Further to my recent post about upgrading T5 lighting in my reef aquarium from iQuatics Blue Plus to Narva Blue tubes,  I have been running the Narvas for a couple of months now with good success (more coral growth and colouration for some of my deep water specimens). The Narva tubes are very bright and very blue, putting out a 20000k colour spectrum. My Red Dragon Acropora sprung into life after a week, and is now growing really well, but my “shallow water” Acropora and Montipora species show great colours but growth has  slowed down somewhat. But it’s time to mix up the lighting a bit more….

Red Dragon Acropora coral under blue lights

I have decided to use a mixture of bulbs. Although I love the blue look in the tank, some of my coral specimens require a shallow water “daylight” spectrum. The spectrum graph shows the colour range of the Osram Skywhite 8000k bulbs that I have just received from Lampspecs (my fave supplier of specialist bulbs).

Osram Skywhite T5 - spectrum graph

My new set-up now has a 50/50 mix of Narva: Skywhite, which gives a good range of Blue, Yellow, Green and a little Red to help the coral photosynthesis, I will be monitoring coral growth vs algae blooms over the coming weeks.

Bulbs 2 and 5 stay on for 10 hours a day, whilst bulbs 1,3,4 and 6 run for 6.5 hours – and so for their peak output (mid-day sun) all 6 bulbs run for 6.5 hours. This should do the trick, but if not I may swap out one of the blues and one of the whites and add 2 x 14000K High Output bulbs in a few weeks. – The experiment is on.

T5 reef aquarium lighting - daylight spectrum using Narva Blue and Osram Skywhite