The Actinic Bulb

An actinic light was added to the system, purely to enhance the colors of the inhabitants. It also helps get the photo-period up and running faster without having to run the 250 watt Metal Halide light 12 hours a day.

I found a cheap 24" strip light with legs that fit the side of the cube perfectly (After a bit of customization with a hack saw). The bulb is a single 65 watt PC fluorescent lamp which is perfectly fine in this instance because the 250w halide does not need any help lighting the tank.

Since the addition of this light a slew of benefits have been identified. Mainly in reducing the amount of time the metal halide light is running, the obvious perks include, a lower hydro bill, less heat in the system, less potential for unwanted algae growth, more Coraline algae growth in the low light actinic only period. Currenly the Actinic light runs 11 hours on 13 hours off and the halide lamp runs 9 hours on and 15 hours off. The refugium light is on opposite the halide to keep PH balanced and the 3 watt blue LED light stays on 24/7.

It's true the Actinic bulb did add a lot visually to the system, but all the hidden benefits of running actinics seperately from daytime lighting make this type of lighting setup almost essential to keeping any reef.

- A.

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