I have some question about lighting. I have 150gal tank with 4 54w T-5s and 3 250w 14000k Metal Halides. Right now I'm running the T-5s for 12 hours, I run the Metal Halides for 7 hrs. Is this enough or should I change my lighting? Any better Ideas?
That is more than enough lighting to grown medium-high light SPS or Clams on the sandbed without an issue and cook anything other than well acclimated high light loving stuff up top. Keep the shades on while serviceing the tank or you might go blind! :3195:
I grew SPS on sandbed of a 130 72x18x24 with 2X 250watt 20k. Monties, stylos, pocciloporas, and acros full colors. Add another 250 watt of halide and 220 watts of T5HO and upgrade light to 14k.... I think there is plenty of light to grow just about anything your heart desires. 7 hours on the halides is a great cycle, if you wanted to bump it up to 8 hours for part of the year sure, down to 6 sure... most corals need at least 5 hours in their main cycle, so I would not go below 6 hours. Timers are best IMO. less stressful on the corals to have a good structured routine. Best of luck with the tank!
My SPS on the sand 24 inches down grow 1/4" a week at least under my mh 250's, I'm using 14k Phoenix bulbs for 7 hours and have dual 72" super actinic bulbs on to make up just the difference a couple hours before and after the halides are on.
In the ocean the sun isn't directly on the corals for 12 hours, studies have shown that 3 to 4 hours of direct high intensity light is all corals need to grow normal.
Well thanks for the advice. Right now I have some mushrooms growing and gsp none of them look bad. but I seem to have a problem with hair algae it is starting to get out of control. I was thinking about cutting back on the lights. It looks like I need to explore other options any ideas?
Hair algae doesn't usually grow simply because of light. That being said, if you have older bulbs and they have color shifted, they may promote algae growth.
I think you probably have something else going on, such as high phosphate levels. You may also have high nitrates or some other nutrient level off balance. For hair algae removal. I suggest a combination of things.
1.) Get your water parameters in check.
a) Do regular water changes
b) cut back on over feeding
c) add filter socks with Activated Carbon, and GFO
2.) Get a creatures that eat it. I personally like white algae blennies and foxfaces. I keep the occasional turbo snail as well, but they are a bit of a bulldozer to my frags.
3.) Check your magnesium, then bump it up to relatively high levels if it is not already up there. I haven't had time to get into the chemistry/biology of it, but raising the magnesium levels really help rid your tank of unwanted algae.
If you have a huge algae problem, and very little coral, you can go with the "lights out period". Its a technique that has helped many get a jump on removing their algae problem. It's not a cure, just a good way to get a head start on it.
Basically you turn off all your lights, and wrap your tank in a blanket (or other light blocking cover) for around 3 days. It is important to block all the light. The algae cannot survive for long without light. The coral, being an animal can survive much longer without light (however, the algae that resides in the coral cannot survive much longer than a few days) and it won't be hurt by a couple days of no light. If you need to, you can remove the coral and put it in another tank with a simple clamp on full sun power compact bulb. This will be sufficient for a few days while the tank is starved of light.
You MUST do a water change before turning the lights back on. All that die off of the algae will spike your levels and you will need to remove the excess nutrients otherwise the algae will bounce right back!
Try these things and I bet your algae problem will no longer be a problem at all!
Happy Reefing :victory:
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