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Old 03-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
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Actinic Bulb Effects on Planted Tank

I am in the process of moving towards a planted tank in my 55 gallon and currently have a CF light fixture with a 96 watt Dual Daylight (6700k,10000k) bulb and a 96 watt Dual Actinic (420nm/460nm). What effect will that Actinic bulb have on my tank? I heard from one aquarium plant distributor that it would make the tank an algae factory. Is that true?

My problem is if I switch that bulb to a second 96 watt Dual Daylight bulb I will be at 3.5 watts per gallon which would require massive Co2 supplementation. My goal is to have a low maintenance/easy growth tank which is why I am not planning on having more WPG than the one 96 watt bulb provides.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:30 PM   #2
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Can you control each bulb individually? If so, just run the 1 dual daylight, that will give you 1.75WPG, which is good lighting if you don't want to run CO2.

This doesn't factor in for CF, however, so even at 96W you're right on the edge of CO2 anyway.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
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The effects of the actinic bulb are pretty much negligible. Doesn't really seem to affect plants or algae, although it does make the fish look really nice.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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Yes, I can control each bulb individually so I can run the one dual daylight only if necessary. It is a CF fixture - 36" Dual Satellite by Current USA.

I'm not sure about going from a plastic planted tank all the way to a Co2 high light tank. Seems like a big jump for a newbie. Is there a Co2 system that doesn't require a tank and is reasonably priced?
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:11 PM   #5
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Basically there are only three good options for CO2. Flourish Excel, DIY CO2, and Pressurized CO2. Flourish Excel is a liquid CO2 supplement that works well for small tanks, but would get expensive extremely fast in a tank as large as yours. DIY CO2 has low start up costs, but is a pain to maintain especially in larger tanks. While you could do DIY CO2 on your tank, I would recommend strongly against it. Pressurized CO2 is more expensive to obtain, but is less expensive that the others in the long run and much easier to maintain. It's really the best option especially for larger tanks.

With only running one daylight bulb, I think you'll be okay without CO2. Just keep an eye on things and your tank will tell you if this isn't the case.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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I use DIY on my 55 gallon tank with Excel as an additional supplement (dosed 1 capful twice a week). My plants haven't complained yet
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:54 PM   #7
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What type of system do you use to distribute the Co2 from your DIY system? Your tank setup looks like it is very similar to what mine will be although mine will have less lighting to start with.

Also, in terms of Algae eating fish/shrimp what does everyone think is the best for that?
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