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Old 05-29-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
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Lighting question (actinics)

I currently have a 96 watt PC, and a 42 (total watts 21x2) T5 light. How do I go about getting that blueish tint to my tank. I believe actinics are what I need and I currently have one in my T5 set-up. Do I need to get another actinic light to replace the 10k bulb I have ?? If so, any suggestions ??
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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Drop the actinics and get some ATI Blue Plus bulbs. They are a strong blue. Actinics will cast a purple color. The more blue bulbs, the bluer the tank gets.

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Ok thanks. I take it these are T5 bulbs and I should put 2 T5s in my lighting system ?
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Yeap, t5 bulbs. Lots of PAR too. What color bulbs are you using right now?
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Its like a light-blueish color. I'm not sure how I find out what color it is now, but the bulb says actinic. I thought actinic was a blueish color by default.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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You probably have 460nm bulbs then. They are called actinic bulbs, but I believe true actinics peak at 420nm or less. Both will cause corals to fluoresce, but the 460nm will output much more PAR and give a more blue look to the tank. Which type do you have for the t5 bulbs? If these blue bulbs ARE the t5 bulbs, then dont buy the Blue Plus. Youll need to then swap that PC lighting out for something more blue. (10,000k is a white with yellow and will be hard to drown out without more blue bulbs).

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Old 05-29-2010, 07:05 PM   #7
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I'll go home and check to see what lights I have for my fixtures. I'll report these tomorrow.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #8
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Matt has you on the correct path if you are adding to your 10k PC with T5 supplemental lgihting.

Sunlight is around 5500k - 6500k. A 10k is white with a slight blue tint, 14k is more blue, 20k is bluer and actinic (420nm-435nm) is 50k.

Are you going for looks, coral growth, some combination?
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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Well what i'm looking at is some xenias (had em before, they grow like weeds but look awesome) some zoo's or polyps and maybe even a hammer or frogspawn coral. Is what I have now good enough for all of these ??
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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Sorry, but maybe even a toadstool also..
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #11
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Is this tank 36x12x20?
You should be fine with that amount of light for those low - mid light corals.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:09 PM   #12
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So I checked my actinics, its a 420nm bulb. Not sure what my PC would be, but it produces alot more light than my T5s as it should being 96 watts
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #13
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Okay, I am a little confused here. What color are your t5 bulbs and what color are your PC bulbs?

If you have actinics (420nm) as your t5 bulbs, you would do well to swap them out for two ATI Blue Plus bulbs. If they are already some type of 460nm bulb, them leave them be. (Unless they are old and need changing).

If your PC bulbs are 420nm, swap them out for some 460nm PC bulbs. (Make sure you get the right socket type!).

The 420nm doesnt output much PAR especially if its a PC bulb. Right now I have 3 ATI blue plus bulbs and one ATI AquaBlue Special and my tank is light blue. SPS corals are under the AquaBlue Special.

You can support some LPS if you so choose as well. I used to have PC lighting back with LPS, but switched to t5 when I got a crocea clam and some SPS corals.

PS-Xenias...Yuck...

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Old 06-01-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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ok, both my T5s and my PC are 10k bulbs and 420nm actinics. I like my PC with the 10k bulb because it lights up my tank more. So I can switch out my T5s and have that blueish look to my tank ?? If so, I'll have to ditch at least one of my T5 bulbs and replace it with one like you said.

Thanks for your help as bulbs are one thing that really confuse me in SW !!

PS- Xenias...spread like weeds, but my LFS will give me credit so he can turn around and resale them !! Plus, anything that will help reduce nitrates right ??!!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:13 AM   #15
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Moving this to the General Hardware and equipment discussion forum.
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