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FAQs on Acclimating Photosynthetic Reef Invertebrates to Light

Related Articles: Acclimation, Quarantine ppt., pt.s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 by Bob Fenner Acclimating Photosynthetic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting, LR Lighting, Moving Light Systems, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Marine Acclimation, Acclimation of Livestock in the Business, CnidariansAcclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

Related FAQs: Acclimating Marine Invertebrates, Acclimation, Acclimation 2Growing Reef Corals,   Dips/Baths 1, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine Stony Coral Behavior,

Can you see the "Orangutan" crab here?


Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1: Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Importing live wild corals       11/27/18
Dear Bob,
<Hey Branko!>
Your help was crucial to us being able to successfully acclimate imported fish and helped us to minimize the lose of life. Lately we lose less than 1% per shipment!
<Ahh, excellent>
However its time for us to start importing live corals from the wild. I did keep hard corals for years however i have never imported any, and i do remember how different things were with fish when
we started out. So i am hoping you have words of wisdom to help me with this matter as well.
Do you have an acclimating procedure for live corals and clams?
<Yes... there is a bit of variation for both, depending on where they've shipped from (mainly how long in the bags, amount of water... quality on arrival). Without knowing the condition of the animals, I'm a fan of matching shipping water pH, temperature (or a little warmer) and doing what you do for fishes drip acclimation wise, using all new or system water with a bit of freshwater added (lowering the spg a thousandth or two), throwing away all shipping water... AND for all cnidarians, ADDING a 3-4 or so times dose of iodide-ate to the drip. IF the animals don't look good, I'd add (for both cnidarians and clams), a teaspoon per gallon (or so) of hexose sugar (glucose is best)... to the drip as well. Do you have concerns re photoadaptation? I'd keep all under low light the first few days; otherwise, please read here:
What would you suggest for us to do.
Desperate for your advice.
Kind regards,
<DO write me w/ specific concerns if this isn't clear, complete to you. Bob Fenner>

Acclimate New Corals to Leds
My current tank specifics are a 65 gallon mixed reef (eventually) tank currently cycled with a 2-3 inch sandbed and about 50 pounds of live rock. I have a hob reef octopus 1000, a hob, and multiple powerheads. There is a very modest cleanup crew, I am aware these few snails and crabs do ultimately add bioload so numbers will remain sparse. My parameters are ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates under 10 ppm, alkalinity 8.0, temperature 79 F. I am writing because after much deliberation I purchased two Kessil 160s to serve as primary lighting for a range of soft corals and perhaps, conditions permitting, a few lps. Specifically I am looking for advice on how to allow newly acquired specimens to adjust properly to the lighting.
<Ahh; thank you for providing such detail. The Kessil Pendants will work well here; including for light acclimation. IF you have available (perhaps a fish store or club will lend you) a PAR or PUR meter... to measure out the useful light arrangement in your system. I would place new "corals" of most any species on the edges, borders.... at depths... that yield some values in the 50's... in weeks time if they're hermatypic types that require/appreciate intense illumination (e.g. Acroporids, Poritids, Pocilloporids...) moving them to areas with PAR/PUR values higher than 100>
Most will be arriving from a lfs that uses a mixture of metal halides and some tanks with t-5's. I know this would have to be a broad generalization
but, for instance, how long do I run the Kessils per day and or at what intensity?
<Can only be determined with a meter; your using a probe at depths, making a detailed drawing of values you measure>
Is there a standard or this primarily a try and troubleshoot method?
<The latter; empirical is best>

Is there an order of addition of coral to the tank by estimating the individual light requirements?
<Oh yes indeed.... and more to this... You want to be studying, placing the less allelopathogenic species first....>
I know I will be starting with polyps, xenia, and mushrooms, unless you suggest otherwise?
<Depends on what you intend to add later... Also; I would isolate all incoming for a couple, plus weeks (in another system) to give them a chance to rest up (treat w/ Iodide-ate here), allow you to examine for possible hitchhikers, pests... and to see if the colonies are going to live>
Future success might lead to the addition of a hammer, torch, or bubble coral.
<Oh! Am currently writing a series for the UK mag. UltraMarine on this family... can be rough on other Cnidarians... need to be placed distal... with several inches gap twixt others>
As is usually the case, I don't have the financial means to stock the tank to capacity from the onset of suitable conditions so much thought will be given to adding them in a way which doesn't stress previous inhabitants while considering the needs of potential newbies.
<Best to take your time period.... look into buying, trading frags....>
I have searched and researched and I may be more confused than I was prior to internet surfing. I realize there isn't a hard and fast answer but any advice or knowledge or even steering in the direction of factual information would be so appreciated and well received. Thank you in advance.
<Oh! There's a bunch of avenues for knowledge, inspiration. DO consider joining a club or more... and chatting w/ other like-minded folks on the Net, or better, face to face... DO develop good relations with local stores. Mmm; and do remain a bit skeptical (even of my spiels) re what you experience other than first-hand. There is also much disinformation and phony products to be had. When, where you can, read w/ a discerning mind. Bob Fenner>

Hydra 52 acclimation; light acclim. Cnid.s        5/3/15
Good Evening,
<Good morrow now Eric>
On Sunday I upgraded the lighting on my tank from 3 150 watt metal halides and 4 96 watt pc compact bulbs to 3 hydra 52 fixtures. I know how powerful these lights can be so I am only running them at 40 percent intensity.
Today my leather toadstools and sea whips have retracted their polyps and are not opening.
All the other coral is looking great. Do you think the 40% intensity is to much to start off with?
<Not likely; but if you have access to a PAR or PUR meter...>

I am not sure if they are closing because the intensity is to high or if it's just related to the change. What do you think here?
<Just time going by; but do closely monitor ALL livestock. IF the Alcyoniids are overly stressed they might produce an abundance of terpenoids; perhaps triggering a cascade event... I'd have plenty of pre-mixed new water on hand, and GAC et al. chem. filtrants just in case. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater dipping new corals & coral frags    3/16/14
I have looked through Wet Web Media and have not been able to find a complete answer to why dipping corals and frags in freshwater (RO/DI) is not recommended.
<Too much stress; not worth it in trade-off of what one might get in terms of lessening pests, parasites. Some slightly lower spg (a thousandth or two) with the addition of iodide/ate, and possibly a simple sugar (glucose or such... a hexose or pentose) IS>
 I have seen statements that say to not do it on Wet Web Media, but I would like to know the science behind the why.
<How much? Have you considered the use of a reference librarian... help w/ a computer search bibliography? There's bits and pieces re these on WWM>
Thank you for your time!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Is my torch coral bleaching?/Coral Health 3/26/13
Dear WWM crew,
<Hello Jae>
Hello. This is Jae, and I had a question regarding my two torch corals in my tank. I have recently bought two torch corals and have drip acclimated them into my tank. The green torch coral(at left in image) seems to be fine, but my yellow-brown torch's(on the right) color seems to be a little strange. Most of the tentacles are pink-white from stem and brown near the top. Is this suppose to be its own natural color? Or is my torch coral on the right starting to bleach? The water parameters are fine in my tank: ph is 8.2, ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrate is near 0 ppm, salinity level is 1.024, and calcium level is 440. I have jasmine polyp and colony polyp as well and they are doing absolutely fine. Also, is my torch coral on the right fully extended? Both torch corals are placed on bottom of the tank (metal halide lighting) under medium current.
<The Zooxanthellae living within the coral's tissue are responsible for the coral's color.  Generally a change in light intensity and/or spectrum will cause a color change in the coral, hence the term "bleaching".  Sometimes the Zooxanthellae will not adapt to this change in lighting and will die. 
It doesn't appear that your coral is bleaching, at least not yet.  Try reducing the photoperiod by a couple of hours and let this be your photoperiod for a couple of weeks.  Then you can slowly increase the photoperiod by 30 minutes every two or three days.  Corals coming from lower intensity lighting or a different spectrum should always be light acclimated.  Please read here.
 Thank you!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re Is my torch coral bleaching?/Coral Health 3/26/13
Thank you very much for the advice.
<You're welcome.>
I currently leave my metal halide on for 7 hours each day. Will cutting down the time to 4~5 hours for about a week affect my other corals?
<Mmm, seven hour photoperiod...I'd cut back to five hours the first week and then bump it up an hour each additional week.>
Thank you!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

New Lighting, photo-acclimation of fishes, corals     12/5/11
Today a switched to brighter lighting in my tank, I just wasn't enjoying the colors I was getting.  Almost as soon as I changed the bulbs my fish started acting different <ly>.  I have a scopas tang and bamboo shark.  The shark started swimming in a different pattern than normal and my tang is going from dark to light colors back to dark, I've also noticed his eyes keep dilating and then going back to normal.  Now the whole reason I switched lighting is because I have a small section of my tank blocked off where I've added some corals.  Obviously them acting like this is a change in the lighting.  My question is while they adjust to the lighting or have I wasted my money and need to get rid of the lights and corals.
<Mmm, no, not likely>
 Again as far as the bamboo shark goes, he cant reach the corals so no issues with them being in the tank.  I went form around 4500k to 6500k with the lights. The tang almost acts mad I've done this.  He keeps swimming toward me, stops, and then it appears as if he jumps at me and then swims off.  But his colors are prettier, but if he is going to stress then its not worth it.  Thanks for any and all your help.
<Acclimating sometimes takes a few days, and the corals reactions are what are likely affecting your fishes... Please read here re "corals": http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm
and the Related FAQs file linked above. Bob Fenner>

Lighting Question/Light Acclimation, Cnidarians... mysterious burn    5/1/11
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hello Dan>
Two months ago we bought new bulbs on a recommendation from our LFS (ATI Aqua Blue and Blue Plus). We replaced the stock Aquatic Life T5 6 Pack we originally bought with our 90 gallon reef tank with these new lights. The tank has been up and running for a year with the same light cycle. Actinic lights 11am-12pm/White and Actinic 12pm-8pm/ Actinic 8pm-10pm/Moon Lights 10pm-9am/Lights off 9am-11am. We have decided we did not acclimate correctly and may have scorched certain corals although others are fine. We seem to be having the most problems with our open brain corals and anemone. The anemone basically went into hiding and the brain corals, one at first and now both, have lost their interest in eating and are receding. Now we think we need to either shorten our white light cycle or gradually work our old bulbs back into the fixture. How do you recommend we do this? Should we start by putting the old white bulbs back in (either all at once or one at a time)? What is the best way to do this without irritating everyone in the tank?
<To be sure that this is the actual incident that caused the event, I'd put the old lamps back in for a week or so and see if things return to normal. If so, then I suggest you shorten your photoperiod with the new lamps to two hours and gradually increase by thirty minutes per day.
What is the Kelvin temperature of the original Aquatic Life lamps? May have to gradually introduce the new lamps one by one if there is a big difference between the Kelvin temperatures of both the old and new
lamps. Since your original lamps are about a year old and T5 technology generally provides near full power/intensity for 18 months, there should not be a big difference in intensity if Kelvin temperatures of the new lamps are close to that of the old.>
Thank you for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Lighting Question/Light Acclimation 5/1/2010 -5/2/2011

Hi James,
<Hi Dan>
Our Aquatic Life white lamps are 10,000K. These were switched out with the new 12,000K ATI bulbs. Our fixture is 6 lamps, 48" long. Is this change in temperature significant enough to recommend that we put the bulbs back in one by one?
Or do you think we should be fine with reducing the photoperiod and replacing all of the lights at
once? We've put the old bulbs back in the fixture for now and will hopefully be seeing some improvement in some of the corals.
<Let's keep the old lamps in for now and see if your corals improve, be sure this is what
triggered the incident. If improvement is noticeable within a week, then I would just replace one lamp at a time, perhaps one per week.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Acclimating to New Light Fixture - 1/25/10
Hi Crew -- LOVE your site!
<Hello Sal! Me too!>
I have a question about acclimating my tank to a new light fixture.
I have a 55 with about 80 pounds of LR. This tank is horribly under-powered with 2x40W -- other stuff was more important, like filtration, skimmer, etc. I have a pair of Percula clowns, a Sailfin Tang (Z. veliferum),
<This fish needs much more room... gets very large... if it lives... and can be mean if crowded>
a Coral Beauty, a Six-Line Wrasse, a Blue Devil (C. cyanea), and a Scooter Blenny.
I also have a Black Cucumber, a Three-Line Cleaner Shrimp, and a handful of Chitons I caught on the rock besides the usual assortment of snails and hermits. Soft corals include a bunch of Button Zoos, Anthelia, Mushrooms, Clove Polyps, and two Leathers. One Leather and the Mushroom are recent purchases. All the others are "seasoned" and doing well. These corals were all $10-$15 frags I bought as experiments. The tank is lit well enough that a Toadstool I bought 5 months ago has gone from the size of a thimble to about an inch in diameter. I have one 6.5K and one Actinic bulb in the current light fixture.
I ordered and will be receiving a 4x65W fixture in about a week and a half.
This fixture will have two 10K and two split 420/460nm bulbs. Most of my corals are in the upper half of the tank. I was smart (?) enough to place them on rock frags that can be moved easily. Since the new light will take me from 80W to 260W or roughly 1-1/2 to 4-3/4 watt/gallon, I know these animals need to move to avoid getting shocked. Can you offer any advice on acclimating them to the new light intensity?
<Mmm, yes... Please read here:
and the Related FAQs file linked above>
My thought was to turn on only two bulbs for awhile, but even that is almost twice what they're used to.
<I do think this by itself will/would work here. The best gauge is of course, your careful observation of your livestock... Later, adding the other two lamps for a few hours more per day per week will likely do it here. Bob Fenner>>
Much appreciated,

Nano Aquaria; General Care, Tridacnids and Coral  1/20/10
Hello again Crew!
<<Hello Carla.>>
First off, kudos for providing an amazing resource and service to all of us in the aquarium hobby, and thanks for all your help in the past!
<<Thanks, I hope to you meet your expectations this time around.>>
I have a 29 gal. nanoreef tank that is currently stocked with inverts and corals- Tridacna crocea clam, frogspawn coral, rose Palys polyps, lots of Shrooms, some Zoanthids, and "volunteer" polyps from the live rock.
Livestock includes one peppermint shrimp, a purplish serpent star, one Astrea snail, and a scary looking hitchhiker crab (have not been able to id yet, but has a purplish-maroon rather smooth carapace and eight hairy/spiky legs... he's very shy so I haven't been able to get a good picture yet- will move him to a future sump/refugium if possible when tank upgrades allow so I can add a small fish or two without worry in the future- would hate to issue
him a death sentence unprovoked, but don't trust 'em for sure).
<<Agreed, until an identification can be made I would best assume it to be like it's cousins'¦.opportunistic.>>
The tank has been set up for quite a few years, and since being moved in July, has finally settled down again- lots of denitrification bubbles in the sandbed and worms and 'pods aplenty.
A friend of ours recently upgraded his tank lighting, and gave us his previous setup for a very good price- the tank was previously lit with two 65W power compacts. The new fixture is a 250W MH (I know, overkill...
<<Not if you want soup'¦.I'm kidding'¦.only a little. Seriously though, make sure you monitor the temperature for large swings, keep the pendant elevated a minimum of 12' and have a fan running across the surface'¦am I'm sure you're doing this but for everyone else out there in WWM land, keep a close eye on the evaporation. Nanos can swing quick and when they do it's not pretty.>>
but I hope the clam will appreciate the extra light) with 4 24W T-5 actinic bulbs. We have the fixture suspended about 8" above the tank (with an extra fan on the light timer to dissipate heat)- the fixture has a glass cover, and the tank also has a glass cover.
<<I should have read ahead..bad habit of mine, sorry.>>
We have the actinics on a 12 hour cycle, with the halide coming on 1.5 hrs after those for 8 hrs/day.
<<With what you have, you could do with 6 hours a day.>>
I currently have a double layer of plastic window-screen on top of the tank to dim the light until the animals can acclimate... my question is, is this a good photoperiod for our tank?
<<See above.>>
How long should we wait before beginning to remove the covering, and what's the best way to go about this (cutting back to single layer, and then none for parts of the day? how long between stages?)?
<<I would leave up both layers for about a week to 10 days, then remove one layer, then wait another interval of a week and remove the last one.>>
I'd hate to lose any of the corals due to burning- the clam in particular I've had for 3+ years and is the star of the tank- I'm looking forward to seeing his true colors again- had developed a rather brownish (though highlighted by blues and greens) coloration due to inadequate lighting before. Also (and this predates the lighting change by a good bit), the clam produces a LOT of byssal threads- is this normal? Looks like a spider web floating at the base of the clam that trails of 4-6" in the water column... I have searched for images of other clams that display this
but haven't found any.
Is this cause for alarm, or just the sign of a healthy clam?
<<Depends on where the clam is set in the tank, T. Croceas unlike their cousins tend to exhibit much more of a boring behavior, and prefer/should be on a nice rocky surface.>>
One last question- there is quite a bit of coralline algae on the front tank glass- I haven't removed it because I'm hoping to encourage more coralline growth on the rockwork- would scraping it off with a razor help or hinder the spread of coralline in the rest of the tank?
<<Neither, feel free to clean.>>
I don't mind the look of it, too much... but would be nice to have an uninterrupted view of the tank if it won't affect (or will help seed) the rock growth. We switched to all RO water for top-ups and water changes, which has helped the persistent nuisance algae problem quite a bit (I suspect phosphates and silicates in the municipal water)- Yay!
Thanks again!
<<I'll be moving on to your additional mail now.>>
**Addendum sent by Carla before first reply**
Also... the mantle of the clam is about 5" from the top of the tank (in the center), the frogspawn halfway down (also central, but far enough from the clam to be out of sweeper reach), and the mushrooms are mostly in the bottom half to two-thirds of the tank (those in upper regions are growing parallel to the light source and get more indirect light)... if it helps/matters!
<<No, same as above, sounds okay.>>
(bet you haven't heard that one a million times... right)
<<I have to admit, I've been here since 2003, been on the fish forums since 1999 and was a livestock manager for 3 years, and a volunteer at a public aquarium for 2 years'¦..and I've never heard that one haha. Good luck -- Adam Jackson.>> 

Ozonizer Question, set-up/op., and photo-acclimation of "corals" 1/14/10
Hi All !
<Hello Bella>
I was given a Ozotech 150 Ozonizer and no instructions. I know I need a air dryer (I'm in muggy MS.),
<I'm in cold MI.>
and a ORP meter or controller. I am looking at the Milwaukee line, but am unsure if I need the controller or the meter, there is no place on the Ozonizer to plug anything in, and I can't tell from the pictures of the controllers if there is a place that you are supposed to plug the Ozonizer into it.
<There is, the ozone generator plugs into the controller.>
Some quick stats before more questions!
95g reef tank (36"L X 24"D X 24" H)
0 ammo, 0 nitrites, 0 phosphates, 10 nitrates. PH 8.1 Alk 2.0 (API tests)
175 lbs live rock, 125 lbs live sand 1) False Lemonpeel Angel,
<Nice fish, have one myself going on three years.>
2) Clown Gobies, 1) Lawnmower Blenny 1) Maroon Clown, 1) Six Line Wrasse, 1) Arabian Pseudochromis, 1) Firefish. Assorted sps corals, assorted snails, hermit crabs etc. Filtration is live rock, sand & a Lifereef protein skimmer.
<Nice skimmer.>
10g. water changes weekly with r/o water (zero phos. nitrate etc.) & Oceanic salt.
Supplements Seachem reef advantage magnesium. Lighting is a Current Sunpod HQI 250W/DE with a Phoenix hexarc blue 14000K (1 month old bulb) which to me is not blue at all.
<Yes, very little blue, but a good Kelvin temperature for reefkeeping.>
Bulb is about 11" from top of water.
My problem is that I get a pretty SPS coral & over a month they slowly lose color.. They are growing but new growth doesn't have the color it originally did.
<Are they colorful in your tank after you get them, or pretty in the dealer's tank before you take them home?>
I'm not sure if the corals lose their color because of the nitrates, the light being too high, the wrong bulb.
<May want to read here and linked files above.
Bulbs are confusing to buy! I started out with the Hamilton 14K but read such good reviews on the hexarc blue that I decided to give it a try but to me the color just looks bland.
<You may want to add an actinic lamp to give you that pop you are looking for.>
I also have a Nextreef MR1 running with Chaeto
<Chaeto in a reactor?>
with a Current SmartPaq daylight/actinic bulb. I set that up a month ago because nitrates had been running around 20 (API test), didn't really think that would work, as it wasn't in a refugium, but it has doubled in size & the nitrates did go down by 10 points.
<Mmm, not clear, confusing. Which of the above did you set up, the reactor, the lighting, and what doubled in size, the Chaeto?
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Ozonizer Question 1/15/10
Hi James (Salty Dog)
<Hello Bella. Let me ask you to please reply to the original thread. That way I can refresh my memory by reviewing.>
Thanks for such a quick reply!
<You're welcome.>
I set up the Nextreef MR 1 with the Chaeto in the reactor with the Current SmartPaq daylight/actinic sitting on its side to light the height of the reactor. Yeah I know weird, but hey, sometimes you got to go with what you have!
I didn't think it would work but surprisingly it has, at least for now. I run the light 16 hours on & 8 off.
The lighting for the 95 tank I run for 10 hours. The corals are very nicely colored in the tank when I first get them. No pet stores here that carry corals so I have to order online. I have tried several ways to acclimate them to the light, starting them low & over 2 weeks slowly moving them to the area & water currents that they need, to just putting them right where they should be. Everyone of them slowly fades over about 4 weeks. The latest was a beautiful ORA red planet. Started out very deep pink with green at base, now is a pale pink. On the 10g water changes, I split it so it's 5g one day, wait 3 days & do the other 5g.
<I would do this all at once. You are removing a percentage of the first 5 gallons by way of dilution.>
I make up the water 48-72 hours in advance, making sure temp, ph, Alk, calcium, mag. are all the same as the tank. I also acclimate the corals according to your site so I know I have at least that part right. Any advice would be greatly welcomed.
<I'm thinking the zooxanthellae in your corals are just reacting/adjusting to a different type light (intensity/Kelvin
temperature) than they were accustomed to. I say this because it is affecting all your corals and
not an individual coral. I do not have the original thread handily so I'm not sure what type of lighting
you were using, I'm thinking MH. You may want to add a true actinic lamp to your system to beef up the
blue end of the spectrum. Again, I wish you would have replied to the original thread.
Do read here and linked articles/FAQ's in the header regarding coral lighting.
If you are concerned about heat with an additional lamp, Ice Cap has a new LED product that looks very promising and is relatively inexpensive. See here.
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Xenia Acclimation/Light Acclimation/Photosynthetic Animals 9/6/09
<Hello Marchall>
I am expanding my saltwater hobby to include a small propagation system in my backyard greenhouse.
Using a retrofitted window A/C unit and the spare aquarium heaters I have laying around, I have been able to maintain water temperatures at 79 degrees. The system has been up and running for 5 weeks and all the parameters look good. I'd like to introduce some xenia, but my question is regarding the natural sunlight. I live in North Carolina and I was wondering if you had any suggestions/guidelines for light acclimating
the xenia specimen. If it's feasible, I'd like to use items I have available for shading the specimen. Some of my ideas are using the screen off a screen door I have sitting in the garage, or perhaps a thin sheet. I was thinking of adding the shade around 9am through 7pm and, over the course of several days, slowly decrease the length of time under the shade. Does this seem sufficient/feasible? Any other suggestions?
<If it were me, I'd purchase some inexpensive coarse plastic window screen, cut about 8 pieces of the screen to cover the tank/vat. After a couple of days, remove one screen per day until all are removed. This should provide a gradual acclimation to natural sunlight. Hope this helps you out.>
Thank you very much for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Aqualight Pro Upgrade 5/12/09
I had a quick question about a light upgrade. I have a 55 gallon reef tank with softies, some LPS, and some hardy Montipora corals. My current lighting is a Coralife (4x65) pc fixture.
I came across a used Aqualight Pro (2 x 150 MH), (2 x 96 watt PC) and 3 LED's for only 200$ when they normally go for 6-800$. Few questions.
1.I was wondering what you thought of the unit?
<It is a fine unit, especially for this price.>
2.Also, having never had MH lights, what brand light bulbs would recommend as replacements. Also, what brand CP lights?
<Just about any will do, see Sanjay Joshi's site to help you select the bulb that fits you: http://www.manhattanreefs.com/lighting>
3.Because I'm switching from 11 hours of PC lighting to MH's. What would the lighting schedule be to acclimate the tank from PC's to MH's? I don't want to burn anything out.
<Well, I would start with the MH higher up if at all possible. If not, something like 7 hours a day, increasing an hour every 3 days or so will do.>
Thanks a lot for the help.
<Welcome, Scott V.> 

For Bob Fenner. Coral imports... lighting  -- 4/30/09
Eric here, we've imported our first shipment of corals from Indonesia, they came in very nice. My question is, since the SPS Acropora's were in transit for 2 days in the dark. Should I be limiting the light cycle and
<Yes I would>
I'm using T5's in shallow tanks, about 12" of water. The first few days I was limiting the light intensity and cycle time. I have noticed that I have a few pieces that are suffering from, for a lack of better terms,
"bleaching". In your opinion should I be limiting light after 4 days in the system, or should I be increasing lighting to a more intense exposure. 
<I would increase intensity and duration daily... to "full time" in a week>
I know the "bleaching" can occur from both too little light and too much light. Your expertise would be much appreciated. Can you shed some light on my situation? Ha Ha. I guess my biggest concern is do they need to get back to the light they were used too as quickly as possible, or should the lighting cycle and intensity be a very long term cycle of days or even weeks to return to there natural intensity of the sun since they have been in the dark during the holding packing, and shipping process.
Eric J Rood
<You could experiment here a bit... as you know, some species are more photo-adaptive than others... water clarity counts (esp. if using ozone)...

T5HO to MH Transition -- 04/22/09
Hi Crew,
<<Hiya Rochelle>>
I am excited to say that after 4 years my first metal halide fixture will be here in about 3 days!!
<<Cool! This is my current fave lighting source for most any marine system>>
Here's my question, I've looked over the net for transition and "how to" to avoid freaking out my fish or shriveling up my soft corals.
<<I see'¦ Have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm
And here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcrllgtfaqs.htm
How exactly should I go about the transition?
<<That depends on your setup (e.g. - whether or not you can raise the fixture, etc.), but one of the simplest ways is to buy some fiberglass window screen, cut about four pieces to fit the top of the tank (may require some plastic 'eggcrate' to support the screen), place all on the tank, and remove a layer every 4-5 days until all is removed'¦and Viola!...your critters are acclimated to the new lighting>>
I am currently running, 8-54watt 10,000K daylight T5 VHO's AND 3-54 Watt 460 T5 VHO actinics.
<<Okay'¦ And as good as the T5 lights/reflectors are, the single-point light source of the MHs will penetrate much further/be much brighter to your livestock'¦even if not to 'your' eye>>
I'm transitioning to the Outer Orbit 24 hour system, with 2-154 Watt HQI (10,000K) and 2-130 compact dual actinic.
What I have found on the net is.
1. Do nothing, just change my fixture after "lights out" and let the new fixture follow the same cycle as the previous lights. (if you're already running bright lights)
<<I don't recommend this>>
2. Take out one HQI bulb and run it that way for a few days, then add the other bulb.
<<That doesn't do the critters under the one bulb any good'¦pass again>>
3. Raise the HQI fixture and lower it every few days. (I honestly don't know how I'd raise the fixture, and have it be stable)
<<This can work'¦when possible to do safely>>
4. Change the fixtures after lights out so it comes on the morning, BUT decrease the daylight time to around 5 hours per day and gradually increase over a 2 week period.
<<I've heard some folks suggest this but I don't like it either'¦you still run the risk of 'burning' your livestock with the big jump in intensity, in my opinion>>
My current lights are on a timer with the actinic coming on at 9am, the daylights come on at 10am, 2 at a time every 15 minutes. They go off in reverse, daylights 2 at a time starting at 615PM every 15 minutes. Actinics stay on 1 hour after all daylights are off, shutting off around 8pm and moonlight switching on. I do also have glass tops, I was thinking of leaving them "dirty" (saltwater haze) for a while to decrease brightness in the tank? (55 gallon)
<<I would actually remove these altogether'¦for the benefit of increased gas exchange AND light transmission>>
Please help! I'll be glad to be rid of all those timers!
<<Read up on and consider the window screen method I mentioned>>
Thanks in advance,
Rochelle Lee
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Light Acclimation 1/22/09 Hi team! <Hello Christopher> First of all, your website is the greatest. I use it as a constant reference! Thanks for all your hard work. <You're welcome.> I have a problem in my 90 gallon tank. I've had the tank for just under a year now and I recently decided to switch to metal halide lights from power compacts, so I purchased the CoralLife Pro set with two 150W 10000K bulbs and a pair of actinics. Not wanting to burn my corals or hurt anything else, I read up on your site about light acclimation and it seemed like a common solution was to hang the lights higher above the tank and move them down over a few weeks. This works out well since I have my lights hanging from the ceiling over the tank. I suspended them 6 inches HIGHER than they would be if they were using the feet they came with. This is the end of the first week, so I haven't even moved them down yet. <Light acclimation strongly depends on what you have switched to and the depth of the tank. A standard 90 gallon tank is 24" tall, and in that regard there is little danger of burning corals with two 150 watt halides. Since you did not mention the wattage or Kelvin temperature of the PC's I cannot compute the full picture. The 10K MH lamps generally have a higher PAR value than the 14K or 20K lamps, and are slightly better for coral growth than higher Kelvin temps. Your actinics will provide a nice mix of blue which is aesthetically more appealing than without and will aid in coral and coralline growth.> Everything in the tank, however, is not doing so well. So I have three rocks with button polyps, two of which are smaller (about 15 actual polyps each) toward the top of the tank - about 5 inches from the surface. And a VERY large rock with the same polyps (about 60 or so) on a somewhat flat rock sitting on the substrate. Most of these polyps on all three have closed up and have very dark (blackened-looking) ends, during the light and at night. Additionally, they have started detaching from the large rock leaving bare spots on the rock itself. Next is my favorite - my frogspawn. It is very low in the tank on a rock sitting on the substrate. I have attached a picture of it as it looks now. It has always in the past expanded to great proportions but now it remains shriveled night and day. I haven't seen any polyp bailout on it (and I've been watching) but I am very worried about it. I also have a smaller type of frogspawn (named Lil' Spawn - I'm not actually sure what it is but it looks VERY similar) and it too remains shriveled. I've placed paper on top of the tank to keep them in shade for a day but even at the end of that day they remained shriveled. I also have a trumpet coral and some Ricordea mushrooms, hairy mushroom and red mushrooms. The trumpet coral looks better than it ever has since I put in the new lights. It bleached slightly, but it is 'puffier' than ever and the bleaching is going away slowly. The hairy mushroom is in the shade and looks fantastic and the red mushrooms, also in shade, look great. The Ricordeas don't look so great but they are directly in the light and I was planning on moving them. Today one of my peppermint shrimp lay dead in the substrate unexpectedly. I have a Yellow Tang, a Blue Tang (new addition), two clownfish, and a Scooter Blenny - all doing well. I also have a very large Longspine urchin, <I would not keep this type of urchin in a coral tank. The urchin is likely to poke corals while moving about and the tips of the urchin are poisonous and can/will cause damage to your corals.> a black brittle star, and tons of crabs and snails - all well. I also have noticed that a dark brown algae (slime algae?) is growing like crazy over everything, even the urchins spines! The following are my water specs: temp: 78 deg (controlled with chiller), SG: 1.026, pH 8.22 (electronic reader), calc 400, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, phosphate 0. <Mmm, you do not mention magnesium levels. Magnesium is a major element of sea water (1280ppm) and is necessary in order for the corals to absorb the full amount of the calcium available which is essential for their growth.> Large sump beneath tank with protein skimmer and carbon in flow. I've attached pics of the frogspawn, lil' spawn, and polyps. If you think any more pictures will help, I will be glad to take some. <Chris, I'd start with putting the lights on the tank with the included stand-offs. Your Euphyllia paradivisa requires moderate to high lighting and I'm thinking this may be part or all of the reason why the corals are not blooming along with the good chance of being impaled by the urchin. As to the dark brown algae, if it is Cyano, read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm If it is algae, read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm As to the subject matter, read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm> Thanks for any help or advice you might have! I really appreciate it!! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Christopher K.

Two (simple I hope) questions): Low-light Corals needing High Light and Niger Trigger/Clownfish Buddies! 1/15/09 You guys and gals are the best! Two quick questions, this time. I got some low light corals from a LFS who has 400W MH lights on their tanks. I had power compacts. First, the corals did not open until I got a MH. Is this to be expected? <Mmm, if they were photo-acclimated to different quality, intensity light, yes... all organisms have such "range" and varying adaptability> In other words - if corals that generally are low light corals (including mushrooms, etc.) reside in a high light tank (as in the LFS) - will their light demands remain high once switched to a more appropriate lower light tank by a buyer? <Mmm, no... not "remain" as in most all can be "re-adapted" to new (though sufficient) light conditions... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above> This seems to be the case in my tank. Is this odd? <Not odd at all> Second, have you ever heard of, or seen a Niger Trigger and a (black) false percula clown being "best friends"? <Yes> The strangest and sweetest and most unusual thing has been going on for several days in my FOWLR tank. The clown is treating the measurably larger Niger trigger like a buddy and vice versa! The clown is shadowing him and flitting all around and even grooming the trigger who keeps his spike down, stays still while it is going on and seems to enjoy it! Is this unprecedented? <Nope... captivity makes "strange bedfellows" at times... Not often permanently> He is a shy trigger and not aggressive at all, but this is totally unexpected for me! There is only one other fish in that tank - a Coral Beauty Angel - and no other clown. Does this clown think the Trigger is just another clown? <Maybe... or another of whatever it considers itself to be> They were together for a few months before this started happening. Thanks! Aleasha Baltimore, MD <BobF, Kailua, Kona>

Light Acclimation 1/15/09 Crew -- <Jon> Just picked up a new 250W HQI fixture (the 150W + actinics just wasn't cutting it for the SPS, IMO) for my 39G CADlights tank. Nice hanging fixture with an external ballast (Aqua Medic Oceanlight, to be exact). Found a great closeout price that was too good to pass up. <Sounds good.> Anyway, what method truly works best for acclimating corals to a new light fixture? It's not a huge difference in wattage (about 50W or so since the actinics were roughly around 50W total), though the PAR intensity should drastically increase. The hanging kit is adjustable, so I figure the easiest method would be to hang it around 20 inches off the water and slowly move it down over the course of two weeks. Maybe an inch a day (or every two days) until I get to around 8 inches off the water. The other option is to go with light diffuser, but I'd prefer not to go with that since I don't really want to deal with the hassle of that over a 24 inch wide tank. I would think that lowering the light over the course of two or three weeks should suffice since it's the same over all goal of having lower PAR levels so the corals can adjust completely. <That would be the way I'd go, you should be just fine.> Thanks for the help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> - Jon

Acclimating corals to new MH  9/18/09 HELLO CREW, I have been keeping a marine tank for a couple of years now and have a question for you. I just moved (lost 3 acro's). I put everything from my 55g into a 90g H. I have a very nice piece of red Monti cap. that has grown quite a bit as well as Kenya tree, candy, star polyps and umbrella xenia corals. All this is under my light from the 55, a 260 watt pc fixture. I purchased a 250w HQI with a Hamilton 14k and a 150w HQI with 14k Ushio. They will be about 12" from water surface. I also recently purchased a SUPER colored Crocea clam that needs this light. For now I have it high in the tank until I get my canopy on with the new lights. It is very happy and healthy by the way. I was thinking of turning on the MH's for just a half an hour to one hour a day for a couple of weeks and increasing time in this way until I am up to about 6 hours for MHs along with current schedule of PC lighting. Would this work for acclimating or do I still need to diffuse the light no matter what? <I would diffuse this light> Thanks for you time and opinions, Nick <Please read Anthony's pc. here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Please Help with lighting, SW, reef  8/13/08 Please help me determine which 4- URI VHO bulbs to purchase. I have a 75-gallon tank which is over a year old now. I made the mistake a year ago and purchased VHO lighting and not T5HO or MH. Until I upgrade to a bigger tank I am going to keep the VHO lighting. <VHO can work very well.> I have actually had some success keeping some SPS including, Montipora Capricornis, Digitata and even some species of Acropora. I think my growth rate may be a little slow, but I have not lost any coloration. I like to keep a mixed reef, but of course I am getting more into the SPS and again kicking myself for going with VHO. It is past due for me to get new bulbs for my tank. I currently have 4 x 110watt bulbs. 2x URI Super Actinic 1x URI White Actinic = 50% 12,000k and 50/5 actinic 03 1x URI Aquasun 10,000k (I also use a 39 watt T5HO super blue for my dusk/dawn feature) My question is, should I get the same exact mixture of 4 bulbs? I was debating whether I should switch out the Aquasun for another White Actinic. But I wasn't sure because maybe having the 10,000k in there would be better....I don't know??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <For my tank I would just swap one of the actinics for another 10000K bulb. The remaining actinic and the actinic white should still leave you with a satisfactory blue hue and a 10000K bulb will give you more usable light for your corals.> Thank you, Ryan <Welcome, Scott V. >

Re: Please Help with lighting 8/13/08   8/16/08 Thanks for the quick response. <Welcome.> When I replace the 4-VHO bulbs do I need to do it slowly to avoid photo shock? Should I change out 1-bulb a day for 4-consecutive days? Or one bulb every other day for 8-days? What do you recommend? <Honestly, I myself would replace them all at once, but waiting a day or two between each bulb replacement certainly won't hurt and is a good idea. A little bit more work, but the safe route.> Thanks again. <Welcome, Scott V.>

Small SW env. issues, photo-shock of Cnid.s    8/12/08 Hello, before I even start I want to thank you guys for helping me out. I read on this site regularly and it is very helpful. I have a 36 gallon corner tank that has been set up for about a year. 45lbs live rock, 3-4" sandbed, Aqua C Remora skimmer, 4 Hydor Koralia #1 powerheads, and a Marineland canister filter, <Mmmm> weekly 10% water changes, good husbandry. Approx. 15 species of coral <! In this small volume?> mostly LPS and softies. LPS include (2 Caulastrea, 1 large Favia, 1 Euphyllia- sold as a hammer, Duncan, 2 suns), mushrooms, leather, green star polyps, colt, and several different zoo's. All except 1 candy cane doing exceptional. <-ly> Recently I had one of my light fixtures decide to self destruct, it was a 130w Coralife PC fixture. Immediately I ordered a 4-bulb 96w nova extreme T5 online to replace it. However while I was waiting for it to arrive, I only had 1- 48w nova extreme T5 H.O. and 1- 36w nova extreme T5 on the tank.. knowing this was not enough light, I watched the corals closely and was hoping that they would endure while I waited for my new light. (during this time I fed daily with marine snow, reef-roids and coral vitalizer) They looked ok, not great, for a week. My new light arrives and like a total rookie excited to try it out, I fire it up without acclimating the corals to the light. Now my favourite candy cane is sloughing off one of it's heads. It is a large green candy cane with about 15 heads and has done exceptionally well until just recently. With all of this said, a few questions. Am I right in assuming that the over-illumination is most likely the cause for this tissue sloughing in an otherwise healthy tank? <Yes... along with the previous week of low lighting> Should I attempt to remove the head or tissue because it is hanging down about an inch (would be almost impossible because it is right in the middle of the coral) - or - If I just leave it, can it recover? <It can... I would leave as is... unless you have a well-established system/area to move it to elsewise... I would only remove the tissue if it becomes obviously necrotic (likely falling off)> The only thing I test anymore on this tank is Calcium and Alkalinity, because it has been stable for so long. So I won't give you all the values, however I can provide them if you think it's relevant. I really don't want to lose this coral so I hope you can lead me in the right direction. Thanks from Canada, Torry <I would pre-mix and have stored about as much new seawater as you can... clean out the mechanical media in the canister filter (in seawater) and add a unit of Chemipure or equivalent to it. Bob Fenner> New Lighting/Acclimation 7/27/08 Hey gang. <Hello.> I just have a quick question regarding photoperiod acclimation to a new lighting setup. I have been running a 6 bulb T5 setup (three 10K's and three actinics) on my 65 gallon for the past 6 months. They have been on a 12 hour long schedule with the actinics on for the full 12 hours and the 10K's on for 10 hours. The system is mainly SPS. I will be upgrading to two 175 watt 12K halides as soon as I have the fans mounted in the canopy, but before I put the canopy on the tank permanently, I wanted to get an opinion as far as how long you think I should shorten the lighting schedule to start with. <I would start with 8 hours or so, perhaps with a few layers of plastic screening material to attenuate the light that can be removed as the livestock acclimates. For more info read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and linked FAQ's.> As always, thank you for your time. -wuf <Welcome, Scott V.>

PC to T5 7/17/08 I have a 29 gallon reef tank with PC lighting. It has been running for about 4 years. It has a pair of egg laying clowns and soft corals. I recently ordered an 8x24watt T5 fixture. What would be the best way to acclimate the tank inhabitants? Using a couple of layers of screen or a shortened photo period that gradually increases? <Either method can work; you can also set the fixture up higher and lower it a bit every few days. I assume you are going from a much weaker PC unit? If the wattages are close to the same your acclimation will be minimal. Scott V.>

MH light acclimation... Cnid.s  10/16/07 Hello everyone, its been a while since I have sent an e-mail asking for help/advice. Here goes: I currently own an Oceanic BioCube 14g nano-tank. Its been up and running successfully for about a year now. I have all of my corals in the tank under the stock lighting that comes with the tank. The stock lighting consists of 2 compact fluorescent lamps. I am currently stocked to the brim with the following: fist sized toadstool, finger leather, xenia spp., tons of Ricordea fl and yuma, various other Shrooms, tons of zoos, button polyps, a small open brain, a small colony of anchor coral, etc... <I would not add more...> I am in the process of setting up a new 50g tank. The dimensions are 36"L x 18"W x 19"H The lighting that I have bought for the tank is the SunPod 36" 2 x 150W MH HQI fixture. going from stock BC14 lighting to the 300W of MH would obviously have some affect on the coral. I plan on using 3 layers of eggcrate and removing one layer a week. <I'd substitute plastic sunscreen pieces for much of the eggcrate... At least two of the layers here> The SunPod fixture sits approximately 4" from the aquarium's surface on the mounting legs that it came with. Will this plan be sufficient for acclimating the corals or should I use a different method? Or perhaps a combined method? Thank you and sorry for the long e-mail. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Acclimatizing "Shipped" Corals - 10/10/07 Hello Bob and Team, <<Howdy Claire...Eric here...my apologies for the delay>> I was wondering what your opinion was on acclimatizing corals that have been shipped from a shop to a customer overnight? Do you still think that they should be slowly acclimatized to their new home, as there seems to be some school of thought that acclimatizing shipped corals should be done in a very different way from which you would normally acclimatize corals that were only bagged a few hours previously. <<In my experience, bagged/shipping durations of about 12 hours have not proven problematic...but I still prefer to pick up my shipments rather than await delivery to shorten this as much as possible>> I heard that because when corals are shipped they normally produce excess mucus and almost always the water temperature drops to very low levels, the low temperature of the water actually helps keep the ammonia in the bag less toxic. <<Indeed, but probably more so due to the drop in pH...and reason enough for Bob to recommend adding an "acid solution" to the water used for mixing/acclimating new acquisitions to match the pH to that of the bag/transport water to keep from rapidly raising pH and greatly increasing the toxicity of the ammonia. Have you read his article on his Guerrilla acclimation methods? See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm >> This person told me that if I were to slowly increase the temperature of the shipping water via drip acclimatization the ammonia would almost certainly kill or injury the coral badly, <<Mmm, this is not an "absolute," I have successfully used this method on overnight shipments many times...but there "are" better ways, as outlined in Bob's article>> for this reason they suggested that I removed the coral from the shipping bag straight away and placed the coral directly into my display tank. <<I agree there may be times when a specimen has been held in a bag for a VERY long time that would make this the lesser of the two evils...but most often this type of action is just as bad due to the inherent temperature and pH shock the already weakened animal will experience re. It is best to utilize a method that is less drastic/traumatic that will provide some immediate relief yet allow the animal to adjust/harden a bit before being dumped in to the display system. Diluting the ammonia/metabolites with new saltwater that has been temperature and pH matched "to the bag water" is a better option>> Is this really an approved technique? <<Depends on the degree of extremes involved...but for most overnight shipments, some type of acclimation should still be used>> I would appreciate your thoughts, as I always painstakingly acclimatize my delivered corals, and I am alarmed that I might actually be doing them more harm than good. <<What do you think Claire? Have you noticed any damage as result of your acclimation process? I would keep acclimating your new acquisitions (and utilizing quarantine)...and perhaps adopt some of the suggestions from the article, if you feel the need>> Regards, Claire <<Cheers, EricR>>

New light acclimation, SW    8/18/07 Dear Crew, <Hi Mark> I'm getting a new lighting system for my 65 gallon tank. It's a TEK T-5 6x39 watt light to replace my dual 96 watt lights. The new lights will have a total of 234 watts compared to the 192 watts compact fluoresces that I have now. I'm planning on using Giesemann lights, 2 actinic Plus, 2 or 3 Aquablue Plus, and 1 or 2 Midday bulbs. I'm also going to hang this light instead of using the legs. So my question is. What is the best way to acclimate this light to my tank? Wattage wise I'm not that much Higher but from what I understand the T-5's are much brighter. I have mostly soft corals and 1 LPS. I have a 5" DSB and my rockwork goes no higher then 2/3rd' of the tank. Thanks for all of your support Mark <The T5's have the ability to penetrate farther into the water and have a higher PAR rating than the PC lamps. If your current photoperiod is 10-12 hrs per day than reduce it to 8hrs with the new lights for the first week, then increase to 10hrs for second week, then increase to 12 hrs. You should only notice improvements with the brighter lights as long as your water quality is good in regards to low phosphates/nitrates> <Hope this helps, Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

Transition to much stronger lighting and exposing anthelia to air - 7/20/07 Hi Crew!! <Howdy!> This is my favorite site on the web for marine info and I've learned tons for you all <Ah, good> First my set-up: Standard size 90 G tank with Coral Sea 220 Skimmer, 4 G HOB 'fuge with live rock/sand some cleaner clams and oodles of pods, Emperor 280 filter with ceramic beads in one media basket and alternate Purigen and carbon filter cartridge weekly in the other basket. We have 2 Seio 820's,1 Seio 620 powerheads. Not counting the skimmer, the water is turned~30x an hour. There is about 90# coral gravel and about the same amount of LR as well. It has been set up and running since October of '06 here, but we purchased it used and it had been running for a couple years at the previous owner's home. We tore down, moved, and restarted same loooong day, lol. <I'll say!> Our fish consist of a Kole Tang, Coral Beauty Angel, soon to be (I think) mated pair of Sebae clownfish, 4 Pajama Cardinals, Royal Gramma, and a six line wrasse. Our inverts are a serpent star, pair of cleaner shrimp, 15 or so of those tiny zebra hermit crabs, 1 Mithrax crab, a variety of snails and a bunch of LR hitchhiking fan worms <Do keep your eye on the Mithraculus...> Our corals are 2 silver dollar sized Fungia's, several small Ricordea, an umbrella mushroom, 4 brown mystery polyps (hitched on LR) and about 35 Parazoanthus polyps, an anthelia, a yellow gorgonian that is actually growing and a Pachyclavularia. Our soon to be upgraded lighting is a worthless (IMHO) Perfecto hood with 3 32watt T-8's( 1 5000K, 2 6500K) <Likely "intense" enough here for what you list... but barely> The chemistry is great Ammonia, Nitrite are 0, Nitrate>5ppm, pH is 8.0, SG 1.025, CA is 400-420, Alk is 3.5 dKH, Phosphate is zero. We also have a 29 G quarantine tank that all new fish spend one month in prior to going into the display tank and a 10G pod breeder tank. <Good!> My first question is about the anthelia. Because of our pathetic lighting, its about 6" from the top of the tank. It loves it there and is growing very well. For a variety of reasons, I prefer to do a larger monthly water change rather than smaller weekly ones but I'm concerned about the anthelia being exposed to air. In Borneman's Corals book it says that the anthelia will occupy shallow tidal areas but doesn't say if it will spend time at low tide out of the water. Would it be hurt by exposure to air during a water change? <Likely not a problem. I have seen this genus exposed during extreme tides in the tropics> My second question is about the pathetic lighting. We are about to invest in a 6 x54 T5 Tek hood with individual lamp reflectors. I plan to transition from old to new over a six week period, starting with 2 bulbs and the fixture 7" above the tank. At the end of the six weeks, I want all 6 bulbs in and the lamp about 2" off the water. Can you offer me a week by week suggestion of how to get from point A to B with minimal trauma to the fish and me? <You'll both be fine, it's the attached photosynthetic invert.s I'm concerned about> (ie 1st week 7" above the tank, 2 bulbs, on 6 hours. Week 2 6" above with four bulbs, on 8 hours) The bulbs I'll be using are :(front to back) 1-ATI Blue Plus 1-Sfiligoi Super Actinic 1-ATI Blue Plus 1-GE 3000K Daylight 1-UV Lighting AquaSun 1-ATI Blue Plus <Mmm... adding two more lamps the second week... and waiting two more weeks to adding the last two (a couple of weeks after this) should do it... I would add the blues sooner... but would likely replace at least one of those listed with another "white"> The first and last are on one circuit for dawn/dusk. The middle 4 are the daytime group. <Okay...> Thanks in advance for all your help Sincerely Ed Borus <I don't foresee a problem here. You should read here however: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the Related FAQs file linked above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Acro Acclimation - 07/03/07 To the crew I just got back from the frag swap at Drs. Foster and Smith this past weekend and have a few questions concerning acclimating my new beauties. Here are the specs for my tank. 75 gallon w/30 gallon sump - mag 12 running to four 1/2 inch returns 2 Koralia 3's on opposite sides for flow Aqua C EV 180 Nitrates - >5ppm Ph 8.4 temp 77-80 Calcium - 320 KH - 9 Mg - 1300 My concern is really with the light acclimation. I just picked up a nova extreme 8x54 t-5 setup, and picked up a bunch of SPS frags. I already have a couple Monti digi's and caps and a small millie that are doing fine. Previously I was using a 260w PC fixture but had good growth with all. Okay now to the questions! I bought a nice Staghorn and pink millie from the DFS retail store that were maricultured. Do I need to light acclimate these corals seeing as they were under halides before I got them? <Not likely, no> Also with the frags I bought, they have gotten quite pale compared to when they were in the actual traders tanks (all used PC nano tanks). They have only been in my tank for a day, after being in the dark for about two days (Long time)? <Mmm, no... much more likely "light-stressed" by the move/show at the get-together itself...> Really I just would like to know is if the light acclimation is really geared towards halides over t-5? <Mmm, no... much more just intensity differences in most cases> The new frags are all on the bottom of my tank right now but I'm worried that they aren't getting enough light? <Possibly... I would move the Acropora spp. "up" to about half depth> One might already be bleaching out a little bit or is just really pale (Acro yongei), is it better to move it up more or shade it if it is losing color? <In this circumstance, up> All but one's polyps are peeking out. <A good sign> Also I heard to keep them in more gentle current when acclimating and not the vigorous flow they all like. True? <Yes> I'm a paranoid nervous wreck! Please help me and thank you for your time! Sincerely Mike <Patience... these 'things' take time. Bob Fenner>

HQI vs. VHO vs. T5   1/8/07 Hi, my name is Larry. <<Hello Larry...Eric here>> I have a 90g (48Lx 24dx18w), I upgraded my lighting system to 2x 250watt HQI and 2x95watt VHO.  The things in my tank do not like it at all....I understand that it has to go through an acclimation process and I did not do it correctly. <<Mmm, yes...especially if your lighting was nowhere this intense before, photo shock is a real danger to your photosynthetic organisms>> The only things I have as far as sps is Alveopora and Goniopora. <<Interesting statement...both are from the Family Poritidae as is Porites, though I think most hobbyists don't think of Alveopora or Goniopora as "SPS" corals...and the latter is definitely not a good candidate for captive keeping>> I have some leathers and mushrooms and Zoas.  My problem is the lights killed my Sailfin tang as he was fine before I did the upgrade, <<Hmm, could have been stress induced I suppose...though I have never heard of lighting killing fish>> My blue regal has a cloudy eye and my xenias melted and died. <<Likely all these are "indirect" results of the lighting upgrade...perhaps some biological/chemical reaction to the large and sudden increase in intensity>> I have been doing research for some time about what kind of lights to get and I wanted to be able to keep just about anything so my original thought was to go with 2x150watt HQI and 2x 110 actinic VHO or just 4 VHO's <<Either of these options could be utilized.  But if "just about anything" means the ubiquitous "garden style reef" there really is no "ideal" lighting solution as this unnatural mix groups organisms from differing niches/environments of the reef in to a very small space.  Some allowances can be made by proper placement of/creating shade or shelter for those animals with lower lighting requirements.  But be aware, lighting is only one consideration, and blasting the tank with intense light does not mean you will "be able to keep just about anything," you also have aggression/toxicity/allelopathy issues to address among others (water flow, feeding, etc.)>> Problem number 2 the canopy is only about 6-8 inches tall...so my question is, is the 250's to much light too close to the water and should I trade those back in to get the 2 150's or should I go with the 4 VHO's or an 8 bulb T5 fixture? <<The 250w bulbs are more than you need in my opinion...but that's not to say they won't work as long as they don't cause overheating issues (there are also steps you can take to mitigate these).  But to save you a few bucks on electricity/bulb replacement, you could consider the 150w fixtures.  My personal preference is MH lighting, but with the right combination of wattage and Kelvin temperature the T5 fixture is a fine option>> I would still like to keep just about anything from sps to clams. <<Mmm...or maybe consider limiting your display to just these...>> I read tons of posts about this earlier this morning when I found my tang laid over on his side, but it just left me more confused...any help is greatly appreciated <<Keep reading...the understanding will come>> Frustrated Reefer Larry <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Photo-Shock? - 10/29/06 Good Morning... or afternoon, or evening, whatever it may be. <<Hello...morning now>> I am in a real mental pinch here with my halides and looking for a shoulder to lean on (hopefully not cry on). <<Let's see if I can be of assistance...>> I think I goofed big time, but then again, it's reef keeping so before I jump into trying to fix things, I thought I would ask someone with a little more experience first. <<Ah yes...go slow and research/analyze your options whenever possible>> Here is the skinny.  I just undertook a two-month project to build my dream system. <<Only two months? <grin> >> Got the okay from the wife and took the plunge. <<An "always important" component>> I had a 105G tall (32"-deep X 48"-long) for three years with a 30G sump/fuge combo.  I keep Acros mostly, <<…me too>> and have around 18 different species as well as a few other SPS, a rose bubble, and a Crocea. <<Ack!  You were doing so well up until the anemone...>> In my 32" tank I had 2X400W halides about 10" off the water and life was good. <<A lot of light>> Currently I have framed a 125G (6 foot long X 22" deep) display into a wall and made a 12X6 foot support room behind it. <<Cool!  Love "in-wall" displays (is what I have)>> The display has a 100g sump, 75g refugium, 30g prop tank, and I even got to tie in my 30g anemonarium which was really great. <<Lots of water volume...excellent>> I drip Kalk 24/7, dose 2ml of iodide daily, and maintain a daily avg of: 425 CA, 9 DKH, 1.026 SG, 8.28 - 8.36 pH, 79.3 - 79.6 degrees, 0 nitrates, 0 PO4. <<Very good>> I use RO/DI that I aerate/buffer as needed and change 20G of water every Sunday.  I am very happy with my parameters, however I am not so happy with my corals. <<...!>> Since I had the 2X400W halides from my deep tank, I just picked up another reflector/ballast/bulb and am now using 3X400W halides over my 125G display, which is only 22" deep. <<Mmm...>> I had the halides at 10ish-inches from the water surface that I now realize, or think at least was way too close and have moved them to 16. <<Indeed…the corals could have been/can be "acclimated" to the light intensity, but this would need to be a "gradual" process.  The organisms we keep are quite adaptable...but they don't usually handle "rapid" changes well>> I have noticed that my Pocillopora and a couple of Acros that made the transition have started to lose their rich color for a more "watery" color.  Some red/pinks are fading to white, blues have gone pale, my rose bubble just sticks a couple of tentacles out of a crack in a rock, etc.  Nothing is bleached; they are just not how they should be. <<Does sound like photo-shock>> At first I thought the color change was because I switched from XM 20Ks to Radiums when I setup the new system, however I noticed that my best colored coral is a purple-rim/green M. capricornis that sits almost directly under the center brace.  Also the more I have been reading on WWM the more I think that the power/distance is the real culprit. <<...?>> To cut to the chase here, am I "making lava" as Anthony calls it, keeping the 400s? <<400-watt halides are definitely more light than you need on a 22"-tank, but by raising the fixtures/acclimating the organisms it can be utilized>> Should I downgrade to 250, or do you think that the 400 at a higher set point will be all right? <<Downsizing the lighting will be cheaper to run/less excess-heat hassles...but the 400-watt lighting can be used as stated>> Perhaps I have missed the boat entirely and you think that something else might be going on? <<This too is a possibility, or at least a contributor...reactions to changes in water chemistry, feeding, additives, or just being moved/repositioned in the new system.  But I think the lighting (due to lack of proper acclimation re) is likely the main cause for the changes in color/behavior you describe>> I am all ears and can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your time to read this long-winded email and already feel better knowing that one of you at WWM is going to chime in on this issue. <<No worries mate...is what we do.  Have a peek here re acclimating your corals to the new lighting: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm>> Again, all my gratitude, have a good morning/day/night =) Jeff <<Happy to share.  EricR>>

Lighting Question 10/14/06 I just upgraded from 2x65 watt compact to a 150 watt MH. How long should I leave the lights on day while everything acclimates? <I would start at 4 hours and work your way up> I have mushrooms, Ricordeas and leathers. I can't hang the light above the tank so it sits on top of the canopy with an opening at 8 inches above the water. Thank you Debra <Monitor your corals health and slowly increase the photoperiod every week until you reach your target.  Cheers! - Dr. J>

Candy Cane Coral...Turn Off Your Brights  - 05/19/2006 Hello WWMC !! <Hello Esteban> Always a pleasure to have someone to send an e-mail too that will guarantee a great response! <Thank you.> I have had a nice colony of about 15 1 inch pink Caulastrea (trumpet coral) <Caulastrea curvata>  about halfway vertical up my 125 gallon and half way horizontal in the tank.  I was using two 175 watt MH's on for 10 hours and two 6 foot blue HQI actinic bulbs on for 12 hours (1 hour on before the MH turn on and 1 hour after the MH shut off) for about 3 months.  The colony would come out beautifully - which after my reading I am guessing was because it was reaching out for more light.  Well, I switched the MH's to two 250 MH's running for 10 hours, and the same 6 foot bulbs running for 12 hours.  That was last month.  About two weeks ago, I noticed that the heads of the coral were not as expanded as before.  They will come totally out for an hour or so in the middle of the 10 hours, then close back up.  Their tentacles still come out when I am feeding the tank.  I'm worried that something might be wrong?  The water levels are still consistent with No ammonia, Nitrite, PH 8.5, nitrates around 40, calc 440, 1.025 SG.  I have not changed my usual dosing of iodide, C-balance, Reef Calc, Reef Plus, Reef Complete or Magnesium.  Should I consider moving the coral lower in the tank?  Is it getting too much light? <I think they are going through a light adjusting period with the more intense lighting.  These corals only require moderate light and they generally do not open their feeding tentacles until the lights go out.  My Candy Cane <furcata> has never opened during the daylight photoperiod.  You may want to try putting them in the lower level of the tank to encourage opening.> Thanks mucho! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Too much light?    4/14/06 <Hello Kenny - Tim answering your question today!> Forgive me if some one has already answered this, but I am in a panicked state. I have a 45 gallon reef that has been set up for about a year.   Just this week I upgraded my lighting from a 65watt 10K and a 65 watt actinic to a 65 watt 10k a 65 watt actinic and a 250 watt MH. In doing this I turned off my timers and have only been running the MH for a few hours a day in order to acclimate the corals. Never the less when I arrived home from work today my corals looked dreadful. all corals were closed or shrank. Temp was fine...salinity trates trites and ammonia all in check. The only thing I could think of was the addition of the new light. I have only had them for three days and for the first two everything was great. My question I guess is do you think the lights are the issue. <Very likely, yes! In fact, almost certainly. This has to do with the zooxanthellae on the corals that have to adjust to the drastic change in lighting. Good job on gradually increasing the lighting time - though depending on the placement of your corals, you may have to make some adjustments, moving some lower down in the aquarium as necessary. Give them a week to see improvement - though during that time, keep a close eye on them as things should only get better, not worse. If the corals condition appears to deteriorate further, consider other problems that may be at fault!> And if so do my corals stand a chance at recovery? <Definitely - just give them a chance to adjust to the new lighting - in time, you will see them thriving much better than they did under the old lighting!> Corals include: Candies, leathers, frogspawn, hammer, polyps, mushrooms, brain, stars polyps, xenias and one rough looking Galaxea.

Re: too much light? Cnid. acclim.  - 04/14/2006 Thank you for your quick response. Since I last emailed I have lost two fish a clam and dozens of corals look like they may be too far gone. The corals that are doing the worst are the ones at the bottom of the tank. My ammonia was fine yesterday but has rising enough to warrant a water change overnight. I attributed this to the loss of the fish. Would adding the new lights change anything in the water quality. Any other ideas you may have. I am now just trying to avoid a $4000 loss. <Hi Kenny - I am very sorry to hear of your losses! I would say that this is not related to the change of lights - one might expect a change in lighting to affect corals and clams, but should not affect fish - except in so far as the stressed corals may have released chemicals and thereby polluted the water. In any case, it sounds to me as though your problems are the result of toxins in the water. What you will need to do is an immediate and substantial water change as well as use activated carbon or some type of Polyfilter to remove any chemicals that may be in the water. Try to identify and eliminate any possible sources of toxins - presumably something that has changed recently. You will also need to keep a close eye on your fish and other livestock and be prepared to move fish to your QT as and when symptoms or other abnormal behaviour becomes apparent. Best of Luck - I do hope that you will be able to identify the source of your problems. Please keep us informed as to your findings!>

Panicky Coral Care/Poor Acclimation Causing Problems - 03/27/2006 Hello and thank you for taking a moment to answer my question. <Gladly.> I have had my 46gal bowfront saltwater tank running for about 4 years now. I recently added a 2x96w PC fixture to increase my light. I already had (a 1x96wPC, total 3x96W PCs, more than 6WPG). <Just tossed 'em up there and turned 'em on huh?> I have a protein skimmer that's definitely doing its job, the stuff lately has been DARK green (ugh!). Two power heads provide the flow, with one being a PowerSweep (goes back and forth on its own). It has had pretty much the same livestock for the last couple of years, which are a Gold Stripe Maroon Clown, Blue Velvet Damsel, Royal Gramma, and a couple of Green Striped Mushrooms. I added, a week ago today, a Colt coral, Pagoda coral, Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral, Bulb Tip Anemone, <Not good to mix with your corals.> and a Blue Linckia Star. Well the Star has already died, and I acclimated it using the drip method and was very careful to not let it touch the air. The Anemone is doing WONDERFUL! It's found its spot, not moved since. I have fed it 3 times since I got it, and the Clown took to it in like 3 minutes...instantly! The corals are what I'm worried about. <Ok.> The Toadstool hasn't opened at all, the Colt and Pagoda are doing alright, but I was told they are in shock because of all the light? <Too much all at once. No acclimation to new light/environment?> I didn't think there was such a thing as too much light, so I've been running my single strip PC for about 2-3 hours a day. <This is making your situation worse. These animals need time to adjust. This needs to be addressed.> However I tried moving them to the bottom of the tank with the single strip totally off, and the Colt did a LOT better, but that's not where I want it at all, so they're all back to their original spots. <Ok...this is a very bad yet common mistake. Corals are very sensitive to environmental changes. You've only had these a week and already asked them to be fine with constant fluctuations in lighting/flow. I can assure you they are not.> The Toadstool still didn't open up even when at the bottom of the tank with the others. <Perhaps more insulted than the rest.> So, while they aren't melting, or COMPLETELY shriveled up, they aren't looking like they should either. <You're currently heading toward COMPLETELY shriveled up.> What should I do? <Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm and other related links from this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm . Stop moving them and regulate your light cycle.> Oh and my water tests all come out fine except the nitrates were about 10ppm. I tried a water change for that without much avail. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! <You have my thoughts. - Josh>

Lighting Upgrade...Acclimation - 03/20/06 Gentleman, <<Ladies here too...>> A few questions for you.  I have an 80 gallon mixed reef tank with the following inhabitants: 1 very large Hammer (12" high, 14" long, 6/8" deep) 1 medium Frogspawn Star Polyps 1 large Toadstool (8" in diameter) 1 small colony of Zoanthids 1 large Finger Leather 1 medium Green Tree Leather 1 small colony of unknown Xenia 1 small Clam 1 small Galaxy 1 small Blastomussa 1 small Kenyan Tree 1 Large colony of roughly 25 Mushrooms 1 6" diameter Merulina 1 medium Maze 1 small unidentified brain 1 small encrusting Montipora a dozen mixed fish <<A "mixed garden reef" indeed.>> Currently I have a 440 watt VHO lightning setup and just purchased Metal Halides to upgrade the lighting. <<Hmm...don't really see anything on your list requiring metal halide lighting with the possibility of the clam.  Depending on specie, the clam could likely just be placed higher in the water column.>> I was convinced by the LFS to go with a 2x250 setup.  I just built a canopy that extends 20 inches off the water column and want to know if I am going to have any bleaching or any other possible issues with the tank inhabitants. <<Always a possibility.  One of the better methods for acclimating tanks to higher light levels is to cut pieces of fiberglass window screen to fit over the tank.  You can rest these on a piece of plastic "egg-crate" also cut to lay on over the top of the tank.  By placing tree or four sheets of screen over the tank and removing a piece every three or four days you can slowly acclimate your tank denizens without fear of "scorching" them.>> In addition, I have looked at the screening FAQ sheet on acclimation and am concerned with the types of corals and what the best way to acclimate to the 2x250 Halides. <<Ah yes...as just explained.>> Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Greg <<Regards, EricR>>
Lighting Upgrade...Acclimation II - 03/21/06
Eric, <<Greg>> Thanks for the advice. <<Welcome>> I really wanted to go with SPS corals thus the change in lighting but the boss says she doesn't want the change. <<I see>> With the 2x250 halides (20000K), am I going to hurt the inhabitants in the tank, if so what would you recommend trading out? <<All will likely be fine once acclimated to the lighting.  Those corals that need/want less light (typically the "red" color variants of LPS, Corallimorphs, etc.) can be placed in the bottom reaches/ends of the tank.>> I am concerned with the tank being a 90 gallon setup, I can't really shade any of the inhabitants.  Long term, if I stay status quo, is there going to be any negative affects to the tank inhabitants? <<Mmm, no worries...experiment with the height of the lights over the tank.  The halides can be used just fine...maybe keep them a bit higher off the water than the typical SPS reef keeper would...observe your tank inhabitants, and lower them as (if) deemed necessary.>> Thanks again. Great Site! Greg <<Regards, EricR>>

Acclimating Corals To New Lighting   2/2/06 Hello, <Hi there! Scot F. with you today!> Will reduced photoperiods be enough to acclimate my 55g tank from 192w PC to 150x2HQI? I have green Nephthea near the top, which I'm worried about bleaching, so I want to do it very carefully.  Moving my canopy up and down will be difficult however, so I'm wondering if adjusting the photoperiod will be enough for a very careful photo acclimation process.  Thanks again for your help. <Good question. I generally favor acclimating corals to new lighting regimens by either moving the coral down a bit, and gradually bringing it up towards the light (good, but a new set of problems arises when you move an established, happy coral to a new locale!), or (better) to use some form of screen to reduce the light intensity as the corals adjust. You start out with, say 6-8 layers of window screen, gradually removing layers until eventually there is no screen. A slower, but much more "coral friendly" process, IMO! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Lighting Upgrade   1/31/06 Saludos! I'm currently running a 55gal <Stock... 22 inches deep> tank with a 10gal  refugium that is established for a little more than 11/2 years. In there I have a small frogspawn, xenias, a green Goniopora, lots of yellow polyps , some red mushrooms and a leather the fish store sold me it as a speckled leather coral)  coral, also a crocea clam <The rate-limiting animal here> and some Halimeda . What I have been using for lighting so far are 2 fixtures of power compact lights. Each one with 2 x 65w 50/50 bulbs in a schedule of midday to 6pm the first fixture and the second coming in at 2pm 'till 8:30pm. That basically shows an overlapping  of 4 hours of full 260w of light over my tank. Do that looks ok? <Not likely for the tridacnid, no> I have not changed this schedule since I began introducing corals around a year ago. The mushrooms, the yellow polyps, the xenias  have spread a lot over the rockwork, even the leather looks bigger and nicer than when I bought it. The crocea has also show some new growth reflected in the shell borders that I understand is a good sign as well as the Halimeda who grows basically a full new leave in one or two days. <Keep this green algae trimmed back> The thing that I want to ask is if you think an upgrade to a fixture of 2X250w 10k HQI lightning will be a good move. <Oh yes> If so how should I do the upgrade. I have read that an acclimation to the new lightning is required but I'm not sure of exactly how to do this one. <Mmm, ideally, placing the MH high above the present lighting... moving down, turning the PCs off more and more... practically, shielding the MH's, slowly turning them on more and more minutes per day... Bob Fenner>

Lighting acclimation with existing / pendants Hi Crew, <Steven> Hope all guys/gals are well fed and feeling good after the long Holiday weekend. <I do as well> I have a question and proposed method regarding upgrading and acclimating a new lighting scheme.  I did look at (about 2 hours worth) of your FAQ's and articles (Anthony's included) regarding this, however I have a slightly different set up (I know everyone must say that). <Many folks do> Basics: 250 FOWLR and a several soft corals (mushrooms and leathers) Fish consist of 5" Chrysurus angel, Bicolor angel, 3" Chevron, 7" Naso Lipstick tang, 4" Orange shoulder tang, 24" Zebra moray eel.  I have 250 lbs. of Tonga live rock, a very fine live DSB, wet/dry with attached refugium with Chaeto, skimmer pulling off good daily skimmate, pH 8.3, dKH 12, salinity 1.024, temperature 79 - 80 F, calcium 440, ammonia/nitrite 0, nitrate 2.5, and 20X flow rate (turbulent). Current lighting is Power Compacts 2 x 96 watts 10K daylight and 2 x 96 blue actinic.  Very low lighting for this set up, <Yes... I would switch out the actinics for more whites at least> nowhere close to the minimum suggestions 2 watts per gallon as suggested here, especially for a 29" deep tank as mine.  I have ordered and will receive two Coralife hanging pendants 150 watt each double ended HQI metal halides with 15,000K bulbs.  These lights retract up and down via a ratchet kind of cord.  The display tank is a "flush mount" in the wall with the living room having the flush mount section and the master bedroom having the rest of the tank exposed (I hope this makes sense). <Yes> I plan on keeping the 72" power compacts and moving them forward and placing the two metal halide pendants over the centerline of the tank, lighting the middle two thirds of the tank.  Since I am limited on space being a built in unit and keeping the power compacts, it will be difficult to utilize the screen method that Anthony has written about.  I thought about instead having the pendants retracted about 15 or maybe even 20 inches from the tank and lowering them maybe every two days until I reach the final desired height. <Yes... this should work out fine... along with initially limiting the amount of "light period"... to a few hours per day...>   I would plan on doing this for the entire photoperiod, as I have read in Anthony writings that he does not recommend running a few hours and increasing over time, rather to run the entire photoperiod but instead increase the intensity over time.   <I am of a different opinion> Do you think this will work, or may I still need to devise some other method of shielding? <I do think (confidently) that your plan will work> I guess if needed I could suspend some type of device to hold the layers of screening, but it will take some design work to accomplish.   In addition, to you think the 15,000 HQI bulbs will be a good middle ground between the very blue 20,000 and the very white 10,000 bulbs.  I would like a nice color spectrum, and don't want to blind my eel, so I opted for the 15,000 bulb. <I think you will be greatly pleased here. If the water were shallower I would encourage 10k lamps> Thank you for your comments.   Regards, Steven <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Lighting Acclimation - 12/17/05 Hey Guys and Gals! <<Howdy!>> Let me start by saying that WWM is the best source of info on the web!  For the past 2 years I have maintained a thriving reef tank. If it were not for your help/insight I would have made many mistakes. <<Ah, very good...happy you have found us useful.>> Due to the enormous amount of awesome info on your site, I was unable to find an answer to my question. <<ok>> My tank is a 36" long 55 gallon acrylic with built in wet/dry, that has been converted to a refugium with DSB. <<neat>> Livestock is mostly mushrooms, Zoanthids, xenia, and a beautiful green hammer coral.  My question is this: I am currently running 130 watts of power compact lighting.  Bulbs are one 10,000k daylight and one 50/50.  In the very near future I will be receiving a 36" 4X96 watt Power compact fixture with 2 dual daylight bulbs and 2 actinic.  Since I am increasing the wattage significantly, what would be your recommendation for acclimating the corals?  Would it be better to run all the bulbs for a shorter duration and slowly bring the duration up to 12 hours or should I run 2 of the bulbs for 12 hours a day and turn on the other 2 for brief periods until all are on for the 12 hour duration?  Once again, thank you for being there for all our fellow aquarists! Thank you, Dave <<Well Dave, you can try the bulb sequencing if you like (two bulbs on <daylight first>, then three, then all four), by my choice would be to get some fiberglass window screen and cut about four sheets (should be adequate for this lighting I think) to fit over the tank (supported by plastic eggcrate if necessary).  Place all four sheets over the tank with ALL the bulbs on and remove a sheet of screen about every three days till all are gone and your done!  EricR>>

Light Acclimation - 12/11/2005 Several months ago my 6' 130 gallon mixed reef broke. We moved everything to a 5' acrylic 125gallon tank. I've used my old 6' Coralife lights (4x 96). I just ordered the Outer Orbit 5' fixture (2x 150mh and 2 130 actinic). Can I mount this fixture over the acrylic tank on its legs (about 3")? Are there any modifications to raise the legs or create my own to avoid suspending it from the ceiling? <Not that I know of, not much of a DIY person, of course there are other very talented folks out there. I would search through some aquarium chatforums like www.wetwebfotos.com/talk and www.reefcentral.com. Both have dedicated DIY forums.> If I move the zoos and mushrooms to the bottom of the tank (24") to acclimate, how many hours each day should I keep the metal halides on? <Depends on what you are keeping, I keep mine on about 8 hours a day, but if you are just keeping Zoas (not zoo's) and mushrooms you could probably get away with a shorter MH photoperiod, especially if you are running any sort of fluorescent lights to supplement.> What kind of schedule should I daily or weekly increase towards? <I prefer using the "window" screen method to acclimate corals to higher light situations. You lay several layers (I used 5) of window screen over the tank to block out some of the light. Each week remove one screen until there are none left. You start out using the full photoperiod which you plan to implement. Your way of increasing the photoperiod can work but it subjects the coral to VERY bright, short days...which is quite unnatural. If you plant to do this start off with 2 or 3 hours a day and add one hour onto it each week until you get to the desired photoperiod. But again, personally I don't like this method.> Any further links to prepare for the light change? <I would just read up on the reef tank lighting FAQ's here at WWM. Also be prepared to deal with the extra heat from your new lighting system.> Thanks so much for your help and terrific site! Jerry <Welcome, Adam J.>
Re: Light Acclimation  - 12/11/2005
Thanks Adam for you quick and helpful response. <That's my job...hobby...hmm both.> My Outer Orbit light arrived yesterday. I'll try the window screen method. Thanks again and Merry Christmas <To you too.> , Jerry <Adam J.>

Lighting change - 29/11/05 Hey again, <Hello, John here today> Do you think my corals will grow faster if I switch the 400 watt 20,000K bulb to a 400watt 10,000K?? <While it is dependent on the brand, 10,000K bulbs usually produce much more PAR, which results in increased photosynthesis -- and coral growth. The difference may, in fact, be great enough to warrant careful acclimation of your corals to the new lighting.> I have the light on a 50 gallon tank. All SPS... Also, should I use an airstone in the sump to add more Oxygen, or  does my AquaC 120 skimmer provide enough? <An airstone has a very limited effect on oxygenation. The skimmer will have a far greater effect. I wouldn't bother with the airstone at all.> What kind of food should I feed my SPS? I heard about DT's, and BioFreeze? Also Kent ChromaMax? Any thoughts? <Take a look at the SPS and coral feeding FAQs on WWM - a wealth of information. Zooplankton is more appropriate than phytoplankton for SPS corals.> Thanks again for your advice over the weekend.  Jenn  <Already Tuesday here... Best regards, John>

Lighting and feeding SPS - 11/29/05 How best then should I acclimate the corals to the 10,000K from the 20,000K?? <You could place a couple layers of plastic screen material over the tank, removing one layer every couple of days. Alternatively, if it is a pendant, you could start with the light higher above the tank, and lower it.> I can't believe Zoo is better than Phyto for SPS feeding!! Which type of Zoo food do you suggest?? <Phyto will have some benefit - it feeds the zooplankton, some of which is of a more favourable size for small polyped corals. Given my location, it's difficult for me to recommend specific brand names, but for more information, I recommend starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm > Thanks John! <My pleasure. Best regards from Shanghai, John>

Light shock from bulb replacement?  9/1/05 Hello Crew, <Tom> I have a 75 gallon tank with one toadstool leather coral and two clownfish. Last month, I replaced four 65-watt power compact bulbs and charcoal on the following schedule: 7/2/05  13 month old 50/50 bulb replaced 7/4/05  10.7 month old 50/50 bulb replaced 7/6/05   new charcoal in <This is an important bit of data... as you likely know> 7/15/05 13.25 month old 10K bulb replaced 7/21/05 12.7 month old 10K bulb replaced I went on vacation 7/24-8/4.  While on vacation, my daily fish caretaker called to say the power was out (GFCI had tripped).  Power was restored, but it could have been out for as much as 24 hours.  There was no canister filter or wet-dry filter to go bad with a power loss.  And the fish had no problem.  I'm not sure about the leather coral. On returning from vacation, the coralline algae appeared mostly gone, except less so in areas sheltered from the light.  And it seemed like the macroalgae was largely gone too.  The rocks looked mostly light brown. My son says this type of bulb loses about 50% of its output every 6 months.  If that's true, I would have more than quadrupled the light over about a 3 week period. <Yes> My questions: Do you think light shock accounts for what happened to my tank? <Mmm, could... directly and not> If so, do I have to replace these bulbs more frequently, or on a more stretched-out schedule, or somehow stagger when they need to be replaced (e.g. replace one every 3 months)? <Better to stagger as you mention> Or was the power outage a major contributor to what happened? <It could have been as much... from the stress of irregular environment on the Leather/Alcyoniid... that might have released sufficient chemicals into your water to kill off the algae... not from a days lack of light. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Tom

- Metal Halide Lighting Acclimation - I have recently set up a metal halide light. its a 17 Watt 10K Reeflux bulb. When I turned the light on for the first time the fish in the tank seemed to become paralyzed looking at the top of the tank. <Well... you just turned on the sun.> My clown fish actually stopped swimming sat on the bottom of the tank just looking up.  Is this normal for the fish at first? <Yes... have seen this before. Is much like the oft-repeated interrogation technique in movies - shining a bright lamp in your face; is disorienting.> I know you have gradually introduce the light a little bit every day slowly increasing the time the light is on. <Yes, would be best this way. Cheers, J -- >

Lighting a 85 gal, Go Halide? Adam, < Hi Frank > I just purchased a used 85 gallon Tenecor Flat Back Hex w/simplicity plus filtration, (the filtration--bioballs/sump, built into the back 4" of the tank), it also has 2 pumps to recycle the water, (nothing in the stand). My question to you is would you remove the bioballs and drill the tank to add a sump in the stand or leave the filtration as is?  < I would drill the tank and have a sump. I've never seen anyone regret doing this. All I see are people wishing they had ;) >  I could use a hang on skimmer or skimmer in the new sump. Also this tank came with a 4 inch canopy, which I'd like to use. What would you suggest as far as lighting in this cramped area?  < Tough call. I think the HQI halides are still a great option. Although I don't have much experience with the T-5's I think that is a great option as well, and is a growing trend. >  I'd eventually like to add hard and soft corals. I can't use MH because it's too close to the tank and I'm afraid of melting the canopy or acrylic. The tank came with 2 X 95 watts VHOs.  < I would definitely replace those lights. If you really don't want halide then go with T-5. > Your opinion is valued,  < Thanks Frank, hope it works out well. > Frank < Blundell >  

Light Questions, mainly acclimation of photosynthates Thanks for all your help in the past, it's been invaluable. About a year ago I got a really nice 42 gallon hex tank that I've always wanted to run a reef on. Problem was, I was concerned that the depth was just too much for PC's to really illuminate, I experimented with 2x65's and it seemed dim at the bottom, so my soft corals stayed in the 20 with the 130 watt fixture, all is well. I setup the 42 with a drilled hollow cave structure made of base rock and added a small layer of grey coast calcite, then a small layer of white aragonite sand. I wanted the drilled base rock to suspend the live rock in the tank, again, the depth concerned me. Didn't hook up a skimmer, no light just a REALLY big pump and a Jager heater. I crushed some live rock and threw it in there. I changed some water every couple months and added evap, and there it sat, for a year- I simply could not find a fixture that would fit on it- Well, Coralife to the rescue- my lovely wife gets me this 280 watt HQI fixture for Christmas- 150w 7000 HQI, 2 65 actinics, 2 moonlights. It barely fits, but fit it does. So I start my heavy water changes on both the tanks- source and destination- the move went very well. I've been limited to soft corals, xenia, buttons, mushrooms one LPS anchor (hammer?) coral that fused to a large piece of rock. I've had really good coralline algae growth in the 20, the rocks are completely purple, corals all split or fell off and grew someplace else- life was good basically. So when I do the move I mix up about 100 gallons of salt mix (again Coralife- maybe I should just get paid in 'Coralife Bucks' huh? I've found the consistency to be superior, 3 level cups make five gallons. So I do the mix and start a few heavy water changes on both tanks, then start swapping water between the two. I did this for two days until I had a consistent mix in both tanks- numbers, yes, ph is a constant 8.2 out of the tap, my water is so hard it laughs at the salt when I add it- precip is a problem, but I pour off the top and leave the precip in the bottom, <This may be a problem... the precipitate/supernatant may not be a consistent part of your mix that you want to toss...> the calcium level of EVERY aquarium I have is somewhere around 450 ppm and it never changes, don't know why, and I don't care. Ok, gravity is 1.024 temp stays about 76 or 77. On water flow- I was using 2 170 gph pumps, a SeaClone skimmer- the only skimmer I could find that fit and worked (with some mod.s- I have a thing about sponge blocks in the aquarium, I think they're bad news, just an opinion. Ok, well, numbers are fine, I'm not having health issues, what I am having is concerns about light. I run a sun up, sun down simulation using timers, it's the rage I hear. So with the 20 I just switched the lights on, one was white one was blue, and 2 moons- but now, with the HQI, the moons come on at 6, I have a pink 10 watt light that comes on at 7, at 730 that goes off and the 2 65 actinics come on, at 830 the HQI comes on, at 3:30 pm I shut down the HQI for an hour, I noticed that a lot of the corals started to close up at around this time- this is the premise of this ungodly wordy email, and I am sorry, so I started I guess a cloudy period from 330pm to 430 pm every day. At 430 the HQI comes back on for 2 hours then shuts down for the night, the actinics follow suit at 730 when the pink comes back on for 15 min.s leaving the moons on till about 10. Now, is it a bad thing that the corals close at about this time? <Mmm, no, not necessarily... all is likely adjusting to new circumstances... mainly light and overall water quality... likely circulation as well> Are they done for the day? <For now, a while, looks like it. These animals will adjust to the previous behavioral cycles with time> The tank is really bright, but I don't want to starve my little guys or gals). I did notice that when the HQI goes off at 330 they start to open back up- am I hurting them by hitting them with the HQI 2 hours later? <Not likely... but these sedentary colonies need time to switch to the new lighting en toto. Have you read this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm> They've only been in there for about a month now, not used to it? <Not yet> No losses, except for narsy snails- hermits can pick them up. Anyway- should I just leave the HQI off at this time or turn it back on? <I'd turn it back on a half hour more per week...> Is that enough light? Should I change one of the actinics to a 50/50 or daylight? <Maybe in the long/er term... I would only switch one variable, light at a time> Should I decrease the HQI until I get polyp expansion in the evening? How does variance in light levels affect corals? <How much time do you have...? There are literally thousands of papers written on this topic> I was in Freeport once and the sun was pretty bright an hour after sunrise, but sometimes during the day it would rain for an hour or more and be very cloudy, of course, you would still get sun burned- should I shoot for consistency in a lighting regime? <Bingo, yes> Anyway, my second questions arises from my first- a year ago, when I seeded the 42 gallon hex I didn't use any light- and I still got a little of the red flakey algae. I seeded my puffer tank- numbers, 70 gallon show tank, 3ftx2ftx1.5ft. 1 Berlin skimmer, 2 magnum canisters and one 2 year old porcupine puffer, about 4 inches now- nothing else nada. I took 10 lbs of live sand and crushed live rock and added it to his tank- it really stimulated his hunter instincts and I'm glad I did it- but now I want to add a few pieced of large live rock to his otherwise sterile base rock structure- in your opinion, how much light should I throw at this guy? He does not like the light at all, <Just enough for you to enjoy it... but consistently... on a timer> I've always used only actinics and he's out a lot more if I don't turn daylight bulbs on. The seeding went very well and I'd like to continue, but little dude's favorite food happens to be snails, so nuisance algae is of great concern if I have to increase the light to get the hard purple and pink algae- water flow can't be too strong either- they are relatively poor swimmers. Do you think I could get good coralline growth in this tank with say 2x 65 watt actinics? <Maybe... worth trying> I think he could deal with that level, daylight makes him stay in his structure, probably cause he's a baby, he's a wimp, or both-not too bright, but hecka cute. Ok third question- watts per gallon- doesn't mean anything does it? <Can be a useful generalization> I realize this once I looked at the HQI, the whole fixture is only 280 watts, but the intensity is way more than twice the 130 PC fixture, and the 20 gallon is half the height- am I on the right track here, or am I going to end up with a 42 gallon tank of seafood gumbo? Can I get a clam now? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/lighting/index.htm> Should I get more LPS coral for the upper levels? Is it too bright for it? <If you want and no> The xenia love it, but I can't seem to do too much that bothers them- the one LPS coral I have has done wonderful on pc lighting, should it do better on Metal Halide? <Ultimately, likely so> Do different species of mushrooms like different light levels? <Yes> What about Florida false corals? <These are Corallimorpharians as well> I've heard of people putting Metal Halides on really small tanks, how? <With danger... from over-evaporation, heating, photo stress and shock> Is it safe to move from my menial existence as a keeper of soft corals to more difficult species now? <In a month or two> How many snails and what type should I use in the hex tank- for nuisance algae? <Please see WWM re> The narsy snails are too small I think, hermits can carry them. Ok, so it's more than one question- my main concern is baking my corals, or actually boiling them- no heat buildup, maybe a degree, but the intensity- I've gotten some pretty nasty sun burn on a cloudy day. Thanks, Aaron <You have a good, curious mind Aaron... you just need a bit more knowledge... which you can find on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Too much light? Another photo-acclimation query Hi crew, I hope your holidays went well and were happy!! I have explored many sites over the past several months.  Nothing  comes close to the accurate, swift, and friendly information you guys provide us   starting reefers.  I thank you. <You are welcome> I upgraded my lights from power compacts to HQIs.  Currently my 90  gallon tank is as follows-  2 x 250 watt 10K Ushio halides, with a  dawn/dusk 96 watt PC.   90 gallons, G-2x skimmer, 3000 GPH closed loop  circulation, 30 gallon reservoir.  Water is 1.024 SG, 8.2 pH, Alk 11,  calcium about 400. My current stock is 2 damsels, 1 brown Scopas tang, a  tomato clown, and a lawnmower blenny.  My corals are 2 colonies of green  stars, a green BTA, 2 Xenia, a crocea and derasa clam, a LT plate coral, and a  green birds nest. My Bali Acropora, placed at the top of the tank within 2 weeks of   acquiring, just died.  It turned from cream to bright pink, then suddenly  white.  I removed it, and it smelled bad.  My birds nest had been near  the top also.  It was starting to bleach, so I lowered it to the bottom  third of the tank.   <Mmm, where did you start these corals? Hopefully not immediately at the top of the water column.... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, above)> Since I removed it, all the rest of the corals responded with more  health.   I got these halides so I could keep SPS.  Did I move the Acro  up to the lights to rapidly, or do I have to much light in general? <Bingo~!>   My 2  clams are open fully and healthy on the sand (got them 2 weeks ago).   Should I move them up towards more intense light?   <Mmm, not necessarily... most Tridacnid species are best left on softer substrate bottoms> It seems I have achieved high light.  What extremely high light,  colorful SPS coral would do well under this light at the top of my tank? Thanks, James <Please read through WWM re... these are principally species of the families Acroporidae, Poritidae and Pocilloporidae. Bob Fenner>

Lighting change I have a 50 gal. that is 18" deep. I have 1-250 watt mogul base MH about 6" above the water. I am replacing that with 2- 250watt HQI, 2-T5 actinics, and L.E.D. moonlight. The tank has been with the single bulb set-up for about 1 year. My question is how should I go about acclimating the stock to the new light system without shocking them? Thomas Giddens <Hello Tom,  A safe way is to start the MH's at one hour, and increase by one half hour each day till you reach the time you want your lights on.  James (Salty Dog)>

Unhappy Corals at High Noon: New Light Acclimation 12/19/04 Hi Guys, Thanks for the great site and advice :)   <Howdy, and thanks :)> In my tank I have two hammer corals (used to be one big one that got too big), an Alveopora, star polyps, and I recently just added a show rock with about 4 different kinds of Zoanthids and various polyps.  At the same time I added that rock, I doubled might power compact lighting from 95 to 190 watts. This was about two weeks ago. <Hmmm... no mention of an acclimation period and a clear indication in light of the mail title where this is going <G>...> Since that time, every day my lights come on at 10am and all the corals expand and look very healthy.  Then at about 12 everything starts to close up and look sickly until 3pm.  At this point everything starts to expand again, but not to a large extent. Is it possible that the rock with all the polyps on it has incompatible polyps that are engaging in chemical warfare?   <always present, yes... but to the extent that it causes these symptoms already... not sure.> It's obvious that all of the polyps were glued on, <Ughhh...> and thus I'm suspicious because they did not grow together naturally.   <if so, they will not stay together, rest assured. They will separate or kill each other sooner rather than later> Or could it be the lighting change is having some effect in the middle of the day for a few hours? <is possible, even likely. Such dramatic changes in lighting require a much more gentle acclimation. Keep the same photoperiod, but add some layers of plastic fly screen for a couple weeks (after new lamp replacements too). Remove a sheet every few days and soon the acclimation is done. Anthony>

New corals and new lights affecting old corals? Hi crew, hope all is well. With your help, I have upgraded my 90 gallon tank to 2x250 HQI Ushio halides + a 96 watt 50/50 PC.  Berlin skimmer, closed loop, and reservoirs also. After I upgraded, my "old" corals ( green star, a flowerpot, and a bleached BTA) responded very well- all were opened fully.   In the last 2 weeks, I added an Acropora, a small SPS(?) plate coral, a fist sized birds nest coral, and a disc coral with several polyps. All of these are doing very well.  Just last night, I added a medium sized bubble tip anemone and a clown fish- they are both very happy, and were symbiotic in less than 10 minutes of introducing them. Soon after I added the Acro, plate, disc with polyps and birds nest,  my older corals have remained only partially open. My flowerpot has 3 small Featherdusters on it.   << Well two things here.  First of all flowerpot corals are terrible aquarium corals, and I wouldn't be surprised if it slowly dies.  In fact I'd be surprised if it lives and grows.  But in regards to your other previous corals I think maybe the lighting upgrade is just too much too quickly.  Give them some time, and if you can slowly increase that light. >> My water chemistry has remained constant- salt- 1.024, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. pH is 8.1, Alk is about 11, I rely on 10% weekly water changes to keep my calcium up. Why are my old corals pulled in?  << I think they are stressed from the changes, it may take a few weeks. >> If it is because of the new corals, will they get used to them in the near future? Your advice is more than appreciated.  I'm sending a pic of the BTA and clownfish I bought a little over 24 hours ago. << I think giving them time is best, and also slowly raising the lighting. >> James, Prov, RI <<  Blundell  >>

Acclimating corals to light Dear WWM crew. << Blundell as always. >>    My 72G tank has been setup for about a year now. About 2 months ago 65lbs of live rock was added to the original 15lbs and lighting was upped to 384 watts -50% daylight. I have 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 fridmani's Pseudochromis and 1 Kole tang for livestock. Water parameters are: Salinity 1.025 Temp 78.5F - 81F Calcium 420ppm Alkalinity 4.8 dKH (a bit low.) pH 7.9 after a weekend at the lowest, usually 8.0 to 8.2 midweek Nitrates under 5ppm Don't test for anything else. Coralline algae is slowly disappearing off most of the live rocks -except for 3 rocks, but growing on the power heads within 2 months of intro in to tank. It's being supplanted by strange looking macro algae on the lower rocks. << Doesn't sound bad.  My coralline is all over the pumps and glass, but not on the rocks. >> I've just ordered 6 mushroom coral rocks from Aquacon.com that should be here next Tuesday. I have a 50G Rubbermaid tub with 20G of water setup for QT. And now to the question -is it a good idea to QT the coral under lighting that is far dimmer than what it will be under in the tank? << No, bad idea.  And I wouldn't qt them at all.  >> I'm afraid of the corals expelling a lot of their zooxanthellae while in QT. << Yep, then they sunburn when you put them under your high lighting. >> Should I QT just long enough to see if the polyps will open and there are no parasitic snails? << I would just throw them in the tank. >> Thanks! Narayan <<  Blundell  >> - Shy Anemone - Hi Crew, I read your site almost daily and you have provided great help in the past. <Excellent!> I've got another question if you have time. Everything I have ever read about anemone's is that they require a lot of light. I have a 110 gal which had on it PC's at 288 watts. Two normal and 1 actinic. For many months the anemone stayed low in the tank and seemed to be doing fine. I just upgraded to MH lights, 2 -175 watts and 2-55 watt actinics with a PFO hood. It's a great unit. <That they are, and nicely made.> I had started the lights at 20" above the tank and plan to lower them an inch every couple of days until I get to 9" above the water. I have noticed that the anemone had moved even lower after changing to the PFO hood. A couple of days later he started hiding in a cave. Today he's peeking out a little bit. What could be making him shy away from the lights? <Absolutely. The sudden blast of light is stressful to the anemone for a few reasons, but basically it just needs time to acclimate to this new lighting. It is suggested when upgrading to MH that you start very high off the tank (like you have done) and slowly increase the photoperiod from as few as a couple of hours per day to your desired photoperiod over a couple of weeks. Once that's over with, lower it an inch or two every few days until it where you want it.> As of today the lights are about 16" off the water. All water specs are great. I did the Google search in WWM ,but I can't find anything related to my question. <An excellent place to start, nonetheless. Just give it some time, and if it appears to bleach at all or appears otherwise unhealthy, you may be lowering the light too fast. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks again, Dick

The Omnipotent WWM archives <G> Acclimatizing marine corals 9/3/03 Anthony, thank you for the second response.  I fully understand what you meant now.  That makes a lot of sense. <very good to hear my friend... do browse the archives... I have several articles posted there on lighting as well as our immense bank of FAQs> I do have one last question if that is ok.   I do plan on switching from my current 4-110Watt VHO + 2 96 Watt power compact setup to a simpler 2 175Watt Ushio Metal Halide + 2 110 Watt URI VHO Actinic configuration. <all good> My question is how should I acclimate the corals to the Halides?   <we truly do have information on almost any popular topic you can imagine... there is a recent article specifically on this topic: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm > I do not want to start a bleaching event or even stress the corals real bad (some of my corals I have had for 5+ years and some of my SPS colonies are several years old and both are only used to VHO).  Do you have a preferred method of acclimating such as running the Halides for a shorter period at first?   <never shorten the photoperiod at the expense of all corals... rather filter selectively (with "screen method"... use that phrase in a keyword search of our archives for hits on the subject)> My current setup has the PC coming on at 9AM, VHOs come on at 10AM, PC off at 9PM, VHOs off at 0PM.   What would you recommend for the Halide/VHO combo at first?  My wife likes the current time frame for the lights (good for when guests come over) but I do not want to shock the corals. <12 hours is rather long for any halides... you would have to pull the lamps higher off the water to pull this off perhaps. I'd advise 6-10 hours of halides gauged by coral behavior in time> Thanks again for all your help. Andrew <best regards, Anthony>

Lighting concern >Hello chaps, >>And chapettes, Marina here. >Just wondering what your thoughts may be on a lighting scheme I've got.  I'm running a 120 gallon 4x2x2 tank with only a JBJ 4x55 setup.  I originally had a Reefstar? dual 150w MH setup.  It doesn't have any fans on it and the light output was really intense.  I replaced it with the PC's and it's been o.k.  I want to start keeping some easy soft corals (colt, toadstool) and was wondering if I should add another PC or take apart the MH to just use one of the bulbs.  Any help would be great.  Danke, Mike >>Well, you already *have* the metal halides, however, I know that care must be taken when acclimating animals to intense light.  Here's a couple of links on that here--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm I see no reason why you can't stay with the power compacts at this point in time, and you can even go with some LPS corals (large stony polyp).  The MH lighting would be a prerequisite for SPS corals (small stony polyp), though.  However, since you already have them on hand, you'll have the flexibility to add them if and when needed.  To sum it up, I think you're off to a great start.  Marina

New Corals Needing Quarantine 3/6/03 Hello everybody. <cheers, Kostas> I finally added my first living organisms in the tank. The fish are in the quarantine and some feather dusters, green polyps and mushrooms in the tank. <good to hear> Everything is ok except one mushroom and one polyp. I have already send an-email with the problem and I got a reply from Mr. Fenner but I don't think I explained the problem every well. The problem is that one mushroom (green) and a green polyp got covered in some milk like  thick dust. For a couple of days it kept getting bigger (the dust) until I turned a power on it. <Hmmm.... it sounds like sloughing mucus and/or infection> From the current the white milkish substance was blown away with all the polyps which were under it. They looked like they we rotting away. I took out the polyp and in a plastic container with salt water I gave it a good shake. About 40% of it's polyps detached (It was a very gentle shake), and the surface of the rock where the polyps where had a grey mood like surface. <alas, I am sorry to say that is infection and decay.> I put it back in the tank and the rest of the "healthy polyps" opened again under the lights. <perhaps some of these will live. It also sounds like you may not have enough water flow in the tank as evidenced by the lingering "dust" (mucus)> Same exactly thing happened with the mushroom. The rest of the polyps and mushrooms are doing excellent. The are expanding really well. <understood. Kostas, it is very important, my friend, that you quarantine every animal and live product you bring home (including plants, algae, live rock, live sand, etc) in a separate quarantine tank before adding it to the main tank. Anything that comes from saltwater could bring an infection or disease into your main display and is a potential danger. Please read more about the simple QT procedure here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm > I am about to add my first Sarcophytons (some leather corals) so I'm afraid if I should leave the polyps in there or remove them. I feel sorry for the ones that are healthy but I don't want anything to happened to the other roommates !!!!!! <please do not sacrifice the living polyps... either remove them to a small QT tank, or put the new leather into a QT tank. Keep both separated for 4 weeks to be safe> All polyps and mushrooms are in the tank for about a 10 days. Salinity is 1025-1026 no ammonia, MH and 03 on for about 10-12 hours a day, Protein skimmer full time, calcium reactor as well, No additives of any kind, some phytoplankton (Marine snow, and brine shrimp.) <I would recommend that you reduce or stop the Marine snow and brineshimp... they are not very useful by size and nutritive quality. I don't think you have enough corals in the tank either to feed yet. Minced mysids or Gammarus shrimp (or krill) will be fine for the mushrooms and polyps instead (more nutritious)> Waiting for your reply  Take care Kostas <best regards, Anthony>

White Acropora? Acclimating a new SPS coral 2/16/03 Hey Gang, Scott Z. from Reefland.com here. <Cheers, bud!> I picked up a couple of Acropora sp. last night from a local shop and I wanted to get your opinion on one of them. These corals are from Walt Smith Pacific Aqua Farms for sure, the rock it is mounted to is definite proof of that. Here is a picture of the one I am writing about: http://www.reefland.com/reef/images/livestockimages/whiteacro21603.jpg As you can see, the coral is mostly white with purple tips. After some discussion with a friend, he had a concern that the coral was bleached due to the coloration. I'm not too sure about that since the coral appears very healthy in that the polyps are fully extended and the tissue that has encrusted the rock it is mounted to is the same color. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. Regards, Scott Z. Reefland.com <No worries Scott. The coral looks reasonably good to me. If the image color is correct... the pale color is cream more than white and that indicates a still-uniform distribution of golden-brown zooxanthellae. Acclimate the coral slowly to the new light (especially if bright). Use a slow ascent over weeks or just put high into place with small  screens above it (that get pulled sheet by sheet for a slow acclimation to the new light above). We get questions like this a lot at WWM and usually the coral are bleached and only have remnant UV reflecting proteins (like a watery purple or blue color). I look at your coral and see no big red flags. Just a coral that got typically pale from a week or so import without light. It will be a beauty one day :) Best regards, Anthony>

Acclimating An Anemone To A New Lighting Scheme Hey Crew, <Scott F. here today> I have to say I found your site about three weeks ago and haven't been able to stop reading.  For two years my setup has been a 90 gal. FOWLR up until twenty days ago when I purchased my first LTA.  Currently, I have only four fish a Sebae clown, flame angel, domino damsel and a yellow tailed blue damsel.  I wanted to move to a reef tank but can't purchase any corals because of the angels picking habit thus the anemone. <A good reason to hold off. Plus, it is never a great idea to mix stinging cnidarians and corals together in most closed systems...> My equipment consists of RO water, canister filter, skimmer and 2 x Hagen 402 and 2x Hagen 802 power heads. Water parameters are S.G. = 1.023, pH = 8.2, Temp = 78oF, Alk. = 3.0 mEq/L, Ca = 400, and trace nitrates, 10% water changes every two weeks. <Sounds fine> Initially my lighting was only 260 watts of PC so I placed the anemone on the live rock 7" from the tank top.  That night he moved to the middle of the tank about 14" from the top of the tank and stayed buried in some macro algae.  Four days later my new 400 W 6500K Iwasaki light showed up and I installed it 12" above the tank top and removed the PC. I was feeding him every second day a little thawed "Reef Gourmet" food and shredded Mysis shrimp.  Ten days later I moved the MH down 1".  The next day when the lights came on he continually got smaller and smaller and I assumed he was going to expel some waste.  Finally he just disappeared all the way into the little hole in the live rock and popped out the other side upside down under a ledge.  The problem is he doesn't get any light and I can't feed him until I figure out how to get it to him without someone stealing it.  He has been in this position for six days and I'm getting a little impatient. My questions are; 1)Will he move again when he gets hungry or wants light? <Usually, yes. Keep in mind that the lighting upgrade that you did was significant, and the animal was high up on the rockwork. It will require some time to acclimate. This seems to be a pretty normal response to this change.> 2)Should I wait a little longer to feed him? How long can he survive this way? <I would not "force feed" the animal. Let it become acclimated to your new lighting regime. If the food is not consumed, it will simply accumulate in the tank, degrading water quality in the process. Just be patient here.> 3)What average height should my 400 W MH be at? <I would keep the light anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of the water surface. Sounds like you are fine.> Regards, Glenn <Glad to help, Glen. Just hang in there for a while longer. The animal should come around. If this "hiding" goes on for several weeks, then it may be cause for greater concern. Stay on top of things! Regards, Scott F>

Zooxanthellae I am a beginner reef keeper, <welcome my friend> my tank is pretty mature about 8 months and water quality is good (as far as I know). <please be sure to test all parameters regularly before you buy corals> I just purchased bubble coral and it has emitted some zooxanthellae, I have read this is normal as it is adapting to my tanks parameters. <its not normal or healthy... just common in stressed animals> How do I know if it is too much or if it is in fact emitting all of its zooxanthellae and therefore dying? Thx AB <we cannot say without more information and images at least, but rest assured that the coral will almost certainly adapt. At times like this feeding is crucial if the coral will survive. Feed small portions of very finely minced meats daily for the first 2 months... then at least 3-5 times weekly indefinitely after that. See this article as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Lighting upgrade... too much too soon... marine I recently upgrade my 72 gal tank (21 inches deep) from 260 watts PC to 440 watts PC. I made the switch about 3 weeks ago. In fear of bleaching out my existing corals, I started off with 330 for the first 5 days and then went to the full 440 watts (220 blue/220 white). I have several coral plugs from GARF both soft and SPS. In the last few days , I have noticed some of the Ricordea mushrooms not opening and other soft corals not losing their color but developing a whitish tone. Is this a form of bleaching?  <Surely stress from such a large increase in lighting (doubled in five days). Mushrooms and some soft corals do not require or tolerate this much light, so do place/shade accordingly. Your SPS will want to be near the top (where their growth can help shade the Shrooms below.> Or is this too much for soft corals? I though my increase was gradual enough.  <This is the trick with mixed tanks. You have deep water mushrooms that like low light and LPS which likes moderate to high light, and you have SPS which tend to require high light levels. You now need to raise the light so you don't shock/burn/bleach even your SPS. Place the low light corals out of the light or shade them, and very slowly lower the light over weeks, not days.>  I have been running the lights 12hrs on 12hrs off. Should I cut back on hours?  <NO.> If so for how long? At the same time I don't want to deprive light to my SPS. Please let me know what you think. - Thanks Ron <It's easier for corals to adapt to temporary lower light levels that huge increases in light levels. Raised the lights and use shading materials. Craig>

Lighting and corals with tiny little sunglasses Hi again, crew... <cheers> I read the Calfo article on lighting...helpful, but doesn't answer my main question: what's the best way to shift the lighting in the tank a little more blue when the halides are on?  <bluer halogen lamps (20K) or add fluorescent blue (VHO actinics)> Recap: 75 gallon tall (24" deep), 2 250W 10K MH, 4 55W PC actinic. Sounds like a lot of light now,  <sounds like?! It is a lot of light, my friend. Too much for almost everything you will want to keep unless you are keeping only shallow water SPS corals and clams. Even then it is a stretch> but at the time I installed, it was recommended by several sources.  <OK... but do consider that these sources might be wrong or inexperienced (tanks set up less just a few years). I assure you that many corals will seem to fare well for as much as a year before suffering from photoinhibition. Pale colors, mysterious deaths (zooxanthellae shut-down and corals starves), etc. I still haven't heard your complete livestock selection (fishes and corals) but again... this much light lets you safely keep less than 20% of what's on the market>> Very white when the MHs are on, even with the actinic PCs. Should I lower the 2 250Ws to 2 175Ws?  <that would be awesome... and if you really like blue color, do get 20K Radiums... the best of the blue halides> Change the spectrum on the bulbs from 10K to 14K, or even 20K?  <indeed if it suits you. 20K Radiums give a wonderful blue color in my opinion, grow most corals reasonably well and keep most (not all) iridescent pigments from shifting (the sexy colored corals)> And if I change the bulbs, any recommendations on how to break them in?  <the bulbs or the corals?> When I installed the MHs originally, I burned in the bulbs for 100 hours, but I don't have any "spare" ballasts to do that...how critical is the 100 hour break-in?  <not that critical here stepping down from the 250s> And if I lower from 250W to 175W bulbs, is there a way to help the corals and clams keep from suffering in the transition to lower light <regular feedings> levels, or will they even notice?  <they will notice but adapt> A lot of questions, but I'm unsure how to proceed at this point. <no worries at all... I hope we are helping you along!> Again, thanks for your time... Arthur <best regards, Anthony>

Lighting question Just a few "boring" lighting questions if you don't mind: <Hi Dave!> I have a 100 gallon tank with soft corals, mushrooms, Zoanthids, star polyps, and algae. I hope to add a bubble coral soon, and maybe a frogspawn. . .Maybe an LPS. That's all the hard corals I will ever add. It is time to replace the lighting bulbs and that is what prompts this email. Currently, I am using an Icecap 660 (420 watts). The bulbs are 1x50/50, 1xAquasun, and 1xsuper actinic, all URI brand. 1) Should I replace these bulbs with a different selection? Maybe. . .2xAquasun and 1xActinic, or 2xAqausun and 1x50/50? Leave as it currently is? <Your first mix seems good and your inhabitants have acclimated to that light. Most use and recommend a 50/50 mix of 50/50's and 03 actinic, but the 50/50 , AquaSun and actinic is likely a good mix, perhaps a bit whiter than an equal mix of 50/50 and actinic. Your LPS will do well. Make sure they are a little closer to the top if this tank is much over 20" deep (a certainty with a 100!)> 2) What about all Aquasuns? Would the 10000K bulbs be okay for this application or do I need a lesser K? <Would not advise. Your softies and mushrooms like that actinic light and will look better too.> 3) If I went with all Aquasuns of the 10000K variety, how blue would the bulbs make the water appear? I would not really want a stark white aquarium nor a flashback to "Jaws". . . <Then don't use all Aquasuns which will appear very white. The choice you made is pretty good.> 4) Assuming that you choose a mix of actinic and AquaSun, would I be better off with bulbs in the 5000-7500K range or would the 10000K bulbs that General Aquatics sells perform just as well for my particular situation? <URI are the best. I would stick with them. Do shop for good deals on URI VHO bulbs with the WetWebMedia sponsors!> Thanks for the help boyz!! Try getting these questions answered at a fish store!! Dave d. <One WARNING Dave....replace them one at a time over three or four weeks, don't shock your inhabitants with the new higher output and improved spectrum of new bulbs. I would start with the actinic and then the 50/50 adding the AquaSun last and most cautiously. Please read more excellent information on lighting at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm and jump down to the High Intensity Fluorescent Lighting chapter. You will be happy you did! Have fun! Craig>

Mushrooms Bleaching/SPS Polyps Closed I am having some trouble with mushrooms bleaching in my 135g tank. Here are the tank parameters, and other than some minor fluctuations the parameters have been consistent for at least the past year; Size: 135 gallon Biological Filtration: 4-5" live sand bed, approx. 120 pounds of live rock and I am running a protein skimmer in the sump. Mechanical Filtration: N/A Chemical Filtration: N/A Lighting: 2 - 7500K 175W Metal Halides, 2 - 10K 55W Power Compacts, 2 - Actinic 55W Power Compacts (None of the bulbs are older than 6-8 months) Water Movement: 3 - Maxi Jet 1200, 1 - Rio 1400 all on a wave maker. Quiet One return from the sump. Temp: 78-80f Specific Gravity: 1.024 Calcium: 400-450 pH: 8-8.2 (Depends upon when I test but this is the range) Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 dKH: 10 Makeup Water: Aged Tap (I have a copy of the water report and the water looks pretty good but I will shortly be purchasing an RO/DI unit) Fish: Yellow Tang, White Cap Clownfish, Skunk Clownfish, Lawnmower Blenny, Coral Beauty, Yellow Watchman Inverts: Usual mix of snails/hermits, pistol shrimp Corals: Acropora, Montipora, Pocillopora, torch, hammer, Fungia, brain, colt, finger leather, cabbage leather, Zoanthids, mushrooms I have encountered two problems in the past 2 months and I can't find a solution. All of the SPS corals show healthy growth, and no bleaching...but they do not appear to have the polyp extension they had a few months ago (especially the Montipora digitata). I have several different types of mushrooms throughout the tank, and recently they have begun indiscriminately bleaching. It is affecting them at different depths, different water flows, etc. One may bleach and die off but the ones surrounding it are fine. We moved the first week of July so I know some of the corals were stressed. But they have been open and healthy the first two months, and the SPS still show fine growth. Everything else in the tank is doing fine. What can I try next? Marc Daniels Elk Grove, CA <Hello Marc, the problem here is that SPS corals and mushrooms do not make good tank mates. The SPS require far more light that the mushrooms can handle for an extended period of time. What you are experiencing is photoinhibition. Photoinhibition is an individual specific occurrence, which will make it appear as if the mushrooms are bleaching at random. They usually tolerate it for 6-12 months before bleaching. Corallimorphs are collected typically 40-60 feet deep, some towards 79 where the light is a mere percent or two of that at the surface. I would try to get the mushrooms out of the sun and see if they do any better. Best Regards, Gage>
Re: Mushrooms Bleaching/SPS Polyps Closed
Gage- Thanks for the info...I was concerned that it may have been the lighting, but they have been under the halides for quite a while and I had a hard time tying the two together. I'll move them into a different tank and see how they respond. I also found quite a bit of literature online regarding Photoinhibition in corals and have several hours reading ahead of me. Thanks again, Marc Daniels <Good stuff, any excuse to set up another tank is a good one in my mind. Glad we could help. Best of luck, Gage>

Good question: light acclimation Cheers, Chris... good to hear from you! > I've been doing some research on light acclimation > and I had a few > questions. I've recently been having a conversation > with Eric Borneman who > enlightened me that my acclimation method was > altogether wrong. My method > was starting with photoperiod x, increase by delta y > every z days. > Currently x = 4 hours, y = 15 min.s and z = 4 days. I agree that this is bad in an established display with other corals. You will stress or at least compromise the health of all other symbiotic creatures in the display every time you want to acclimate a new coral. > My question to him was > what are the optimal parameters for x, y, z. > Instead he stated that this > method could cause damage to corals and I should > either (A) use your screen > method or (B) turn the lights on for an hour then > off for an hour increasing > the amount of "on" time. I'm lazy <G>... I like the screen method for established reef aquaria. > This prompted me to do some research on your screen method. The best I  found was here: > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm. Yep... its pretty short and sweet. Simply put the coral in the reef display where it ultimately belongs and then suspend a stack of small cut sheets of screen above it between the lights and water surface. Remove a sheet every day or other until all are removed after a couple of weeks. > Then I > found the following quote: "<You can temporarily > have the lamps raised and then slowly lower them. Also, keep the MH's on for a short time period, say only two hours and add two hours every week until you have reached a desired photoperiod, about 10 hours. > It seems in the second sentence you are advocating the method I described above. Have you changed your position on this? Ahhh... not at all. To be more specific. The raised light method only works for coral in a proper quarantine tank where the manipulation of such light intensity (raising/lowering lamps) will not compromise other corals or symbiotic animals. I'm still trying to understand what is wrong with this method. as per above... stressing other corals in the tank every time you add a new piece. > Borneman has only hinted with a > one sentence explanation that its dangerous. > Personally I've used this > method with great success a few times, as they say... even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes :) Seriously though... its not a crime... but there is a better way. And all is testimony to the adaptability of many corals. I was just hoping to speed things up > if I was going unnecessarily slow. Ha.. patience my fellow impatient American. It seems from > the above quote that I > could go faster, if this method is safe. Nope... If its not, I'd love a better explanation of what's going on in the coral that makes this method a bad choice. I hope I've illuminated the topic for you :) > If you are really interested (I feel bad about bothering you already) No bother at all... my pleasure the thread is here: http://www.reefcentral.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=811938#post811 > 938 I will be sure to visit... thanks kindly for sharing and caring for my opinion. Best regards, Anthony

Good question: light acclimation > > I've been doing some research on light acclimation and I had a few > > questions. I've recently been having a conversation with Eric Borneman who enlightened me that my acclimation method was > > altogether wrong. My method was starting with photoperiod x, increase by delta y every z days. > > Currently x = 4 hours, y = 15 min.s and z = 4 days. > I agree that this is bad in an established displaywith other corals. You will stress or at least compromise the health of all other symbiotic creatures in the display every time you want to acclimate a new coral. Lets assume that we aren't acclimating just one coral, but an entire tank. For example, I moved my tank and they were under VHOs for 2 weeks. Another example, upgrading from 250w halides to 400W. Is this method okay under those circumstances? > > My question to him was what are the optimal parameters for x, y, z. > > Instead he stated that this method could cause damage to corals and I should either (A) use your screen method or (B) turn the lights on for an hour then off for an hour increasing the amount of "on" time. > I'm lazy <G>... I like the screen method for established reef aquaria. I think I like that idea too, and may give it a try next time. But what do you think about Borneman's option "B"? For full tank acclimation do you feel this is better than lengthening the photoperiod? Why? > > This prompted me to do some research on your screen > > method. The best I > > found was here: > > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm. > Yep... its pretty short and sweet. Simply put the > coral in the reef display where it ultimately belongs > and then suspend a stack of small cut sheets of screen > above it between the lights and water surface. Remove > a sheet every day or other until all are removed after > a couple of weeks. I saw you recommended vinyl screen. So is the screen submerged? Affixed via wires at the surface? I assumed the later on first read, so I worried about it melting from the halides as my lights are only 5" above the water. :) If submerged, does it float or get blown around in the current? How is it attached? > > Then I > > found the following quote: "<You can temporarily > > have the lamps raised and > > then slowly lower them. Also, keep the MH's on for a > > short time period, say > > only two hours and add two hours every week until > > you have reached a desired > > photoperiod, about 10 hours. > > It seems in the second sentence you are advocating > > the method I described > > above. Have you changed your position on this? > Ahhh... not at all. To be more specific. The raised > light method only works for coral in a proper > quarantine tank where the manipulation of such light > intensity (raising/lowering lamps) will not compromise > other corals or symbiotic animals. Actually I was talking about the photoperiod comment in the second sentence. Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded as though you were recommending the method I first described (increasing photoperiod by a delta x). > I'm still trying to > > understand what is wrong with this method. > as per above... stressing other corals in the tank > every time you add a new piece. Agreed. But Borneman hinted that even for whole tank acclimation "photosynthesis gets cranked up very quickly - within an hour...so by four hours, if the photosynthetic machinery isn't adapted, damage could be done in 4 hours." It seems he is stating that this method would overload the corals, like a car overheating. I tried to relate to this statement by saying, "what I was doing by slowly increasing the photoperiod was driving a car a little further uphill everyday with the air conditioner at full blast just tempting it to overheat." Do you agree? Thank you very much for your time! Cheers, Chris (aka newkie)

Coral Acclimation Hi Folks, <cheers!> Great site. <thanks kindly> I'm aware of the need to acclimate fish to pH, temp, SG, etc prior to placing them into either the main aquarium or Q tank> Does the same apply to corals?  <yes... as important or more so for all invertebrates. They suffer osmotic shock more easily than thick skinned fishes> Also, I would never add 6 new fish to an aquarium due to the need to gradually adjust the bio filter load. Could I add 6 filter-feeding hard corals at one time? <yes... generally you can as they are little weight on the bioload. Do skim heavily though and do a water change days later to reduce stressful noxious compounds exuded on acclimation> Thanks, Thomas<read this article too please for the move from the QT to the main display: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm  best regards, Anthony>

Coral Acclimation Question My apologies if this is redundant (I sent the same email to your WetWebMedia address): <No, we still seem to be experiencing problems. We only received this one copy. Strange, every email I send goes through fine, but many readers are having problems.> Hello and thanks for your help in the past! I have a newly cycled 72g bow front up and running with 85 lb. live rock and 140 lb. live sand (including some in 20g sump). Soon I will begin to move the sessile inhabitants (leather coral, frogspawn, Blasto, various mushrooms, and various polyps) of my old 30g to their new home. My 30g was running 96w PC 50/50 lighting and the new tank has 2X 175w 10K MH plus 2X 65w PC actinic. Should I leave the MHs off for some period of time to avoid shocking anybody? I was planning placing all corals low in the tank and running only the actinics for a week, adding 1 MH for a week, then finally adding the 2nd. Or should this process be more gradual? <I would make one change/recommendation. Turn both MH's on at the same time after running the PC's for a week, but for only two hours for one week. Then for four hours for a week and so on.> Then, once my lighting was full strength, moving the corals (polyps and leather especially) upwards at a graduated pace. <Make any moves very slowly. Almost better to put them where you want them in the first place. Most of the corals you mentioned will need to stay at the bottom anyhow, frogspawn, Blasto, various mushrooms, and various polyps.> I realize this is a complicated question, but any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Ed Marshall, Austin, TX <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Long Tentacle Anemone Hello Robert, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 45 gallon tank with 2 to 3 inches of live sand also live rock, fish, coral, etc. About three weeks ago I purchased a long tentacle anemone that still has not picked a place to stay.  <if not damaged, it is a common sign of inadequate lighting either by virtue of an inherent deficiency in intensity or by quality (like a good system of high intensity bulbs, but yellowed water, aged bulbs (over 10months old), dust/debris on bulbs or lenses/canopies, etc)> It just lies on its side on the bottom of the tank moving from place to place mainly going into the corner smashing itself against the glass its health seems fine spreading out it tentacles and retracting them as usual and it has not shrunk in size.  <not shrinking is not necessarily a good sign. Symbiotic reef inverts pan for light when light is poor as well. See new article posted that is somewhat pertinent: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm> What is the safest way to convince it to pick a place to stick. <tell me more about your lighting... it is my suspicion and the most likely cause. If you do have hardcore reef lighting, is your water clarity excellent (carbon once/twice monthly, etc...)?> JS <kindly, Anthony>

Lighting Hi all, I have a 46 gallon tank with the GE 110 watt PC hood (just shy of 10,000 K...like 9325K) so that puts me at about 2.3 watts/gallon. My current set up is fish only with live rock and some shrimp, crabs and snails. With that level of lighting is there ANYTHING more I can do with this tank without upgrading my lighting? I was hoping it might be feasible to drop in an anemone with a clown fish, nothing major. Any suggestions on how far I can go with the inverts and this level of lighting? Wes <Forget about the anemone, much too difficult. Mushroom anemones/Corallimorphs are fairly adaptable to light levels and would be your best bet. -Steven Pro>

Bob, <Bren> What can you tell me about Japanese water quality and collection of anemones there?   9/28/07 <Water quality is variable... and aquarists in Japan tend to "go overboard" with gear, particularly lighting, filtration...> There is a question in my in-box that has me a bit shocked. Particularly the paragraphs below: "Not many people acclimate their corals or anemones in Japan, and some people in Japan install tanks and put in corals on almost the same day. So, it really surprises me sometimes how cautious and meticulous the advice is on English websites in comparison." <Mmm, this is so to an extent> "I purchased a Sebae anemone, which we call a "white-string anemone" in Japanese (they appear white in our local waters)." Thanks, Brenda <Yes... "things" are different in general twixt here and there. BobF>

Small Marine Aquariums
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ook 2: Fishes
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