atinic light for plants yes or no? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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atinic light for plants yes or no?

Hi, I was thinking on going for a 12gal nano cube, and have 2x25watt PC on it. I want plants to receive enough light but I also want to create a dawn effect to it by turning the white off at 8pm and leave the atinic bulb only.

I am used to reefkeeping and atinic light is important, but I don't know if it has any use in planted tanks.

Is there any problem with atinics and plants?, will I have enough light with 1 whitelight and 1 atinic light?, or I would need 2x white light to get good results?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:39 PM
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Actinic light is useless in fresh water.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Then I'll have to forget about the dawn effect. To bad...
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic
Actinic light is useless in fresh water.
actinic is useless only in repect to plants utilizing the light. Some people still have them in theit tank because of the color they give off. So in a sence they are not useless if you want them for the color.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 12:39 AM
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I have a 50/50 96 watt CF bulb on my 55 gallon tank, along with 2 15 watt flourescent fixtures. So I have roughly 2.5 watts/gallon. If half my 96 watt bulb does nothing for the plants, then I really have about 1.5 watts/gallon. My plant growth is good (I have DIY CO2, and fertilize both macros and micros on a semi-EI schedule), and even though I had planned to change the bulb right away, I think the 50/50 bulb actually does do something (probably not what an all 6700K bulb would) good for plant growth. Doing a little reading about Kelvin and what not suggests that this may be the case, because all light bulbs emit many wavelength colors along the spectrum. A traditional freshwater bulb rated 5,000K or so means that the bulb is balanced in light from the red spectrum (one end) to the blue spectrum (the other end). So even a bulb that is higher in the Kelvin range so that it emits more blue light is still going to have some wavelengths from the lower end of the spectrum that the plants can use. This explains it well, I think.

http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=2689

I also like the way that the blue light enhances the colors of my fish, especially the cardinal tetras.

Based on my experience, I wouldn't rule out the use of actinic bulbs (if combined with the more traditional freshwater ones), if your overall wattage is in the "range". Given that your plan is for 2 watts/gallon even if you don't "count" the actinic bulb-- though I understand this rule may break down for smaller tanks, it may be just fine. More light is not always better, as you have to keep more on your toes to balance co2 & ferts. And you may really like the dawn effects for your tank even if it isn't specifically for the growth of your plants. Having that light certainly won't hurt them.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 11:55 AM
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I once responded to a post stating the Actinic was of no value and someone took pretty great exception to that response. Much like the previous post, they did note that the actinic does put out light in the blue spectrum and plants can use that. So, now I prefer to say that they have limited value...from a plant perspective .

Having said that, I wouldn't leave the actinic on 7x24. I might be mis-interpretting what you are saying as turning off the white light at 8 PM and looking for a dawn effect (that's morning, right?) might imply leaving the actinic on all night. Well, if the actinic does provide the plants useful light and if the plants need a rest period, then that actinic should go off for, IMO, at least half of the night.

FWIW,
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 12:15 PM
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While the benefits to plants from actinic is limited...
the algae lovess the actinic

im my opinion and from past experience...
if you have a 50/50 PC, change the actinic bulb to between a 6500 - 10000 K bulb..to see the full benefits...

actinics have more advantages in the reef tanks..to corals etc

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 04:51 PM
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I actually did an experiment on this for a school science fair, we won silver by like .5 % then we got a gold at the toronto science fair and went on to canada wide where we won nothing but where marked great.

We where using incandescent lights ( the coloured ones ) so not exzactly the same but good to use for a refrence. There where a total of 9 jars 3 under green, 3 under blue and 3 under amber

For a bit of backgroung information Amber wich is close to the 650- 680 nm ( nano meter) range is the peak for aquatic plant Photosynthesis, this type of lighting can only be used if there is a supply of C02

plants appear green because the reflect green light, so a green light will just reflect off the leaves causing little growth

Blue light is used for general growth as well as algae growth it can be used Whether there is co2 or not

so here is how our project went... under each light there would be 3 jars. One with 02 ( supplied from Oxygen pump ) one would have CO2 ( diy yeast ect ) and one would be left untouched ( other than by the light)

here is what we found out

Under O2 blue grew best by far, amber only grew about 2 grams,and green did not grow at all

With co2 amber grew best by 4 grams, blue grew better than with 02, and green grew 2 grams

With nothing ( this control would have a medium amount of 02 / C02 ) Blue grew best by 2 grams and only 1 gram more than with O2, yellow grew 2 grams less than with co2 and green grew 1 gram


Sorry but im at my cottage and i dont have the original results i can only remember some of the weights, Sorry if this is confusing as well,

As you can see blue light ( close to the atnics nm range ) will grow plants fine mabey not as well as a 6700 k or whatever ,this is just what i have discovered.

in the book AQUARIUM PLANTS : peter hiscock he states that "the colours of physical objects we see around us are generated by the colour of light reflected off them all other colours of the spectrum are absorbed this is why the sea appears blue, because bluse light is energetic and less readily absorbed by water"

" shorter wavelengths are more energetic than longer wavelengths, and it is the more energetic light that is able to pass through the water quickly"

"plants are more likely to recieve greater amounts of blue light than red" due to this

Here is the one that i really like
"The photosynthetic pigment clorophyll, used by the majority of plants for photosynthesis , traps mostly blue and red light, although it is more efficent at trapping red light at aroung 650-675nm. Blue light is used just as much as red light simpily because it is far more avalable , is stronger in natural sunlight , and passes through water more easily. In the aquarium , artificial light should peak , ideally , in the red area ao the spectrum althought this can produce an undesireable appearance. Artificial light with a strong blue and red spectrum is much more appealing to our eyes and will still provide the plants with a suitable light. Its worth remembering that stron blue light will also promote algal growth , so aim for a balance of red and blue light "


I'm not really set on wether atnics can be used to your advantage or not i just wanted to bring some info of mine to your attention, Good luck


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 10:25 PM
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good topic
i was recently reading that plants prefer light in the more blue/green spectrum.
was thinking of trying a 14000K globe in my 150w MH and see how that go's, sure looks nicer to my eye than a yellow 10000K.
any ideas on whether that would be good or not?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 07:55 AM
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I use actinics on my tank. The reef keeper in me can't get away from them, lol. Besides, I really love the way they bring out the color on my discus. I have one 96 watt 10K bulb and one 96 watt actinic, plus a 36 watt T5 fixture (18 watts of each). Even without the actinics, I have 2.5 watts of 10K light per gallon. I know I could switch out my 96 watt actinic PC bulb for a more "plant appropriate" bulb, but my stem plants are already growing like crazy, so I don't see the need. I'm already forced to trim at least weekly.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 12:38 PM
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D.gilly,

The use of colored incandescent lights has no relation to the use of florescent lights with phosphors.

This reply is due to the fact that this thread was linked in a question about actinic lights.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 01:19 PM
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i just switched from my 50/50 bulb to a 6700k/10000k bulb... i do like the lighting the 50/50 gave off a little better but since adding the 6700k/10000k bulb the plants seem to be pearling a little more (and it looks twice as bright to my eyes)... i'll have to see in a few more days though, i think the actinic bulb was causing some algal problems, i will see if they clear up since adding the 6700k/10000k bulb back in


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:16 PM
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I can't remember for sure, but I think the Triton bulbs are actinic, or at least similar with the blue hue they give off. Anyway, when I was first getting into planted tanks, I bought 3 - 36" (30W) T-12's for my 3' long tank(~40g) and all I ever successfully grew was green water. lol.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avillax View Post
Hi, I was thinking on going for a 12gal nano cube, and have 2x25watt PC on it. I want plants to receive enough light but I also want to create a dawn effect to it by turning the white off at 8pm and leave the atinic bulb only.

I am used to reefkeeping and atinic light is important, but I don't know if it has any use in planted tanks.

Is there any problem with atinics and plants?, will I have enough light with 1 whitelight and 1 atinic light?, or I would need 2x white light to get good results?
They are ugly and quite unatural looking in aFW tank.
Aesthetics alone are enough to have them changed.

Reef folks have become adjusted to them and think they look good, whereas FW folks go yuck!

But if you go to the natural locations for each, the water is very6 blue and the water is a nice bright midday sun for FW.

Most FW plants live in the upper 1 meter of the water.


Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:47 PM
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Ah, since they live only in the upper 1 meter of water, the blue wavelengths are not the only ones that reach them, and so they're evolved to use other wavelengths? I know that a lot of reef animals have red color specifically because red wavelengths are not found at their depth so it becomes difficult to see them. Well, it's the blue wavelengths almost exclusively that reach corals at that depth.
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