Some of the trends I’ve noticed at various shops and frag shows are disturbing at best. There has been a lot of talk lately about the questionable Photoshopping techniques used by some online coral vendors, but what about the in-person deception that can be found with some vendors? Tanks flooded with blue actinic lighting designed to make corals “pop” unnaturally, unlike your home lighting is becoming common place in the industry, so we should all be armed with the tools needed to look past it. When shopping for your next coral, the first thing that should be considered is the lighting over the tank. Look up at the lighting and try to figure out how much bluer or whiter it is than your tank.  This can usually help to avoid disappointment when you see a new coral under your own lighting. I also encourage everyone to speak out against the over-bluing of coral tanks for sales purposes. Sometimes all it takes is enough people asking, “Can I see this under white lights?” to bring about change.

All images on the left are under heavy actinic lighting. All images on the right are under full spectrum lighting.

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