confused about reef lighting - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
confused about reef lighting

I don't really get it. I know that most people like LED lights, but is there some reason tou NEED LED, or is it mostly aesthetic, because it makes colors bright. I'm starting up a 2.5 gallon pico reef with beginner corals(zoos, button polyps) and mushrooms. It was a fw tank, and the light for it is a 15 watt compact flourescent. Is that enough for these corals in 2.5 gallons? it is 60 hertz and 120 volts, although I don't think that's important. How many watts of light per gallon do you need? That's about 7. Also, does anyone know any non-stinging coral for a tiny reef?
Thank you sooo much!!!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 08:24 PM
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Do you have any experience with reef tanks? If not, I really would't suggest doing a picotank because they're extremely unstable. You'd need an automatic topoff just to prevent salinity swings.

As far as lighting, LEDs are popular because they radiate much less heat into the tank (not to mention the electricity savings on larger tanks ). The issue with the metal halides and T5s that have been the standard for reefs is that they produce so much heat that often times a chiller is required. They also don't utilize PUR very efficiently (because a lot of the PAR is in the wrong spectrum) but your fixture can be much more efficient per watt when choosing the wavelengths used. I have a 72W Cree LED fixture that I custom built myself using 12 whites dimmable and 12 blues fixed. It's nice being able to adjust the white for both intensity and color control.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
never mind about the anemone btw. I wanted one to host sexies but they eat zoos so i'm not getting them.
Yes, this is my first reef tank, but I'm the kind of person who will do nonstop research for months in advance until I knoe EVERYTHING abouth the things I'm considering. Plus, I allready have the 2.5 and will not upgrade.
So, will my compact florescent work with the corals I chose? I'm not quite clear on your answer yet(still learning the marine language (:! )
Thanks for the info so far!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 10:23 PM
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
I don't get it! i mean light is light right? why does it matter besides colour? Works fine for aquarium plants! grrrr corals are soooo confusing. are LEDS the only ones that work? why not CFs?
thanks!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
Oh yeah, I do have an LED party bulb...
it has a remote contol. You can make it brighter or faded. It can do many shades of white, green, blues, pinks, and yellow. Now that would make a beautifully stunning display!
BUT... it's only 10 watts. That probaby won't cut it ( 4 watts per gallon?)
-maybe I could find a way to use both...
-Maybe the 30 watts of light from my ceiling light will make up for the low bulb wattage. It is a clear glass top tank.
-I could put it by a window.

Help me out here please!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 12:39 AM
LEDs
Metal Halides
T-5
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
Ok, heres what I did. I put the LED into the lamp. I figured it would be the best option because I can give them a propper nightime transition with the dimmer. Altough the wattage is low, the tank is so shallow (8 inches) that when sitting up on the live rock the corals will be so close to the light. They'll basically be getting all 10 watts directly i think! I have heard about reflectors and I'm not sure what they are, but I lined the upper side of the light fixture with tinfoil so that more light bounces into the tank. All the corals I'm really interested in are low-light: mushrooms, button polyps, kenya trees, xenia, etc...
Do you think this will work out?
Do you have any more reccomendations to get more light? should I put it by my window or by my fw tank to share light? will having a screen or glass top limit the ammount of light for my coral? I can feed them too if it will help them grow betetr!
Thanks you so much!!!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 05:21 PM
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
no thanks, I really can'tt buy a new light, just wondering if mine will do. If not, maybe I will just stick with the shrooms. Could I try a really small group of sun coral? They are non-photosynthetic, and as far as I can tell the only issue is feeding. I spot feed all of my fish anyway, so this won'y be a big problem for me.
Thanks again!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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