View Full Version : Lighting for African Rift Lake Species

05-16-2007, 03:32 PM
I have been playing with a bunch of different bulbs trying to find exactly which bulbs I like best for Rockhaven and Tanganyassae. I was limited in the brands I could try, but I was able to try a full compliment of the ZooMed line of bulbs along with various others as well.

For Mbuna:

If I had to pick a single bulb, and there are no plants to worry about (common with mbuna tanks) then my subjective opinion is the Reef Sun 50/50 offer the best color range, brightness, reproduction, and still enhances mbuna blues very nicely.

For a two bulb system, my old choice of the AGA 8000k Trichromatic and Reef Sunn 50/50 had been replaced with the Zoo Med Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight which has better reproduction of color than the AGA bulb though it doesn't enhance mbuna blues, it doesn't hurt them any. A Power Glo is also an option here, along with the Tropic Sun but neither were as bright as the Ultra Sun.

For blue Deep water species (like Frontosa) I found that the Coralife 20,000k bulbs really shine, esp in combo with Zoo Med Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight, or the Zoo Med Tropic Sun. A good old Phillips 6700k Daylight (shoplight) also worked really well for a $3 bulb but didn't reproduce color as well.

For Haps / Peacocks I found I liked the Flora Sun (plant bulb) in combination with the Ultra Sun bulb best, but if I had to choose a single bulb, it was hard to beat the Reef Sun 50/50, I just could not find a spectrum balance I liked to go with it. If you want to enhance blues the AGA 8000K bulb is good, and if you have a lot of red/yellow fish then the Tropic Sun was better. The combination of the Ultra Sun and the Reef Sun 50/50 seemed to bright in one spectrum and overpowered the other colors.

If I can get my hand on more bulbs I'll try some more combos I can honestly say that combos are the way to go for pretty much everything so far.

05-16-2007, 04:40 PM
This is great info to share. I'm a bit unclear though - which bulb is it you are recommending to go with the Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight?

05-17-2007, 04:24 AM
Oooops I edited a line out!

The Reef Sun 50/50 with the Ultra Sun are a great combo. Really bright! Great Color reproduction, very good for all colors

Deepwater (blue) fish was the Coralife 20,000k light in combo with the Ultra Sun

Peacocks/Haps the best combo was the Flora Sun and the Ultra Sun, but a close second was the Reef Sun 50/50 with the Ultra Sun (The only negative was vertian colors seemed enhanced while others did not throwing off balance more)

I also forgot to note that I used a CF bulb in the mix too and generally I didn't like the results although they are quite bright.