Lighting with LEDs - (around) one-year's progress

rgulrich

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Always seems to be discussions on "best lighting" and whatnot. Here's a few pics of my current reef. I thought a few progress pics would add something to the discussion.
This reef is a 300 gallon Deep Dimension that ran into a low alkalinity issue a bit over a year ago while I was on vacation - hence the frag pics. I have 2 X 165W and 4 X300W ViparSpectra lights over it that I've "customized" by removing the stock 90' lenses for increased light dispersion and also affixed an acrylic diffusion lens (a sheet of special acrylic) to the fixtures with magnets. I run these lights at about 50% power for 13 hours a day. PAR at the top of the reef is around 350-400 and runs about 250-300 on the gravel bed.
These LEDS I supplement with six Kessil A360WE running at 100% power swung all the way over to the "white end" of the spectrum for five-six hours out of the day mid-day. This brings up the PAR to around 500-600 across the top of the reef and about 350-450 at the gravel bed. The appearance to my eyes is much like snorkeling in very shallow water on a sunny day - with very high color rendition. I realize the glitter lines aren't as "harsh" as with other point-source lighting, but these serve my purposes and eyes well.
Okay, so I glanced at the date on a few pics and thought to myself today would be a good day to drop in a comparative update.
Sooo, here goes! :)

Tri Color Valida (Acropora valida) from 24 January 2020:
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Tri Color Valida this afternoon, 7 April 2021:
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Bali Slimer (Acropora yongei) Staghorn from 26 April 2020:
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Bali Slimer from this afternoon, 7 April 2021:
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Gang of frags from 26 April 2020:
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Gang of frags this afternoon 7 Apr 2021:
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And I'll let the coral do a little bit of talking at this point:
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I think this approach has worked pretty well for not only growth, but coloration and support of zooxanthellae support as well.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:

Cheers,
Ray B)
 
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reefinatl

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Thank you for that, it is so hard to find people posting actual results as opposed to swapping lights every 4 months over a frag tank.

One thing that seems to be a recurring theme among results posting is a mix of lighting sources.
 
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rgulrich

rgulrich

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All of our hobby lighting is a long list of compromises, from any form of electric lighting to even relying on sunlight in a solarium or greenhouse. It's up to us to decide what is important - balancing the needs of the reef inhabitants under our care with our own ideas of "what looks good" in our homes.
In solariums and greenhouses we frequently use sunshades and supplemental blue lighting to enhance colors and "prevent browning" of coral. In my in home setups I've gone through metal halide/T12 VHO combos of Actinic 03 and Actinic White, quartz halogen, incandescent, regular fluorescent, compact fluorescent, and different LED arrays. I've currently settled on this approach as my best compromise to support the aquarium inhabitants as best I can, and enjoy viewing them with my nose pressed against the glass.
0MA0ET6.jpg

I keep hoping I'll be allowed to setup a greenhouse between the house and the barn to try out a few other approaches...I've even bargained turning half of it over to year-round vegetable gardening. We'll see.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

reefinatl

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It looks fantastic. That picture is deceiving, it almost looks like a 40breeder until you really look at it.

Hopefully some more people chime in with some real grow outs under some different lighting.
 
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