Light Intensity in Successful Reef Tanks

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Dana Riddle

Dana Riddle

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So... how accurate is a 20+ year old article's information compared to LED or mixed LED setups of today?
That's a good question, although I tend to think that as ballpark numbers they're still valid. An Iwasaki DL metal halide lamp has low PUR compared to violet/blue LEDs. But the halides can generate radiation (UV-A and infrared) that is useful in photosynthesis but not reported by the Li-Cor quantum meter.
 
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Dana Riddle

Dana Riddle

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Not a fan of LED?
Oh no. I am currently using LEDs on my DT. The issues with LEDs (at least in the context of this discussion) is their programming. In the days of off/on lighting, determination of light dosage was easy with the calculation of DLI. With diurnal lighting modulations, calc of DLI becomes difficult, and can be determined only with PAR data logging, unless you're willing to take PAR measurements manually throughout the photoperiod.
 

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I moved from 1800W of MH comprising 4x150/2x200/2x400W with a variety of lamp manufacturers (12000k - 18000k) to Inwatter then to GHL LEDs ... never achieved anything close to the sps coloration of the MH nor the UPAR intensities ... mostly turned brown or green ! Using a special spectrum program from a GHL reef specialist.
 

Jordan Prather

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@Dana Riddle I know this is intensity but I've been wondering lately on spectrum. Seems lately with led everyone is saying the blue spectrum makes coral grow quicker. However in the days of everyone running halide it seems everyone said that the lower the kelvin the faster the growth. To me this doesnt make much since. What would the difference be between the two? I am getting my other two kessils for my 220 so I'll be running three a360x and 4 blue plus t5s I'll probably run a whiter spectrum during the day probably around 40% color then blue in the morning and at night. Right now I'm after more growth then color. So I was just kinda wondering your thoughts on white vs blue led for growth.
 

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I moved from 1800W of MH comprising 4x150/2x200/2x400W with a variety of lamp manufacturers (12000k - 18000k) to Inwatter then to GHL LEDs ... never achieved anything close to the sps coloration of the MH nor the UPAR intensities ... mostly turned brown or green ! Using a special spectrum program from a GHL reef specialist.
Not enough time to acclimate or nutrient issues.
 

Tim Olson

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Great article! I don't know if this the right place to ask, but I've struggled with whether I have my A360X at the right intensity. So I'm wondering how the A360X intensity compares to actinic fluorescent lamps and/or T5's, using whatever measurement you think is appropriate. For example I currently run my A360X at 33% intensity, is that comparable to 4 T5's? Am I even in the ballpark?
 

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How to define " a succesful reef tank"? In the 90's? In 2020?
A mixed reef tank or an SPC only tank? Is it about fluo colours, growth rates or density , survival rates after 6 months, a year, a decade? About VLNS, LNS or HIHOS?
We do know a lot more about symbiodinium and the coral holobiont, info wich was not available in the 90's. Now we do have other reasons for doing things as we had in the 90's. We do have reasons for doing it differently. Things happen for the same reasons, we do know a lot more about why things happen. Light is still the same, how it is used and produced has changed drastic.
How to define "succesfull reefing" only taking into account light quality, spectrum, intensity, photo-period?
Starting with light intensity and dept adapted corals ( above 3m) or low light intensity adapted corals ( below 20m) or starting with capture raised corals in for growth rates optimized conditions.? What are these conditions? High growth rate = lower density.
How important are nutrient levels and nutrient availability in combination with light conditions for a "succesful reef tank"
Why in a well lit aquarium available nutrients are not always used up by photoautotrophs having the availability of a theoretic unlimited energy source? In what way this effects "succesful reefkeeping"?
 

The worst paradigm to hit the hobby is getting your nutrient levels as low as possible?

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