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View Full Version : T5 bulb configuration... need some input


The Grizz
04-05-2010, 02:30 AM
OK, well it is getting really close to moving day of the new 8' tank but still a little stumped on what T5 bulb combo to use.

At the moment on the BF I am running 2 - 250w 14,000K MH, 2 - 54w Coral Life 10,000K, 2 - 54w Fiji Purples & 2 - 54w Actinic's.

I have been playing around with some different bulbs but just can not figure it out. So any advise from those who have found a combo that work's for you I would love to hear it.

What I have been thinking is this ( 8 bulbs per side )

2 - Gieseman Actinic+ 22,000K
2 - Gieseman AquaBlue+ 15,000K
2 - ATI AquaBlue Special 12,000K
2 - KZ Fiji Purple

chris88
04-05-2010, 03:46 AM
I think you have Gieseman aquablue plus mixed up. Their aqua blue is 11,000k and its very white and almost identicle to ati aqua blue. If i were you i would go with the following for a 8 bulbs.

X4 ATI BLUE PLUS OR AQUA SCIENCE 22,000K
X3 ATI AQUA BLUE OR AQUA SCIENCE DUO 17,000K
X1 FIJI PURPLE OR UVL ACTINIC WHITE

Tons of par nice balanced color, I wont be to blue or to pink and you will have nice growth and color in your corals. I dont think you could pick better bulbs then what i suggest above.

The Grizz
04-05-2010, 03:53 AM
I think you have Gieseman aquablue plus mixed up. Their aqua blue is 11,000k and its very white and almost identicle to ati aqua blue. If i were you i would go with the following for a 8 bulbs.

X4 ATI BLUE PLUS OR AQUA SCIENCE 22,000K
X3 ATI AQUA BLUE OR AQUA SCIENCE DUO 17,000K
X1 FIJI PURPLE OR UVL ACTINIC WHITE

Tons of par nice balanced color, I wont be to blue or to pink and you will have nice growth and color in your corals. I dont think you could pick better bulbs then what i suggest above.

No I am sure I am right as I got this right off the J&L web site.

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/lb-t548a/48%22+Powerchrome+T5+Fluorescent+Bulb+-+Actinic+%2B.html
http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/lb-t5481/48%22+Powerchrome+T5+Fluorescent+Bulb+-+AquaBlue+%2B.html

shrimpchips
04-05-2010, 04:26 AM
The 8-bulb combo I was recommended as per RC's GrimReefer is as follows:

Front:
ATI Blue+
ATI Aquablue Special
ATI Blue+
KZ Fiji Purple
UVL White Actinic/ATI Blue+
ATI Blue+
ATI Aquablue Special
ATI Blue+

Going with bulb 5 as UVL will make it whiter, and the ATI will make it bluer, but overall it's supposed to be a fairly white combo.

chris88
04-05-2010, 04:29 AM
AquaBlue+ T5 High Output Lamp

Suitable for salt water and fresh water. This is the recommended D-D marine tube, which is a 60/40 white/blue blend. This tube was specifically developed for growing SPS corals down to 800cm. Suitable for salt water, reef and fresh water fish only aquariums.

Features:
•T-5 Diameter High Output Fluorescent Lamp
•60% Actinic 40% white spectrum
•Color temperature approx 11,000K Crisp color as stand-alone lamp

chris88
04-05-2010, 04:33 AM
It's 100% 11,000k and very white no blue to it at all. I own the bulb and i also got it from j&L. It's a mis type on J&l site i promise. I can take a picture of the bulb if you would like. The suggestion of what grimme wrote you is very similar to what i suggested and it is a great combo as well. I would not do more then 4 blue plus bulbs, it comes off way to blue and makes it look artificial. Also, more then on fiji purple or actinic white together makes it look to pink/purple. I prefer a nice 14,000k white/blue look with pop to the colors.

The Grizz
04-05-2010, 05:14 AM
Now this is what I was talking about, experience with the bulb thanks chris88

So I should be a little more detailed about the lights and timers so I get it right the first time.

I have 2 - 4 bulb fixtures per side with 3 individual switches / cords per fixture. So I am calling them light bank 1, 2, 3, & 4. each bank has it own timer as well.

So it would go something like this:

back to front:
ATI AquaBlue Spec............bank 1............ 1st on @ 9 am
ATI Blue+........................bank 2..............2nd on @10 am
KZ Fiji Purple....................bank 1.............1st on @9 am
ATI Blue+........................bank 2..............2nd on @10 am
UVL White Actinic.............bank 3..............3rd on @11 am
ATI Blue+........................bank 4..............4th on @ noon
ATI Aquablue Special.........bank 3..............3rd on @ 11 am
ATI Blue+........................bank 4..............4th on @ noon

then start to cycle off in reverse order @ 6 pm, moon LEDs on at 9 pm - 6 am

lockrookie
04-05-2010, 05:24 AM
you lost me i have those same lights i kinda understand what you are doing are you haveing both fixtures side by side im assuming lengthwise on those fixtures switch one turns on 2 bulbs switch 2 turns on the other two switch 3 moon lights

so you would have switch one turn on at one time on both ? or just one fixture?\

i know this has nothign to do with bulbs im just trying to wrap my brain around it:)

The Grizz
04-05-2010, 05:31 AM
you lost me i have those same lights i kinda understand what you are doing are you haveing both fixtures side by side im assuming lengthwise on those fixtures switch one turns on 2 bulbs switch 2 turns on the other two switch 3 moon lights

so you would have switch one turn on at one time on both ? or just one fixture?\

i know this has nothign to do with bulbs im just trying to wrap my brain around it:)

Ya Jeff I have joined 2 fixtures together to run the length of the tank 8', so there is 2 rows of fixture's. Bank 1 is 2 - bulbs per side of tank, 4 bulbs total length and so on for bank 2, 3, & 4. My build thread shows the fixture's on the tank.

lockrookie
04-05-2010, 05:56 AM
k got it :smile: ive been anxously following your build as you know lol giving me ideas for my 3 to 400 possible buildin my basement .. wifes losing her office but hey its all for the name of a daycare rightoff i hope...first home daycare with ocean learning center? think that will fly? lol

i think your bulb idea is ok from what ive read and iff all else fails you have room for changes in future

chris88
04-05-2010, 07:08 PM
I like your idea of staggering the bulb times but i think you might like it more visually if you did the traditional blues on first then white bulbs on second.
The fiji purple is a strong bulb and if you run it with just one other bulb or even just two other bulbs the color comes out very pink and kind of funky. Most people suggest running it with a minimum of 1-5. 1 fiji or actinic white with 5 other bulb/white bulbs to keep the color realistic.

If I were you I would run it something like this. I don't know exactly how your lights come on and it what order but I am assuming you have the ability to control the lights in 2 bulbs at a time. So I would do the following.

Same combo for each half of the tank: If you tank is more than 18 inches deep run the lights for 12 hours. If you tank is 18 or shallower run them for 10hrs max.

2x ati blue plus 6am
1x ati blue plus + fiji purple 7am
1 x ati aqua blue + ati blue plus 8am
1x ati aqua blue + actinic white 9am

Reverse cycle and stagger the opposite.

There are a few benefits to something like this vs. 2 on then 6 on. You will visually mimic the suns brightness and pattern. Visually it’s not boring. You will be able to see 4 different color schemes with 4 different effects on the corals color. At any giving time during cycle you could see something different and you balance out the pinks of the fiji purple and actinic white. It is easier on the corals and fish as well, the sun doesn’t just have one strength and color. It changes based on the time of day and cloud cover. Let me know what you end up going with because i would love to see some pictures. I have used all of these bulbs and I think you will be happy with the.

The Grizz
04-05-2010, 11:33 PM
I like this idea chris and yes I can control 2 light at a time.

The Grizz
04-06-2010, 04:55 AM
"tank is 18 or shallower run them for 10hrs max."

So I totally get your combination, so the 10 hrs max would that be from the time the first set of bulbs come on to when the last set of bulbs go off.

chris88
04-06-2010, 05:09 AM
T5's dont penetrate very well in deep tanks so to make up for the lack up PAR you would just run your bulbs longer. When there is an excess of PAR usually from MH or T5 in shallow tanks there can actually be a negative effect on growth and color from running your lights to long. 12hrs is usually the longest ideal time to run them, some people have great results with 8 or less hours. I run my T5's for 12hrs with my Ati blue plus' and 10hrs with my full lights on. When i replace my bulbs next week i will lower this to 10hrs blue plus and 8hrs full lights for the first few weeks to help acclimate the corals and then slowly bring it back to the old regime. You can always plus with the time a bit you might be supprised that lowering the light time might give you better results. I have found in my current tank the 10-12hrs works best for growth.

My lighting schedule looks like this in my 50g with 6 t5's

10am - 9:30 pm 2x ati blue plus
11am - 8:00 pm 3x ati blue plus 2x ati aqua blue 1x actinic white

The Grizz
04-06-2010, 05:28 AM
Cool with my tank being 18" deep and 8' long I will start of lower and bump a bit at a time for the first couple weeks.

Thanks man this is a big help, you sound like you have done a lot of research on lighting.

chris88
04-06-2010, 05:32 AM
I do a lot of researching just out of pure curiosity. I have been using t5’s for a few years and have done a lot of experimenting with bulbs and time patterns. Plus, I have read just about every t5 article on this site and reef central out of pure boredom lol. I hope this helps and in the end experimenting results in the best results. You may end up playing with your bulb combo and lighting schedule a few times before you get it exactly how you like it.

Red Coral Aquariums
04-06-2010, 04:36 PM
I can recommend a bulb selection based on what I use and the most popular combination's that I sell for 8 bulb.

2 x Kz Super Blue or ATI Blue +
3 x Kz Coral lite 11K or ATI Aqua-blue 12K or Giesemann Aqua Blue 11K
2 x Kz Coral lite New Gen 15k
1 x Kz Fiji Purple

chris88
04-06-2010, 06:55 PM
That is a great combination but it is going to come out very white and not make the colors pop as much as is there were a bit more blue into it. I like a very realistic color as well, but i find the extra blue really colors up sps, lps, and zoanthids. if i were going to run a softy tank i would go the route you suggested hands down.

lorenz0
04-06-2010, 11:52 PM
your original bulb configuration would be the best

try not to run to many bulbs between 17,500 - 22,000k ratings. These bulbs are great for color from your corals but you will loose growth rate with them. Run a set up like that down the road when your growth rate is to much and everything is getting crowed.

Its the joy with t5's, but right now i am really content with the output of growth and color.

The Grizz
04-07-2010, 02:20 AM
I can recommend a bulb selection based on what I use and the most popular combination's that I sell for 8 bulb.

2 x Kz Super Blue or ATI Blue +
3 x Kz Coral lite 11K or ATI Aqua-blue 12K or Giesemann Aqua Blue 11K
2 x Kz Coral lite New Gen 15k
1 x Kz Fiji Purple

Thanks Kevin I was hoping you would jump in with the combination you where telling me about.

That is a great combination but it is going to come out very white and not make the colors pop as much as is there were a bit more blue into it. I like a very realistic color as well, but i find the extra blue really colors up sps, lps, and zoanthids. if i were going to run a softy tank i would go the route you suggested hands down.

My tank is all LPS, Softies, Zoa and clams with only a couple SPS that I have been able to keep alive.

your original bulb configuration would be the best

try not to run to many bulbs between 17,500 - 22,000k ratings. These bulbs are great for color from your corals but you will loose growth rate with them. Run a set up like that down the road when your growth rate is to much and everything is getting crowed.

Its the joy with t5's, but right now i am really content with the output of growth and color.

Are you talking about the combination from the start of the thread?

chris88
04-07-2010, 03:20 AM
If you have a lot of lps i suggest a the combo i mentioned with maybe even one more blue plus or even a super actinic. LPS and zoanthids look the best when the pop and don't need the crazy high par that sps need.

lorenz0
04-07-2010, 06:05 AM
If you have a lot of lps i suggest a the combo i mentioned with maybe even one more blue plus or even a super actinic. LPS and zoanthids look the best when the pop and don't need the crazy high par that sps need.

totally agree

just decide whats happening in the tank. And with his combo sps grows very slow but you won't burn your lps alive.