View Full Version : What T5 Bulbs?

06-08-2012, 03:24 AM
I've picked up used a 36" t5 fixture to tide us over until we figure out exactly what we want to do for our DIY LED build. It takes four 39 watt bulbs.

Something that drives me nuts about the present display tank is that the softies that looked pink in the store look brownish in my tank. I have one ultra pink and green blasto that looks nice, and one green and purple Acan that looks okay, but all the other corals look like crap colour wise. They're perfectly healthy, the lights (actinic and 10,000 k T5) just don't bring nice colours out.

The fixture will be used on a 40 Breeder (36x18x16) softy and LPS reef (sps may be added some day). What replacement bulbs should I pick up? I'd like ones that promote growth, while making the colours pop.

06-08-2012, 04:25 AM
Replace the whites with Fiji pinks:biggrin:

06-08-2012, 05:06 AM
2 ati blue + and 2 ati coral plus.

06-08-2012, 05:26 AM
Adding actinic light will make colours fluoresce bringing out greens especially. Adding pink like the kz fiji pink bulb will help make red and like colours pop. Maybe one of each plus 2 whites?

06-08-2012, 05:45 AM
what your asking for in your bulbs is a very difficult thing to do.....you will get the best growth from lower k bulbs(10000k) unfortunately the lower the k the more yellow the light appears, which is unappealing to the eye to most peeps....the higher k bulbs will help make most colors pop... some people will even mix in a purple/pink to make other colors pop, but you will be sacrificing growth to a degree ...it really boils down to what you like personally.....lately Ive been running a 50/50 mix of KZ "new gens" (a 14000k bulb) and KZ "superblues" (a 22000k bulb).......

06-08-2012, 03:06 PM

If I have to choose between vigorous growth and pleasing colours . . . I'm selfish. I'll go with the pleasing colours.

I found a 40B that I quite like as far as the lighting goes. It may be a touch harsh, and the pinks still look a bit blah. This is how it is being lighted:

Lighting: 4x39 watt T5s overdriven to 64 watts each. One of each: ATI Blue Plus, ATI Aqua Blue Special, UVL Superactinic, GE 6500K Daylight.

I won't be overdriving anything (whatever that means).

Some really good suggestions have been made. Thx! Now I need to find more images to try to compare.

06-08-2012, 03:09 PM

If I have to choose between vigorous growth and pleasing colours . . . I'm selfish. I'll go with the pleasing colours.

Good choice :) I choose colors as well that promote viewing, not growing. Everything is going to grow eventually, no point rushing it. Sure, you can frag stuff, but once you start trimming, pieces tend to look cut up. Enjoy the long term viewing pleasure.

06-08-2012, 03:28 PM
Found one another one I really like (the pinks are still a bit lack luster):

ATi Blue Plus
ATi Coral Plus
ATi Blue Plus
ATI Purple Plus
ATi Coral Plus
ATi Blue Plus

Starry's suggestion is pretty representative of that look.

What if I went with 2 ATi Blue Plus, one ATi Coral plus, and one Fiji Pink?

06-08-2012, 03:29 PM
I use 3x ATI blue+, 1x ATI Purple+ and I really like both the look and growth.

06-11-2012, 10:25 PM
Well, I went with the ATi bulbs:

2 - Blue +
1 - Coral +
1 - Purple +

That should be a good starting point for me.

I was having a hard time sourcing the bulbs from different manufacturers, so in the end I decided to purchase based on what I could get from one single source.

They should be here Friday. I can't wait. :)

Thanks for all of the help and suggestions!