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T5 guru? Need some help


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Ok since my upgrade from my 29gal to 75gal and subsequent light change about 3 weeks ago, i've been having problems. I thought that the troubles ended with my last SPS dying. All my zoos and LPS have done fine.


Upgrade went from a 10m old 250w 14k MH pendant to the 6-54w TEK T5 fixture sits 6" from the water surface of my 75gal tank, my photo period is actinics on at 12:30pm, rest of the lights on at 1:30. Lights off at 7pm actinics off at 7:30pm. It has been this way for about 8 days. Bulbs are 3 D&D super actinic, 2 D&D aquablue+, and 1 GE6500k daylight. The first 5 days after the upgrade or so the light was lower and photo period was all lights on at 12:00 all lights off at 7:00.


When i got home sunday after being gone since friday i notice that my favia has some flesh receeding and is still completely retracted as it has been since going under the new light. My echino is showing recession as well, my xmas favia is retracted, and my acan is turning brown. My micro is fine, both my frogspawn took awhile to open completely, but are fine, and my candycane still looks upset but should be fine, and my remaining blasto looks fine. My hitchiking plate coral was white when i got home yesterday.


Zoos are all fine save for my PPE which have not opened in about 10 days. I've added a few new frags which are fine, my RPE are fine, PBPE (pink bubblegum people eater) are fine, and CPE (chameleon people eater) are fine. Not sure why the PPE are the only ones not opening.


So yesterday i ran some tests and added a piece of eggcrate to one side of the tank, the side with the LPS having problems.


Test results:


SG 35ppt

temp 79.4

pH 8.24

alk 9dKH

calcium 440ppm

nitrates 0ppm

nitrites 0ppm

ammonia 0ppm


I am now getting diatoms on the glass and sand, something i expected since it happened the last 2 upgrades.


I have simply no idea what is going wrong. The only thing that is different is the lighting. What am i doing wrong? Any help is VERY much appreciated here.

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Of the ones you gave me, the tenius and porites are all thats left. They look wonderful, full PE, new growth on the tenius, and the porites has encrusted to the frag plug.


I have raised the lights already and shortened the photo period. At this point the T5 fixture is almost the same height as my MH was. I could raise it more i guess.

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The reason I say, I know for a fact the light I have is much brighter than what your running. If you lost some of those SPS I brought over, after they had light reduction and you lost your existing as well from possibly more light... then what next? I'm just saying a lux meter would help us in troubleshooting, I'm a little taken back by all the losses and sorting it out s just as big of a challenge.

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Nyles, what lights are you running and what's the depth of your tank?

AFAIK, tank depth and coral placement makes a big difference with T5s.

A 75G is fairly shallow.


Miles, maybe run only half the bulbs for a while and see if things recover a bit.


I had a 10G nano a couple of years back, and lost everything in it except the fish when I upgraded the lightint (28w pc to 80w pc), even though I was careful with the adjustment period and only ran one light for a shorter period.

Things started going downhill within a couple of days. I had only softies in it, and they just melted away within a couple of weeks and then green hair algae took over.

The tank had been going great for over a year before, and apart from the new light nothing had changed.

Nothing I did helped, and I was repeatedly told it couldn't be the light and that something else must have gone wrong, but all tests came out normal.


Maybe you could switch back to your old light for a while and see if that helps out the corals?

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When I first started researching fluorescent actinics, the effectiveness they have on corals only lasts for about 8 months and need to be replaced. That was for VHO's though running 10-12 hrs/day. I second that on putting your original lighting back on if there's anything left that can easily die off. I would think someone around the group has a light meter you could use, or rent one from a shop? If you do put the old lighting back on, I would ween them slowly through any change. I've read on other sites and books where people had problems just changing everything out with bulbs that weren't worn out.

Did anything go back out to Nyles coral sitting tanks for comparison on survivability?

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Impur - you said you shortened the length of your photoperiod, and that it is basically 7hrs. on:17hrs. off.

How many hours did you previously have your MH bulb on each day. It is possible a shorter daylight period may be affecting photosynthesis, and may have more to do with the present health of your sps that other factors, since your other parameters seem to be in order.


Is there any reason for reduction of the photoperiod, other than lowering your energy bill?

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But I can say I drop corals in my tank under MH all the time with no changes in behavior, start getting PE within hour after acclimation process.


I honestly think for SPS you gotta get those acros up high and switch out a actinic for another 12k

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I think the 75 is only 20" actually. Later Ryan


I think the key here isnt how deep the tank is but how far the corals are from the light. It could be 100 feet deep but if his corals are 8" from the light and so are mine then I think they have about equal light, if they where same bulb selection and same age. Honestly though I think Miles still has a large majority of the SPS on the floor, is that correct? If it where me they would be about 2-3" from the top of the tank and even then I think for SPS from what I have seen the corals could benefit from more light.

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Im really confused. Are these all the bulbs I sold you Miles? 4 Blue+, 2 Aquablues, and 1 GE 6500k. None of the ones that I sold you are the "pure actinics" or "super actinics" are they? From all that I have read the Aquablue 11K and the Blue + are about what everyone had used for a long time. Now that the new UV bulbs are out that might change. Read Grims posts on RC. Later Ryan


Actinic + or Blue+




Aquablue 11k




GE 6500K



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first one is actinic


Lemme rephrase...


OK those are what I run as blue +

I don't know why they call them actinic... they are far from it. they are considered 60% white - 40% blue.

They should be stamped on the light Aquablue+ if they are geissmen.

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so I was very confused by first post... if those are blue plus and not actinic like the post says, then he would have plenty of light. But if they are actinic like the first post says then I would say not enough light. I was under impression they were actinic. His tank has WAY more blue than mine, and I never looked because it was so blue, weird thing is I have 3 blue plus as well and my colors are completly different.

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When D&D-Giessman (deltec and all those Euro companies) joined the switched it to Actinic Plus which is the same as the ATI Blue +. Different company different name. Giessman calls their 11k Aquablues. :) They are too many different names between the different companies.

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