About to go buy new bulbs need some opinions

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Lighting' started by krazyone2006, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    Ok over my 75g reef tank I have a 48in. 4 bulb Coralife T-5 fixture with 4 moonlights

    at the moment I am running
    2-10,000k bulbs
    1-Tru-Antic (I think that's what it was called when I bought it)

    moonlights run 24/7
    antic and blue+ come on from 10 a.m -11 p.m (on timer)
    10,000k's come on at 1 p.m - 10 p.m (on timer)

    Now I am getting ready to replace all the bulbs in the fixture and was wondering if I should get the same set of bulbs or is there something I can change to get a little better coral growth. I don't really care what it looks like to the eye as much as I care about the coral growth.


    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  2. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, nice to see the amazing progress your making and doing a lot of research. I'm going to bow out of this one 'cause I never had any experience with lighting to benefit corals. The lighting I have is certainly beautiful but not great for a reef tank since mine is a fowlr. I'll tag along on this thread 'cause I 'm curious about it.

  3. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah fish only tanks are different than reef tanks. LoL Just trying to figure out if I should keep using what I got but get new bulbs(they are about 7 months old now)or change up to a combination that will increase growth in the corals. LoL

  4. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    What corals do you have? The lighting requirements vary greatly between different types.

    SPS typically require medium to high lighting, LPS are more on the medium side, but some are on the high side. Soft corals are typically medium. It really depends on what you are keeping. If you have a mixed reef, often, the lower light corals would be placed toward the bottom of the tank, and the higher light toward the top.

    Reef Keeping magazine has some great articles on lighting:  

    Also remember, that in addition to lighting, water parameters play a major part in coral growth. Phosphates, Nitrates, Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Salinity.

    It's often said SPS "Junkies" don't keep coral, they maintain water :giggle:
  5. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    coral stock as of right now is

    purple athelia
    cabbage leather
    red devil leather
    multiple types of zoas
    hammer coral
    kenya trees
    trumpet coral
    green star polyps
    purple mushroom
    florida ricordia
    sun coral
    purple with green mouth blasto
    blue clove polyps
    carpet anemonie
    blue with purple center palyothas
    idaho grape montipora
    feather dusters

    yeah I went a little crazy on the corals LoL

    water paramaters
    p.h 8.2
    nitrate-between 10ppm and 20ppm on the color chart
    salinity- 1.025

    that's everything I test for and they stay pretty stable

    I also dose B-ionic 2 part every other day
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  6. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    I decided to take a look-see into this myself and found some interesting stuff. I happened across an LED lighting thread which stresses that coral needs to be slowly acclimated to different lighting intervals. Another words the lighting changes should be gradual. If this is not done it can cause the corals numerous problems like closing up or even bleaching. I use LED's on my fowlr which led me to this and was wondering if this may be something to look into as well? I don't know if you can do this with your bulb lighting but....

    krazyone2006 is that a typo or is your nitrate level at .2ppm?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  7. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    no my nitrates sits between 10ppm and 20ppm since I have upgraded the skimmer it is slowly going down it was 40ppm steady with the skimmer I had on the tank before.
  8. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    I only bring this up due to corals requiring a NO3 reading of <0.2ppm. A fowlr can sustain those levels but I keep mine even lower due to having delicate fish. I only keep mine as high as <5.0ppm "cause I like to keep my chaeto going strong for my PO4 and pods colony. Otherwise I'd lower it even more.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  9. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    I'm actually about to give up on my chaeto I've had the same baseball size piece for 4-5 months and it hasn't grown or anything its the same size as when I got it. Don't know why I have tried 3 different lights over it in my sump it has flow and moves around but just don't grown for some reason.

    I just upgraded my powerheads to 2 hydor koralia 4s today too 1200gph each. Also might have 30-40 pounds more live rock coming for the tank in the next couple days.
  10. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    The LR and extra power heads are great and will help. I would at this point be most concerned about bringing down those nitrates. There are tons of articles, threads and youtubes on this. In my case when first getting on this 6mo. back with my "old tank syndrome" (high trates - PO4 etc...) was to CLEAN. I started by turkey basting/blasting my LR with the power heads off, vacuuming the substrate (knowing where the detritus settled most to focus on), cleaning out the mechanical often then doing my WC's right after. All the while, keeping an eye on not letting my PH or trates swing too much while doing this to get things leveled out. This can keep things under control long term with much work. I would suggest with that size tank looking into a bio pellet reactor. I just joined a reef club (water quality " fascists ") where they debate endlessly about sugar/vodka dosing vrs bio pellets etc...but they do keep on this tirelessly either way. A good suugestion would also be cleaning out (body & neck) of your skimmer often to keep it running well. hope this helps, ttyl.

    * I've learned first hand that chaeto helps but the amount required to really do the job would be silly, works great in smaller amounts for PO4 though!
  11. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I actually slightly disagree with this. I do agree that corals do better when NO3 and PO4 are as close to zero as possible, but in my experience so far, up to 5ppm of NO3 seems to be ok. All my LPS, softies and the anemone are doing really well, growing and healthy. Caveat; SPS will definitely do a lot better with 0 NO3.

    Lighting acclimation is true too. LEDs are great, as most of the decent fixtures have settings that allow you to change the intensity, and gradually increase over time. I've never used MH or T5HO on my reef, but I've also read that it is advisable to only change one tube at a time, or raise the fixture and bring back down. Reason being, new tubes/bulbs are more intense, and can shock corals.

    For krazyone, most of the corals you have are not too demanding on light. The sun coral is actually non-photosynthetic, so lights won't change anything on that one. Your anemone is probably the most 'light hungry'.

    Apart from bringing down the nitrates, your parameters look pretty good... any idea on Mg?

    The other thing worth looking at is feeding of your corals. Most of what you have are filter feeders, and will likely benefit from a good filter food. I use Polyp Labs "Reef-roids", and broadcast feed every night (it's overkill I know)
  12. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    As far as feeding I have been feeding kinda heavy since I got the new skimmer

    feeding schedule as of lately is

    a.m flake
    afternoon pellets(basically a few spot fed to my pistol shrimps cave)
    p.m small pinch of flake
    also whatever the corals eat for the day

    one day a cube of Pemysis w/ cyclop-eeze and mysis shrimp cube (thawed in a container with tank water then spot fed to most corals including all the water from it thawing I don't rinse it)

    next day a cube of the frozen reef mix thawed the same way and crushed & broken up into fine bits and pieces with some blood worms added and spot feed corals again
    (I also turn off my overflow and return sump and only let the power heads run in the tank when feeding)

    then start all over the next day LoL

    the anenomie gets hand fed pieces of raw shrimp every 3-4 days along with the chocolate chip startfish living in my sump at the moment.

    the two blue with yellow tail damesels and the all blue damsel will be getting taken out soon too so that should help to drop the nitrate a little too.

    I have been meaning to get a magnesium test but forget every time I go to the one store that would have it and it's not close to my house and not driving makes it hard to get there as often as I would like too. LoL

    I am also in the planning process of changing the sump once again from the current 29g tall to a 36g long so I can set a proper DSB and refug back up and give the skimmer its own compartment.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  13. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    "Caveat; SPS will definitely do a lot better with 0 NO3."

    ? - Isn't it better to have some level of very low nitrate vrs zero?
  14. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Generally speaking, everything I've read suggests 0 NO3, and about 0.03ppm of PO4 - because PO4 is very difficult to completely eliminate.

    Reef Keeping magazine suggests <0.2ppm of NO3   but most reefers I know run at 0 NO3 (might be because test kits show 0, when in fact there may be trace amounts :;dk)
  15. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    The local reefer that I have gotten most of my frags from has told me he keeps his N03 between 5-10 and his tanks are amazing. I have to take pics of them next time I am over there. He said his secret is dirty water and he only feeds flakes/pellets daily for the fish in his tanks and his corals once a week.

    Hopefully with the additional live rock, removal of the 3 fish and the new sump will help bring the N03 down to where it needs to be. I don't plan on any more corals at the moment (unless I see something really good for a really good price LoL) and I only plan on adding two other fish another maroon clown and a tang of some sort haven't figured out which one yet though.
  16. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    I vote for a Yellow Tang :). As you may have seen on other threads here IMO they are a must have!
    YT 2.jpg

    *here's my guy.
  17. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    And therein proves that guides are just that, a guide :D

    Every system is different, what works in one may not work in another. I know in my system for example, that whilst the recommendation for alkalinity is 10-12dKH, if I try go to 11, my corals don't look happy. I sit at 9-10.

    Always trust the health of the system and livestock more than the actual numbers. Like I said earlier, IME, up to 5ppm NO3 is ok in my system, more than that, and things suffer.

    But I think we've also de-railed this thread from the original topic of lighting..... sorry, my bad :)
  18. krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    it's actually a toss up between a yellow tang or a Scopas tang


    I have been wanting a yellow tang.But all the yellow tangs I have seen locally are not the greatest looking but one LFS has a nice Scopas for $50 right now so maybe after I take the other 3 fish out. LoL
  19. 1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    Well seeing that a Gem or Black Tang is out of the question :( I'd go for a Achilles Tang next!!!

    *I think it's alright to be off topic when it comes to talk of tangs?!?!

    *oh no, just looked, I didn't know the Achilles cost that much :(?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice