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Old 09-19-2014, 11:51 PM   #1
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Best color spectrum for coral growth?

I have a 90g mixed reef.
Anemones-
2 bubble tips. Probably going to get more and maybe a long tentacle. This tank will most likely end up being anemones only
Coral-
Birdsnest
Big montipora cap
Another monti with bigger polyps
Torch
Frogspawn
Galaxea
Hammer
Acans
Glove polyps
Devils hand leathers
A lot of zoas
Mushrooms
And more I'm probably forgetting.

My question is, what would be the best color spectrum to get optimal growth (mostly from my anemones and zoas)? I have 2x 165w full spectrum LEDs. What should I run each dimmer at? I don't care about look as much as growth. Should I run equal parts blue/white? 2:1 blue/white? 1:2 blue/white?
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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Each variety of corals requires different lighting intensity and some need specific bandwidth. What you need to do is place them at different levels in your tank. Soft corals like mushrooms need less intensity so they are placed at the bottom. I have the same LED lighting as yours and I set my blue at almost full strength in 8 hrs. The white comes on just 4 hours in between at 1/4 turn. My anemone is on top of the rocks and they are loving it. The blue or actinic is where the bandwidth that most corals flourish. You may play at the blue at your visual preference and it depends on your tank height and fixture placement.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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Each variety of corals requires different lighting intensity and some need specific bandwidth. What you need to do is place them at different levels in your tank. Soft corals like mushrooms need less intensity so they are placed at the bottom. I have the same LED lighting as yours and I set my blue at almost full strength in 8 hrs. The white comes on just 4 hours in between at 1/4 turn. My anemone is on top of the rocks and they are loving it. The blue or actinic is where the bandwidth that most corals flourish. You may play at the blue at your visual preference and it depends on your tank height and fixture placement.
I understand how softies need less light then SPS. Of course there are exceptions. My frogspawn likes being at the bottom and my Duncan's like being at the top. I was more asking what blue and white ratio gives the best growth. I was hoping someone would have scientific data.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:35 PM   #4
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Your main question is about spectrum. If you you search on the internet you will find that the scientific answer is actinic and that is most corals thrive on. The white is for aesthetic.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/10/aafeature

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Old 09-20-2014, 01:13 PM   #5
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If I understand that link correctly, it is simply saying that the coral are more colorful under actinics. I remember reading somewhere that running all blue or most blue slows down growth.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
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A simple explanation of what the author is trying to convey is that the blue penetrates the salt water much deeper than other colors. While the human eye is more sensitive to colors other than blue. Most corals are found on deeper water and they utilize blue light. The author also emphasizes that nutrients available and the water parameter contribute to the coloration of corals. Light helps corals process the food via photosynthesis. Some articles you read saying that actinic has less effect is totally false. However, shallow reef corals would love some white light. The topic about PAR and PUR (photosynthetic available or usable radiation} would help you understand better about your question.

Edit: Hope this link helps

http://orphek.com/pur-photosynthetic...ble-radiation/

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Old 09-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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Best color spectrum for coral growth?

Why don't you see reef tanks run with complete actinics then? Because they don't emit much in the way of pur. They're for looks. Most corals are found in shallow reefs. IMO a 14-15k look will give you the best color and growth. Running to white of light will make everything look poopy but growth will be good. And vice versa.
However, it also depends on the fixture as a fixture running Cree LEDs in a 20k spectrum would probably provide better growth than a crappy led fixture running a 10k spectrum. Nutrients, flow, feeding, stability play a very important role in growth as well IMO. I also think that anyone who posts here is not definite about an answer as there is limited scientific evidence on lighting spectrum and coral growth. So all that said IMO I like a 15k look as it gives you the best of both worlds


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Old 09-20-2014, 02:51 PM   #8
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Why don't you see reef tanks run with complete actinics then? Because they don't emit much in the way of pur.


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You got it totally opposite. White is for aesthetic not blue. You don't want to see you tank to be all in blue. Blue is the PUR and not white.
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
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Best color spectrum for coral growth?

I'm confused how is white for aesthetics? Running a tank with all white lights washes out the corals colors. Why do I always see super blue photos of corals online for sale? Because blue light makes the zooxanthellae colors pop! I honestly don't think their is enough evidence out their to say blue grows coral, white does not...especially with LEDs.
Here's an idea, turn your whites all the way up and frag a piece. See how it grows for a month. Then turn your blues all the way up and frag an equal piece of the same coral. Put it in the same spot as the first frag and whichever one grows faster over a month proves which type of light grows coral better. Unless anyone has done this I honestly don't think we can make statements like white light doesn't grow coral while blue is the only thing that does. It all plays a part. Hence why I recommend a 15k look as you get peaks in the actinic range and the more white part of the spectrum.
Basically what I'm trying to say is corals utilize a lot of light from different parts of the spectrum so "blue" and "white" are relative terms.

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Old 09-20-2014, 03:11 PM   #10
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You got it totally opposite. White is for aesthetic not blue. You don't want to see you tank to be all in blue. Blue is the PUR and not white.

Then why do corals in the wild look nothing like they do in our tanks with all of our blue light?
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