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After setting up my LEDS I noticed my SPS frags started losing color. Orginially I had them running at 40% two over a 90. So I bumped it up to 60% subsequently the got even whiter such as frogskin and santosa. Even though I am losing color I am getting great polyp and growth. After reading many threads It appears that there is too much light or they are in light shock. Moving forward I lowered both white and blues to 10% and added a sunset and sunrise with cloudy weather. Now the colors are comming back. Another thing making the situaiton worse is ULNS. My skimmate is pure white foam and minimal dirty in filter sock. Any recommendation in feeding SPS? I have been throwing in Reef nutrition oyster feast a capfull a day but it seems to be too expensive.

Is there anything else I can do to get colors back and considering I am at the lowest setting at what increment do you recommend increase?
 

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What led fixtures do you have? i think a proper light acclimation for the corals should help out quite a bit. Also keep an eye on your parameters i had a major fluctuation issue with my alk and calcium almost everything lost color and started dying!!!
 

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Welcome to the club . I have the same exact issue as you . I have had my AI sol blues for over a year now with a ulns system . Lost color on sps , LPS , but get the polyp extension and growth . I have tried a lot of different settings . I heard they are not getting enough light, they are getting too much light , no UV in the LED , so on and so on . I never had any issues with my radium 250 w and T5's . Trying to capture the excellence I had with with my old lighting set up seems like it won't happen with LEDs . I am currently looking for a radium 250 w set up as I am writing this. I also can't take any good pictures with the LEDs , seems like the light Is so intense my pictures just get washed out .
 

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Good thing you got the light situation under control before it was too late. You could always try mixing the coral food up. For example, add some Phyto and Zooplankton along with the Oyster Feast. I haven't tried it yet but, I have talked to a few others who are also using the Reef Chili. If you are running a Bio Pellet reactor, that is another food source in its own. It may just take time for the colors to come back being you switched to LED's.
Personally, I feed 1-2ml of Oyster feast and 1ml of Phyto Feast daily. I also feed Whites97 food to my fish and dont feed the above on that day as it has a ton of stuff in it. For the LPS and fish, I feed Mysis feast, Roti Feast, Cod Eggs, PE Mysis, Spirlina Enriched Brine. Just try to keep a variety of foods available and feed at random.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tanks for your reply

What led fixtures do you have? i think a proper light acclimation for the corals should help out quite a bit. Also keep an eye on your parameters i had a major fluctuation issue with my alk and calcium almost everything lost color and started dying!!!
I am anal about water and test every day. Below are my specs and they Stay in the range.

Calc 450
Alk 11
MG 1400
Phos (hanna) .00 -.03
SG 1.025
All of the rest undetectable.

Apollo Leds controlled by APEX
 

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alk may be a little high but 11 is still not bad imo. how do you like your hanna testers? i just bought a few and love them!! I would just keep your lights on the low end and slowly work them up, you should be fine!! if you need to move some of sps down a little bit to just to make sure they are not getting fried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Welcome to the club . I have the same exact issue as you . I have had my AI sol blues for over a year now with a ulns system . Lost color on sps , LPS , but get the polyp extension and growth . I have tried a lot of different settings . I heard they are not getting enough light, they are getting too much light , no UV in the LED , so on and so on . I never had any issues with my radium 250 w and T5's . Trying to capture the excellence I had with with my old lighting set up seems like it won't happen with LEDs . I am currently looking for a radium 250 w set up as I am writing this. I also can't take any good pictures with the LEDs , seems like the light Is so intense my pictures just get washed out .
Well I actually planned for the UV thing in advance which is one of the reasons I went with Apollo as he puts 4 403nm leds in each fixture. Im going to keep it low and slowly increase and ill let you know what happens. I hope I dont have to go back to MH/T5 as I bought 4 of these fixtues for my 320 build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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alk may be a little high but 11 is still not bad imo. how do you like your hanna testers? i just bought a few and love them!! I would just keep your lights on the low end and slowly work them up, you should be fine!! if you need to move some of sps down a little bit to just to make sure they are not getting fried.
Love it as it is the only Phos test that seems to give results. I learned a new trick if you rip the power packet on the side it comes out easier. I was thinking about getting Alk tester.

I read that Alk at about 11 is at the high end but prefered as long as consistant to give you wiggle room in the event of drop. In addition my kalk seems to keep it there which I dont know why as my other tanks stay in the 9's.
 

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Well I actually planned for the UV thing in advance which is one of the reasons I went with Apollo as he puts 4 403nm leds in each fixture. Im going to keep it low and slowly increase and ill let you know what happens. I hope I dont have to go back to MH/T5 as I bought 4 of these fixtues for my 320 build.
That's what I thought the advantage to the Apollo's was too, same as the Radion fixtures led setup for much less, but now I see the new 2012 models coming out from companies such as reeftechled.com and they are incorporating all different leds including two different whites, greens, reds, and at least two different blues including UV as well. Cost is up there on these however about $1000 each, but hopefully others follow suit on the multiple colors leds, I heard even the different whites make all the difference.

 

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Hi Tom,

Sounds like a classic case of bleaching from sudden increase in lighting. If your bulbs were old in your prior T5 fixture. The transition to the LED lights may have been made even more extreme. As you are currently doing, you will need to take the increase in lighting very slow.

Higher water flow also helps SPS with adapting to changes in light. I cant remember the actual article that documents this, but I'm pretty sure Dana Riddle wrote it.

Good Luck!
James

After setting up my LEDS I noticed my SPS frags started losing color. Orginially I had them running at 40% two over a 90. So I bumped it up to 60% subsequently the got even whiter such as frogskin and santosa. Even though I am losing color I am getting great polyp and growth. After reading many threads It appears that there is too much light or they are in light shock. Moving forward I lowered both white and blues to 10% and added a sunset and sunrise with cloudy weather. Now the colors are comming back. Another thing making the situaiton worse is ULNS. My skimmate is pure white foam and minimal dirty in filter sock. Any recommendation in feeding SPS? I have been throwing in Reef nutrition oyster feast a capfull a day but it seems to be too expensive.

Is there anything else I can do to get colors back and considering I am at the lowest setting at what increment do you recommend increase?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Hi Tom,

Sounds like a classic case of bleaching from sudden increase in lighting. If your bulbs were old in your prior T5 fixture. The transition to the LED lights may have been made even more extreme. As you are currently doing, you will need to take the increase in lighting very slow.

The 8 bulb T5 fixture was only 3 months old.

Higher water flow also helps SPS with adapting to changes in light. I cant remember the actual article that documents this, but I'm pretty sure Dana Riddle wrote it.

I have 4 mp40's with WXM/APEX and Random programming all day different everyday.

But I agree that the 240 watt LeDS are significantly higher PAR VS the 432 watt t5 fixture which must mee the case.

Good Luck!
James
The 8 bulb T5 fixture was only 3 months old.
I have 4 mp40's with WXM/APEX and Random programming all day different everyday.
But I agree that the 240 watt LeDS are significantly higher PAR VS the 432 watt t5 fixture which must have been the case.
 

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The 8 bulb T5 fixture was only 3 months old.
I have 4 mp40's with WXM/APEX and Random programming all day different everyday.
But I agree that the 240 watt LeDS are significantly higher PAR VS the 432 watt t5 fixture which must have been the case.
The age of the bulbs may work in your favor. Even though the change in PAR is strong enough to cause the start of bleaching, its not as dramatic as if the bulbs were 9 months old. Your water movement is also strong enough that the change in PAR may not have been as bad as it could've been if you had less flow. If your in the market for a new toy, this may be very helpful with future lighting changes:

Apogee MQ-200 PAR Meter

I plan to pick one up soon.

James
 

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Just my opinion, but I'd slow feeding down when acclimating to a brighter light source. Less nutrients will help stabilize the coral while it get's used to the light.

75% of the SPS frags I get from halide based tanks tend to lose color when put under my LEDs *unless* they came from a tank using really extreme lighting. However, 75% of those frags gradually have the color come back.

The rapid color loss is from the coral expelling zooxanthellae algae which are growing too fast under the brighter light and are brown-brown-red in color. The problem is compounded with any available nutrients, so if you have nitrate available, the corals will kick zooxanthellae even faster. As the coral adjusts the color typically comes back slowly. UV does affect pigments on corals, and LEDs typically lack UV as per the levels halides emit it, but it's a seperate issue.

If the coral is growing good, and polyp extension is good I'd leave things alone. Wait until the color slowly starts returning combined with slowing feeding down and then slowly turn the lights up.

LED's, even the junky asian ones, emit huge amounts of light between 440-465nm. This is the main growth band for corals, and combined with even wide angle optics put out more energy than a halide at several times the total wattage. A couple years ago I tested the tolerance of SPS frags with individual LEDs, and found I could entirely bleach an Acro frag in 72hours with a single blue LED and narrow optic.

Tubes (T5) tend to distribute light evenly from the entire surface of the tank, and I hear more groans from SPS growers moving from T5's to LED than halides to LED. The later being point light sources.
 

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I heard even the different whites make all the difference.
Using neutrals whites -vs- cold whites makes a tremendous difference, and it's a big reason I use neutrals. I'm not sold on other colors, although I do prefer two colors of distinct blue for growth and looks. The other funky colors I'm not sold on given that neutral LEDs throw a pretty strong spectrum of red and green already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Using neutrals whites -vs- cold whites makes a tremendous difference, and it's a big reason I use neutrals. I'm not sold on other colors, although I do prefer two colors of distinct blue for growth and looks. The other funky colors I'm not sold on given that neutral LEDs throw a pretty strong spectrum of red and green already.
Thats why I got the dimmable ones. The fixture is described as a 15K and can be modified by dimming one color and increasing another.
 

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I have been struggling with the same issues, I have 4 AI Sols over a 90g and found out that you can easily smoke everything in the tank by trusting your eyes with LEDs.

I have a Par Meter that I could bring by, or possibly let you borrow, to show you what your light levels are, or compare your old setup with the new. I live in Clay Township, and I work in Chesterfield, so it is not out of my way at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks

I have been struggling with the same issues, I have 4 AI Sols over a 90g and found out that you can easily smoke everything in the tank by trusting your eyes with LEDs.

I have a Par Meter that I could bring by, or possibly let you borrow, to show you what your light levels are, or compare your old setup with the new. I live in Clay Township, and I work in Chesterfield, so it is not out of my way at all.
PM sent. I appriciate the offer.
 

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Something to add that I didnt see touched on here is that visible light color is not the same as actual wavelength color.

Visible light is viewable to the naked eye in wavelengths of about ~400nm to about 700nm.

As you may recall from elementary school, you can blend two colors together to make a completely different color.

For example, if you were to mix the color Blue (~475nm) with the color Yellow (~570nm) you would not actually see the color green (~510nm). You would actually be seeing both the 475nm and 570nm wavelengths at the same time.

That does not mean that your eye would be experiencing the green 510nm wavelength. That's simply the way your brain would interpret the two colors your eye was actually receiving.

This is important because many different companies use various LEDs that offer colors that may not be nanometer specific. Photosynthesis is highly dependent on receiving the correct spectrum of light in order to make the process happen.

Another thing to consider is that all light is radiation. Radiation can be dangerous to living organisms. Ultra Violet Radiation (UV) is able to penetrate the DNA and break it up. This causes cellular mutation (Cancer) and can kill the organisms affected by the radiation.

Coral produce pigments to protect themselves from harmful radiation much like we do. When a fair skinned person is out in the sun for a period of time their skin begins to turn red and burn. Naturally their skin begins to produce pigments to protect themselves from this radiation and that person begins to tan. When a coral is exposed to harmful radiation it begins to "tan"... the colors intensify and become more predominant than previously.

This is great, we love to see bright vibrant corals in our tanks! However, if we push the limits of or corals ability to protect themselves they will ultimately perish.

I think LEDs are the future of reef lighting. However, I think we will see much advancement in the next 5 years or so. In my opinion, UV LED bulbs should only be used on controllable/dimmable units. I think fixtures in the future will have control over white/blue/UV so you can fine tune the appearance of your tank and not burn out your coral.

All this being said, Lighting is a very important part of our reef aquariums. It is just as important as salinity, ph, alk, or any of the other environmental variables we are concerned with in our tanks. We should always proceed with caution when changing the variables in our systems, and not be afraid to change things back if necessary for the life of our inhabitants.

If you are going to make a change to your already successful system, do it wisely and do as much research as possible before the change. If you are going to do something as drastic as changing from metal halide or t5ho lighting to LED, prepare to keep your existing lighting until you are sure the new lights will be sufficient.

Happy Reefing... :eek:rder
 
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