$0.94 Actinics


New member
Folks - firstly I entered the reef keeping hobby a little earlier than planned last week when my local aquarium shop had a ton of very old live-rock from a customers tank that was broken down that had a good covering of paly's, zoas maybe a scoly (still trying to work that out) and a host of other things at $2 a wet pound. It seemed to me to be a very cheap way to get my feet wet and avoid the high risk of losing a few hundred dollars on frags because I don't really know what I'm doing, as you're about to find out.

So I purchased 10-gallons of salt water, cleaned out a 10-gallon freshwater tank, threw some beach sand in a grabbed years ago, bought out Petco on all the Fluval gear they had on sale and Aqueon / Marineland actinic lights. Well the lights were terrible. Marineland had close to no actinic in it though claimed it was in the 420-450 range and the Aqueon's weren't bright. And then I remembered I bought these for one of my freshwater tanks:

I think I paid $0.70 a piece at the time and have 2x over my 10-gallon. They happily light 12" deep and the phosphorescent colors simply pop! I have added a single additional warm white bar (indirect) to help photosynthesis during the day. The blue lights run very cool to the touch, the white bar is almost too hot to hold - and they are waterproof

All of my corals are looking healthier and bigger by the day. In fact my largest Paly polyp (1/2" across) started to split in two today.

So the lights seem to be an amazing bargain, but what risks am I running using them? What are the leading indicators I should be looking for to know its all going wrong? My bargain coral is going great, after a week I'm pretty attached to it

BTW - dirt cheap if others want to try them out - they come with lose wires so you will need a connector and a 12v transformer. I'm returning my Aqueon's and Marinelands
Would be interesting to put a PAR meter in the tank and see what the readings are.

Would like to see some pictures of you tank with these lights.
I'd love to - can't seem to get a good photo on the iphone though - any ideas how that's done?
Not sure, I have an iPhone and have no issues taking tank pics. What issues are you having getting pics?
If the photos are washing out blue, that’s typical of LED. Generally some type of filter is needed (such as an orange filter, but some people use sunglasses as well (not as good of an effect though)