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*** just set up a 4x2x2 malawi tank . stocking is mostly aulonocara , with some hap sp.44s and a small group of labidochromis caeruleus . so *** got quite a mix of reds blues yellows a bit of orange. at the moment im running 3 38w arcadia original tropical tubes . is there a better choice of tube for my setup?
 

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Do you have live plants in your tank?

I've tried a lot of different lighting combinations and I finally came up with two that I like.

The first is a combination is actinic bulbs and a 50/50 bulb (6000 K daylight and true actinic). -The upside is that the peacocks really stand out, (especially if they're blue) but the downside is that the actinics will create more algae growth. -To stop algae growth, the lighting is on timer so the actinics are never left on for longer periods of time.

The second combination is spot-lighting. -The effect looks natural and shimmers off the background but the low wattage and warm hues don't really highlight the peacocks as well as the actinic and 50/50 bulbs.
 

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My lights have to bulbs in each unit. (T5) I went with a 39w 10K HO (High output) daylight bulb and the other bulb I went with a non HO actinic bulb. I found this to really bring out the colors nicely but not be too blue as with the HO actinic bulbs. It looks very natural but not overly blue. So give the non HO actinic bulbs a try if your lighting set up is similar. Some LFS will let you bring them back if you don't like them.
 

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Spend your money on good fish rather than good lighting. Rubbish fish look like rubbish fish whatever the lighting, good fish look great even with just sunlight coming in from the front.

All the best James
 

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24Tropheus said:
Spend your money on good fish rather than good lighting. Rubbish fish look like rubbish fish whatever the lighting, good fish look great even with just sunlight coming in from the front.

All the best James
Pretend for a second that he has good fish. What lighting would be best given this assumption? :D

I've been kicking around building a DIY light fixture/canopy for my tank. I myself am curious to hear what lighting people prefer:

T5 or T8?
HO or not?
Actinic or not?
etc...
 

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I throw away the actinic bulbs that come in some of the fixtures I buy...too much algae.

I think T8 v T5 v HO are more important to fit a certain fixture or if you care about reducing heat or need a lot of watts for plants, etc.

Color temp is important for plants...I like 6700 bulbs. For a non-planted tank I like to buy a half dozen bulbs for my 10G and try each one. Various color bulbs will even make your rocks look good or odd, depending. Really have to try them. Then I buy the color I like for the show tanks.
 

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24Tropheus said:
Spend your money on good fish rather than good lighting. Rubbish fish look like rubbish fish whatever the lighting, good fish look great even with just sunlight coming in from the front.

All the best James
So James...are you saying I HAVE rubbish fish??? That hurt.
J/K
LMAO! :p :lol:
 

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I have a dual 48" flouro and I had a 10K with a 50/50 but I like the 10K w/ a 420 actinic better...so thats what Im personally running now.

I have yellow labs mixed with male peacocks (blue neon, orange flametail, german red, bi-color, regal blue, electric blue ahli, makonde yellow black fin and a fireline mloto). All of their colors look great under the 10K & 420 actinic lighting. :thumb:
 

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I have the MArineland double bright LED system. The fish look great and the shimmer effect is fantastic in my opinion. The one thing to consider is that the light falls off on the sides due to the fact the fixture is 36 inches long. But I like the look. :fish:
 
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