pros and cons. some inverts use the ac03 light well especially those that are ddep water to beginwith as the blue end of the spectrum penetrates down the furthest. though more corals and such do best with lighting in the 6500-10000k range, Ideally you should produce balanced lighting using a 6.5 - 10k and an aco3 aco3 is very blue, 6.5k might be very yellow
They are just two different phosphor sets in the "blue bulb" category. A 7100K looks nothing like a 6500K or a 10000K.
I have just switched a 7100K in place of an ac03 on one of my tanks this morning, so I'll have more input later, but the difference is mostly in visible spectrum. The human eye can see more of the light coming from a 7100K bulb than an ac03, so it looks brighter. However, the 7100K is in a different spectrum and does not cause corals to fluorescence as much as the ac03. The spectrum put out by the ac03 bulb makes many corals seem to glow, although it is worse for showcasing some other saltwater inhabitants.
maybe it would help if you guys knew what context I am asking the question. See the website below, see how they are all blue bulbs? just wondering the differences in color. I am wondering which of the two is more pleasing to the eye; also good to know which is more utilizable for the animals too though. ben, let me know what you think once youve had a chance to form an opinion.
Salt creepette, the new 7100K bulb looks great. The tank is significantly more blue than it was under the ac03 and both my zoanthids and my frogspawn look better under it, not worse. A few other things don't look quite as good, but the tank is brighter, bluer, and a majority of my critters look better, not worse.
However, the ac03 it replaced was quite old and had dimmed over time, so this is not a true side by side comparison.
Curiously, what doesn't look as good is my corralline most noticably. A few other whites, grays, and purples all became less distigushable from each other. I had some yellow tentacles spaghetti worms that really stood out in the ac03 that are harder to see under the 7100K. Similarly, my sponges and tunicates are less visible.
None of the corals really look worse, though a coral that had previously been pale beige turned pale, pale green. (Not bad, just different.) It's mostly my other invertebrates that stand out less. Also, a patch of cyano in a low flow spot in my tank is far more visible than it was.
I'd definately say it depends on the tank, but for mine I'm happy with the 7100K right now. Go ahead and try it, IMO. At worst, you're out $40. Compared to the other mistakes one could make in this hobby, that's nothing.
i went ahead and shot an email to hellolights, they said:
"For optimal coral health and color we would recommend the combination of Actinic and 10k. The 71K blue is an asthetic lamp and will not benefit your corals like a true Actinic will. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for contacting us and have a very nice day."
Maybe this will help answer someone elses questions too!