The Deep Dive on Reef Aquarium Lighting, Part 2: Lighting Technologies

I get asked fairly often what light is the best light. Unfortunately, there is no right answer. First off, there is the difference in aesthetics. That is a purely subjective decision that only hobbyists can make for themselves. Most of the time hobbyists gravitate towards the blue end of the spectrum because it is very flattering to corals that fluoresce brightly.In terms of coral biology, the type of lighting that will work the best for your tank will depend a great deal on what animals you intend to keep. As I mentioned in Part 1, corals will adapt to lighting by regulating their zooxanthellae, so most coral will grow under any of these lighting technologies. Having said that, it is also entirely possible to have some corals take on a desirable appearance while other corals become less attractive under the same light. Such is the price to be paid for a mixed reef tank

Kessil A360W LEDs Don’t Disappoint!

LED lighting is the latest addition on my reef aquariumRegular Saltwater Smarts visitors may recall that back in the spring of 2015, I closed down my 75-gallon reef tank and converted my 125-gallon (then) FOWLR tank to a reef system with the addition of some invertebrate livestock from the 75 and a Current USA metal halide/T5 combo light fixture donated by Caribbean Chris. Fast-forward to May of this year, and it was time to consider new lights. I was really pleased with the look of the lighting that the Current USA fixture produced. However, it did have a few drawbacks.For one, it was really heavy and required two people to remove for water changes and other tank maintenance. Also, the rather flimsy support legs used to mount the fixture on the tank weren’t really up to the task and broke quite easily. (Suspending the fixture from the ceiling was not an option and, according to my wife, could cost me my life.) Another issue was that the fixture—which, though new for me, was actually rather old by most people’s standards when I got it—was getting a bit buggy, with the switches failing one by one and some of the T5s working intermittently. Last but not least, running all those lamps and the fan to cool them was adding a considerable sum to our electric bill each month.
Follow Us!
Get the latest reef aquarium news in your email.