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Reefer James 06-19-2015 01:38 AM

Lighting debate
This is a split off of a previous topic of lighting. It is edited and may refer back to the original thread, here


Originally Posted by mr_X (Post 3236258)
White light doesn't make a coral lose anything except immediate aesthetics. You can turn the blues on and instantly have a more colorful coral.
I have LEDs and I run my lighting for a total of 12 hours. I also have a 5000k lamp on some montipora that look rather washed out...but as soon as I turn the low K lamp off, montis are colorful as the others again. I grow corals just as well as the next guy.

Hi what part about what I said are you disputing? If you're running the LED at 100% for 12 hours it is very very very likely most of that light is being wasted... Even in a high SPS tank this is likely way way too much light.

[It] is also proven that corals will grow different under different lighting. With more focus on the blue spectrum corals will actually change color. I'm talking about growth over months, not instant color change simply due to lighting.

I have kept corals in dozens of aquariums under different lighting and different flows and can speak first hand on the different in color and even thickness of skeletons between different systems...

The 5k bulb would grow quicker. Hopefully you have enough red spikes to actually achieve the benefits of that spectrum... I much much prefer the growth of corals under a 22K bulb, or more common 20K bulb. That 420nm of blues from actinic light will absolutely grow corals...

mr_X 06-19-2015 06:18 AM

Well, first of all you don't know what fixture the OP or I are using. You have no idea how potent they are. Corals only need "X" amount of usable radiation for "X" amount of time, and we don't know what "X" is.

Reefer James 06-21-2015 02:25 AM

Regardless of the fixture you are using I could create a thriving reef with the conditions I suggested. I certainly would not recommend changing to those conditions immediately, but the light will still have spikes on the spectrum where they are required for growth... The PUR is a much more important value to look at than PAR... You would never want to put corals under 100% light for 12 hours.

Most of the spectrum of LED lights is just too much light for the coral to receive in intensity all at once for that long.. Its not usable light... That is why we ramp LEDs so the corals can adjust to peaks in the day and extend polyps/inflate based on daily conditions they have acclimated to...

Unless this fixture is dramatically above the tank or significantly under powered, then yes it would be useful to know this information. I do still feel strongly about my overall recommendation to decrease lighting and allow for ramping throughout the day if you plan to run lights longer than 6-8 hours... It is also more ideal to provide more blue light than white, as this is what is actually penetrating the water anyway... But yes, once we know the exact fixture specs, distance above surface, and coral species we can more accurately suggest light intensity. But it's still going to be around the percentages and durations I originally stated most likely.

mr_X 06-21-2015 08:37 AM

PUR= Phosynthetically USABLE radiation. It's exactly the usable light corals need. If your led is not putting out a lot of usable radiation, or usable light, then you'll need to run it longer. For instance, if I had a current orbit fixture, I would most certainly want to run it at full power, for a full day, and even still I wouldn't be able to sustain sps, LED or not. I never mentioned PAR.

Reefer James 06-21-2015 05:14 PM

The current orbit LED at 100% for 12 hours would have too much light for any display (even an all sps). More focus should be given to coral placement to recieve correct amount of light they need in the day while maintaining a light cycle that'd encourage minimal algae growth.

mr_X 06-21-2015 06:20 PM

You might want to do some hands on research or even ask people who owned them. You cannot keep sps under the current led fixture. It's a fact. Not enough PAR/PUR...another fact.
Even in the top 1/3 of the tank, it's just not going to work. All LEDs are not created equal...

Reefer James 06-21-2015 06:29 PM

You're suggesting hands on research? I've been an active part of this hobby's inustry for many years now... I have maintained personal aquariums of all variety to thriving success. I am employed by many small businesses, law firms, personal homes, apartments, and other aquarium owners to maintain and produce results on their ecosystem.

I can tell you right now, there are corals by the group we know as SPS that will live under Current USA LED Lighting systems... There are even acropora that will THRIVE in these conditions... There are many, many, many more areas of reef keeping more important before lighting... The symbiotic algaes within corals do not require intense light, but far from it...

So I'm going to leave you with your last post. "It's fact". If you could please provide me with some data supporting that SPS corals cannot be sustained under Current USA LED Lighting I would be very interested to review and dispute these findings... thanks.

Furthermore, I would like to be provided a study to which corals require high PAR but not accurate spectrum required to host the algaes within corals. If you have a 5ft tank obviously you need an intense light to pack a punch for the blue spectrum to get that far down.... If you have an LED system that cannot support corals at the bottom of the tank, raise them up and re-aquascape... Do not provide more intense lighting that does not suit the specific needs of the coral overall... Raising the intensity of light will produce more algae on surfaces that corals need to grow. In addition to this, the algae would also take out some available nutrients for corals. Even coralline would remove elements for calcification of corals. These depletions could be limited by reduced lighting more aimed for zooxanthellae requirements of each coral we place. Obviously some of this is going pretty far on my defense, but it still exists and could be limited with reduced lighting, such as I suggested. Would more attention be required for specific coral placement, yes.. But it always should be...

mr_X 06-21-2015 07:37 PM

There are people on this very forum that have current LEDs and can't grow sps under them. Anyone that knows anything about LEDs knows you can't grow sps under .5 watt diodes. Even 1 watters are a stretch. That's why the first LED companies went out of business. It's not because they didn't have the right ideas, it's because they used 1 watt emitters and couldn't sustain high light corals.

The study you seek is in my tank, and in many tanks many years ago, when people used extremely high par 6500k MH Iwaki lamps to punch through deep water. I won't speak for them though...let's just use my experience- First, an anemone that went into a hole and started bleaching out from lack of light was doomed, until I focused a 5000k led lamp from home depot (you must know the narrow spectrum associated with leds, which is why we use multiple colors) and it made a full recovery. Then it's the seemingly dormant monti caps in a shadowed area that I focused the same narrow spectrum 5000k lamp on, which now, are growing just as fast as the other caps in reach of the overhead lighting. This is certainly proof that high par, but not the usual spectrum (I won't say inaccurate, because that's opinion, and not fact, the fact is the right amount of par/pur for the right amount of time, and you'll grow corals regardless of spectrum) Is what's needed here.
A 5' tank you mention, but you still don't know what tank the OP is talking about and what lighting. BTW, there's no led lighting sold by aquarium lighting manufacturers to date that will allow you to grow sps on the sand bed of a 5' deep tank...probably not even lps.

You, and many, many others have been an active part of this hobby for many years...That doesn't mean that you can't be wrong nor does it mean that you can't learn something new.

Reefer James 06-21-2015 09:19 PM


the fact is the right amount of par/pur for the right amount of time, and you'll grow corals regardless of spectrum) Is what's needed here.
Re-read this. Regardless of spectrum? So you're suggesting to just nuke the tank with whatever you have despite the fact LED can be tuned? Come on.

There are actually several LED that will sustain coral growth down to five feet. Are you familiar with how PAR is accumulated with multiple lights?

The problem in your instant is actually the use of a 5K bulb. Most of that spectrum is more on the red side and further away from the ultra violet of which actually penetrates the water....

I implore you to gather some addition information on light requirements for corals in particular to the spectrum of light being transmitted below water and how it's best implemented in aquaria...

mr_X 06-22-2015 07:53 PM

Show me one led fixture available that can grow sps at 5 feet.

Reefing Madness 06-22-2015 09:15 PM

AS much as I'd love to get into this with James, Im afraid he's right MR.X
The Orbit Marine may be garbage, and to this day I wouldn't use one if given to me, but its plenty of light for SPS.
Proof is in the pudding:
And this is only one link. I've got more if need be. But I think this will work.

mr_X 06-23-2015 06:05 AM

I can offer you threads showing the opposite. "Carey" who is also on this forum used one and she can attest to this. Gregcoyote also has a lot of experience with LEDs including building and selling them, and can also attest to this. I also currently have a 50 watt LED floodlight over my refugium that can grow algae, but that's about it- not even mushrooms thrive under it.

Reefing Madness 06-23-2015 11:25 AM

It is what it is my man, the question was, is that light sufficient to grow SPS, and the answer is yes, it is sufficient. They prefer the Bluer range of the LEDs, and most if not often enough, you don't even need any of the white light range to grow them at all. Dealing with the LEDs and knowing what it takes to get corals to grow are to totally different things.

If your spot light grows algae, is it just a straight up white led spot?? And who would use a 50w spot lamp for an led in their tank?? You'd have to have that thing 5' off the tank so you didn't cook anything.
A lot of SPS growers have gone back to the Halides, as they have a better light for SPS needs.

mr_X 06-24-2015 10:33 PM

And no, you are wrong...the 50 watt LED spot light doesn't "cook" anything- in fact it has very poor PAR/PUR/Lumens.... despite it's wattage. Mushrooms brown out under it and stretch outward for light. It is what it is? Yes, it sure is. That cleared up nothing however. The bottom line is that you can't give advice to lower your intensity unless you know the fixture, the tank depth, and the corals in it. SPS growers that go back to halides, [moderator edit] must like to waste energy.

Reefing Madness 06-24-2015 11:57 PM

There are more ways than one to grow [moderator edit] coral and just because its not your way, does not make it the wrong way!
There are way too many people and way too many REEF tanks out there, to point towards Halides being just as good if not better for growth.

Reefer James 06-25-2015 12:50 AM

[Moderator edit]
I tried to explain how lighting works.

Reefer James 06-25-2015 12:53 AM


SPS growers that go back to halides must like to waste energy.
So what's better a 6 x T5 or 250 MH? Or perhaps two LEDs?

Like to waste energy. When did this become a topic of energy vs lighting? Metal halide presents a much, much better replication of the sun. I wish more planted tanks in freshwater utilized 6.5K MH bulbs. HOW DO YOU THINK AKASHI DOES IT? He uses metal halide and t5 for FRESHWATER PLANTS.

melosu58 06-26-2015 02:31 PM

Everyone needs to be repectful of the others opinion. Do not flame anyone because their opinion does not agree with you.Please remain civil. Just post your opinion and move on. Let the OP decide which advice they want to choose.

Reefer James 06-26-2015 07:10 PM

I don't think any of our 3 feeling were hurt while talking about lighting..

mr_X 06-26-2015 08:41 PM

That said, to replicate the sun isn't what we are trying to do here. We are trying to put enough usable light over these corals so they grow while making them look good to our's definitely not duplicating the sun. I guarantee you these corals look much better in our tanks than they do in the ocean.
THE RIGHT leds are light years more efficient than metal halides, and this is why they are so popular. There is no downside to them.

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