Actinic Lighting in the Planted Aquarium #win - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Actinic Lighting in the Planted Aquarium #win

I have read a lot about the controversy of actinic lights in the planted tank. Some say that they do nothing but grow algae or make plants grow thin and tall. (Stringy) Others say they are great. Well, being a saltwater fan and experimentalist; I wanted to see for myself. After a 6 month transition from a Coralife fixture w/ Colormax & 6,500k T5 lightbulbs to a (sorry about this next part) off brand fixture pretty much the same as the coralife but raised off tank; w/ a Colormax & Actinic T5 lightbulbs. I saw a magnificent change. My plants grew fuller, faster. I have to trim them down every 2 weeks or they would over grow my tank. My red plants have never been so red! I am extremely happy with this spectrum. The plants have never grew so well! After I have became extremely happy with this, I wanted to push it farther. I left the actinic lightbulb (ONLY) on all day and all night. And might I say WOW! The plants are amazing!

Though, in my tank I have only 1 Fluval 30 gal. hob bio-filter "with my own mixture of media" on left side of tank ,and 1 Fluval 20 gal. hob bio-filter " " on right side. Seachem Onyx Substrate 2-3" deep. (I DO NOT disturbed the substrate bed. Just as a sand bed in a saltwater tank, biological filtration happen within the bed.) I grow Ghost Shrimp and Ramshorn Snail in a 30 gal. tank with 3 fully grown Axolotl. Yes they do eat the shrimp. So, I have my tank next to a window to help grow algae. (for my snails and shrimp babies) BUT IT DOESN'T GROW! I have almost ZERO algae growth. I do not use Co2. I do use Seachem Flourish and 1 or 2 Seachem flourish tabs for my bulb plants fertilizer. Ionly add after water change. I want algae to grow, but not on my plants.


I will from now on use actinic lightbulbs in all of my tanks. They are wonder workers! Kodos Actinic!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 11:58 AM
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I was on the SW side for 13 years and came back. I brought actinics with me in the process though I don't run them full time. I run them for dawn/dusk effect and to compliment 6500K's when I'm home. Surely there's aesthetics involved here too. I have 24 tanks and the concept isn't applied across the board, but my bigger displays run them. No ill effects I've ever been able to detect either.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 01:11 PM
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Good experiment, very interesting. Plants do use a good bit of the blue spectrum, so I think actinics would have to be good as long as there is some red/yellow in the mix

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 03:09 PM
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Actinic lighting on a planted tank helps the plants because most actinic lighting is around 420nm to 460nm, plants have 2 chlorophyll stages to them, chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B. And they both respond to different wavelengths of lighting.

Now as for bulbs, there's a bulb known as WavePoint Ultra Growth Wave that supplies all of the wavelengths for plants it's only sold in T5HO. So the need to have only actinic lighting is eliminated and allows you to go with 6500k bulbs and Ultra Growth Wave bulbs so your tank isn't always blue.

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank

Last edited by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx; 11-21-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: more text
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actinic, growth, plant, win

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