Coral tanks can be extremely finicky in their early stages and proper lighting is required not only to make sure that coral can survive but also so that coral can be appropriately viewed inside your tank as well. Coral tanks can be absolutely beautiful once they are established but it takes a constant balance of proper nutrition, heat and light to ensure that the ecosystem can survive.
When it comes to lighting a coral tank it can be tough to know exactly where to start because there are virtually hundreds of options available on the market. Ultimately lighting will be one of the more expensive components of any coral tank system so it’s very important to seek the right advice and to head to an expert such as the experts at Perry’s aquatic Center in Lincoln. You can find some advice online but it’s usually best to go and speak to a real professional so that you can ask lots of questions about getting the right look and getting the best functional lights for your tank size and coral types.
Lighting Options Available:
While there are lots of configurations for lamps and styles of lighting available the three main types of aquarium lighting fall under the classifications of:
Metal halides: these are some of the oldest systems for lighting a fish tank and allow you to direct light to a spot or source within the tank giving you a much customized look for your lighting or allowing you to fix the light on specific elements within your tank.
Fluorescent lamps: these types of lamps produce very even lighting and are more energy efficient than metal halides.
LED lighting: LED is one of the newest options available and these lamps contain many individual bulbs which spread the light across your tank. These are by far the most energy-efficient lamps on the market for aquarium lighting.
Reflectors are used with each one of these lighting sources and this works to spread out heat and light across your entire tech. These reflectors need to be cleaned regularly so that the ecosystem can be maintained, dust and salt spray can change the way that a reflector functions so cleanliness is important.
Most aquarium lights for coral have a bit of a blue spectrum to them simply because coral has been shown to grow better in this form of light. As for the power of the light needed, most hobbyists use a method of 6-8 watts of light for every gallon in their tank. When using LED bulbs it’s important to use the equivalency of the bulbs that would normally be used with that tank ballast. LEDs use less energy but are able to produce more light meaning that a 60 W bulb may only really take just 9.5 W to produce the same amount of light with LED lighting. You can still use the 6-8 w per gallon rule but consider equivalency when dealing with LEDs.
Ultimately it’s up to you on the types of bulbs and lighting that you want to use for your coral tank. LEDs are currently the newest product available on the market and they do make regulating your tank a bit easier and cut down on your energy bills. However, the upfront cost for LED bulbs can be a little more than what some people are willing to spend.
For more information on lighting your coral tank and to find out the types of lighting products that would be best for your needs please contact Perry’s Aquatic Center in Lincoln.
Photo: Dawn Ellner via Compfight
Perrys Aquatic Centre, The Bungalow 6 Market Rasen Rd. Dunholme, Lincolnshire LN2 3QR, Phone: 01673860727
Lighting for Your Coral Tank