(Very) Low light corals

Discussion in 'Corals' started by K3NN3TH, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. K3NN3THNew MemberMember

    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to convert an extra marineland system 12 into a saltwater aquarium, and though I was originally only planning on having FOWLR, I was wondering if there were any corals that would grow under really low light. We're talking a 13W 50/50 10,000K/Actinic compact fluorescent and a small LED moonlight I'm going to fix on the top. I know that isn't much more that 1W per gallon, but I think that number may be misleading, as the depth of the tank is only 17in. So I figured I might be able to get away with a few mushrooms or maybe even polyps. The flow isn't great but I may shell out the money for a small powerhead, if that would indeed help.

    What do you guys think? I don't have any experience with saltwater other than the decent amount of research I've done lately.

    Any specific breed suggestions would be nice, although I'm pretty much limited to Petco and a local fish store.

    Thanks guys!
  2. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I doubt if any corals would do too well under such low lighting. You might be able to keep some mushrooms if they are high up in the tank.

    You could always start a FOWLR tank and upgrade your lighting later if you decide you want corals. You'd have to remove the Eclipse hood, but the lighting and filter in it aren't really helping you much anyway so no big deal IMO. You could use a fixture with mounting legs that sits on the frame of your tank and add a HOB or some powerheads.
  3. pepetjWell Known MemberMember

    Your tank is 21"L x 11"W x 18" H. Once you manage to keep nitrates and phosphates as close to zero as possible, you could consider those corals that thrive in low light or even shadowed areas as long as you can meet their other needs (e.g. current strength, sand substrate instead of live rock).

    Here is a list of Soft Corals that might not be too delicate to keep, please consider their potential size as limiting factor (taken from Julian Sprung, 1999, Corals A Quick Reference Guide, Oceanographic Series, Ricordea Publishing, Florida).

    Studeriotes (Christmas tree, French Tickler, Sphaerella krempfi): Quite hardy. Peaceful. Requires moderate to strong currents, best placed in the sand substrate (not live rock).

    Minabea: Requires moderate to high currents. Considered peaceful. Quite hardy. Needs to be placed in a shadowed area.

    Nephthyigorgia (Chili Sponge, Red Finger (soft) Coral, Devil's Hand): Peaceful. Placed at shadowed areas or at the lower third of the tank. Considered hardy.

    Diodogorgia (Finger Sea Fan, Yellow Finger, Red Finger). Somewhat hardy. Peaceful. Needs moderate to strong currents. Placed at the lower end of the tank.

    Guaigorgia (Blue Gorgorian, Sea Whip). Mild to Strong currents. Peaceful. Placed at the bottom of the tank (on live rock). Somewhat hardy.

    Santo Domingo

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