Lighting spectra, Photosynthesis, and You

USMC4Life

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So where is a good starting point? What would you suggest for a beginner to do when they jump in head first with out doing all that research? I read most of these articles now an am still not grasping what light to use for what corals? Most store owners I've talked to about this get all flustered an annoyed when I get into asking them bout this subject an just tell me to buy this or that light an you will be fine. So my question for you guys would be where to start t5 or led or a combo of both.
I would say from my experience is find a light that has the strongest and the most broad-spectrum you can fined. Depending on the depth of your tank you would need upwards of 300 W or more. But that's just my opinion. I am looking to get a light from https://sbreeflights.com they have a good spread. Or something like Coralife 24 Inch Aqualight Pro, 1x250W HQI Lamp + 2x65W CF Lamps Sq. Pin + 2x1W LED but the size you need for your tank. I have the coralife light and it will grow anything I put in the tank but the problem is that it gets hot. To the point that in the winter I do not need to heat the tank and in the summer the AC barely keeps up. And on top of that the Electric bill is very big. On average my bill will go up by about $90 to $110 a month when I run the light.
 

USMC4Life

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May be stupid question but why can't I use a lot of natural sunlight along with leds or t5 to get the same spectrum? Would this give it more natural sustainability?
I would be careful with using natural light as it will cause algae. And depending on the windows you have it may alter the spectrum.
 

David Engh

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So really should stick with the t5 or t8 or maybe less then?
 

David Engh

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I have a 125g 6'long×18"deep×21"high so light gets to the bottom pretty good imo. Although I haven't been in this to long just getting idea's on how to set it up so I don't waste a bunch of money in trial an error.
 
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jedimasterben

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So where is a good starting point? What would you suggest for a beginner to do when they jump in head first with out doing all that research? I read most of these articles now an am still not grasping what light to use for what corals? Most store owners I've talked to about this get all flustered an annoyed when I get into asking them bout this subject an just tell me to buy this or that light an you will be fine. So my question for you guys would be where to start t5 or led or a combo of both.
A good starting point is just buying a light and using it lol. Just make sure it has enough intensity and gives a pleasing color for you and go with it. The only reason to do an LED/T5 hybrid is to get the high intensity that LEDs give along with the 'void fill' to fill in the shadows that T5 give.

May be stupid question but why can't I use a lot of natural sunlight along with leds or t5 to get the same spectrum? Would this give it more natural sustainability?
Corals don't care whether the light is artificial or sunlight, they can't tell the difference :)
 
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USMC4Life

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I would say that corals can tell the difference simply because when its artificial and the light is not put together well it may not hit all the light frequencies needed or the intensity. Just my observation.
 

David Engh

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So where should the lux level be when looking into this on the top,middle,bottom an are you measuring from everywhere in the tank?
 

saltyfilmfolks

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So where is a good starting point? What would you suggest for a beginner to do when they jump in head first with out doing all that research? I read most of these articles now an am still not grasping what light to use for what corals? Most store owners I've talked to about this get all flustered an annoyed when I get into asking them bout this subject an just tell me to buy this or that light an you will be fine. So my question for you guys would be where to start t5 or led or a combo of both.
Mmmm like any high dollar purchase do a bit of research. Like you are now:)
Everything comes with a cost benefit in dollars and labor.
T5 is a great light. Probably the best still unless you spend the big bucks on led It makes heat and you need to change tubes and it takes power. You can get into a it for an ok price.
Led you can get cheap now and decent quality Low power low heat.
So that sums up what I would reccomend to you. :)
But still like all in this hobby do research. how to use led what is a good one and what it's doing for the corals.
 

David Engh

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Can I get away with a 6 foot light with 2 10k bulbs an 2 36" attinic blue to start with an see where it goes? I already have them laying round just figured I would try an put them to use.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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So where should the lux level be when looking into this on the top,middle,bottom an are you measuring from everywhere in the tank?
Just the top generally f you want or really have questions you can get a probe for the bottom. A lot of it is estimation as well as experience with specific fixtures and par values.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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Can I get away with a 6 foot light with 2 10k bulbs an 2 36" attinic blue to start with an see where it goes? I already have them laying round just figured I would try an put them to use.
A 6ft light?
 

David Engh

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Has 2 36" bulbs in a 6' fixture just wondering if 2 10k lights would be to much?
 

USMC4Life

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I do not know if it will be enough for a 6 foot tank. What's the depth?
 
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If they are normal output T8's I doubt you'll even be in the right neighborhood of brightness.

Hook them up and download a free lux meter to your smartphone and take some readings. ("Galactica Luxmeter" for IOS, for one example.) Let us know what you get! :)
 

David Engh

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About where should the numbers be when I read the lux meter
 
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