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Fluorescent Bulb Selection Guide


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Compare Fluorescent Bulbs

Characteristics of different Flourescent Bulbs

50/50 Bulbs
Actinic (Blue) Bulbs
High K-Rating Bulbs
    White Bulbs
50/50 Bulb
50/50 Bulb
50/50 Bulbs (Half Actinic, Half Daylight or White Light)

These fluorescent tubes produce 50% actinic blue light, and 50% white light or natural sunlight. They are designed to provide your corals with the extra blue light they need, while providing white light to maximize the appearance of your aquarium inhabitants.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Coralife
50/50 bulbs
50% - 6,000°K
50% - Actinic
15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
50/50 lamps are a mixture
of 50% 6000°Kelvin natural
daylight and 50% Actinic
03 blue. These full-spectrum
lamps enhance color and
clarity while providing
the tank's inhabitants
with the proper light
required for essential
biochemical reactions.
Zoo Med
Reef Sun
50% - 6,500°K
50% - Actinic
15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
50/50 combination of
trichromatic daylight
phosphor and actinic 420
phosphor in the same lamp.
Provides high intensity full
spectrum illumination,
strong in the short wavelength
blue region, balanced
with 6500°K daylight for
natural color enhancement
and viewing pleasure.
URI
Actinic White
50% - Actinic
50% - 12,000°K
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
Includes internal reflector.
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Actinic Bulb
Actinic Bulb
Actinic Bulbs - Blue Light Waves Only

In nature, blue light travels deeper into the water than does the other colors in the light spectrum, such as reds, yellows, and greens. Actinic bulbs produce only the blue end of the light spectrum. Actinic bulbs are recommended for deep water invertebrates, and fish that don't like bright light, such as African Cichlids. Actinic blue bulbs are normally used in combination with other broader spectrum (5,000°K-10,000°K) bulbs. They can also be used to simulate dusk and dawn in your aquarium, providing your aquarium inhabitants with more realistic sunrise and sunset conditions.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Coralife
Actinic Blue
Lamps
Actinic 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
Designed to condition the
tank before and after the
daylight cycle and enhance
the vibrant colors of the
fish and invertebrates.
Best when used in
conjunction with daylight
(trichromatic) or 50/50 lamps.
URI
Actinic "03"
Actinic 30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
Includes internal reflector.
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High K-Rating Bulb
High K-Rating Bulb
High K-Rating Bulbs - 15,000°K - 20,000°K

These bulbs have a higher temperature rating than "white light," which means they produce even more of the blue light waves. They are best suited for marine reef aquariums. Depending on the type of corals in your aquarium, these bulbs rarely need to be supplemented with Actinic bulbs.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Hagen Power-
Glo Bulbs
18,000°K 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T8
30W-36"-T10
40W-48"-T10
Promotes coral, invertebrate
and plant growth. High
intensity photosynthetic
deep marine spectrum. Total
illumination for living
corals, marine algae and
freshwater plants.
Hagen Aqua-
Glo Bulbs
18,000°K 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T8
30W-36"-T8
40W-48"-T8
Generates an ideal fish
colour-enhancing spectrum
and delivers a strong photosynthetic
range of light very capable of
stimulating vigorous plant growth.
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White Bulb
White Bulb
White Bulbs - 8,000°K - 14,000°K

These bulbs have a higher temperature rating, which means they produce light waves in the higher end of the spectrum, towards the blue end. While these bulbs can be used in a variety of applications, they are most often used in marine reef aquariums. Depending on the type of coral contained in your aquarium, these bulbs may not contain enough of the blue light waves to maintain proper health of your marine invertebrates. Therefore, supplementing these bulbs with an actinic bulb is recommended.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Coralife
10,000°K
Lamp
10,000°K 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
High-intensity, purified
super daylight with rare
earth color-enhancing
phosphors lamp simulates
the midday tropical sun.
Sparkling, blue-white daylight
rays and bright,
high-intensity output.
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