Best Lighting to make my Blue Damselfish Colors Pop in a FOWLR

What light would be the best choice?

  • Beamswork

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Nicrew Marine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 bulb T5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4 bulb T5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Beamswork + 2 bulb T5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Nicrew Marine + 2 bulb T5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4 bulb T5 + Internal Blue LED angled forward

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 1 100.0%

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    1

Gaboxing

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Hello everyone,

I have a Blue Damselfish in a 40G Breeder FOWLR, and I thought the color looked better at the store than it does with my current lighting. Right now I'm using the Nicrew LED Gen2, and I also recently added an internal LED that I put in the front glass, and I angled it a little bit to make the colors pop a bit more:





To be honest, I never learned that much about lighting since everyone told me that a white & blue fixture would be everything I needed in a FOWLR, but I would actually like better lighting that truly makes my fish, specifically this Blue Damsel, look the best.

I've been reading a little bit about it, and I learned That a 10000K temperature and up light is cooler than a 6500K (which is the one I have), and will make the Blues Pop more, and that putting different tones of blue lights helps with this as well. Based on that, I took interest in these two LEDs:


Beamswork:



Nicrew Marine (has Blue 445nm and 460nm):



I also feel like my current LED has a lot of shadows, so the fish's color can look better/worse depending on what section of the tank they are. I read that T5s are great for this, since they don't have the same shadow issue LEDs have, but I'm wondering if there is any downside to T5s in regards to coloration, like would it make the colors Pop less? Here is what I've been looking at:





I have also thought about using both on the tank. I have a 40G Breeder, so I would put the LEDs in the front where I know it will hit my fish best, and put the T5s in the back to get full coverage of the tank. Maybe get an internal blue LED and angle it forward as well? Also, please advise on what would be the best combinations of light bulbs in the case of T5s.

I honestly just started reading about lights last week and there's a lot I need to learn, so I would really appreciate guidance, but I don't want to go crazy a spend over $400 on a light for a FOWLR.

TL;DR: Please advise on what would be the best lighting for a 40G Breeder FOWLR to make my Blue Damsels color Pop the most.

P.S.: It would have to be one of these fixtures that are supported on the sides of the tank, I don't have space on the back because of HBO filter and skimmer, and I cannot drill anything into the wall.

Thank you!
 

JumboShrimp

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77C4EAAD-8DBB-4DCA-80D0-C83421A2C550.jpeg


I have the simple $50 Nicrew you mentioned on this 150 gallon. If you look closely, you can see some Yellow Damsels popping pretty well. I am toying with adding another Nicrew, they are so cheap.
 
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Gaboxing

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77C4EAAD-8DBB-4DCA-80D0-C83421A2C550.jpeg


I have the simple $50 Nicrew you mentioned on this 150 gallon. If you look closely, you can see some Yellow Damsels popping pretty well. I am toying with adding another Nicrew, they are so cheap.
That is the Marine Nicrew? Looks very bright! Gorgeous tank btw.

Any issues with shadows and light coverage?
 

JumboShrimp

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I guess to clarify, I think mine is probably at least 46” (for a 60” tank) — so a bit more than the $50 one, but still dirt cheap / great bang-for-the buck. I have the lighting unit sitting directly on top of the glass top. You can a get slightly different appearance in the tank depending On whether you position the light directly in the middle of the tank, or more toward the back versus more toward the front. That’s the only reason I’m thinking of possibly getting a second. I might set one on blue only put it toward the back and bring the one with both blue and white toward the front. To see what effect I get. Of course the clearer your water is, the better brilliance you will get in terms of lighting. My second tank doesn’t have its filtration up and running fully— No UV sterilizer hooked up, for instance. And with the same Nicrew light, the water is noticeably more green and the tank more dim.
 
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Gaboxing

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I guess to clarify, I think mine is probably at least 46” (for a 60” tank) — so a bit more than the $50 one, but still dirt cheap / great bang-for-the buck. I have the lighting unit sitting directly on top of the glass top. You can a get slightly different appearance in the tank depending On whether you position the light directly in the middle of the tank, or more toward the back versus more toward the front. That’s the only reason I’m thinking of possibly getting a second. I might set one on blue only put it toward the back and bring the one with both blue and white toward the front. To see what effect I get. Of course the clearer your water is, the better brilliance you will get in terms of lighting. My second tank doesn’t have its filtration up and running fully— No UV sterilizer hooked up, for instance. And with the same Nicrew light, the water is noticeably more green and the tank more dim.
Thank you for the detailed response. The Nicrews I have right now I keep them at the front of the tank since I noticed my Damsel’s color looks best that way, but I have it set up at 100% blues and only 20% whites since the 6500K really wash the color out. I think that may be one of the reasons I’m having issues with brightness.

I’m gonna try them out, they do seem to have a lot of blue in them.
 

Spare time

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The only issue with the nicrew is you sometimes get that static tv look on the sand.


A single reefbrite 50/50 (the dual row one) would work too. I've seen these in person and have used the nicrew ones too though only in a store setting.
 
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Gaboxing

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The only issue with the nicrew is you sometimes get that static tv look on the sand.


A single reefbrite 50/50 (the dual row one) would work too. I've seen these in person and have used the nicrew ones too though only in a store setting.
Is there a significant difference in brightness and/or coverage between the Reefbrite and the Nicrew in your experinece?
 

oreo5457

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If you just want " pop" over err realism a rgb led based light would be an interesting choice.
No cheap white led washout.
Can always keep blue high..
Some start on full to be blue biased. Some magenta, some green.

Next or better/equal (all arguable) would be t5's.
Their rgb phosphors are similar but a bit better than led due to phosphor smear of wavelengths.
Their " white emulation" is much better than leds w/ blue plus yellow green phosphor.
https://premiumaquatics.com/product...OOoJMH9aaNyR3M3gOfmpmkiHK9cnj70RoCHlIQAvD_BwE


8619.jpg
Of course you mostly lose all the " fun" things about leds.

2 Beamsworks fspecs are a compromise but cheapish


Still less subtile blue tones than a tube
Can add timers ect.
Finnex uses decent 7000k whites in many fixtures so not as muddy as many brands.

Again though 2 is best considering the width of the 40 b.

I assume you really want more if a shallow water look so lots of " colors" in your light with a blue bias.
Plenty of "freshwater" leds can do that.
Heck even a chinese black box led is fine.
But would need to hang it high to cover a 40. Not much if an issue since you probably be using more power in the "white channel"
 
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