Open top halide tank. Suggestions for Actinic?


New member
I have a 20 gallon hex tank in my work office that I'm setting up as reef tank. I currently have live rock curing to be added in a few weeks. It's lit with a Coralife 150 watt HQI fixture with a 14,000k bulb like this:

My other tank at home is lit with fluorescent lighting with actinic supplementation. I love the look of the halide lighting, but miss the glow from the actinic. Any suggestions to add actinic to this setup? I have very limited space, and the tank is open top with no hood to hide the lighting. My only thought came from a thread I read on this forum about LED moonlights. Here's a link to the lights:

Would these UV bulb LED lights be enough to noticeable fluoresce my corals in combination with the bright halide bulb? I could attach the "Jumbo" light to the Coralife fixture's hang on arm.

Any other thoughts?


Premium Member
Nope, leds will get washed out by the halide.

Try a XM 20K bulb, plenty of blue to go without the actinics.

Tang Salad

Algae skeptic
I can't comment on the LED won't :D

But I think you could do well to add a single PC or 2-bulb T5 fixture of actinics, and place it on the Hex in front of the MH.

How wide is a 20g Hex?


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9824890#post9824890 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Tang Salad
How wide is a 20g Hex?

Not very wide. It's 18" wide from corner to corner, and 15" from side to side. It's a tall tank standing 24" high. The Coralife fixture pretty much takes up the real estate above the tank, so I'll probably have to go without actinics.

A very small, single bulb PC or fluorescent fixture might work. I've seen little 6" wide black light fixtures that would be small enough. Would a black light be bad to use with a reef tank?

Tang Salad

Algae skeptic
Actually, I think tkeracer619 had the best idea.

I use 2 Coralife Aqualight Pros on my tank (the model with PCs) so I've used the C'Life 14K bulbs before. And they are quite yellow (IMO), compared to other 14Ks, like the Phoenix which I use now.

So maybe consider a new MH bulb instead?

Ron Popeil

Love them clownfish.
go with a 20k bulb. i cant imagine you regretting it. ive used radiums and enjoyed them. i used hamiltons and they were decent. currently im running XM 20ks, and after a month of use am still enjoying them.

i too have open top tanks, and wanted one bulb to satisfy my needs instead of a bunch of other wires and bulbs going across the tops of the tanks. a 20k bulbs puts out terrific color.


New member
I'll go with a 20,000K bulb next time. Do you think I'd have any luck selling the 14,000K bulb on this forum. It's only been used for a few weeks.


I have a 20 gallon tank and recently upgraded to MH with the 24" Sunpod 150W HQI 14K fixture. I also missed the actinic supplementation...especially during sunset/sunrise. And since you don't "need" actinic supplementation with a MH system, I just went for a cheap T5 fixture because I also didn't have a lot of real estate to work with as well. I got one of these and I love it because I can go back to only having the actinic bulbs on before my MH bulb turns on and after it turns off:

They also make them in single strips which might save some space. Not sure if they make them any smaller but you could look around. HTH.


Schrodinger's ***
Staff member
RC Mod
I have a pendant over my 54 corner. The 14K Phoenix DE MH bulb is blue enough that I don't use any actinic supplementation now.