[Coral-List] Suitable lighting for coral maintenance in the aquarium

Tim Wijgerde wijgerde at coralpublications.com
Thu Jun 1 11:55:19 EDT 2017

Hi Ulf,

Fortunately, today's aquarium lights can easily replicate nature in terms of
irradiance, at least up to 1200 umol photons/m2/s. It depends on the size of
your wallet, and of course the depth of your aquarium. I prefer the LED
lights made by a well-known Dutch manufacturer of home appliances :-). 



-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Ulf Erlingsson
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 4:42 PM
To: Capman, William
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Suitable lighting for coral maintenance in the

The other week I was a searching for info on light level on natural corals
and found an article saying that aquariums notoriously have too little
light, so you may want to measure in the field and make sure you get the
appropriate light level in lux or in energy per square meter. 

Ulf Erlingsson
President and CEO
Lindorm, Inc.
10699 NW 123 St Rd
Medley, FL 33178

ceo at lindorm.com
+1-305 888 0762 office
+1-305 888 0978 fax
+1-305 308 6334 mobile

> On 2017-05-30, at 11:28 , Capman, William <capman at augsburg.edu> wrote:
> People are having good results with both LED and T5 lights (and 
> sometimes with combinations of the two!).
> Personally, my favorite lighting for small polyped stony corals is 
> metal halide - this is tried and true lighting for stony coral aquaria 
> that can give really excellent growth.  I have used 6500K bulbs as 
> well as 10,000k bulbs - the 6500K bulbs give excellent growth (some 
> folks have told me they feel 6500K bulbs give the best growth), though 
> corals do fine under the 10,000K bulbs and when appearance matters the
latter look nicer.
> A rough rule of thumb from Delbeek and Sprung's wonderful book "The 
> Reef Aquarium" is 3 - 5 watts of light per gallon (those 
> recommendations were from the days of metal halide and fluorescent 
> lighting - I don't know how to translate that into LED lighting).  
> Personally, when using metal halide lighting I have tended to use 
> roughly 6 to 10 watts per gallon (e.g. a 250 or 400 watt metal halide 
> over a tank as small as 40 gallons), and have had excellent growth 
> with the likes of Pocillopora and various Acropora species (I imagine 
> this would be too much light for some deeper water corals though?).
> LED lights have the ability to be dimmed, and colors can be 
> manipulated (assuming you have some basis for deciding what color balance
is good!).
> Metal halides can create heat problems (not an issue though if you 
> have good temperature control in the room with your tanks).
> There are many different lighting options here, and what you go with 
> will likely in part depend on what you have available in your area.  
> Note that one needs to be careful about changes in light intensity, in 
> particular making adjustments to higher light gradually.
> If there are any good quality coral reef aquarium shops in your area I 
> would visit these and see what they are using and what they recommend.
> Even better:  See if there is a local coral reef aquarium hobbyist 
> group in your area - in the U.S anyway, I have found some of the 
> members of our local marine aquarium society to be *extremely* 
> knowledgeable and experienced, and this would likely give you the 
> opportunity to see a variety of fully functional coral reef systems in 
> person.  This is important because the lighting is only part of what 
> it takes to keep corals healthy and growing - the lighting is 
> important, but there is so much more to system design than just the
> Also, there are some wonderful online forums, such as 
> http://web1.reefcentral.com/forums/index.php?s=
> There is a wealth of information already in the discussion threads at 
> such forums (if you have time to wade through the many *many* threads 
> and posts and find the information relevant to you!), and there are 
> many helpful, knowledgeable people who could answer questions. And you 
> could probably find local coral reef aquarium hobbyists in your area
through such forums.
> Even though you are apparently wanting to grow corals for research, 
> *don't underestimate the value of making connections with the reef 
> aquarium hobbyist community, since quite a few of these people are 
> extremely knowledgeable, very sophisticated aquarists with great skill 
> in growing and propagating corals.*  Some of the most amazing, 
> sophisticated coral reef aquarium systems (with healthy, thriving, 
> live corals) I have ever seen have been in people's homes, and quite a 
> lot of what we know about how to grow corals in aquaria was initially
figured out by advanced hobbyists.
> I hope this helps (and I apologize for not making the metric
> Bill
> On Mon, May 29, 2017 at 7:18 PM, Zachary Ostroff 
> <zachostroff at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I suggest reaching out to the public aquarium industry. They can help 
>> you select appropriate equipment for the dimensions of the system you 
>> need to illuminate, and what you desire to grow in it.
>> Zach Ostroff
>> Marine Exploration Center, St. Petersburg FL www.mecstpete.org 
>> <http://www.mecstpete.org/> Facebook.com/MECStPete 
>> <http://facebook.com/MECStPete>
>>> Message: 2
>>> Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 15:58:11 +0000 (UTC)
>>> From: SIVIWE ELVIS <siviweelvis at yahoo.com>
>>> Subject: [Coral-List] Suitable lighting for coral maintenance in the
>>>      aquarium
>>> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>>> Message-ID: <1657713927.1964449.1495727891410 at mail.yahoo.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>> Dear fellow Coral Reef researchers
>>> I am interested in conducting aquarium experiments with corals
>> (Pocillopora and Anomastrea species) to be collected from the wild 
>> (inter-tidal and sub-tidal zone). This is to inquire about the best 
>> lights to use which would produce the natural day light spectrum to 
>> mimic the natural coral environment, achieving optimal growth for 
>> these coral animals while in maintained in glass tanks.
>>> I am not good with lights but I seemingly need to make a choice 
>>> between
>> either T5 (fluorescent tube) or T8 (LED strips tube) lights for coral 
>> maintenance. Any advice and suggestions or references in this regard 
>> will be highly appreciated.
>>> Thank you
>>> Best regards
>>> Siviwe Babane (MSc Marine Biology student)
>>> University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN)
>>> College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science School of Life 
>>> Science Biological Science Department Westville, University road 
>>> Durban
>>> 4000
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