The Color Sweet Spot: Have you found it for your reef tank?

How happy are you with the lighting "color" of your saltwater aquarium?

  • 10 (extremely happy)

    Votes: 84 16.8%
  • 9

    Votes: 59 11.8%
  • 8

    Votes: 109 21.8%
  • 7

    Votes: 114 22.8%
  • 6

    Votes: 54 10.8%
  • 5

    Votes: 37 7.4%
  • 4

    Votes: 21 4.2%
  • 3

    Votes: 11 2.2%
  • 2

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • 1 (hate it)

    Votes: 7 1.4%

  • Total voters
    499

revhtree

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Have you ever walked into a LFS or another hobbyists home and just felt like the color of their tank was beautifully different than yours? Or maybe it was photo of a tank you saw here on R2R or online somewhere else. Then what do you do? You try to recreate that "look" in your own reef. For me there is a spot between white and deep blue that my eyes find very appealing in a reef tank. EASY right!? :p Broad I know and to recreate what you see from others can be somewhat challenging depending on your reef inhabitants, your tank and especially the ability of your lighting equipment. So let's talk about that today!

1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing?

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look?

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using?



I really like the color of the reef from @irwin_fletch! The build thread is here.
DSC_0026 2.jpg
 

andrewey

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1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing? Yes- I would guess it's around 16-18k during the day. I balanced coral fluorescence with a color that's neutrally pleasing to my eyes.

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look? Be very careful when playing around with color- change extremely slowly. Even an imperceptible change in spectrum or intensity can harm corals. This is especially true for LEDs where a small turn of the dial can have a disproportionate effect on your PAR!

3.
What type and brand of lighting are you currently using? Black Box LED/T5 Retrofit Hybrid
 

Auquanut

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1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing?
I think so, but my wife would probably disagree. I feel like I'm seeing good growth and color in the corals without the overly blue tint. My wife REALLY likes the look of the tank when the multi-specrums go off later in the day and the blues fluoresce the corals.

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look?

In my opinion there IS no perfect look. It's in the eye of the beholder. Lighting can be tricky. Matching visual aesthetics with proper spectrum and par aint easy. RESEARCH!

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using?

Black box LED.
 

BighohoReef

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A few weeks back we added an Orphek OR3 120 Blue LED bar coupled with our Ecotech XR30 Gen4s and we love it! Most importantly though the corals love it too! I was disappointed with our old T5s the lighting just didn't "pop" the coral colors and we weren't seeing the growth we wanted out of them. We've heard good things about the Orphek's though I wish it had options for dimming.

I'm a firm believer in needing more than one lighting option. If you add anything new and you have the option always follow the light acclimation process. Get access to a par meter to know where the hot spots and low spots are in your tank. Know your corals and what par ranges are best suited for them.

Current lighting:
2x Ecotech Radion Gen4's non-pro
Orphek 120 Blue LED bar

IMG-1635.jpg
 

Kryptonian

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Upgraded my stock tank light to the Orbit Marine IC Pro Dual LEDs. Made a huge difference and I love the different light modes and storm effects but still not getting the POP out of my corals that I was hoping for. Rated a 7 but if price is a big factor, would rate probably a 9 since they're not terribly expensive.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 11.09.19 AM.png


Very much looking toward to a 3x Radion XR15 BLUE Gen5 on my new tank downstairs. Also, it will be nice having one tank with decent white light and the other predominantly blue. Trying to create two different tank environments,
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

Victor_C3

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I'm completely happy with the lights and the color they give off. I'm running an ATI Sunpower 8- bulb T5 fixture. Four of the bulbs are 10,000 K, two bulbs are 14,000 K, and the last two are 20,000 K. I like things a little more on the whiter side with just a hint of blue and I feel like I have achieved that. With the dimming capability of the fixture, I absolutely love having the sunrise and sunset effect.

As for the color of my live rock that is only 4 months old and covered in hair algae, I'm not happy about that at all. I can't wait for it to be covered in coraline and SPS. However, that won't be until another 2-8 months.

With the above in mind, I gave myself a 3, but it'll certainly change as my tank matures.

Aquarium May 2020.jpg

Tank May 2020 - 2.jpg
 
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Beardo

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I am very happy with the visual appeal of my lighting. I don't like overly blue all the time. Prefer a little whiter for the majority of the day with heavier blues in the morning and late evening.

Hard to give advice since people like different looks. Would offer to go slow and make small changes, then give it time for corals and your eyes to adapt to the changes.

I run T-5/LED hybrid.
8 bulb sunpower with:
2 ATI blue plus
2 KZ super blue
2 ATI actinic
2 Geissmann tropic
6 kessil a360we at 75% intensity and 40% color during the day with morning and evening ramps. Morning ramp starts at 15% color and evening ends at 0% color.
 

Conrad Noto

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1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing? Best it can be at the moment, black box 65% blues , 15% whites and 3-10watt U.V black lights

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look? If you have the budget and a chiller, go metal halide t5 or led combo. Great shimmer, color and good amount of real UV.

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using? Cheap Marsaqua supplemented with 3- 10watt UV black lights, not my favorite but works, cheap enough to quickly replace one if it blows out.
 

Jesse Sides

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Have you ever walked into a LFS or another hobbyists home and just felt like the color of their tank was beautifully different than yours? Or maybe it was photo of a tank you saw here on R2R or online somewhere else. Then what do you do? You try to recreate that "look" in your own reef. For me there is a spot between white and deep blue that my eyes find very appealing in a reef tank. EASY right!? :p Broad I know and to recreate what you see from others can be somewhat challenging depending on your reef inhabitants, your tank and especially the ability of your lighting equipment. So let's talk about that today!

1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing?

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look?

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using?



I really like the color of the reef from @irwin_fletch! The build thread is here.
DSC_0026 2.jpg
I manually adjusted each program point on my Hydra26HD app to match the AB+ (natural) spectral output and it is perfect. Keep in mind that you are not aiming for light that is best suited to human eyes (very shallow water); the color spectrum should be reflective of 30ft deep ocean water, mixed reef for example, and therefore expect more blue than white during the morning and evening hours.
 

rob s.

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1. i really like the color of my tank. My corals look really good and the deeper blues really make them pop

2. I'm to new to the hobby to offer any really helpful tips. I took my time adjusting the different spectrum levels until i found a mix that offers the corals enough UV and also allow for the most color i could achieve.

3. I have a small Waterbox 20 and it has the AI prime lighting. Its really easy to use and I'm happy with my results so far.
 

Djsreef

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1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing? Yes my reef changes from deep blue to intense “whites” while I’m at work and deep blue in the afternoon. To purple before lights out. It gives my reef all the spectrums and really brings out the color in my acropora.

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look? Most of the higher end light are pretty much fool proof and that’s why I use them, go with what you like and make little changes over weeks not days

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using? G5 blue and t5 for 1 hour peak with blue plus and try actinic bulbs
 

KTipp

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A few weeks back we added an Orphek OR3 120 Blue LED bar coupled with our Ecotech XR30 Gen4s and we love it! Most importantly though the corals love it too! I was disappointed with our old T5s the lighting just didn't "pop" the coral colors and we weren't seeing the growth we wanted out of them. We've heard good things about the Orphek's though I wish it had options for dimming.

I'm a firm believer in needing more than one lighting option. If you add anything new and you have the option always follow the light acclimation process. Get access to a par meter to know where the hot spots and low spots are in your tank. Know your corals and what par ranges are best suited for them.

Current lighting:
2x Ecotech Radion Gen4's non-pro
Orphek 120 Blue LED bar

IMG-1635.jpg
Nice, so you removed T5 completely?
 

wheels 45

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I just have the stock lighting on my Coralife biocube. I would love to get different lights that are more controllable and don't break the bank.
 
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TimCW

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I like my lighting. Bluer in the morning and evening. I add white to the balance for a few hour stretch during the afternoon. I think the white gives it a more pleasant look color wise. I'm using 2 AI 26 HD lights over my C-Vue 40. Might sound like a bit of overkill but I don't run them anywhere near their potential. Plus the light is fairly even throughout the tank.
I do agree about changing the color/intensity over time. LEDs can put out some serious light.
 

Reefs anonymous

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What lighting t5 combo is being used here?


Have you ever walked into a LFS or another hobbyists home and just felt like the color of their tank was beautifully different than yours? Or maybe it was photo of a tank you saw here on R2R or online somewhere else. Then what do you do? You try to recreate that "look" in your own reef. For me there is a spot between white and deep blue that my eyes find very appealing in a reef tank. EASY right!? :p Broad I know and to recreate what you see from others can be somewhat challenging depending on your reef inhabitants, your tank and especially the ability of your lighting equipment. So let's talk about that today!

1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing?

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look?

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using?



I really like the color of the reef from @irwin_fletch! The build thread is here.
DSC_0026 2.jpg
 

Ardeus

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I work in 3D animation and lighting is one of my favorite parts of the job. It extends into the tank.

I love light and shadows just as much. In the evening:

FB-IMG-1579976377497.jpg


2 x Aquamedic angels and 1 Maxspect Razor

For me, the Aquamedic Angels have near perfect combination of point and diffuse lighting in a single fixture. In the morning:

Screenshot_20200528-220406_YouTube.jpg
 

Shaummy

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1. Have you found that lighting "sweet spot" that your eyes find very appealing?
Yes...however I still change things between White and blue once in a while. Currently leaning more blue heavy right now to see if my corals like it better.

2. What tips and advice can you give to those who are still searching for that perfect look?
I started with a "base" setup for my LED's that the manufacturer had and I adjusted from there using their basic duration's and intensities to meet what I thought looked good to me..but stuck close to the relationships between the 6 channels that are available. Then just small changes from there to dial it all in over time based on how my corals reacted.

3. What type and brand of lighting are you currently using?
Reef Breeders Photon V2+ 48 and I love how configurable and powerful they can be.
 
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TOP 3 Ingredients for an AMAZING Reef Tank? (pick 3)

  • Proper Lighting

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  • Filtration

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