice of bulbs, and some are sole with 2 daylight bulbs and 2 actinic bulbs. If using for a planted tank, would you need any actinic, or do you go with like all daylight or plant growth bulbs. I'm just not familiar with what actinic lights are used for.
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:38 AM   #2
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Actinic lights are mainly for corals and don't really have a place in FW planted tanks. Daylight tubes (6500 K)seem to work fairly well for plant growth. I like 5000K tubes which are supposed to simulate natural sunlight. Either or a mix could be used. The so called gro lux and plant lights aren't really suited for planted aquaria since they don't really throw enough light for good plant growth. I have had decent growth with 1 cool white and 1 warm white, but I think the other tubes are better. I have a 30 gal right now that is 48" long, with 1 34 watt T8 over it and am getting pearling, and good growth. Others will probably chime in with other suggestions and possibly dispute what I have said, but it works for me.
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:57 AM   #3
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One that I was looking at is a 48" fixture with 6 compact florescents, 3 on each side of the tank. I was thinking of something like 4 6500k and 2 10000k. How would that sound? I didn't see any 5000k, but will see if they are available with them.

Was also looking at another fixture that has only 4 and not 6, it's a 265W total. Maybe 2x6500k and 2x10000k?

This will eventually be for a planted tank of course. Once I get the bulbs down, will have the local glass shop here make me glass tops for each half of my 55G. I already gave him my blueprints for the plexi pieces and all the cut-outs I want. Can't remember what he said they would use, it's not really plexi, but something a little better and is less heat sensitive. Once I have that all made up, which isn't going to be cheap, then will get the light fixture and start the setup of a planted tank.
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:41 PM   #4
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Wow, that is a lot of light! I don't know much about 10000K lights, although some people swear by them. I would think it would be very blue light. My motto, is cheap is good, so my thrust has always been to find economical alternatives to "aquarium" products (read available at Home Depot). PCF lighting is great, but not in my immediate future. You might want to check out one of the planted tank forums for more info. Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:58 PM   #5
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Here's what I'm looking at....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

or

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:04 PM   #6
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That second fixture is one heck of a unit. Hope you have started to price out CO2 systems as well.
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:09 PM   #7
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Haven't checked out CO2 systems yet. Still in learning mode. Just if I can get good deals, will buy the stuff, and then once I've educated myself and am ready to set it up, then I'll set it up. I'm just in the collecting and educating stage now. Besides, I won't be planting this 55G I have now. Will do the planted when I get another 55G. Also looking at doing a 75G planted cichlid tank, and a 180G-300G ultimate tank for my fire eels, but that's down the road a ways. Was thinking of a 55G SW too, but will have a lot of learning before I attempt that one. Isn't MTS wonderful? lol
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:18 PM   #8
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10K is fine for a planted tank. I run one 10K and one 67K in my PC right now, though I am about to change over to T5 HO in the next week or so. The 10K does have just a hint of blue but it makes the tank look crisp in my opinion.

The 5K's give of a slight yellow tint (at least to me) which is why I don't use them. Nothing wrong with the spectrum, I just don't care of the yellow tint.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:44 PM   #9
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How about if you mix the 10k with the 5k? Would that help eliminate the yellow hue as it will give a wider spectrum? Just a thought. I'm thinking more of the fixture with 4 bulbs, 2 10000k and 2 5000k or 6500k.
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:08 AM   #10
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I don't see any yellow with the 5000K but I do see blue with the 6500K. If you aren't doing a planted tank, don't waste money on high powered lights. your fish won't thank you for them.
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