T5 Bulb Spectrum vs VHO

spsick

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Greetings hivemind!

I was going back though some photos of my tank from a few years ago and noticed how explosive my acro growth was. Only thing different was that I was running UVL T5 bulbs (actinic white and super actinic) for years which I can’t find any more. Looking at the spectrums, it looks like they are heavier in 420nm which we know is peak point for chlorophyll A and that can be filled by any actinic bulb. I also notice they a big spike in 550nm compared to ATI bulbs or any LED fixture for that matter. Is this difference as big as it seems or just more how the 2 manufacturers display the pics of spectrum?

UVL Actinic White:
E3098909-193B-484C-B984-05F2FB627BAD.jpeg


ATI Coral Plus:
D55D3C57-C6C2-42DE-ADD0-CF613B45BD2B.jpeg
 

jda

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I would believe the charts, mostly... they all round them out and stuff.

I am using Actinic White one one tank and they look different than CP. I just put a new pair on one of my tanks after using the old ones for like 5 years (as supplements, so I don't care if they grow coral).

I am one who believes that they whole range from 350-850nm matters... so the green helps, I think. Lasse has posted a lot of literature and stuff that green penetrates into tissue and stuff to help colonies and dense things get more energy. I doubt that it matters much on frags.

I still use the VHOS because 1). I have them, 2) on good reflectors they are the same output as 2x T5s but but they are the same wattage as 2x T5s too, 3). they are 6' instead of 5' and 4). they last a LONG time, especially as a supplement. If they bulbs ever get hard to get or all of my ballasts and end caps wear out, I might switch to some LED bars, but they are still humming along. I might actually go all @Big E and overdrive some T5s with my VHO ballasts.
 

Big E

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Greetings hivemind!

I was going back though some photos of my tank from a few years ago and noticed how explosive my acro growth was. Only thing different was that I was running UVL T5 bulbs (actinic white and super actinic) for years which I can’t find any more. Looking at the spectrums, it looks like they are heavier in 420nm which we know is peak point for chlorophyll A and that can be filled by any actinic bulb. I also notice they a big spike in 550nm compared to ATI bulbs or any LED fixture for that matter. Is this difference as big as it seems or just more how the 2 manufacturers display the pics of spectrum?

UVL Actinic White:
E3098909-193B-484C-B984-05F2FB627BAD.jpeg


ATI Coral Plus:
D55D3C57-C6C2-42DE-ADD0-CF613B45BD2B.jpeg

The bulb that would best duplicate the UVL actinic white would be the ATI aqua blue special. I used these & the Blue+ bulbs for a few years but when the Coral+ came out I swapped out the ABspecials.
The Coral+ simply colored acros better and the overall ambience didn't change much.

When I first tested the Coral+ I had a huge efflo about 24x16" and you could actually see the delineation of the colors right in the pigments. The half under the Coral+ was more vivid and bright.
I would believe the charts, mostly... they all round them out and stuff.

I am using Actinic White one one tank and they look different than CP. I just put a new pair on one of my tanks after using the old ones for like 5 years (as supplements, so I don't care if they grow coral).

I am one who believes that they whole range from 350-850nm matters... so the green helps, I think. Lasse has posted a lot of literature and stuff that green penetrates into tissue and stuff to help colonies and dense things get more energy. I doubt that it matters much on frags.

I still use the VHOS because 1). I have them, 2) on good reflectors they are the same output as 2x T5s but but they are the same wattage as 2x T5s too, 3). they are 6' instead of 5' and 4). they last a LONG time, especially as a supplement. If they bulbs ever get hard to get or all of my ballasts and end caps wear out, I might switch to some LED bars, but they are still humming along. I might actually go all @Big E and overdrive some T5s with my VHO ballasts.

I'm trying to move away from the over driven setup as there aren't that many corals that look better than standard ballasts. The big plus with the overdriven is the higher par, so you can penetrate more in deeper tanks and probably spread them thinner.

The big downside is they barely make 6 months use. The spectrum is pretty much trashed by then.

From a straight par perspective 4 overdriven bulbs is about the same as 6 on standard ballasts if measured on a par meter.

I've been experimenting for about 6 months with two ATI actinics and have liked how some colors in acros have responded. On my tank with a 6 bulb Sunpower I run front to back--

Blue+
Coral+
Actinic
Blue+
Coral+
Actinic

The Actincs have an ambient whitish visual so they don't cast a purple hue but give a huge benefit to the coral pigments that excite under that 420nm spike.
 
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spsick

spsick

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The bulb that would best duplicate the UVL actinic white would be the ATI aqua blue special. I used these & the Blue+ bulbs for a few years but when the Coral+ came out I swapped out the ABspecials.
The Coral+ simply colored acros better and the overall ambience didn't change much.

When I first tested the Coral+ I had a huge efflo about 24x16" and you could actually see the delineation of the colors right in the pigments. The half under the Coral+ was more vivid and bright.

I've been experimenting for about 6 months with two ATI actinics and have liked how some colors in acros have responded. On my tank with a 6 bulb Sunpower I run front to back--


Blue+
Coral+
Actinic
Blue+
Coral+
Actinic

The Actincs have an ambient whitish visual so they don't cast a purple hue but give a huge benefit to the coral pigments that excite under that 420nm spike.

Thanks Ed, I was hoping you’d chime in with some experience. Yeah I have tried the AB Special as well and didn’t like it but I’m glad to hear you had a measurable experience to quantify it.

Maybe my prior greater success was linked more to the actinic than the actinic white and being the actinic white also had the heavy 420 lean. Or maybe it was just that magic recipe tank…
 

jda

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Ed - try a 6500k (GE Is fine for $6) with that True Actinic - I like these in pairs. As you know, these bulbs have things in them at higher quantities that the CP and BP do not. Maybe put the 6500 and Actinic in the middle two flanked by CP and BP pairs.

Has anybody else ever found it funny that people run a program on their LEDs to mimic the AB bulb yet most really don't care for it? That always made me confused...
 

Bpb

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Ed - try a 6500k (GE Is fine for $6) with that True Actinic - I like these in pairs. As you know, these bulbs have things in them at higher quantities that the CP and BP do not. Maybe put the 6500 and Actinic in the middle two flanked by CP and BP pairs.

Has anybody else ever found it funny that people run a program on their LEDs to mimic the AB bulb yet most really don't care for it? That always made me confused...

I think a huge flaw of the ab+ program in trying to emulate the blue+ and ab special bulb is running the green channel so low. Both those bulbs have a lot more energy in the cyan/green range than the ab+ program does. I agree they kind of missed the mark and seemingly run the green channel lower for aesthetic reasons. Makes the tank less turquoise. People seem to like that sapphire blue hue to their tanks (I don’t)
 
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