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Lighting Replacement BTA's 2/26/17
It's been several years since I've had to write for some advice. I just can't
seem to find a concise answer for my situation. Lighting is always one of those
topics which gives me paralysis by analysis.
<Easy to understand w/ a bit of study... nowayears there are simple testing
devices for PAR, PUR... The deal is you want to deliver oh so much photonic
energy to the area of the livestock for so many hours per day...>
My current system is a 90 gal Acrylic tank (48 x 24 x 18) which is home to 4
Rose BTA's and 3 fish. It bought one BTA back in 2008 and it split, and then one
of those split again.
<Oh! Or there's the good ole bio-assay... As your BTAs are living; there IS
My current lighting consists of two Hang-on-Tank 150-watt Metal Halide fixtures
(300 total) with 10,000K bulbs.
I also have two 55 watt power compact actinics that I use for morning and
evening just for the color and effect.
<I like your description re the actinics>
My tank resides in a cabinet I built with a flip up sliding door to access the
top of the tank. I had the Coral Life Hang-on-Tank fixtures on a glass tank
prior to designing the cabinet for the 90 gal system. These Metal Halide
fixtures are mounted to a bracket on the wall behind the tank because they did
not fit the acrylic tank.
<A note for browsers to take great care w/ MHs due to their high heat
production. NEED to be vented, often actively (fans) and insulated from the
acrylic, wood... which they can catch on fire>
So, due to the cabinet design and flip up sliding door, I cannot hang pendants
from above. One of the fixtures has broken due to age and deterioration of the
plastic housing. The fixture still works so I have it "propped up". The other
issue I have is with the power compacts. I bought DIY retrofit kits and have
been using them for years. The company I purchased kits from also sold the bulbs
and they have gone out of business. I cannot find replacement 55 watt actinics
with the 4 straight pin connection anywhere.
<Mmm; call/contact Perry Tishgart at Champion re:
All of that just to ask for a recommendation. I like the shimmer that the Metal
<Are really neat>
I like the "look" of the actinics in the morning and evening. The most important
issue is obviously providing the correct
amount of lighting for the BTA's.
I must buy something that sits on the tank since I cannot hang it from above and
they do not make the same hang-on-back fixtures any more. I've been looking at
LED's but really do not have any confidence that I know what I need to replace
300 watts of 10,000K Metal Halides.
<I am going to cc friend, fellow petfish type, WWM Crewmember and rep. for
Orphek, James Gasta and ask for his input. He answers these sorts of queries all
the time. James?>
I probably do not need as much light as I have, but the BTA's are doing very
well so I'm very hesitant to change things. I fear that I'm on borrowed time
with these fixtures and it is time to replace the bulbs. My choices seem to be
LED and T5. The Metal Halides seem to be all pendant style mounts now and I
can't use those.
Thanks for providing this service. I have gained much knowledge from Wet Web
<Thank you for your kind words, and writing so clearly and completely Mark. Bob
Re: Lighting Replacement BTA's 4/8/17
I've read your email and I will put my two cents in. LEDs have come a long way
in the last five years, and now to a point where there are fixtures that rival
1,000 watt metal halide lamps in terms of PAR/PUR (photosynthetic usable
radiation). Most aquarium LED manufacturers offer individual control of channels
both in terms of intensity and programming.
Your desire to have blue lighting early morning and late evening would be no
problem with most LED lighting fixtures with the added bonus of ramping up and
down with the intensity.
BTA's prefer a lighting spectrum similar to what LPS/SPS coral require. A
PAR/PUR of 90-120 is more than enough lighting to maintain healthy BTA's
providing an ideal spectrum is provided.
There are many companies that produce LED strip lighting in the blue spectrum
that were designed to supplement metal halide/HQI lighting. I would look for
something in the 410-430nm range which would target the
420nm area where actinic lighting peaks. This should solve your problem with the
actinic four pin tubes if you cannot locate a supplier for them.
Another option is to replace your existing fixture(s) with a single LED fixture
that will give you all the features you desire and result in lowering your
energy use, reducing heat, and the cost of periodic replacement of new lamps.
Have a great day Mark.
Orphek LED Lighting
Re: lighting confusion Thanks so much for your advice on
keeping anemones. Just to take it one step further, do you have any
thoughts on smart lights or the Phazer lighting systems. As you can
see, I am trying for a cost effective solution. Thanks again!! <I
understand. These are both very fine makes/makers of aquarium lighting.
I would gladly use either on my aquariums. Bob Fenner>