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Old 04-01-2005, 02:07 PM   #1
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Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

OK, bear with me here. On my 55, I had the stock All-Glass light for quite some time. They've got that slight purple tint to them, and I wanted something better. So I picked up the Life-Glo 2 bulb from Hagen that's rated at I think 6700K. It's really nice, much whiter, but my fish look a little washed out now. SO, I was thinking of getting a twin-tube hood and adding an actinic bulb. Now, I'm seeing some bulbs by Coralife that might work. The spectramax bulb is a 50/50 (6000 white and actinic) and there's also a 75/25 (6000 white and actinic). Anyone use these bulbs before? Does the 50/50 give off enough white to keep the tank bright enough? Does the 75/25 give off enough actinic to make a difference? Does anyone have these? What do you think? Here's my breakdown of options I'm considering. I'm open to others. Though I would rather stay to bulb replacement or getting a twin tube. I eventually want to convert all my tanks, and I don't want to drop $250 per tank in lighting.

Option 1: Twin tube ballast--1 Life-Glo 2 (6700K) and 1 actinic

Option 2: 1 Bulb--50/50 Coralife

Option 3: 1 Bulb--75/25 Coralife Spectramax

ALSO, these guys don't make 30" bulbs for my 29 Gallon! What's the deal with that. Options?

TIA for the input. This place is great.
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Old 04-01-2005, 04:09 PM   #2
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If you are lighting the tank purely for viewing, I can tell you that a 50/50 bulb produces a very nice bright white light, and it really shows off the colors of many fish very well. I have a 30" fixture that is 50/50 (with a moonlight, whoo hoo) from USA Current, and it is the Satellite fixture. It is very much like a Coralife but it is not as expensive. You might consider a couple of 24" ones for your 55, maybe, assuming you have a support bar down the middle and glass tops.

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EDIT: I just read your post more carefully and realize you are talking about replacing bulbs instead of fixtures. If you are replacing PC bulbs with PC bulbs, then no problem, but if you are replacing standard NO fluoros with PC then you'll have to go to AHSupply.com and get a retrofit kit, which is an excellent option, and not expensive to do.
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Old 04-01-2005, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info on the 50/50 TG. Yes, I've got a single 48" NO, and I'm not looking to convert to PC. Just keeping it the standard bulb.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:56 PM   #4
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OK, so I picked up the 50/50 tonight with the understanding I can return it if it doesn't fit my needs. It's good for the most part. The color spectrum is good, but I lost some of the brightness I had with the Life-Glo 2. It is much crisper though. OK, more thoughts. I'll be at a place tomorrow that sells used stuff, and we'll see what I can get for a twin-tube ballast. Also, I saw at the LFS tonight something really sweet. They had a PC 50/50 where the actinic was actually blue. Not the typical violet shade. That was sweet! I need to look at that retrofit kit. The PC bulbs aren't as expensive as I assumed, so I may have to convert. This would also solve my problem with finding a 30" for my 29 gallon yet still keep my original fixtures. I'll keep you updated.
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:21 PM   #5
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Well, I found what I was loking for. I'm using the Life-Glo 2 bulb with a blue actinic bulb. It's put out by a company called Nova, and it's a self-contained kit. Just a slim T5 light in it's own housing. I just slid my original hood forward, and put the actinic in back. Blacked out the top too, because the light shines out 3 sides. Looks great. Adds a lot of depth to the tank. Bright in front, a little darker in back. Just beautiful. Now to get one for the 29!!! Thanks again TG
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info on the Nova retrofit fixtures - those are really very versatile and I saw some for crazy low prices. I definitely need to keep that in mind. Hope it works out for you!
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