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Lighting question


theJenchild

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This is such a newbie question! After doing this for a year I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but I just gotta. I want to know how to get some of these amazingly florescent colors out of my corals that I'm seeing in so many photos. I have a 150w HQI, that has a 20k bulb in it. I believe that what I need to do is add some sort of actinic fixture, but I'm just not sure of what to add on. Any advice? This is over a 15.5 g cube. Everything is super healthy and happy, I just want more of the crazy colors that I know are in there somewhere!

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well a 20k bulb usually covers pretty well for bringing out neon colors. You can always add some t-5's with just two actinics to supplement if you want. Also how old is your halide bulb? It seems that the 20k's lose their color pretty quick, i dont keep mine longer then 10 months max

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Its distinctly possible that the bulb is getting old. I think replacing it might be the first step. The corals I've bought have had great color when I get them, but just never seem as vibrant in my tank. The best example is actually the maxima clam that I just got. It was amazing in Jason's tank, and although appears happy in mine.....just doesn't "pop" the same way. I'd love to make my critters look as awesome as they do before I bring them home!

 

I think part of what I'm noticing is that the tanks that I idolize look more blue, whereas my tank appears more white. Some of this I'm sure is immaturity and a lack of grow in so there's less coral to look at. Thankfully my coralline is starting to really come in, but if there is something I can do from a lighting stand point....I'm in!

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The Actinic 460 bulbs are more blue and don't bring out the flourescents as much as the Actinic 420 bulbs do. The 420 is more purple and is just above the UV spectrum (380 to 400 or so) which is why it shows the flourescents more. As to choice it will depend more on your preference. Personally I have both so I can switch between them if I want.

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I just recently picked up some Geismann actinic plus bulbs (not the pure actinic) and have been very impressed with how they bring colors out compared with other actinics I have had (UV, Coralife, etc). The ricordeas I put under them really pop. I will probably be replacing all my bulbs with Geismanns over time.

 

Not sure of everyone who carries these bulbs, but I got mine at Waves.

 

FWIW - the shortest t5's you're going to find will be 24", I think. Don't know how that fits over your tank. If that is too long, you can try some different PC bulb sizes, but I can't comment on which actinics would be best there.

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I had a similar situation over my Solana. In my case, it was just my preference of color. I really enjoy the crisp colors the blue spectrum puts out, even though the growth is slowed a bit. Origionally I had a 20K ushio, that seemed very pale to me. When it came time to buy a new bulb, I went with a 14k phoenix. Much bluer and better par, based on others findings. I couldnt be happier.

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I had a similar situation over my Solana. In my case' date=' it was just my preference of color. I really enjoy the crisp colors the blue spectrum puts out, even though the growth is slowed a bit. Origionally I had a 20K ushio, that seemed very pale to me. When it came time to buy a new bulb, I went with a 14k phoenix. Much bluer and better par, based on others findings. I couldnt be happier.[/quote']

 

 

I believe that I also have a 20k ushio. The name rings a bell. I think I will try the 14k phoenix. If I don't like it, I'll just switch the next time I need a new one!

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I was having VERY good results from my 150 HQI MH over my 12g without anything else. It too was a 20k, and everytime I made trades I heard very highly of the color of my corals. Problem is I didn't get to see that very much, it all had the same tone to me.

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I definitely know that my corals look good in other tanks, but I don't really care as much about that. I would rather them grow slowly and look amazing in MY tank so that I get to enjoy them!

 

I was having VERY good results from my 150 HQI MH over my 12g without anything else. It too was a 20k' date=' and everytime I made trades I heard very highly of the color of my corals. Problem is I didn't get to see that very much, it all had the same tone to me.[/quote']
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