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  1. #1
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    Sep 2003

    Lighting / Corals

    I am getting the CustomSeaLife PowerCompact/Moon-Lite Fixtures for a 48" tank of 72 gal (bow front). It has 4 65W bulbs (2 actinic 2 white).
    What kinds of corals can i put in this tank? up to what level?
    and would this be too much light for others?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    It won't be too much light for most corals. The only corals you may have trouble with are some of the SPS corals. I would stick to the soft corals like leathers, mushrooms etc. Have the corals that require more light closer to the top of the tank.

    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    i wouldnt be able to keep any hard corals in that light?
    what really is the difference between the soft and hard, SPS and LPS corals?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003

    I have 6, 30W normal output tubes (of which 3 are actinic). I mainly keep see mats, mushrooms, leathers, and some low/medium light LPS corals (sun coral, Blastomosa (sp?) and Caulastrea (sp?)). I do have one SPS frag that I was given, and have had it most of the summer up close to the light, and it seems to be doing fine, but I probably won't keep it, and I certainly wouldn't try to keep stuff that I know I don't have the light for.

    As for the difference between corals, it is fairly simple.

    Small Polyp Stoney corals, or "SPS" are literally corals that have many small polps, and create their own rocky skeleton. Dead SPS skeletons are the branchy looking "rocks" that most people think of when the think of coral. These corals typically require the most intense lighting.

    Large Polyp Stoney Corals, or LPS. These corals also create their own skeletons, but instead of there being hundreds of small polyps, the polyps are much much larger. For example, my Caulastrea (Candy Cane Coral) is five times the size of my Acropora, and only has three polyps. As for lighting, LPS are a mixed bag. Some, like Sun Coral (which you have to manually feed) don't require much light at all. Others, require as much light as SPS.

    Soft Corals: These are corals that do not create their own skeletons, but grow onto live rock, or dead coral skeletons. They would include corals like leathers, and Xenia. Generally these require less light than SPS or LPS.

    Gorgonians: These are commonly known as "sea fans". They are most like SPS in terms of polyp size, but typically are not photosynthetic, rather they "filter feed" from the water column. As they are not typically photosynthetic, they don't require much light, but since they filter feed, require lots and lots of plankton, phytoplankton, zooplankton etc. and since most aquarium systems don't produce anywhere near the levels of various plankton these guys require, they are hard to keep. There are only a few species which are both photosynthetic, and filter feeders which people keep, and they would typically require medium amounts of light.

    Sea Mats: These are encrusting corals which grow over live rock and dead coral skeletons. Normally most require medium lighting and would include things like Zooanthids, and green star polyps.

    False Corals: These are basically a cross between corals and anemones. They are "corals" that encrust, but do have some ability to "move" and "eat". These include anything from the "mushroom" familily, like rhodactis, ricordia, discosoma, and require anything from low to medium light.

    The above descriptions are pretty simplified, so I would suggest you get a good book , or read more on the net.

    As always, research what you want to keep and figure out whether or not you have enough light to keep it, before you buy it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Great post! That about sums it all up!
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  6. #6
    ijo is offline
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    May 2011
    great post bristleworm!!! :thumb:


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