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Switching bulbs

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BCT182

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I was wondering.... I have 2 175w 6,500k halides and 2 55w .03 actinic PC's on my 50g right now. I am going to switch to two 20,000k 175w bulbs and 2 10,000k PC's to add some white light to the tank. I know my 6,500ks are a lot brighter than 20,000ks. Will I loose intensity to the point where my clams won't do well? Or anything like that? I know intensity is more important than WPG. My 6,500ks make my maxima clam look boring and brown and I know what it can look like because it came out of a 20,000k tank. I also want my frog spawn, hammer, blasto's, brain and other corals colors to stand out more. I know it takes more blue to do that because the actinic does bring out some, but its washed out by two 6,500k halides. Also, is it necessary to go to 20,000ks? I just don't think 10,000ks will be enough. By the way, my ballast only runs XM and coralife. Stupid old energy saver ballast.
Brett
 

mattseattle

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with 175's 20k's you might need to move your maxima up a little further in the tank. how far is your clam under the halides now?
 

Maxx

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Okay, You will loose some intensity in terms of PAR and your tank will be ALOT more blue. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? It sounds like you want aesthetics primarily. Nothing wrong with that.
I don't think that clams color change like corals do as an adaptation to lighting. I think they are pretty much how they will look when you get them, but different lighting will bring out the highlights and accents differently. Personally, I would look into the XM 10k's. In a recent test by JBNY on RC and assisted by Sanjay Joshi, the 250 watt S/E (mogul based) bulbs put out almost as much PAR (intensity) as the 6500K Iwasaki's and looked a clear crisp white. If you go to www.cnidarianreef.com (JBNY's website) and click on the link on the right (under the picture) you will be connected to his testing and results. He has also photographed his tank with ALL of the different bulbs he tested, both with and without actinic supplementation. This will let you see what the different combinations look like. I think if you go with a good 10K bulb, and use actinic supplementation, you'll will be pretty happy with the results. You might also want to look at the Hamilton 14k bulbs....I like the color on those personally.
One important note, the information on JBNY's website about bulbs is for 250 watt bulbs, and not directly correlated to the 175 watt versions of those same bulbs. However, I would be surprised if things were wildly different from the 250's. The numbers would obviously be different, but I suspect the performance of the bulbs would be similar.....HTH,
Nick
 

jks1

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Nov 29, 2003
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I agree with Maxx, I switched the center 400W bulb on my tank out with an XM 20K and actually didnt like how blue it was. It was a huge change to the blue side. I had XM 10Ks on either side of it thinking I could blend the light, but it left a definate band of blue in the center. Ended up going back to 3 XM 10Ks.
 

BCT182

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Sumner WA
Thanks for the advise guys, I'd really like a 14,000k or something like that but I am very limited on what bulbs I can run. I have a energy saver ballast. I wanted to make things stand out better and so that's why I was thinking 20,000k's
Brett
 

Maxx

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Does your ballast not fire these other bulbs? The XM 10k's are awesome bulbs, but I'm surprised you cant run with different bulbs....
Nick
 

Maxx

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I was doing some quick looking on Energy Saver Ballasts, and didnt come up with much. Does your ballast have any model designation numbers? Because this thread could help you find out more about what bulbs you can run with your ballast.
Nick
 

BCT182

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Reading the explination that Curt left on actinic vs 20k I think maybe I should go with 2 10k XM bulbs. But honestly will those bulbs be better thank what I have?
Brett
 

BCT182

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I have the Iwasaki 6500k right now and I have heard those are basically like a 10000k ushio. Thats why I thought I needed 20000k. Because If Im going to spend the money I want an improvement that will be noticeable.
Brett
 

Maxx

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I think maybe I should go with 2 10k XM bulbs. But honestly will those bulbs be better thank what I have?
Okay......quick explanation is in order......I will try to keep this from being boring, and overly technical, yet still factual.....
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking at lighting for a reef tank.
The first is what exactly you are trying to keep in the tank. SPS and Clams will require more light than LPS and softies. MH's are very suited for this, but not the only answer. Many people have good results using T-5's, VHO's, and PC's. Since you have a Maxima clam already, (which requires the most amount of light, along w/ Crocea clams) and you already have the MH's this is kind of a moot point.
The other thing to keep in mind is aesthetics, or how the tank looks. The human eye generally prefers a whiter/bluer light than noon day sunlight. This is what you are preoccupied with right now.
Going back to the first issue....what you want to keep....
6500k Iwasaki bulbs have the highest PAR, (Photosynthetically Active Radiation also interchangable with PPFD, Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density.), of all mogul based bulbs. But they appear very yellow to the human eye, and many people dont find them very attractive. So they supplement with actinic bulbs of some sort. This is not necessary since the Iwasaki's actually have an enormous amount of blue and purple wavelengths in their spectrum, but that is not visible to the human eye with these bulbs....so the actinics are for aesthetics....
What was surprising in the 250 watt comparison was how well the XM 10k mogul based bulbs did in comparison to the Iwasaki's. The PAR of the XM 10Ks was second only to the Iwasakis, and not by all that much. The 10K bulbs ,( of any manufacture), are more white and in some cases more blue than the 6500K Iwasaki's to the human eye.
So to fully answer your question.....what is better for you? The color or the PAR ratings? If its PAR ratings you're after...no, nothing is better than what you have currently over your system with your current set up. If its Color you're after, (And we really wouldnt be talking about this right now if it wasnt... :D ), then whats better is entirely up to you. Sift through the pics JBNY put up on his website with the different bulbs over his tank, find one you like, and see where it compares to the Iwasaki's. Then YOU can decide which one is BETTER for your needs.

The best way to educate yourself on all of this is to read.....
Advanced Aquarist On-line Magazines.....Article Archive search on Lighting
Sanjay Joshi's articles MH lighting (scroll to the bottom of the page. after reading the article to see links to all his related research.) This is NOT exciting reading, by any means. But it will give you a great base to understand what someone really means when they say "This bulb is great/ That bulb is crap" etc.....
Because to be honest with you, you don't really know me. I'm just words on a screen, and I could be making things up as I go here....So always find out for yourself.... :?: :?: :evil: :?: :?:
Good Luck,
;)
Nick
 

Ritsuko Nashida

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Jul 6, 2004
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Location
Yokohama Japan
I agree with maxx, he threw a lot of tight info out there for you to run with. I also agree with mattseattle as this is exactly how my 135 SPS/Clam tank and 300 gallon Frag system is set up.

I have several different halide set ups and 400 watt 10K XM's are almost identical color wise to 250 watt 10K XM's. I doubt there will be little difference in 175 watt 10K XM bulbs as well. Incidently I have ran the 6500's, Ushio 10K, and XM 10K's and have found the XM's serve me rather well compared to the rest and look nicer too as far as my veiwing pleasure goes. XM's are a very bright and crisp white with a hint of blue and with VHO actinics just about right to my "calibrated eye". I have had exceptional color in my clams with this set up and good color and excellent growth of my SPS corals. Unless you want the washed in yellow look of 6500K or washed in blue look of 20K's...I think the XM 10K's and VHO actinics are the ticket.

JMHO....
 
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