Reef Tank getting enough lighting?


Hello everyone,
I have a 65 gallon Bow front aquarium, on my tank I have 2 T-5HO bulbs, one is actinic, one is 10k. I also have a 5050 led actinic strip on the tank. I don’t know if it is not enough or to much.

Reasons for not enough:
- Long Tentacle Anemone is getting smaller (I do not mean expelled/deflated), he is just not as full as normal and I read that, that can be from starvation. But he doesn’t want to move at all or even stretch for light. I’ve had him for 2 -1/2 months. In the picture below he is about half his normal size, I’ve amped up feeding for him. And after I feed him he goes back to his normal size!!
- I’ve had a birdsnest coral for 3 months and it went from green, to brown, then back to green after I replaced my bulbs, then bleached. (low light kills longer than high light)

Reasons for too much:
- Birdsnest Coral bleached when I moved him to a higher area
- My open brain coral lost tissue when it was closer to the light, but it has regained tissue in the sand bed.
- I get a lot of coralline growth for the age of my tank
- I get nuisance algae on the sand and glass, but not much because of water chemistry

Side notes: The montI cap I thought was bleaching from high light is actually bleaching from montI cap eating nudibranchs. All the other corals/nems are doing great. Tank is almost 7 months old

Salinity : 1.025
Calcium : 410ppm
Alk: 9.5
Magnesium : 1320
Nitrate: 2ppm
Phosphate : .1
Temp: 80 F
pH: 8.2
Lighting Hours : 10am-9pm

Fish :
Yellow Tang
Scopas Tank
(The tangs will be relocated when larger)
Ocellaris Clown
2 Clarkiis
1 Bangaii
1 Yellow tail damsel
1 fire dart fish
1 Purple dottyback

Cleaner Shrimp
Coral Banded Shrimp
Sand Sifting Star
Nassarius Snails
Astrea Snails
Turbo Snail
Blue Legged Hermits
2 Rainbow BTAs
1 Green LTA

Red Monti
Green Birdsnest
Pulsing Xenia
Green Kenya Tree
Kenya Tree
Hammer Coral
Galaxea Coral
Open Brain Trachy

Water Change every 2 weeks
10 Gallon Water Change
RODI water with Omega Sea
I dose calcium as needed but not alk because my salt has a lot of it. (Aquavitro)
I feed once a day + nori
I dose Phyto-Plankton once a month

Chemi-Pure Blue and Fluval Clearmax
Filter Floss and Biological Filtration pellets

So overall, too much or too little?

BTW the pic of the LTA is not a good one

Pics \/





  • Thread Starter


I’ll feed the nem and show you guys his full size, because he opens up completely after he eats the food for some reason


I feel like it’s probably not enough light. I’m guessing the birds nest bleached because it went from too low of light to new bulbs and a higher position in the tank at the same time. Large changes in light will kill very fast.
Your alk is a little On the low side and your photo period is pretty long.
Open brain corals need to be in the sand and are lower light corals. It likely lost flesh because being on the rock and too high up.
You have a very weird mix of low light and high light corals. If you increase tour lighting intensity do it slowly. What I always did was get 3-4 window screens and remove one every 2 weeks and adjust if need be. Any odd signs in coral behavior I’d slow up.
  • Thread Starter


Thank you! What light fixture should I get/add, preferably cheaper side, because if I spent a lot of money right now, my parents would kill me
  • Thread Starter




This is the nem now


LogansReef said:


This is the nem now
Doesn’t look bad to me but likely needs more light than you have. LTA’s need more light than most anemones.
Here’s the lighting requirements for an LTA. I doubt you’re there.

Also what’s a lot of money to me and you might be different. There’s a saying buy once cry once. Buy a good light and it will last a long time. What are you looking to spend?
  • Thread Starter


Preferably under $100, but I can go over if I need to


If you want a LTA and SPS you will need to go over $100 for sure.
You’ll need to be in the 200+ PAR range for a 4 foot tank.
You might be best off going with a pendent light and just spotlighting where the LTA and putting the birds nest up higher. The ones I’m seeing are $250-$350 for higher light. Maybe try to get some more T-5’s
You have some low light corals like the mushrooms and soft corals that should be fine with your current lighting.
I don't see how you’ll get a high intensity light for around $100.

10 Best LED Lighting for Reef Tanks - (2020 Reviews & Guide)
  • Thread Starter


Thank you so much! I’ll have to do some more research in those lights


LogansReef said:
Thank you so much! I’ll have to do some more research in those lights
Anytime good luck.

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