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cpl corndog 06-18-2010 11:38 AM

Expert in lighting Needed!
Here is why I need someone that Is very informed about Halides and kelvin rating.

I did some research and from what I read it sounds if 6,500K - 10,000K rated lights are the best for coral growth...having said that I also read that with my 150watt halides I have just switched out from my 14K to a 20k bulb. My question is to anyone that has an understanding of this, please help me understand the reason for this. I would like to understand what the PAR is and how it is relative to Energy and wavelengths.

-On my 14K full spectrum HQI metal Halide bulb it talks about peaks in the 460nm range with additional smaller peaks in the 550,590 and 690. I would like to know what this means.

Please someone inform me on this.

Here is where and what I read.

onefish2fish 06-19-2010 07:41 AM

the closer to 65K you get the better the growth, the browner the corals. the closer to 20K the brighter the colors the slower the growth. this is why some will use a lower K halide and higher K t5s to make up for the color loss.
i wouldnt be able to just give you your PAR rating without using a PAR meter in different areas of your tank. it varies with a list of variables like location in tank, how far lights are away from tank, clarity of water, if there are ripples on the surface ( they can magnify light ) and so forth. im not suggesting you run out and purchase a PAR meter, but that would be how to find out your ratings. you would use it in all areas of your tank. top of your live rock, down in the sand bed, and so on. if you belong to a reef club, ask if someone has one you can borrow. if you dont belong to a reefing club, i suggest searching in your area.
i honestly dont know what 460nm means and the rest. i think 460 is more in the blue spectrum, 5s in the yellow but again im not sure. hope that helps some.

wake49 06-19-2010 08:02 AM

I think that 460 and 420 all refer to actinic numbers, or more blue light like onefish said.

A lot of us use 10,000k for daytime lights and 420 for actinics. I personally have 12 T5HO bulbs (6 10000k daytime and 6 460 actinics) on my 150 gallon reef and keep a variety of corals.

cpl corndog 06-19-2010 11:27 AM

Thank you both, this does help. The only question I would have now is since I already have the halides, should I switch the bulb out to a 10K and then add in a few T5 actinics? I'm looking to keep the cost down as much as possible. What about adding in the LED blues? any ideas on that?

cpl corndog 06-27-2010 01:43 AM

So I figured out what I'm going to do. I'm using 10K full spectrum halides and added in 2 6 foot LED 440's. The only thing I really need to know is how far off the top of the water do I put my halides?

Right now I have them about 4-5 inches off the top of the water, not sure if that is right. My tank depth is about 24 inches. These are 150 watt double ended halides too.

Anyone have some answers for me.

wake49 06-29-2010 11:41 AM

Everything looks fine to me. I think that having the MH about 4-5" off the top of the tank would cut down on the overheating, and still provide enough light for the depth of that tank.

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