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With my experience with saltwater reef keeping actinic is used for it to supliment your corals and give them a glow almost. It doesn't do much for anything else. That I know of
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you recommend a bulb to replace it with? Could I use a 6500k and accomplish a dual peak?
 

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It will work I don't know much really about the lighting issue of plants but I know they like it around the 6500 mark. So it should help. That's what I'm gonna be doin when I buy my lights I'm currently building my tank setup
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yea I've been using 6500k on all my vivs and I picked up one of those lights and then I found those dual lights with the LED moonlights for an extra $10. Can't beat that
 

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Actinics are primarily used in reef aquaria to accentuate colors or fluoresce corals. Though they tend to be centered around peak coral zooxanthellae photosynthesis spectra, their overall low output makes them a poor source of photosynthetic energy alone. A typical full spectrum lamp generates more usable photosynthetic energy than an actinic bulb. Plant chlorophyll light absorption peaks at different points than corals as well, due to differing environments, and one is much better off using bulbs specific to plant applications. 6500K tends to be a pretty good balance of plant growth and aesthetics. As you get further toward 10K you'll likely find growth slightly less satisfactory. 10K with blues (Actinics) tends to look very harsh in terrestrial applications. In my experience it causes a lot of eye fatigue and looks very unnatural, similar to how a 6500K bulb looks extremely yellow and unpleasant in reef aquaria.
 

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The led light will look good over a viv. Because over my reef the coral were fluorescent and it gave a shimmer effect.
 

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Actinic lights are made to replicate the amount of sun that coral would receive in the ocean at the depth they grow to promote the growth of zoaxanthellae for photosynthetic corals and inverts, when most reef tanks are 24" inches deep you have to change the spectrum of the bulb to mimic it.
 

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A combo of 6500k and 10,000k. Morning spectrum is red (plants can't use) when the sun is higher then 45 degrees to the ground (noonish) the light goes from yellow to green/blue at noon and then back to yellow and then back to red. So a combo of yellow and blue is about the best spectrum you can get for plants.
 

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Green and yellow light are very poorly absorbed by most plants (thus the prominence of green and yellow plant coloration; those colors are being reflected more than less represented ones). Red light is actually completely usable by most plants and is optimal for flowering. Red light alone is not that useful for this application, but important nonetheless. Peak light absorption for plants occurs at around 430 nm (quite blue) and 680 nm (quite red) wavelengths, which makes 6500K bulbs optimal as their phosphors typically generate light peaking fairly near those wavelengths (if you really care about it, you're best off analyzing the exact emission spectrum of the given bulb as the Kelvin rating scheme for bulbs is actually only loosely related to actual output spectra when dealing with emitters that are dissimilar from the black body radiators the scale is modeled on; LEDs and fluorescent tubes emit light in a very different manner than incandescent bulbs). Drifting upward toward 10000K will generally reduce bulb efficiency for plant growth purposes while compromising aesthetics (unless you like unnaturally blue-white washed out tanks); there is essentially no benefit to utilizing 10000K bulbs in terraria unless the particular bulb has atypically high output peaks at wavelengths corresponding to plant growth. The abundance of 3000K (primarily for flowering), 5000K, and 6500K grow lights are evidence of the above statements. Furthermore, the emission spectrum of the sun is approximately 5800K and one can probably safely assume most plants have developed to optimally utilize that light, with some exceptions.

In short, if you really want to maximize growth cheaply with a T5 fixture of that sort, you would likely be best off replacing both bulbs with reasonably good 6500K T5s, which can be had for somewhere around $5 each.
 

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Just an fyi when buying a replacement bulb for that particular model....
That is the HE fixture... not the HO, high output model.
The 48" bulbs are 28 watts each for the HE. (not the 54 watts of the High Output model).
The term "T-5" just refers to the diameter of the bulb in general, not necessarily how bright they are.
Hope this helps.:)
Todd
 
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