Tank: 20 Long
Current lighting: Currant USA Nova Extreme HO 24" 48 watt
1 ocellaris clownfish
1 yellow tail damsel
1 rose bubble tip
2 small zoa colonies
Would like to stock (in addition to above)
question being... with my intended stock... should I upgrade to 96 watts?
i don't think you can keep a montipora with that lighting
...to much?... not enough?
not enough. montipora needs intense lighting. the type of corals you can keep with that lighting are like mushrooms, and soft corals. more intense lighting for lps type of corals then the most intense lighting for sps which includes montiporas. basically anything witha skeleton needs intense lighting.
So branch corals like xenia as well? Is 48 strong enough for what I got or should I get the 96?
liveaquaria recomends minimum 3 watts per gal for monti. The 96 watt would more than cover that.
forgive me if I'm not your responses right but are you saying the 48 is enough or the 96 would be enough?
Secondly you will now seriously have to consider the type of fixture for efficiency. Assuming you are using T5 HO. If you use one that has 4 bulbs all under one reflector or you are using a fixture with 4 bulbs and 4 individual reflectors are they the same? Not even close! For simplification and because I'm lazy and don't want to pull out my 25 year old calculus math book there is a law about parabola that I can't remember but applies to this situation. I would probably say the one with the 4 individual reflectors is probably somewhere between 2 to3 times as efficient at putting out light verses the other even though they consume the same amount of power. For simplification, if you have a light without a reflector or one with reflectors and they have the same power consumption then light output is the same but the reflector directs all the useable light to one direction where as the one without the reflector shoots light all over the place and effectively has less light where you would want it and thats in the tank.
So basically you have to really take into consideration the depth of the tank, the efficiency of the light fixture and at that point the watt/gal theory is out the window with the dirty baby bath water!
Then after deciding the light you will now have to consider spectrum of light to be used. All bulbs are not created equal. An atinic bulb versus say a 10k bulb have totally different output of light. For simplification of this discussion (and because i can't explain) just trust me on this one.
So if you are going to error on lighting it's best to error on the "too much" light side because the sun is wayyy more powerful than any light you can put over your tank. Remember we want to have the corals thrive and not barely surviving. So yes you could probably keep montiporas under 48 watts BUT it will not look anything like what you see in books or pictures. it would look pale white, never grows, and basically starving ever so slowly just like a human could live on eating one slice of bread a day.
hope this helps.
Got it... so basically upgrading the lighting from where I'm at will only benifit my tank.
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