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Best Lighting For a Macro Tank


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Poll: Lighting Preference (125 member(s) have cast votes)

What's the best lighting for a macro tank?

  1. PCs (21 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  2. T5 (38 votes [30.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.16%

  3. Metal Halide (16 votes [12.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.70%

  4. LED (47 votes [37.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.30%

  5. a mixture (give details below) (4 votes [3.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.17%

What color spectrum?

  1. 6,500k (57 votes [45.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.24%

  2. 10,000k (38 votes [30.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.16%

  3. 14,000k (17 votes [13.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.49%

  4. other (perhaps a mix of multiple spectrums. give details below) (14 votes [11.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

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#1
calvin

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What lighting have you found to be the best blend for macro health and aesthetics?

"Enlightenment progress has given us advances in science but not in human dignity. The 20th century was actually the bloodiest century ever." Tim Keller

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#2
Deleted User 6

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10k MH imo. 14k if you'd like a bit more blue.

#3
grmoore

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I've used MH, but it simply cooks smaller tanks, and I've found it too difficult to filter for those macros that don't like that much light. I've been using T5HO on my current tank and I'm very happy with the results. Current bulbs are standard Coralife 50/50 10000K and actinic, but will be replacing those with Geiseman Midday Sun and Actinic Plus next month. At 6.5W per gallon and virtually no heat, I think this is pretty much all the light intensity I need for any macros. I would also like to add an LED stunner strip for a bit of shimmer to the water, as thats the only thing I miss from the MH.

#4
thurrmac

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T5 a mixture of 12000k and actinics

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#5
calvin

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T5s would be nice, but a bit difficult to pull off over my tank (BC 29).

I'm surprised no one has suggested LEDs. Anyone using LEDs over a macro tank?

"Enlightenment progress has given us advances in science but not in human dignity. The 20th century was actually the bloodiest century ever." Tim Keller

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#6
SbCaes

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T5s would be nice, but a bit difficult to pull off over my tank (BC 29).

I'm surprised no one has suggested LEDs. Anyone using LEDs over a macro tank?


yep but the spectrum they give off isnt as good as a 6500k pc. for macros.

#7
keydiver

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I'd also recommend T5's. Get a mixture of 6500 and 10k, most macros are found in shallow water habitats where the spectrum has very good penetration through the water.
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#8
Deleted User 6

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I think LEDs would be overkill and overpriced for a macro tank.

#9
jeremai

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6500K PCs, imo. and some neon tetras.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#10
dling

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Really most any type of grow light would do fine,I have a 50w incandescent grow bulb over my refugium.
I voted 6500k and PC ,the color will be ugly but you get good growth.
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#11
Cintax

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I use PCs in my tank and get amazing growth. I also have a macro growout tank which I use CFLs around 6500K.
If you are using LEDs you should use a warm or neutral white but best would be red.

#12
calvin

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Really most any type of grow light would do fine,I have a 50w incandescent grow bulb over my refugium.
I voted 6500k and PC ,the color will be ugly but you get good growth.

this kinda defeats the purpose, though. If you want a macro display tank, then good growth isn't the only criterion to consider. Makes sense for a refugium, though.

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#13
NinjaBum

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I have 2 Aquablues, a blue, and a purple over mine. Yesterday I decided to toss one 6500k on top of the others and it was very displeasing to my eyes. Turned everything yellow. Didn't like it at all. I'll add another 10k on there if I want more light.

#14
got2envy

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PC mixture of 6500k/10k, 420nm / 460nm bulbs :) grows like weeds

#15
Amphiprion1

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10k MH imo. 14k if you'd like a bit more blue.


My experience reflects this ^^. Probably the nicest blend of very high PAR and hint of bluer color. I don't even like very much blue, but I find the 10K appealing. I know my 250w 10K has close to the same PAR as the Iwasaki 6500K I was using.

#16
ApiratenamedJohn

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The macros in my bc 14 love it under the t5 lights.

#17
Kataro

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I am running 2 250W 20k Radium HQI on my macro tank at the moment, and growth seem good. Had them under LED (ecoxotic) before and they grew nicely too, mind you this was a ULNS SPS tank when I was growing them in the fuge).

Though I am switching to 250W 14k Phoenix to see if their growth could be improved.

#18
aquaman7

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My experience reflects this ^^. Probably the nicest blend of very high PAR and hint of bluer color. I don't even like very much blue, but I find the 10K appealing. I know my 250w 10K has close to the same PAR as the Iwasaki 6500K I was using.



Yes, for best growth and aesthetics, I'd use 10,000k MH. Honestly, I don't think any other type of lighting can quite accomplish what metal halides can aesthetically or otherwise. I think it is the best form of lighting to emulate natural sunlight. Also, most macro-algae are found in very shallow water, 4-10 feet deep. You do not want the "bluer" bulbs. 6,500k in my opinion doesn't accurately emulate the color you get naturally at 4-10 feet, it's just too yellow still. 12,000k would be the "bluest" you could go before it's too blue. Again, I think 10,000k would be best.

I used a 175 watt MH over a 10 gal. macro-algae tank I had. I had a bit of heat issues but excellent growth and with a light blue backing on the tank, it looked very natural. Makes me want to set up that 10 gallon again... .
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#19
TinyGiant

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if you are keeping just macro use crappy old bulbs on the system. you'll grow macros like crazy. they like the lower end of the spectrum.. which is usually what is left on the bulbs before they burn out but after they use the good spectrum up.

its algae. give it crappy light and it will do well :)

#20
Evanski9

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I have a old year old jbj MH bulb. It's 14k on a retro that just hangs. It's crazyy. Yu want it to be off spectrum.
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#21
Cintax

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When I switched to LEDs I had a few macros die off. I find it funny that my codium and halimedia look better but all my caulerpa died. I also moved my sargassium into another tank since it started dying as well.

#22
Noonan

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I'm planning a 25g cube and was planning on using an Aquaillumination Nano and keep a small assortment of macros, including caulerpa... Well at least I was hoping to.

#23
Cintax

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Well, I don't want to discourage you. Might be I shocked them with the change in intensity.

#24
MontroseReef

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LED is good for green macro. Red macro won't do well under LED unless your LED has blue or red in it.

#25
JamesHL88

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I have cheato helameda or whatever its called and an unkown algae. I tried t5 6500k and actinic, 50/50 pc, and a 5000k pc floodlight from lowes. Honestly i had the best growth under the floodlight. It was lower kelvin and lower watage but they seemed to love it go figure. Kinda makes since if u look at all the planted freshwater tanks, most of them use 6500k or below. Plants seem to thrive under more red and pink.

The only reason i put the 50/50 pc back on it is because im growing xenia in my fuge now aswell