Soft coral lighting

Alvaro_avalos

New member
What kind of lights would be best to grow soft corals like hammers and devil hands I'm looking at those led lights that connect to like a standard bulb socket or maybe some t5 but I don't know what colors the led would need to have for these to grow or what kind of build or anything also do you feed coral or just dose things or what (I've never had coral):uhoh2:
 

mcgyvr

New member
What size tank? dimensions?
There is kind of a "generic" formula for LED lights to get you a rough approximation of how many "watts" you need but there are just too many variables to be the "full story"

The most important thing about keeping corals is to maintain low levels of nitrates (for softies sub 20ppm is usually just fine) and maintaining consistent (aka not changing much over time) water parameters like calcium/alk/mag and salinity of course..
Depending on how your parameters change between routine water changes that will dictate on if you need to "dose" or not to maintain the consistent levels..

Then provide light..

Depending on your tank size we can recommend some starting points for lights that will work..
All corals have differing light requirements.. Some softies are happy with plenty of light and others don't need much at all..


As to food..
You can absolutely grow corals without feeding them anything.. They get most if not all the food from the symbiotic algae living inside them.
Many feed every once in a while and think its helping for them.. results may vary..
 

zooman72

New member
The last one you mentioned might work for a variety of soft corals in a 10g aquarium if you used a pair of them, and while you could use those PAR bulbs you noted, they would probably be of rather dubious quality and offer rather poor color rendition, plus you would need to employ a fixture to screw them into, adding to the cost.

To be honest, you would be better off researching a bit more and looking into better options - there are a bunch out there, and try starting with some of the major marine/ reef aquarium retailers like Marine Depot or Bulk Reef Supply. Quality lights make a world of difference, and you want them to be reliable since your photosynthetic corals cannot typically survive under poor lighting conditions.
 

Preble

New member
I would stick with a t5 if you can find one.
Also I have converted a regular tank lid to fit 2 of the screw in CF 50/50 bulbs.


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Preble

New member
In a tank that small, lighting isnt really an issue. It's really keeping your water quality in check.
If you haven't had a nano before, it's a littler harder than you think.


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Walla2GSP

New member
If you are handy with electronics you could make your own LEDS for that tank pretty easily. I made a $50 DIY LED/T-5 hybrid for my 37 gallon just to try out a couple color combos before building a bigger display. I have a 10K T-5, an actinic T-5 and 8 - 3W LEDS run at 2.1W over the tank right now and I'm getting 160 PAR an inch or so off the sand bed. The only thing I wish I had was an LED dimmer which I will put on the new display when I build it, but this DIY rig has shown me that my original plan was grossly over-engineered and I really only need 18-20 LEDS run at 60% for the whole tank. You could probably light a 10 gallon with less than 15W of LEDS.
 

Walla2GSP

New member
Not really, I watched a load of videos on DIY LED displays, and did a ton of research on drivers, different diodes, and various heatsinks. Then I bought a $10 piece of Aluminum from the hardware and a $3 phone charger from goodwill just capable of running 8 of the 3W LEDS I got from China. I then attached them to the flat stock with silicone and wired them in series and put them over the tank. Like I said it was meant to be a temporary rig to test out color combos, but I was very happy with the first attempt and it put out more light than I had anticipated so it's been on my tank for almost two weeks now. RapidLED and LEDsupply have good resources for researching driver needs, and heatsink and Diode options. There are cheaper options out there for supplies once you have an idea what you want over the tank. For a 10 gallon, I'm thinking 3W LEDS would be waste of money and you might be better of looking at 1W or 0.5W LEDS for a display. I'm running 8-3W (120 degree) LEDS at 80% over a 37-gallon (30x12x24) and the light is reaching all the way to the sand bed
 

miranda1960

New member
in my former tank i had 4 xT5 ATI i was very satisfied of these... in the new tank (closed one) i have two Ledbars Gieseman pulzar HO 65 watt i can say the softs didn't color as before... so now i have included 2 x T5 54watt by those leds and its perfect now.
 
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