Which two T5 bulbs to pair with LEDs?

kyley

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Hi All,
I have two single bulb T5 fixtures (Sun Blaster NanoTech T5 Reflectors) that I'm planning on pairing with my Noopsyche K7 Pro II LEDs (one in front of them and one behind). What two bulbs would you suggest for a nice look and good growth as well?

I'd like to up the par just a bit and get better coverage this way. These will be supplemental, so they won't run all the time (maybe 3-5 hours each?). I run a mixed reef with SPS, LPS (euphyllia, chalices, scolys, and plates), and softies (shrooms and zoas). Thanks,
--Kyle
 
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kyley

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I should note that in my other tank with a 6 bulb fixture (only LEDs) I've used 3 ATI Blue Plus and 2 ATI Aquablue Special together with 1 Purple Plus. It seems too white to me. So I was thinking about two Blue Plus or maybe a Blue Plus and a Coral Plus (I hear they're less white)? Or should I consider the opposite and go with a Blue Plus and a True Actinic? Other ideas? I also heard good things about Geissman Tropic 6500k, but I imagine that would be too white? Thanks,
--Kyle
 

jda

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Blue Plus or Coral Plus have a wide range spectrum. You can tune up your LEDs to make the spectrum more to your liking.

6500k have a lot of PAR and can render some colors that bluer bulbs struggle with. They are kinda yellow, but some people like that. I run pairs of 6500k and True Actinics when I run T5, but some people do not like this since it does not look like windex.
 
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ScottR

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I use 2 blue plus on mine. And I run heavy blue on my LED. After months of using this set up, I’ve had great growth on my mixed reef. For T5s, I feel that almost any bulb will be beneficial. Not sure about purple though.
 

Billldg

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I have a 4 bulb setup with my LED's, but I run 2 ATI Blue +, a Coral +, and a Purple +.
 
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kyley

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I agree with the first point that it could look odd if I use two different bulbs - considering each T5 would be separated by about 8" or so with the LEDs between them. I'm going to ask around if someone has some old bulbs I could test out.

Question... The true actinic doesn't do much for coral growth, is that right? Just makes the colors pop?

So 2 Blue Plus might be best. But I haven't ruled out the other options that have been suggested - a Blue Plus and a True Actinic or a Blue Plus and a Coral Plus. Thanks again,
--Kyle
 

LetItReef

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I agree with the first point that it could look odd if I use two different bulbs - considering each T5 would be separated by about 8" or so with the LEDs between them. I'm going to ask around if someone has some old bulbs I could test out.

Question... The true actinic doesn't do much for coral growth, is that right? Just makes the colors pop?

So 2 Blue Plus might be best. But I haven't ruled out the other options that have been suggested - a Blue Plus and a True Actinic or a Blue Plus and a Coral Plus. Thanks again,
--Kyle
These might help:


 
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kyley

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These might help:
Thanks for passing those along! Actinic + Blue Plus looks good in that video, and so does Coral Plus + Purple Plus. I'm really surprised they didn't test Coral Plus + Blue Plus though! Seems like if I do two different bulbs, Actinic and Blue Plus wouldn't look terribly different separated by the LED lights between them, but Coral Plus and Blue Plus likely would? I'm going to rule out AquaBlue Special though.

Also, I was thinking that the actinic was more for making corals pop, but the first video indicates that it should be really good for coral growth (and that we can't see that much of the color spectrum from it).
 
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Bulletsponge

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i run blue plus in my DIY nano setup with a Kessil in the middle and am pretty happy with the results. I have noticed though that even running blue plus seems to whiten up the Kessil set to all blue spectrum
 
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kyley

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i run blue plus in my DIY nano setup with a Kessil in the middle and am pretty happy with the results. I have noticed though that even running blue plus seems to whiten up the Kessil set to all blue spectrum
Yeah, it does seem like most of the T5s (even the Blue Plus) add a lot more than just blues.
 

Bulletsponge

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i'd actually be interested to hear how the sunblasters work for you as well. I looked into swapping over to them for a more polished look instead of what i diy'd
 
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kyley

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i'd actually be interested to hear how the sunblasters work for you as well. I looked into swapping over to them for a more polished look instead of what i diy'd
I like them because they sort of fit with the curve of the Noopsyche LEDs that I'm using. So I just used zip strips to connect them to the LEDs and their mounts. It's extra weight on the mounts, but seems to be holding up fine. This is with the 3' ones (that I got from another tank I bought). I plan to get the 4' ones soon.
IMG_20191017_104610.jpg

IMG_20191017_104616.jpg

IMG_20191017_104644.jpg

Ignore the dirty glass! Due for a good scraping!
That's with a Blue Plus in front and a Korallen Zucht New Generation that I had laying around.
--Kyle
 

Bulletsponge

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that is a super clean looking setup! this is making my decision alot easier. Are the reflectors decent? they look adjustable from amazon picks. i would have to come up with something to mount them to though due to using a Kessil 360
 
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kyley

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that is a super clean looking setup! this is making my decision alot easier. Are the reflectors decent? they look adjustable from amazon picks. i would have to come up with something to mount them to though due to using a Kessil 360
Thanks! I think the reflectors will get the job done, but they are definitely cheap. It's like a thick piece of aluminum foil, and no, not adjustable.

very nice looking tank as well! do you prefer the gyre or the mp?
Thanks again! At first, I preferred the IceCap 3k gyre (for a lot of flow in a wide path and a much lower cost). The gyre can also be close to coral (as you can see on the right side) without blasting one piece too much. But after using it for awhile, the gyre is more challenging to clean, can get really noisy (it's much quieter after I cleaned it), and I don't like that it takes up so much space inside the tank (making it more unsightly and interfering with placements of frag racks on the side).

The MP40 is too much flow focused directly in front of it, so it can't be placed too close to corals. But it's so quiet, such a clean look, and I found it's also using much less power than the gyre (at 80%, the gyre was using 35 watts, while the MP40 is about 18 watts or so at similar power). I'm thinking about replacing the gyre with an MP10 on the right side - or an MP40 and keeping it lower power (but that's a waste of money if I don't need that much flow on that side). The gyre is probably better for the right side of my tank. But since it takes up so much space (and then I could get one WXM to control both MP pumps), it might be better to have two MP pumps. Cheers,
--Kyle
 
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kyley

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Update: I did a little testing with some bulbs and came to a few conclusions:
* Blue Plus gives a lot of pop, significant brightness, blue color, almost a Windex look as some say.
* Actinic gives some pop, is very dim (visibly), purple-blue color.
* Coral Plus is better than the Aquablue Special (not as white) but still pretty bright white.
* Purple Plus is purple as you'd expect, a little white, doesn't give as much pop.

I actually prefer the look / color with just my LEDs. But I want to provide more coverage for my coral and provide the spectrum that will help them grow and have good color. So, I want the best bulbs for that, and it sounds like the Actinic and Blue Plus would be. True?

So now my thinking is that I'll go with either:
A. 2 Blue Plus (good for the look, but also a little windex-like).
B. 2 Actinic (doesn't add much to the look of the tank (hard to tell they're on), but will help with coral growth and color?
C. 1 of each (a little of both worlds and won't look awkward together)

Thoughts on A, B, or C above when paired with LEDs? Thanks,
--Kyle
 

dough

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I run 2 B+ on my hybrid T5 and LED light. I like the combo and have adjusted the LED give the tank a more 14K look. So I say A.
 

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