Things to Consider When Choosing a Lighting System

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by Dana Riddle, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Dana Riddle

    Dana Riddle Well-Known Member Staff Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Dallas, Georgia
    The original focus of the research for that MACNA project was to explore the possibility that alkalinity, acting as the inorganic carbon source, would impact (probably increase) the rate of photosynthesis. It did, although we should be careful in extrapolating results. The second thrust was to investigate if shallow tide pool corals could adapt to high intensity light (they. Porites species, could not and needed surprisingly little light. This is the second case I examined. The other was a Pocillopora damicornis, and it too reached a maximum rate of photosynthesis at relatively little light.) These results suggest that these corals have a maximum light requirement and it is not unlimited adaptation and it is probably safe to apply these observations to other corals containing these specific clades - almost certainly C15 for the Porites.) Water motion was, again, investigated - would it increase the rate of photosynthesis under a given amount of light? It did. And, finally, where did zooxanthellate inhabit these corals (it was mostly in the shaded portion of these tide pool corals.) So, lighting in and of itself, is not the only factor affecting photosynthesis. Hence I wrote 'Things to Consider.'
     

  2. Grey Guy

    Grey Guy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    383
    Thank you for reiterating your points. My interest is in the popular idea that only something that produces a PAR of 300 at desired depth will suffice for optimum SPS growth. According to what you are saying, we can not make such generalizations. Without further tasting we can not say for sure if 100 PAR or 300 PAR is ideal for any particular species of SPS.
     
  3. Dana Riddle

    Dana Riddle Well-Known Member Staff Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Dallas, Georgia
    You are correct. What I can say is that Hawaiian tide pool Porites (lobata?) and Pocillopora damicornis will saturate photosynthetically at relatively low PAR values. If we examine the peer-reviewed literature, this is consistent with my observations.
     
    Grey Guy likes this.
  4. sghera64

    sghera64 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Fishers, IN, USA - 3rd rock from the sun
    I grow goniopora with 70-100 PAR beneath MH and T5. Also torch coral and hammers and they all do well once they acclimate. Oh, and I have have a giant blue clam there too. All are on the bottom at 70-100 PAR.
     
  5. sghera64

    sghera64 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Fishers, IN, USA - 3rd rock from the sun
    That's a sweet tank.

    If you want to take it slow, why not start on one end of the tank with some different inexpensive corals that you want to test? Then only put the lighting you might ultimately want (more expensive probably) on that end and just T-5 supplemental over the rest since it is fish-only.
     
    Grey Guy likes this.
  6. underwaterworld

    underwaterworld Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Maylene, AL
    Thanks for the info.
     
    Dana Riddle likes this.
  7. Tropical lionfish

    Tropical lionfish Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    17
    Like your reply @sghera64...specially the part on ‘patience’!!
    I think with all the available features on the different LED fixtures to control color spectrum, intensity and time the lights are on, we abuse these flexibilities by fiddling too much with the settings. Coupled with this is our own visual preference / liking of coral color. Not always does that fit with the requirements of the corals!
    I for one is surely guilty of not allowing enough time for corals to get adjusted to a given set of spectrum, intensity and the duration. Maybe the T5s with their less flexibility allow the corals to get used to ‘stable’ light and hence are ‘easier’ for a new comer? This is assuming one can set the LED and let it be !
    After 30 odd years of freshwater cichlids and what not, I am in the fifth year of reef keeping. Started with T5s, got a bit of understanding of reef quality water chemistry and now venturing into Kessils and Radions. Funnily enough I have one A360 and one of the older Radions gens,one on each side of my 1 meter long tank (total appx 55 gallons). Currently trying to figure out which of the above two works better for me and then i will shift to same type. Confusion still reigns between the color spectrum of the Kessil and the controlling ease of the Radion. Also had to get used to the sharp contrasting light and shadowy regions of the rockscape after T5s. But love the color pop no doubt!!

    So to sum up i think i am going to repeat myself here...maybe a newcomer needs to start with T5s (plenty of brilliant options are now available), learn to ‘read/understand’ your coral health by simply looking at your tank rather than chasing numbers rigorously and then slowly shift to top quality LEDs if you fancy coral fluorescence. Don’t overlook the right choice of fishes too!
    And IMO there are no substitutes of a rigid water changing schedule and the incredible help you will get here at R2R!
    Cheers!
     
    Dana Riddle likes this.
  8. Ryan.631

    Ryan.631 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    16
    Started a 90 gallon saltwater aquarium recently. Would like to grow corals. What lighting would work best for optimal coral growth?
     
  9. Dana Riddle

    Dana Riddle Well-Known Member Staff Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Dallas, Georgia
    What are the 90's dimensions? What type of corals do you plan to keep?
     
  10. Ryan.631

    Ryan.631 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    16
    Have zoanthids already, probably want some hammer corals, GSP and an anemone for my clowns.

    The tank is 48” long
     
  11. Dana Riddle

    Dana Riddle Well-Known Member Staff Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Dallas, Georgia
    Some of the Chinese black boxes are of real value, especially if they have built-in timers and channel adjustments. Personally, I'm using a couple of ancient BuildMyLED units on my 90-gallon tank (unfortunately no longer commercially available as they are concentrating on the vertical gardening market) and an Orphek on the MACNA frag tank.
     
  12. oldfishman

    oldfishman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    86
    Ausom thank you for all the thoughts
     
  13. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Messages:
    3,160
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Location:
    North Carolina
    That's because thats mainly for acropora, not porites. When people say sps they primarily mean acropora and montipora, ime. The 250-350 is recommended for acropora. Porites is definitely a lower light sps ime.

    Having said that, there are many Deepwater acropora that do better at 150-250 par, ime. You can also bring out different colors by going higher than 350 all the way up to 600 in some acros. It depends on the coral, but 250-350 is a great overall recommendation for acropora , assuming average photoperiod and light source.
     
    HolisticBear likes this.
  14. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    are kessils a360 any good?
     
  15. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    493
    Location:
    Portugal
    I have a 36"×36"×20" tank with 2 × 180W Maxspect Razors running at 90%/90% and around 30 BTA's and 1 magnifica. Some of the BTA's are thriving 5cms below the water line while other are surviving in a cave where most of the light they get is ambient light from the room. They generally bubble up more the closer they are to the light source.

    I long for the day when the following questions make sense:

    "Does the main light travel and rotate in synch with the sun at your location?"

    "Does the fill light adjust its spectrum and intensity according to the current sky dome status at any location/time in the world?".
     
  16. GraniteReefer

    GraniteReefer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    19
    They are great lights
     
  17. Tjakes680

    Tjakes680 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Great info
     
  18. Tom Davey

    Tom Davey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Oceanside CA
    I have question that has always bothered me in regards to LED lighting. The back story is , I heard a lecture at Reefapolza last year about LED lighting. The premise was to turn all colors up to full and adjust the power accordingly, Allowing the corals to have access to the full spectrum of light. So with that in mind, In the Ocean how much does the depth of the water alter the Spectrum ? And if so is there a calculation to determine how to adjust the light in our reef tanks to simulate those depths based on the corals we grow in our tanks. Currently I have been using that method for about a year and have had no adverse affects on my corals (LPS,Monti,Zoas) although some corals tend to have more growth that others.
     
    JasReef likes this.
  19. pjr

    pjr Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Northville MI
    Nice to see this post Dana! I'm using something similar: a 6 foot BML, a 6 foot Sunbrite, and a pair of 3 foot Orpheks on my SPS tank. Been using all LED on the tank since 2009, and I believe that using strip lights has helped me avoid the shading issues that beleaguer so many reef tanks, especially those that are SPS dominated.

    And all the urban farms in Detroit use the BML (now known as "Fluence") fixtures.
     
  20. sghera64

    sghera64 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Fishers, IN, USA - 3rd rock from the sun
    Full spectrum supply to corals should work, but consider the alternative: provide them an alternative, keep it constant and they will adjust to the light. Either way, the key is consistency (no change).

    A general heuristic is that you lose one primary color (R-O-Y-G-B-I-V) for every 10 feet of depth (but it depends on water quality and what else is and under the water (sand, rock, algae). So, a coral that breaks off of a colony at 10 feet and gets swept away to a new location that is 20 feet away will adjust to a new color spectrum.
     
    HolisticBear likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...