Which ATI Bulb Combination Should I Choose?

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Hello. I have a 48" hamilton mh/t5 fixture over my 55g that I'm going to be moving to my new 180g. I'd asked in a mh thread about an ATI bulb combo to compliment 2x 250w Hamilton 20k bulbs. A couple people recommended 4 ATI blue plus so I went ahead and bought 4 but now I'm wondering if that isn't going to be absurdly blue? What are your thoughts?
Hello dwwataz! Sorry I am not sure if this is directed at me or not but this is a tough question. The problem with "absurdly blue" is it is really in the eye of the beholder. I see tanks day after day that are absurdly blue to me, but loads of people love windex colored tanks. I prefer what I describe as the top 10-15' of ocean when diving or snorkeling, not so much the 60' depths (granted corals don't fluoresce while diving like reef tanks) often mimicked on reef tanks. The point is its very much what you personally prefer and not at all what others may agree with.

I run not 1 but 2 Aqua Blue Special bulbs on my tank at the moment and love the color while many people wouldn't dream of touching the bulb. Many may call it yellow. (scroll up for photo)
 
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From what I have read or understood anything over 5-6 hours is basically for your enjoyment only. Corals get most of the photosynthesis they need during that period.
 

BigJohnny

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From what I have read or understood anything over 5-6 hours is basically for your enjoyment only. Corals get most of the photosynthesis they need during that period.
Depends on par. The concept is DLI or daily light integral. Essentially 5 hours at 300 par has a similar DLI to 10 hrs at 150 par. This concept has been used to light terrestrial plants for some time. Corals will not necessarily respond the same under both situations however and have unique photo saturation and photoinhibition levels which would influence the results.

Some people argue short periods of higher intensity produce better coloration and growth in certain corals, but it's really all anecdotal as there are so many factors and not enough scientific research.

Ecotech marine is currently doing a study on this however and will be releasing the results shortly. I saw an interview where a guy from Ecotech doing this study mentioned differences in growth patterns of a certain montipora. It actually grew towards the shorter higher intensity light and plated out under the longer lower intensity, which is actually the opposite of what I would've expected. In my experience flow has more of an impact on growth pattern but I believe the idea is that all other controllable aspects were identical.

Exciting stuff!
 

HolisticBear

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I personally do not agree. I have my LED Powermodule mounted about 10" above my tank and it is very comfortable to stand or sit in front of the tank and view it. Our kitchen table is just in front of the tank and we all sit and eat dinner including children and no one has ever complained about being blinded.
Interesting. One reason I was considering the Giesemann Aurora over the Powermodule is that T5's are angled inward on the Giesemann and I assumed there would be less spill with the Giesemann than the Powermodule. Do you know of any comparisons between the two regarding light spill?
 

rockskimmerflow

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So Glad I found this!!! The videos really helped me figure out what I want to try on my new 24" Aquatic Life Hybrid fixture with Kessil A360We.

Gonna try..
  • 2 ATI Blue Plus
  • 1 ATI Purple Plus
  • True Actinic
Anybody running anything similar to this combination???
It's a great combo. My personal favorite for a 4 bulb fixture.
 

David osborne

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I thought I would try
6 blue plus
2 Antinics

Using this bulb selection really makes the corals pop like using high end LEDs ! But will this bulb selection be ok for coral health? And would putting a purple plus help Or would be beneficial to the corals ??
 

rockskimmerflow

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I thought I would try
6 blue plus
2 Antinics

Using this bulb selection really makes the corals pop like using high end LEDs ! But will this bulb selection be ok for coral health? And would putting a purple plus help Or would be beneficial to the corals ??
For my taste that would be way too blue, but in terms of coral pop I agree - that is one heck of a combo! Healthwise you should have no issues. The spectrum emitted by that set of T5 lamps will still cover plenty for pretty much any coral out there.
 
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For my taste that would be way too blue, but in terms of coral pop I agree - that is one heck of a combo! Healthwise you should have no issues. The spectrum emitted by that set of T5 lamps will still cover plenty for pretty much any coral out there.
I agree!
 

David osborne

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It is very blue when I have the lights dimming for sun rise and sun set mode but when there at 100% it's a really nice light blue and my corals are glowing as if I'm using LEDs all the time

I found even having just 1 coral plus white bulb made the tank look to bright and not pleasing to the eye , I feel that having a mixed reef as well it will please the Lps and sps corals !

Thanks for your reply too
 

Leadfooted

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I've been very pleased with the growth and colors I've seen by switching from cheap ATI bulbs. I recently added a Reef Brite that's placed in the middle of 4 ATI T5-s. What are the color ATI bulbs some of you are running with the Reef Brite XHO BLUE? As you know it's got a load of blue but the coral colors are insane now! I'm currently running B+, ABS, P+, P+ .
 

David osborne

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Can i ask why do we need to burn t5 bulbs in for 100 hours before we can run them on a dimable unit ?
What would happen to the bulbs if the bulbs are not burnt in before use ?
 
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djorijun

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I wonder if I can get a combo help. I currently have an Aquatic Life T5/LED Hybrid unit 24" x 4. I have 3 Blue Plus 1 Purple Plus. Do you recommend a better combo? The tank is 25g lagoon
 

Medic56

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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.
Is this still the standard today? This was posted in 2015. With the new Actinic and Aqua blue. Trying to figure out the best combination for my 210. I have the 60" 8 bulb.
Thanks
 

paphater

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Any recommendations on a 2 bulb combo? I'm planning on supplementing my leds with two ATIs, one in front of the leds and one in back. I was planning on running a blue+ and coral +. Would it be better to run the same color in the front and back?
 
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Is this still the standard today? This was posted in 2015. With the new Actinic and Aqua blue. Trying to figure out the best combination for my 210. I have the 60" 8 bulb.
Thanks
Yes! This is still valid and recommended today.

Any recommendations on a 2 bulb combo? I'm planning on supplementing my leds with two ATIs, one in front of the leds and one in back. I was planning on running a blue+ and coral +. Would it be better to run the same color in the front and back?
This isn't really something we can answer. What is the purpose of doing T5 supplementing? For growth? For color? To fill in the shadows of your LEDs?

For growth and filling in shadows I would use 2x Blue Plus. Not because it gives you the most growth, but because the color is by far the most popular.

If you are doing it to make the color more pleasing to you, I really can't tell you how to do this since I cant tell you what color you like nor what color the tank is. This is just about what is pleasing to you.

Your choice of Blue Plus and Coral Plus together is a good option to diversify the spectrum and keep the tank in a 14k kind of range.
 

billy1205

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I'm currently running a 2 x 8 tube with 4 blue+ and 4 coral+. It's almost the time to do some maintenance and change the bulbs. Could you recommend any combination from front to back? I'm having a 325 gallon sps dominated tank.
 

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