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FAQs on Anemones and Lighting, Lamps/Bulbs

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All lamps/bulbs are NOT created equally...

Help with... Lighting Advice for Anenomies <Anemones>/Reef Lighting 12/22/09
<Hello Ed>
Thanks in advance for answering my previous questions on other issues.
<You're welcome.>
I am contacting you this time regarding lighting. Currently I have a 55 gal. saltwater setup. I upgraded my lighting about 7 months ago or so. I currently have 2, 175watt 10k MH and 4, 65 watt PC Actinics. This lighting has served me well and is helping the 10 + anemones to produce brown zoo. filled tentacles.
I am currently using the bulbs that came with the unit and they appear to be working well. My question is... Should I use a different brand then the generic stock ones they came with?
<I have no idea which brand "they" came with.>
Also, when I do eventually replace these bulbs can you advise a different/better color spectrum then my current setup. I heard different color spectrums produce different color zoo life in anemones.
<I'd stick with the 10K lamps. As for brand names, I like Hamilton, Ushio, and Ice Cap. The Ushio lamps require a pulse start ballast, so ensure your ballast is capable of starting this lamp. The Hamilton and Ice Cap lamps are probe start and is likely the type of ballast (M57) you now have.>
Thanks in advance
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

I really am hoping you will help me!, Anemone Lighting Hi Robert; <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a question about lighting/anemone health that I would really like to solve. The tank is a 60 gallon hexagon, 76 degrees, pH at 8.25 and Strontium added about once a week. I have a long tentacle anemone that has good color (pinkish-white foot, light green tentacles with pinkish hues at the ends) and a Tomato Clown as his buddy. I have kept him since November, and used to feed him pieces of raw shrimp....  <nothing larger than 1/4-1/2 inch I hope... else not very useful to the anemone... they will sting and ingest it, but regurgitate it as a ball (familiar?) with little/no digestion. A common problem. Consider that such large chunks of food would never filter down through a reef water column without any one of a number of fish tagging it first. Unnatural indeed. Anemones eat fine plankton like everybody else> but when the Tomato Clown adapted to him, the Clown takes anything I give the anemone out if his tentacles, so I have stopped feeding him (which worries me). <yes... a problem indeed. The anemone needs weekly feedings at minimum> The anemone appears to be getting smaller and not opening as much as he used to.  <attrition after just a few weeks I'm sure> The clown still loves him and his color is good. I think my trouble is in the lighting... (I think, anyway). The tank has 2 perfecto 15 watt fixtures with a Triton Bulb and a 50/50 Coralife bulb.  <Wow...yes. Weak in intensity and perhaps not even remotely useful if they are older than 6-10 months (spectral sway/exhausted phosphors)> I was going to retrofit them to an AH Supply Bright Kit (1 36 Watt and a 36 Watt Actinic) but the rep from AH Supply said that 72 Watts would still be a waste of time/money. Thankfully he was honest... because I had my credit card in hand. I don't want to lose the anemone!! Since it is a hexagon, and it is 27 inches from the hood to the floor of the tank, he suggested a I look into Metal Halide. Then, I found this pendant MH: http://www.lampsnow.com/17penfix.html <indeed... fluorescent lighting is only effective for high light reef animals if the tank is VERY shallow (less than 16 inches or the animal is kept in the top portion of the tank). An ideal lamp for you would be an Iwasaki 6500K halide. On 150 watt bulb will be fine. MH lamps are the best bang for the buck... the Iwasakis specifically have been tested to remain true for nearly three years (!) before beginning to sway significantly. That's a lot better than changing expensive fluorescent bulbs every 6-19 months. MH is the better choice indeed for you. But I am specifically recommending Iwasaki 6500K, Ushio or Aqualine 10K specifically. Most other brands have some significant detraction in my opinion> What do you think??? What should I do!!?? Thanks in advance!! <you won't regret the MH, my friend. Kudos to the honest salesman. Anthony Calfo> Regards, Edward P. Kelly

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