10-04-2010, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Backer
hey guys, I'm running a 50/50 actinic reef sun bulb, 24 inch, not sure of the wattage, and just wanna know the best way to keep my plants healthy really. I have a fertilizer stick under my gravel and that's basically it. Just want a nice green tank.
In my view you will not have healthy plants with this light. I don't know the technical reason behind it, but I have never found one botanist or planted tank authority who has not said that plants will not manage under actinic light. It is obviously too blue and not enough red, but there must be more to it than that. On the other hand, algae grows very well under this (or any) light, so you will be battling that as well. Thriving plant growth makes life very difficult for algae. All the nutrients and CO2 will do nothing for the plants if the light is inadequate. Light is the single most important aspect of a planted tank.
You don't need to replace the fixture, just the tubes. And the best ones for planted aquaria are very inexpensive. You can buy "daylight" tubes with a kelvin rating around 6500K at most hardware stores for a few dollars. GE, Phillips, Sylvania all make them. The are no different in light colour and intensity than the much more expensive "aquarium" manufacturer tubes. Just measure the length of the existing tubes and buy the same in the other type. Make sure you get T8 if your fixture is regular fluorescent; a T5 fixture requires T5 tubes as the prongs are different.
Last edited by Byron; 10-04-2010 at 06:08 PM..
Reason: correct sp