Article by Marian Fisher
The proper lighting for a reef aquarium remains the most critical issue of maintaining and having a successful tank that will provide life for all aspects of the environment. The proper light intensity is needed for reef corals to live and grow. The photosynthesis levels of the tank is crucial for your coral to live. Your goal is to have your reef inhabitants use an almost natural lighting environment. You must have the right timed light exposure and the proper intensity as well as light spectrum if you are to be successful with your aquarium. This will provide your reef creatures with the greatest chance to grow and flourish.
For a reef aquarium lighting is expressed in watts per gallon. This is simply the amount of light power that is dissipated over the aquarium tank. For low light corals, the lighting should be between four and six watts per gallon of water. Light loving reefs should be bathed with ten watts of light per gallon because they require a higher light intensity.
If you want your reef life to get the proper lighting you should use a multiple light system with timer controls to vary the number of light and the intensity of light they will receive. This will provide a natural-like system that re-creates a natural sunlight environment like when the sun moves through the sky. This is one of the best ways to insure success with your own reef set up.
The two most common lighting solutions used for the reef aquarium are fluorescent and metal halide. Fluorescent lighting is cheaper and works well for those aquarium that are not deep. For deeper aquariums the intensity of fluorescent lighting is not enough, you might need metal halide. You will need to consider your own tank and decide which lighting will be correct.
Fluorescent lighting is available in many types and will last a long time. You may want to consider the new Power Compacts which produces a greater light intensity and will help your aquarium growth. These have a life span of up to two years and are economical to purchase.
The most intense lighting is metal halide. If your reef aquarium tank is deep that is a much better option because this lighting can penetrate depths beyond twenty inches. Metal halide can also help to beautify your tank by producing sparkling glitter lines. This is a nice attractive feature of the metal halide lighting that your do not achieve with fluorescent lighting.
The technology of lighting is getting better and they are now much more energy-efficient than ever before. This will save you money and energy costs. Because lighting is so crucial for your tank you should spend any extra money you have on good lighting choices. This will pay dividends for the success of your tank and will provide you with hours of joy and amusement. It would be in your best interest to do some reading and research into the lighting process with a reef tank.
The best thing a beginner can do is talk with your local dealer, talk with other owners, and do some research and reading about the subject. If you find the opportunity, join an interest group where you can learn from others about the techniques that work for a reef aquarium. Knowledge and education are your best friends when it comes time to explore this great hobby.
Before you go, I have the detailed specifications on the Red Sea Max 130D aquarium. It’s a great one for getting started with reef aquariums.
Please thumbs up on stumble if you like this! Hi all, it’s been a while, but better late than never I guess 😉 After battling montipora eating nudibranch for 2 months, I thought I had won the fight, only to discover that a calcium overdose had slowed them down. ( I had reached 1000 instead of 400-500 we are aiming for!) So when the calcium problem got solved (still killed a bunch of corals), the nudis got back stronger than ever and ate pretty much all the montis available. So here is the tank 8 months after a heartbreaking battle that I lost. I plan on adding new corals in july, so stay tuned. Started in february 2008, 6 ft, 130g display, 70g sump, 3x MH 400W 14 000 K Hamilton lights, 1x tunze 6080, 2x hydor koralia 4, 1x koralia 1, usa current 1/3 hp chiller, reeflo 200 skimmer, ph monitor, refractometer, cheato and caulerpa in sump+ 70 lbs live rock, fans, 1x 250 watt heater, 30g water reserve, 100 gpd RO/DI, Deltec H20 salt… SONG BY PHANTOGRAM : MOUTHFUL OF DIAMONDS Thanks for all the comments, until next video, Ganzel
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