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!