What Is The Best Lighting For Growing Corals?

ChaseO

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Hay I was wondering what the best lighting is to grow all the different corals, anemones, and clams? I will be building a frag tank and a light for it and my tank is a 20gallon breeder so what wattage would be best and type and size?
THANKS!!
 

Chad

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I've found LED's to work wonders. I have the AI Sol Super Blues on my tank and the growth is amazing with them. Now...that's overkill for a 20 gallon breeder to be sure but AI makes the AI Nano which is a good light for that. There are other lights of course but when you want to be able to grow anything form clams to anemone it's really the safest bet as far as I'm concerned. You would be able to get great growth on most corals with a T5HO light because the tank is so shallow you don't have to worry much about PAR at depth.
 

Chad

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You're welcome.
 
I realize those are costly lights so If you are looking for something less fancy and therefore more affordable WavePoint LED lighting makes a nice little light that can grow corals quite well. Not to the same degree but I've seen nano tanks using this light that have monti caps, acans, duncans etc. Might be worth a look. I use an all white one on my planted tank, and a blue/white on my cheatomorpha.
 

alanwebse

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The best light for corals is sunlight. If you don't have huge open windows or solar tubes then you can go for  LED, T5, or MH. There is not a single test that will prove that one is better than the other. Water quality and flow are also a deciding factor in coral growth.
 

Chad

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I certainly see what you are saying and agree but "better" is subjective in this case.
 
If we are saying better for corals then of course all we want is that they get enough light to grow which can certainly be provided by each of the above mentioned. But if what we are talking about is better for a given situation then we can argue that some lights are better than others.
 
For example T5 vs MH or LED for depth. T5 does will not penetrate as deeply. Growing corals low or on the sand bed will be difficult to do well in a deep tank with T5's.
If heat is an issue then LED comes out on top, same when dealing with electricity costs and bulb replacement costs. I'm a fan of LED because I feel they are better for most situations that arise.
 
Water quality and flow are huge factors and cannot be ignored. Really if you do poorly on any of the three, light, flow, or water quality, corals will not thrive.
 

Donya

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I love LEDs for the heat reason - wouldn't use anything else on a small tank. I do like that it's easier to play with the spectrum via bulb choice with T5 fixtures, although that's a fairly specialty thing.
 

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