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jhays79 01-05-2013 02:08 PM

Actinic bulb just for looks??
If I use an actinic bulb to brighten my tank up a little bit will it effect the plants or cause algae? I like the way the blueness of the actinic brightens up my tank and balances out the pink look of the 6700k bulb I have.

jhays79 01-05-2013 08:32 PM

No thoughts on this??

Rob in Puyallup 01-05-2013 08:56 PM

Have you thought of using a 50/50 fluorescent? Half of that is actinic.

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jhays79 01-05-2013 09:33 PM

I actually removed the actinic bulb now. It was almost too blue and didn't look natural. Now I have just the two bulbs, one is 6700k and the other is 10000k.

The Dude 01-05-2013 09:35 PM

I'm planning on adding an actinic to two of my tanks. I've seen pics and I like it. I don't think it would be suitable for all night, but definately for a couple hours before bed

Rob in Puyallup 01-05-2013 09:40 PM

50/50 makes for a natural colored light but brings out more vivid color.

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jhays79 01-05-2013 10:24 PM

What are 50 50 bulbs and where do you get them?? I have a t5no fixture, do they makes them for that?

Rob in Puyallup 01-05-2013 10:35 PM

Fifty percent actinic, fifty percent daylight, I believe. Not sure the sizes available. Googling "50/50 fluorescent" should tell you.

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jhays79 01-05-2013 10:39 PM

Looks like they're only available in t8 size bulbs...

The Dude 01-09-2013 05:43 PM

I went with a 50 50 actinic and it looks great. Very white with a slight blue tint. Looks very clean

micheljq 01-10-2013 06:34 PM

Actinic bulbs have a purpose in some saltwater tanks to grow coral I believe.


james1542 01-10-2013 06:39 PM

There was a recent thread about blue light:

There were some pretty interesting reports, that suggest it can greatly promote plant growth, but I'll believe it when I see it.

scbrooks87 01-10-2013 07:14 PM


Originally Posted by micheljq (Post 2203426)
Actinic bulbs have a purpose in some saltwater tanks to grow coral I believe.


Coming from a reef background, the actinic lighting isn't what actually makes the coral grow better, the natural daylight color is, but the actinic is for aesthetics, it makes the coral POP in color, and makes the fish color stand out as well. Take a look at a reef tank with only white lights, it will be one of the uglier things you'll ever see lol.

Now on topic here, I doubt actinic will hurt anything in a planted tank, it's just another spectrum of light, if you like the aesthetics of it, go for it! Post pics if you do. I personally think some natural daylight bulbs make plant color pop better, but that's me. :)


Sluggo 01-11-2013 01:15 AM

The "actinic" bulbs in reef lighting come in two varieties (actually three.) There are 420nm "true" actinics (a/k/a "actinic 03"), which are more purple in color. Then there are 460nm actinics, which are more blue in color. In power compact lighting, a "dual actinic" is available, with one half at 420nm and one half at 460nm. None of these types of actinics actually have any special benefit to corals, they just provide better aesthetics. Don't know if any of these would be beneficial to freshwater plants, but they may look better depending on your taste. I prefer using the 420nm and 460nm together in my reef tank.

"50/50" bulbs are usually one side 10000K and the other side actinic. "Dual daylight" bulbs are usually 10000K on one half and 6700K on the other. I do not know that these are available in anything other than power compact.

Adam T 01-11-2013 01:55 AM

Actinic bulbs (420nm) do not add anything really beneficial for plants (or corals for that matter) they are there to make cetain corals flouresce. Blue bulbs in the 460nm range are useful for plants however. A bulb like ati blue plus or a geiseman actinic plus isnt a bad addition provided you have more than four bulbs over your tank. If you google "grow light leds" you will notice they are mostly blue and red. Honestly in a two bulb fixture a red bulb like an aquaflora or power glo and an ati blue plus would probably do a great job growing plants, but the color rendering wouldnt be so great.

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