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Okay, I am setting up a 55 gallon African Mbuna tank with a 3-d Background built from Pink Styrofoam and painted and textured with quick-crete. Going to possibly have a darker, rockier feel to the background with large, bulky rocks.

Also plan on collected rocks from a nearby creek, and painting them with cement to match texture and color with my background...

For filtration I will be using a TopFin PowerFilter 60, a Fluval 205, and one TopFin powerhead for circulation.

My biggest concern right now is lighting. I feel that I am going to be satisfied with the aquascaping of the tank, as so far it's coming along rather well. I am using the hood that came with the tank, (top fin 55 gallon starter set, 48" hood with 2x24" lights.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the type of lighting needed to get optimal quality as far as beauty goes? I do not plan on having many plants, if any at all. My main concern is bringing out the color of the fish. Also - what type of substrate would you suggest to maximize the lighting and coloration of the fish?

Thanks for the help. I'll be posting pictures when it's completed.
 

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I just setup a tank with the same specifications as yours. I am using 50/50 light bulbs which are half actinic (blue) and half 6700 K (daylight). I think that it does a good job of bringing out the blues in the fish and the daylight part of the light still makes my labs look bright yellow. Be careful though with your bulb size. Though each fixture is 24" in length if its like mine the bulbs are only 18" 15 watts. As far as price goes, find the ones you want online and that they also carry at petsmart and pricematch the bulbs. I saved over 50% of the cost by doing this.

Also I am using pool filter sand for my substrate.
 

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Here are some examples of the 50/50 lighting compared to the standard AGA bulb. 50/50 is being used on the left and standard on the right.



Here is a shot with the 100% actinic on the right.

 
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