T5 lighting - What's your winning combo and schedule??

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by CanadianReefer, Dec 7, 2017 at 7:58 PM.

  1. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    Hi folks,

    I'm an old school T5 kind of gal, so when I started my new 300g system, I brought my T5s with me. I use ATI bulbs - 4 blue plus, 2 actinic, 1 purple plus, and one white. I have the actinics running from 7AM to 10PM, and the rest of the lights running from 11AM - 10PM.

    Unfortunately, I'm not having great growth in my SPS corals. They seem to be bleaching out (or receding?) - especially at the tips. Some have great polyp extension, while others show little to none.

    My parameters are great, with the exception of Po4 - it is currently sitting at .07, so I'm really wondering if it's the lighting. I do carbon dose to keep the N03 at a minimum, however (I have lots of fish). My alk is 8.17, mag 1300, calc 420. I use the balling method to keep my parameters stable.

    My aquarium is 30" high and my lights are sitting about 8" above. My rock work tops out about halfway up the aquarium, leaving a 1-1.5 ft of space between it and the top of my aquarium. Essentially, most of my SPS corals are approx. 23" from the ATI T5 fixture.

    Any suggestions??
     
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  2. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    How many channels is the fixture.
    You could easily shorten the amout of light and keep the time by staggering the times the tubes come on.

    You can run a longer light cycle with a lower intensity. It's kind of a cumulative effect.
    Higher par shorter time
    Lower par , longer time.

    Right now it sound slow like its high. Par for too long.

    At 12in from the fixture it's close to 175 par per tube , youre close to 1000 par. At 12 in. Sooo.

    Also are you running a higher alk?
    Lower nutrients ?
    New tank?
    Gfo?

    Food for thought

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/h...d-i-dont-know-what-to-do.210035/#post-2401666
     
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  3. Brandonsegula

    Brandonsegula Well-Known Member

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    I have an ati 6 bulb fixture 4 Blue plus 1 purple plus and 1 actinic. Run your lights just 8 hours a day. I have huge success in sps growth
     
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  4. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    I am running 3 blue plus, and 1 purple plus, 2pm - 10pm. I love the blue look. Im even curious now what all blue plus would look like.
     
  5. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    This is what it looks like 20171201_160607.jpg
     
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  6. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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  7. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    So it sounds like 8 hours a day is the key number?? Do actinic put out par? If I change my main channel from 2-10, can I still run actinics in the morning?
     
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  8. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    I just realized I made a typo. I run actinics from 7AM - 10PM, I run everything else from 11AM - 8PM (so 9 hours full intensity +6 hours of actinics) ... hence my question about actinics :)
     
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  9. Fabianslit

    Fabianslit Well-Known Member

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    6 bulb ati 5ft

    2 blue plus 7am-8pm
    2 blue plus /1 actinic /1 purple + 730am-430pm


    125 gal, 6ft x 18 in tank, mostly sps, sps grows on sand bed lol
     
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  10. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    I have 8 bulb fixtures. 5 blue plus, 1 actinic, 1 purple plus, 1 coral plus. 10 hours a day all bulbs. These are over frag tanks so 18” above water, providing 300 par at 5” below surface.
     
  11. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Yup they are all bout the same par I do believe.

    One other soloutuon is to raise the fixture.
    Then just shorten the light cycle overall.

    IMO kinda silly to have only two channels on that thing.
    But old school yes , about 8rs full blast and two with the other two.
     
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  12. Brandonsegula

    Brandonsegula Well-Known Member

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    Run all bulbs from 2-10 or whatever 8 hour span you want. Don’t run actinics separately just in the morning. Schedule all bulbs to come on at 2 and all shut off at 10. You will seehigh success in this.
     
  13. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. So I'm likely running at a similar par since my SPS are approx 23" from the fixture. I should really just invest in a par meter at this point, since my tank is quite an investment and I'd hate to lose anything.

    It really sounds like it might be the schedule of my 1st channel. Since I only had actinics running, I figured it didn't matter... but maybe I'll look at reducing or eliminating that schedule and max out somewhere between 8-10 hours at full intensity.

    What's the best way to adjust my schedule without shocking my corals (and my fish for that matter - they know exactly when bedtime is at this point)? Should I change it by 10-15 minutes everyday until I reach the desired time??
     
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  14. Brandonsegula

    Brandonsegula Well-Known Member

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    Me personally I never believed in easing the corals in and out of lighting through out the day. I always did full intensity start to finish and I’ve had 0 problems. But since you have been so the morning actinics slowly ease on out of it. Be patient just do it less and less everyday or every other day. I always feel it’s best to take things slow with reefing when it comes to adjustments. You will see your corals begin to be a lot happier remember they grow when the lights are off.
     
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  15. Brandonsegula

    Brandonsegula Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so one more quick question... I currently have my grow light for my refugium on the opposite schedule of my main light to stabilize my pH. If I run my main light from 11-9, let's say, can I keep my grow light on from 9pm - 11am ? That would mean that it will be on for much longer than it is right now.

    I recall having my grow light on for a long time ages ago, and having issues with the growth of the chaeto - though I can't recall what schedule I was running at that point.
     
  17. Brandonsegula

    Brandonsegula Well-Known Member

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    I used to have problems growing my macro to. Sometimes it may take a bit till you get enougg nutrients in the tank for it to grow. I also used to keep my light in 24/7. I have my fuge light come on at 11pm and my DT lights turn off at 1am then my fuge light turns off at 1 pm. And then DT lights turn on at 5pm. All tanks are different. You just have to find out what your tank will like.
     
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  18. Cory

    Cory Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    I dont think this is a lighting problem.

    Look into glennf dsr reefing tank he uses 5. I have the same problem. Im beginning to think its having no sand.
     
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  19. miniChou

    miniChou Active Member

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    @CanadianReefer I experienced something similar in terms of the challenge you describe with your SPS. I had T5 lighting and stable water parameters, but issues with my SPS. Other softies and LPS were thriving but not my SPS. I would agree that it is probably not a lighting issue. Like me, I suspect that you may have a flow issue. Do you have wavepumps blasting your SPS - and I mean BLAST? I've found that without strong flow for your SPS they will recede even if all water parameters are inline. I saw improvement in my SPS after a couple weeks of high flow applied to them.

    (I'm also assuming that when you say low nitrates, you are talking about something less than 5 ppm. Otherwise, you will want to lower your nitrates as well.)
     
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  20. CanadianReefer

    CanadianReefer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, my nitrates are steady at 2 for quite some time. My phosphate is slightly high at .07, but that shouldn't affect my SPS like this.

    For flow, I have 2 maxspect gyre 250s on random mode topping out at 100%. It's really hard to judge how well they are working since the flow isn't directional like standard wavemakers but I see my euphyllia and duncans swaying around pretty well.

    They are new, however. I brought over most of the equipment from other tanks, but the gyres I purchased specifically for this tank. I didn't habe problems before, so it's possible you're onto something.

    Has anyone had issues with the gyres not working well??
     
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