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Best lighting for a Plantless South American Cichlid Tank


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Was wondering what you've found as the best lighting for a plantless south american cichlid tank.

Since it is more-or-less plantless (except for some java fern, which doesn't need much light output), I am looking for something that brings out the fish colours and keeps the cichlids and silver dollars feeling secure and comfortable.

I have the ability to use up to 3 x 30W T8 tubes.

Recommendations on spectrum (Kevins) or particular products would be appreciated.



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Lighting is something I'm still struggling to get right in mine. I have used the aquaone sunlight, tropical and marine blue t8 tubes but not very happy with the results of any of the mix of them (I have a dual fitting). The sunlight tubes give a more natural look but doesnt enhance the fish to any degree to bring up the colors. The marine blue is just too harsh imo.

The latest suggestion from my lfs is to use tri-phosphor tubes but so far I havent managed to find any of those to try.

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