The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to order the Catalina T5 HO Solar (4 x 54w) fixture. I seems like it comes set up for a reef tank (2 10k bulbs and 2 anctic bulbs). They give you the option to change the bulbs, if you have a planted tank. I planned on switching the 10k's to 6500k's, but what should I switch the anctic's with? I dont think anctic's are benificial to plants so, should I get some type of plant grow lights?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Chlorophyll-a has two absorbtion peaks, one around 680nm which everyone knows about but there's another at 420nm. Actinic light happens to peak around 420nm so, yes, it is useful for plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, I did'nt know that. I really dont know much about nm rating so I'm unsure what that means. But, best case scenario, should I combine the 6500k's with the anctics? Or, should I go with something else? It looks like Catalina has a new 54w plant grow bulb. I've read that the anctics give the tank a nice, clean, bright look. But are they better for the plants then a spicificly designed "plant grow" bulb?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
Many people mix 6500K (6000K, 6700K) and 10,000K bulbs. Both of these work fine for planted aquariums. You could get all 6500K or all 10,000K bulbs too, but you might like a mix better.

I'm sure that you will not like the look of an actinic bulb in a planted aquarium.

These pictures may help you. Check out the 6000K, 10,000K and Actinic bulb pictures.

From: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/59868-t5ho-54w-48-k-comparisons.html


Day Light - WB setting
_____3500 K__________4100 K___________6000 K__________10000 K__________Actinic_____


Auto - WB setting
_____3500 K__________4100 K___________6000 K__________10000 K__________Actinic_____


Fluorescent H - WB setting
_____3500 K__________4100 K___________6000 K__________10000 K__________Actinic_____


Custom/6000 K set as White - WB setting
_____3500 K__________4100 K___________6000 K__________10000 K__________Actinic_____


Custom/10000 K set as White - WB setting
_____3500 K__________4100 K___________6000 K__________10000 K__________Actinic_____
Lets see if this works... (trying to make it easier to compare)







BTW... I have the full size individuals of all these photos if you'd like to see better details (you can see the snails winking) let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WOW! I did'nt realize how blue the Actinic were. You're right, they suck. Thanks Left C. As helpful as that was, I'm still unsure what to do. I want the tank to look clear, clean and sharp. I want the greens and reds of the plants to pop and the colors of the fish to jump out at you. To achieve this should I combine 6500k and 10000k? Or is there something else I should do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I think the true Actinics are even more purple/ugly but they can look very nice when mixed with 10,000K or 6500K bulbs.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
IMO you should do as lauraleellbp suggests. The pink grow bulbs will bring out the reds. Then mix with 6500K and 10,000K bulbs.


from: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/lighting/723-9325k-difference.html#post5288
Note that the GE bulbs mentioned are 9325K pink grow bulbs
Here is a comparison that I did. The white balance wasn't adjusted as a basis. All photos are with the same aperature, shutter and white balance setting.

1) 5000K/6700L


2)5000k/GE


3)6700k/GE


4)GE/GE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can also get the pink plant grow bulbs from Catalina.

I got a combo of plant grow and 6700k when I got my fixture.

I wish I'd asked for one 10,000k.
That was another question I had. Is it rediculous to have 3 different lights in a 4 bulb fixture? For example, 2 6500k, 1 Plant grow and 1 10000k.
Lauraleellbp, the tank looks good with that combination (6500k and plant grow)? Why would you add a 10000k?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
That was another question I had. Is it rediculous to have 3 different lights in a 4 bulb fixture? For example, 2 6500k, 1 Plant grow and 1 10000k.
Lauraleellbp, the tank looks good with that combination (6500k and plant grow)? Why would you add a 10000k?

I have all three in my fixture. I run the pink plant grow with the a 10K because if i run it with a 6.5k it looks to orange for my taste.
I run a 6.5k on the other ballast.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
It's all really a matter of aesthetics.

Personally, I like mixing one pink bulb, one 6700k, one actinic, and one 10k.

Some people like 6700k by themselves. I don't, to me it looks too yellow. I'd prefer 10k by itself over 6700k, but most other people seem to feel that 10k is too white and washes everything out... bottom line- beauty is in the eye of the beholder LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok. So I think I'll do 2 6500k, 1 10000k and 1 plant grow. As far as pairing (for timer purposes) should I have the 2 6500k on one timer and the other 2 on the other timer? I guess I would stagger the timers in such a way that the 6500k's would turn on first and then the 10000k and plant grow would turn on a couple of hours later (simulating intense noonish sun)? Or does someone have a better recomendation?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top