What a difference lighting makes!

What a difference lighting makes!


I always say that you only really need three
things to be successful in this hobby, good water quality, good water flow, and good light. All of those things are pretty involved but
lighting in particular gets a lot of discussion because of the three it is the most expensive
and the thing that is going to most dramatically affect how the fish and corals in your tank
will look. My goal in making this video isn’t so much
to give a primer to beginners it is to illustrate just what a difference lighting can make. Corals can color up differently under different
lighting systems to varying degrees, but lighting systems can also drastically affect the appearance
of the same exact coral. A lot is made of what corals look like online. Are the images oversaturated? What kind of lighting was this taken under? Will it look like that in my tank? The list of questions go on and on. What most people do not realize is that much
of what that coral will look like has more to do with the lighting selection by the hobbyist
than the image of the coral online. Obviously there are pictures online that look
way off, but assuming for a moment that the picture is good, there is a really good chance
any coral is going to look very different from tank to tank dependent on the light. I try to show the corals on my site and during
the live shows under different types of lighting, but these things are just helpful guidelines
at best. In the background you are seeing some corals
illuminated under different types of T5 bulbs. Moving from T5 to a different technology altogether
such as LED or MH will have an even more pronounced difference. In the clip I just showed, I transitioned
from a full actinic look to an almost full daylight look by changing lights. Go back and take a look if you didn’t notice
the first time around. Here you can see three slices of the same
coral under those different lights. One might think that the solution to this
is to only shop in person for corals. I try to do that as much as possible. However, nothing is 100%. I have purchased corals in person that looked
spectacular. One in particular looked really special. It was glowing red and yellow. The yellow in particular drew my eyes right
to it and I decided to purchase it. An hour later when it was in my tank it was…
nothing. The red wasn’t really much more than a tan
color and the yellow was maybe a slightly different tan color? Had I purchased this coral online sight unseen,
I might have been disappointed with what I received, but that wasn’t the case here. I bought this piece in person! Ok, so what’s my point with all this? My point is while there is no sure way to
pick out corals you do have a great deal of control over what it will look like regardless. Just look at this Acropora here. It almost looks like three different corals
altogether, but it is really just lighting at work here. I hope you guys liked the video. In the comments below, let me know if you
want a deeper dive into the topic of lighting. Thanks guys!


76 thoughts on “What a difference lighting makes!

  1. unfortunately most hobbiest don't do Their research on lighting and become very disappointed in the purchases they make discouraging them from buying more. more in depth information is better if available, thanks for sharing friend.

  2. unfortunately most hobbiest don't do Their research on lighting and become very disappointed in the purchases they make discouraging them from buying more. more in depth information is better if available, thanks for sharing friend.

  3. I have a led lighting system name brand ZET light some local fish store said to me that led light won't work as good as a T5 light on coral any advice

  4. Yes more on lighting. Maybe showing corals under different lighting types not just different bulbs even though this video did show a dramatic difference in just one type of lighting

  5. Lighting is more complex than water chemistry. We're trying to do what the sun does in nature. There are so many variables that it becomes a mind boggling task. That said, people are very successful with different kinds of light. I've seen wonderful SPS dominant tanks under T5s, MHs, and LEDs. So, what parameters need to be met? PAR? Lumens? Depth? Density? Confused.

  6. Good information is always it's weight in gold. The more info provided by you greatly helps the hobbyist make intelligent decisions. Thanks much.

  7. I'd like some of the same but w more which light at what intensity etc. I have hydra 26 HD over my tank. I am just fowlr for last 8 mos and now have one rbta for last month. I have all blues and uv at 50% red and green at 20% and cool white at 25%. I have no idea if that's correct. I'd love some advice. Rbta seems fine. Is growing and eating Hasn't moved. But I'm not sure my intensities are right. At store he was rose coloured. In my tank he is orange and green.

  8. I would love to hear your thoughts on lighting Than. Hopefully that video will come soon as I had purchased a acan that was red and teal when I bought it and it turned orange under my lights.

  9. Great Video. A deeper look at lighting and how it effects coral coloration and growth would be great. Thanks for all your efforts and invaluable information on the reefing hobby. I always take your advice to heart, as it stems from long and hard-won experience.

  10. More would be good, can be difficult to 'test' a new light without purchasing expensive units or seeing them in action at the LFS!

  11. your lighting is very close. The corals I get from you are pretty much what they appered as on my screen. there is a local store I go to that only uses blue lights and it fools me every time!

  12. Thanks for this great video. Please do a video on MH, T5 and LED, with a section on Hybrid lighting (MH& T5 and T5&LED) if possible. Thanks again.

  13. You have hit the nail on the head so to speak…im in the process of setting up a 355gal Fiji Reef system at home (well for the past year or so) and STILL haven't decided on the type of light?going back and forth between two different Kessil 360 and AP700, Hydra, Zetlight, Maxpect Ethereal, Ecotech….im looking par reading, control, price and look…still haven't decided!sigh.

  14. Does bluer light make the corals have brighter colors? I'm not talking about how it makes the corals look, I mean will it make the coral grow different algaes in it's tissue, I ask this because I like white daylight and I don't rally like blue tanks, will making the light blue while I'm at work make the corals look better in white light at night when I get home? Thanks. A video going more in depth into this topic would definitely be awesome.

  15. Yes yes, more more on lighting. Most tanks just turn out too blue, I would like to bring out more of the rainbow hues such as in the chalices and Acans etc. I have heard that the green and yellow spectrums on LEDs are really just for fresh water so the only choices you have are the blues and whites, please tell us how you achieve more rainbow spectrum with LEDs. THX

  16. you forgot Twp items you MUST have I'm this hobby….a tank and some coral without them your hobby will not go far…

  17. Repeating a question that was asked but wasn't answered. What is the name of that beautiful creature in the beginning of this vid? I must learn more about it but need a name to search for it. Have a beautiful day/night. Sincerely, Kristi aka Foxi

    "You don't love an animal bcuz it is beautiful, It is beautiful bcuz you love it. <3

  18. Hi, I would love to know more about lighting in a salt tank. I got an expensive LED lamp with a computer program on my phone,…and no matter what I do I can't bring out the beautiful coraline alge on the rock with it. It just looks dull and dark. The fish look fine, but the rocks don't. I can change all the different colors and make different combinations,…..more red? Less Red? More green? blue? UV? White? What can I do to make it prettier?
    Also, my Zoa's aren't doing well at all,…..I wonder if it's too bright for them? Maybe I should lower them in the tank?

  19. Ok
    That helps but what should we set our lights up for better colors
    Say for pink do more. Violet? Or add more blue?

  20. Absolutely love this video Than. I just recently bought 2 corals from WWC Orlando on ebay auctions and they looked phenomenal! Beautiful blues and reds and such. When I put them in my tank(which has SBReef leds)….the blues looked GREEN! The reds kinda redish/brown. Called them to ask and they told me they used Radions Gen4s…..both are leds, but the lighting result is completely different! Hope to see more of your lighting videos to possibly add t5 lights to my tank.
    Thanks Than👍

  21. One thing I think would have made this a PERFECT video is just a simple statement saying what globes or settings you used to achieve the different colours.
    I.e artinic 20k all ati blue plus.
    14k ati corral plus, etc etc
    10k etc etc.
    Make it alot more informative.

  22. No better way to illustrate the different effects, than to split the screen on the same coral under different lighting. Great video.

  23. I would have to disagree with the statement that lighting is the most expensive aspect of reef keeping. I would have to say the most expensive aspect of reef keeping is your water quality and the stability of it. You can pick up a semi descent LED fixture put it on your tank and have beautiful colors. LEDs use very little electricity, last forever, and produce very little heat. But without stability you will fail. When talking water quality and maintaining it I feel that's where the $$$ comes into play. Even if you know exactly what you're doing ( which no one really does in this hobby) your methods of achieving and maintaining water quality can quickly run up your cost of operation. Thru trial and error, more trials and more errors… the possibilities of money spending can sometimes seem endless. Find a good LED fixture and find YOUR method of balance and leave it at that. Just speaking from experience. 🤙🏼

  24. I use a Finnex 24-7 Marine plus LED. Im very new to Salt Water. Is this light suffice to grow my corals? Thanks

  25. I find I almost always prefer near daylight CRI vice the too much blue and UV that most folks show/grow their corals under.

  26. Awesome video. I would appreciate a more in depth video explaining what type of lights, exactally, give each view. This would help me in choosing a light fixture for my upcoming Reef. And picking coral to fill it.?

  27. I went from a Loop system LED lights to Kessil 360 and the difference is AMAZING. Not just from how my marine life looks, but how rapidly my corals specifically have grown. Love your videos.

  28. Yes I for one would like more on lighting and now that Zoa's are so popular that would be a good one

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