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10K with Actinics or 20K bulbs

8594 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  organicreefer
What do you guys suggest? I am at an impass. The LFS told me yesterday not to go with the 20K's because you lose intensity. They suggested 2 150w 10K's with 2 VHO actinic's. I am looking for the most efficent yet compact lighting situation. VHO's take up alot of space and I don't want a huge canopy. I discovered a LFS in Denver that makes a fixture with 2 150w 20K's, ballast, bulbs and fixture for $530, no actinics just the 20k's. They say that the brand of bulb sold is aqualux, however, it is compatable with other standard 150 halide's. Does anyone have a strong suggestion of this? My tank is a standard 75g. 48x18x20. I want to be able to grow the SPS I already have and the clams that I have as well.
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i just went from 2 175w 10k ushios to 2 20k xms, and im loving every minute of it
i went from the hamilton 20ks to the ushio 10ks and i like the growth and coloration a lot better, the tank was a lot bluer with the 20ks and some corals had better color, but overall i like the 10k ushios better
The fixture I am looking at are the 20k's w/o actic supplement. Do I need the VHO actinics? Or Can I go w/o actinics or use PC blue lights as the actinics. 10K with PC actinics or the 20K's w/o actinic supplement?
i have actinincson my lights, i have decided to turn thoes off......after the 20ks went out alst night with just the actinics on it look very very different.if you decide to go with the 20k you will not need the sctinics. if you go with the 10k's in order to get a better look you will need the actinics, imo
the growth is not as good with 20ks but the color is the most astounding thing i have ever seen
You will probably see better coral growth with the 10K's with actinic lighting. I don't think the 20K lights put out as much light in the spectrum that corals use to grow.
Exactly the info I am looking for. Two more questions. Will growth be better with 20K's than PC's and will 20K's suffice for my clams and SPS? It may be a no brainer question but I had to ask it.
ditto on those thumbs- upping the 10K w/actinic.
i have 2-400W 10K Mh's and 4 -55w PC actinic's on my 75,
more than plenty of light(and a nice house heater:rolleyes: ).
i like the total color better than the 20K's and even the 12K's i,ve seen. not crazy about the blue or even yellow look in a reef tank.
the actinics round out the colors some,,although i think the 400watters might overpower the actinics.
i like using the german bulbs(Hamilton)


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first pic was with all the lights on,,
this pic is just the actinics,,,
sorry about the res on the pics,,,antique Mavica:rolleyes: :(


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you will get beetter growth with 10'ks theres no denying that fact, i however am so impressed with the colors that show under these 20k's....imo i would rather have smaller brighter colonies than big less colorful colonies.........
if i were to use the 20ks i would supplement with 6500 daylight pc. just to get a little more light in the tank with 175s.
i can see why you would say that after looking into my tank, but i love the 20k's by them selves, i love the bluish look......or and after 24hrs i can tell a difference from when they were on yesterday.........
I have 2-250ww 10,000k German bulbs and 2-96ww PC's actinic 03 bulbs on my 80 gallon reef aquarium and pretty happy with the lighting set-up! Bulbs are from Hamilton but they get their bulbs from the Ushio company. Here is a pic of my tank that I took a few minutes ago!:)


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j~ is that a lemonpeel angel i see?
LOL Clint! Would you believe a yellow damsel!!:eek:
You may also want to bump up to 250watt MH's....Especially for SPS...
250w 20K's? What difference will 250's make? I don't want to overheat my system.
2 175 MH's will give you 4.66 watts per gallon over a 75 gallon..

2 250's will give you 6.66 watts per gallon...
So do you think I could expect the same growth rate from 2 250w. 20K's w/ no actinics, as I would 2 175w 10K's w/ actinic supplement? I'm just trying to find the right balance.
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