Which ATI Bulb Combination Should I Choose?

ATI North America

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We previously talked about when the best practices for changing bulbs and now we wanted to give you some recommendations for bulb color combinations. We are frequently asked about color combination recommendations of T5’s for different looks, growth rates etc. In the charts below you will find our best color recommendations for getting the best out of your tank. These are just what we have found works best in a majority of the tanks, but as always lighting is a personal preference. If you have found a pattern that you love and want to share, please let us know in the comments below.

Here is a general recommendation for most users:

16K - 20K - Bluish white with a noticeable blue and red under-tone

4-Bulb combination
  • 3 ATI Blue Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
6-Bulb combination
  • 4 ATI Blue Plus
  • 1 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
8-Bulb combination
  • 5 ATI Blue Plus
  • 2 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
10-Bulb combination
  • 6 ATI Blue Plus
  • 3 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
12K - 16K - Cool white with a noticeable blue and red under-tone

4-Bulb combination
  • 2 ATI Blue Plus
  • 2 ATI Coral Plus
6-Bulb combination
  • 3 ATI Blue Plus
  • 2 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
8-Bulb combination
  • 4 ATI Blue Plus
  • 3 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
10-Bulb combination
  • 5 ATI Blue Plus
  • 4 ATI Coral Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
10K - 14K - Crisp white with just a hint of blue

4-Bulb combination
  • 2 ATI Blue Plus
  • 1 ATI Aquablue Special
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
6-Bulb combination
  • 3 ATI Blue Plus
  • 2 ATI Aquablue Special
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
8-Bulb combination
  • 4 ATI Blue Plus
  • 2 ATI Aquablue Special
  • 2 ATI Purple Plus
10-Bulb combination
  • 5 ATI Blue Plus
  • 3 ATI Aquablue Special
  • 2 ATI Purple Plus
For aquariums with a lot of LPS corals, a True Actinic bulb can be used in place of Purple Plus to provide enhanced pop in coral color.

Our friends over at Advanced Reef Aquarium made some fantastic videos last year featuring the colors of ATI lamps. Have a look at these videos to help you decide what lighting combinations are best for your tastes and preferences.
 

Adamwheel

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Enjoyed both videos. Thanks for posting.

I have the 8 bulb 60" Powermodule LED.

Currently using 4 Blue+, 2 Purple+ and 2 Coral+

Doing a bulb change this weekend and replacing both P+ with true actinic.

I chose 2 and 6 which are the combos I'm using.

Cheers,

Adam
 

badfinger

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Why when I use any coral+ or aquablue special in my 8 bulb combo, it is blindingly bright.

Even my friend that has the same fixture 54x8 sun power, with the same combo, in the same order said mine is WAY brighter
 

Bob3655

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This thread is awesome, I've been racking my brain over this. Your bulbs are incredible, I just recently switched over and am extremely impressed. Thank you ATI!
 

Bob3655

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I currently use 2 x 24w blue plus and 2 x 24w purple plus. Have found them amazing for both growth and colour. Am tempted to try a coral plus though
If I was you I would pull out one of the purples and try out a coral plus, I love them. It will be a little more white, but it brightens everything up a lot. I threw a coral plus in place of a standard daylight and it literally blinded me for over 5 minutes after turning on my fixture upsidedown just for a split second to make sure all the bulbs were on. Coral plus is like a perfect blend imo.
 

emmaleegrech

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If I was you I would pull out one of the purples and try out a coral plus, I love them. It will be a little more white, but it brightens everything up a lot. I threw a coral plus in place of a standard daylight and it literally blinded me for over 5 minutes after turning on my fixture upsidedown just for a split second to make sure all the bulbs were on. Coral plus is like a perfect blend imo.
I will try this for the unit I will be picking up today.
I'm creating my own sort of hybrid on my frag tank. I will be mounting a wavepoint t5 unit (4 tube) alongside a hydra 52 led unit.
After using led's for 2 years I recently was given a wavepoint t5 unit and both colours and growth have impressed me enough to convert. I do miss the led pop though hence the hydras :)
 
OP
ATI North America

ATI North America

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What kelvin would this bulb combo be rated at?

Front to back
Blue plus.
Actinic plus
Blue plus
Purple plus
Blue plus
Coral plus
Actinic plus
Blue plus
Crackem I don't have a tool to determine the kelvin rating of your proposal above. You would be best referring to the first post in this thread and make a guess based on that content and those lamp choices.

This thread is awesome, I've been racking my brain over this. Your bulbs are incredible, I just recently switched over and am extremely impressed. Thank you ATI!
Glad it is helpful and you are happy with the ATI T5's!
 

Reef Fever

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i recently set up a retro fit onto an LED unit. its a 48" 4 bulb. trying to figure out whats going to work best. was thinking a staggered pattern of:
Blue plus
Purple plus
LED
Blue plus
Purple plus

Thoughts?
 

Dnlstevenl

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i had ATI 6*24" diamable fixture and i choose 20 k light bulb. can you tell me which slot bulb put
my set up light bulb is
front side
  • blue plus
  • coral plus
  • blue plus
  • blue plus
  • purple plus
  • blue plus
 

helldiver

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I have photon 48. Led and adding air blue plus and purple to the front to help with shading what y'all think. My less run max 70 blue. 50 white for 4 hrs
 

rockskimmerflow

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My favorite combos I've put over lots of different tanks are the 3-2-1 for 6 bulb fixtures and the 4-3-1 for 8 bulb units.

6 bulb: 3 Blue plus - 2 True Actinic - 1 Purple plus
8 bulb: 4 Blue plus - 3 True Actinic - 1 Purple plus

Massive color pop, not too white or blue to the eyes with all bulbs on, and of course 2 actinics only for sunrise/sunset. Very classic look and great growth in my experience.

Was interested to see the True Actinic omitted from all the recommended combos. I prefer to build combos with actinics when I have 6 or more bulbs to work with. In 2 or 4 bulb fixtures I usually avoid them to maximize PAR with the limited bulb count.

I love ATI bulbs and use them in almost every build as primary or supplemental lighting.
 

DeniseAndy

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I love T5s. I use the blue plus in combination with my MH on my main display custom lighting design. I also use only 2 bulbs (one blue plus and one coral plus) on my 40gal lps tank and they work great (may go to 3 or four lights soon). I am switching another tank over to the same as my 40g soon as the MH is too much for it. I wish I could find a fixture for a small tank in T5s (I mean 6g pico size). I am not thrilled with my current LED on this tank.
 

-Logzor

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My favorite combos I've put over lots of different tanks are the 3-2-1 for 6 bulb fixtures and the 4-3-1 for 8 bulb units.

6 bulb: 3 Blue plus - 2 True Actinic - 1 Purple plus
8 bulb: 4 Blue plus - 3 True Actinic - 1 Purple plus

Massive color pop, not too white or blue to the eyes with all bulbs on, and of course 2 actinics only for sunrise/sunset. Very classic look and great growth in my experience.

Was interested to see the True Actinic omitted from all the recommended combos. I prefer to build combos with actinics when I have 6 or more bulbs to work with. In 2 or 4 bulb fixtures I usually avoid them to maximize PAR with the limited bulb count.

I love ATI bulbs and use them in almost every build as primary or supplemental lighting.
Couldn't agree with you more. Some vendors that sell here on R2R run almost exclusively True Actinics. In my fixture I run at least half my bulbs True Actinic.

I usually pair up with a white bulb to help balance out the colors. With this combo you get the pop of the corals with the actinic but without washing everything out with blue+ bulbs.
 

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