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Old 05-14-2011, 03:08 AM   #1
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Actinic light on too long?

I have some LED fixture that has been keeping my corals in very good condition. It has two different switches so I can turn on the actinics earlier and shut em off later than the whites. I have been keeping the whole system on for about 8 hours a day, being that 3 hours before my white leds go on, and an hour after it goes off, my actinics stay on. So at a single day my actinics are on for 12 hours total(and whites 8 hours). I dont have an issue with algae, and also have a phosphate reactor that keeps them in check.
So here is my question:
I am happy with the overall look the regular LED fixture actinics give the tank when on by themselves, specially at night when I have a chance to enjoy the tank when back from work.
However, I have sitting a 24" True Lumen PRO LED(actinic also)striplight that I tried on the other day in conjunction with the others and it did complement greatly to the "night glow" of the corals.
I noticed though that the addition created a way brighter "night" for the corals, and was wondering if that could affect them by way of being too much light during a single day...From what Ive read corals need "dark" like all other aquatic animals...
Should I be concerned about that or what counts as "daylight" are the full blown whites+actinics which in my case are just 8 hours? Actinics are really helpful in coral growth or mainly to accent colors(looks)?
I would like to keep the extra actinic leds, as they make the tank a lot nicer, but want to make sure it wouldnt be detrimental to the corals...
Thanks for the attention reeffers, as usual!

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Old 05-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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I run my LEDs similar to you. The whites are on 8 hours a day and the LEDs come on an hour before and an hour after. So I run mine for 10 hours on the blues.

I also have the moon lights controlled by my apex controller to replicate the lunar cycle. When the moon is up, the whites and blues run at 2%. I run whites too because I don't like the coral to "glow" like its under a black light, just too unnatural for me.

Any higher than 2%, even with the blues and the corals wouldn't close up and the fish stayed active. In my opinion, the tank needs rest, to prepare for the next day of photosynthesis.

If you are adding more light and the corals won't rest, I would be worried. As far as duration goes, if you don't have algae problems I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 05-14-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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I had thought of that as well, and even though I am tempted to place the fixture up, I was worried it would be too much "brightness" for a time where things need to start shutting down to rest. Now, do actinics help with growth or is that all hype, and only for looks? I read so much mixed info everywhere....
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:34 AM   #4
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Corals can utilize actinic lighting for photosynthetic purposes.

As I understand it, in the wild for corals that a found at depths of 50ft/15m and greater, the spectrum of natural sunlight that they mostly receive is equivalent to the spectrum of actinic lighting (~420nm-460nm), though at a much greater PAR. That spectrum of light has greater water piercing capability than the other spectrums found in natural sunlight.

In an aquarium environment 'daylight' bulbs can pretty much provide all the lighting needs that corals require, so in that sense actinics aren't a requirement and may be considered an optional supplement.
Rift Lake and Reef tanks.
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actinic, light, long

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