Jump to content
Innovative Marine Aquariums

$350 on a LED fixture and SPS Corals are not even growing.


Neto

Recommended Posts

Has anyone kept acropora's or any type of SPS on a nano tank with LEDS successfully?

 

I spent $350 building a light fixture for my 10g and I am starting to think that I made the wrong decision. I just dont understand... My water parameters are all fine, I have a skimmer rated for 30 - 50 gallons, I even have a refugium with chaeto and the tank has pretty decent flow. I bought two sps frags around two months ago and they are discolored and havnt grown at all.. One is a montipora (the red one that everybody has) and polyps do come out but I havent seen any growth at all and these grow like weeds in most tanks... Its white when the polyps close.... I also bought an SPS Colony ($$$$) and it was nice when I bought it (green with blue tips) and now its bleaching at the base... great.... I also bought a christmas favia frag and its still green but the color was faded.... I can only keep zoos...

 

 

I am not here to blame it on the LEDS or tell people that LEDS dont work, Im just here to ask for help, to see what im doing wrong..... The only thing I can think of is because of the LEDS and I know people want to feel positive about leds but Im starting to think its too good to be true...

 

I might get banned for this....

 

Here are some specs on my tank:

  • Light fixture is a 18 CREE XR-E ( 9 cool whites / 9 Royal blues), no optics and they are powered by 4 1A buckpucks
  • Lights are on for 12 hrs, whites 80% and blues 100%
  • Weekly water changes (3 gallons)
  • Nitrates 0
  • PH 8.3
  • Calcium 480
  • Alk 8
  • Flow: 2 koralia nano's / overflow and return

Link to comment

I might get banned for this....

 

Err why would you get banned?????

 

anyways how far up from the tank are your lights. it could be to much light for the corals toward the top causing the problem. You have had em for 2 months.. when you first go them how did you acclimate them to the tank and the light? They could be in recovery still i guess depending what environment they came from.

Link to comment

you might be giving them too much PAR, but a PAR meter would tell you that, after getting my hands on a PAR meter and seeing what #'s my PAR38's were putting out i'd have to say LED's put out great PAR numbers, though it's hard to say what your issue could be if water parameters are where they need to be

 

keep your photoperiod around 10 hours that should help, if the base is bleaching your most likely giving things too much light, although if you acclimate properly that shouldn't be an issue

Link to comment
I might get banned for this....

 

Err why would you get banned?????

 

Because people like leds too much :lol:

 

anyways how far up from the tank are your lights. it could be to much light for the corals toward the top causing the problem. You have had em for 2 months.. when you first go them how did you acclimate them to the tank and the light? They could be in recovery still i guess depending what environment they came from.

 

The lights are exacly 5.5" from the water surface. I did not aclimate, just floated the bag for 10 minutes and introduced the coral right away. I did aclimate for the light though.

 

 

you might be giving them too much PAR, but a PAR meter would tell you that, after getting my hands on a PAR meter and seeing what #'s my PAR38's were putting out i'd have to say LED's put out great PAR numbers, though it's hard to say what your issue could be if water parameters are where they need to be

 

keep your photoperiod around 10 hours that should help, if the base is bleaching your most likely giving things too much light, although if you acclimate properly that shouldn't be an issue

 

 

OK I will reduce the photoperiod to 10 hours and I will also lower the sps colony that is bleaching.

Link to comment

that is way too much light.. i have a 15 and i have 18 and my leds are cranked down to less than half power total . 6 blues full power, 6 whites quarter power half blue and half white quarter power.

Link to comment
Because people like leds too much :lol:

 

 

 

The lights are exacly 5.5" from the water surface. I did not aclimate, just floated the bag for 10 minutes and introduced the coral right away. I did aclimate for the light though.

 

 

 

 

 

OK I will reduce the photoperiod to 10 hours and I will also lower the sps colony that is bleaching.

 

 

I don't have personal expirience wth LEDs.

But 18 3w LEDs over a 10g turned up to almost 100% makes me suspect they're getting too much light.

 

A lot of threads I've run into take weeks to acclimate up to just %50(+/-) and seem to keep the settings below %100 output most or all of the time.

Link to comment

I run a 6-8 hour photo period with my PAR38's part of that was cause i had to manually turn the tracks on when i get home from work at 6 and then i'd turn the lights off at 12pm when i go to bed

 

i finally got timers but will only be running an 8 hour photoperiod for probably the next 3-4 months just until i get all my corals transfered over from my BC29g and they have enough time to adjust, considering the difference and increase in PAR from my 150w MH setup to these PAR38's

 

So far i've only had 1 piece of sps brown on me out of the 6 i've put into the tank, checked with the PAR meter and noticed that it was only getting a PAR around 150 and so i moved more light over it and upped the PAR to 200, i'll keep watching it over the next few weeks to see if it improves

 

Although with this sps browning out it could be due to my 200g only being about 3 months old and still new, i don't dose my 200g yet just 5g weekly water changes for now, although i might start dosing in the next 3 weeks after i get another 10-15 sps moved over to it

 

I'll be trying to get some more PAR numbers of a single PAR38 tonight to give people an idea of it's spread as well, though i'll need a second set of hands to pull it off, lol

 

and from what i've found with my MH setup is that a 10 hour photoperiod typically yeilds the best results for color and growth

Link to comment
Dwankmuller

I have a 10 gallon setup, and just put an LED fixture on it myself. Im running 12 CREE XR-E's, 6 white, 6 blue and my corals are loving it (Mine is about 3 inches from the surface). I would agree with anyone who says you might have a bit too much light.

 

Right now I have zoas, and star polyps. The star polyps are supost to get medium/high light (according to the database on this site) and I have them sitting on the bottom of my tank. So clearly the LEDs are incredibly powerful. If possible I would say to raise the lights, or if you can dim them, go ahead and do that.

 

I was concerned about my LEDs being too bright, so I bought some window tint to put on my plexiglass cover haha, but so far they are just fine. Good luck!

Link to comment

My LED's are at about 55%. Good growth from most of them. Most corals have a period of time where they get used to new lighting and then start growing. Perhaps yours didn't acclimate slowly enough?

 

Most of the people who have had problems with lighting their tanks with LED's have turned the intensity up too high. I would decrease the intensity for a few weeks at least.

 

Also to consider is placement in the tank. Some corals are picky about too much or little light...

 

How long has the tank been set up? How were the corals doing before the light upgrade?

Link to comment

i have a 105 gallon full blown sps tank and i have certain sps that did not grow for a year, all of a sudden in 2 months they doubled in size and shot of all types of branches, the bottom bleaching thing is not godd though. do you still see polyps on the white part if not you may have to dip the coral and look around for predators. i am about to switch to leds and am a lil nervous but i think if you go slowly and acclimate them they can handle it well

Link to comment
I have a 10 gallon setup, and just put an LED fixture on it myself. Im running 12 CREE XR-E's, 6 white, 6 blue and my corals are loving it (Mine is about 3 inches from the surface). I would agree with anyone who says you might have a bit too much light.

 

Right now I have zoas, and star polyps. The star polyps are supost to get medium/high light (according to the database on this site) and I have them sitting on the bottom of my tank. So clearly the LEDs are incredibly powerful. If possible I would say to raise the lights, or if you can dim them, go ahead and do that.

 

I was concerned about my LEDs being too bright, so I bought some window tint to put on my plexiglass cover haha, but so far they are just fine. Good luck!

 

 

All of my soft corals do love leds like yours but the big boys like sps's dont seem to like leds...

 

Thanks

 

My LED's are at about 55%. Good growth from most of them. Most corals have a period of time where they get used to new lighting and then start growing. Perhaps yours didn't acclimate slowly enough?

 

Most of the people who have had problems with lighting their tanks with LED's have turned the intensity up too high. I would decrease the intensity for a few weeks at least.

 

Also to consider is placement in the tank. Some corals are picky about too much or little light...

 

How long has the tank been set up? How were the corals doing before the light upgrade?

 

 

The rock has been with me for a while (4+ years) However, I had a tank crash on dec 09. I started again in JAN 10 so its a new tank basically. The rock has nice coraline all over.

Link to comment

My experience has been very positive with LEDs and SPS. Just check out the link in my sig.. that slimer just exploded in like 2 months after taking like 3 months to get used to everything. I always thought the colour was good until I sold some frags to the LFS and just saw them after they've been under HM for 2 weeks .. they changed which is funny.. I wouldn't say they look better but the polyps went from green in my tank with the tissue being largely whitish to the polyps being a LOT more yellow and the tissue even being a bit more yellow. It was neat to see the diff between LEDs for 6 months+ to MH ..

 

HOWEVER! I only had my whites (5) @ 1A and my royal blues/blues (10) at 700mA TOTAL. I've since changed that to 1A per string like last night so we'll see if how the SPS respond within the next few months..

 

I have two forms of encrusting monti, a tri colour acro (fragged in 5 pieces), my original slimer all fragged up, a plate monti, a uhm neon green acro and a horn coral .. every single sps I've bought started encrusting within the first 2 weeks so I'd say the stuff doesn't mind my tank.

 

Ohhh and as an aside I also acclimate all my corals via the drip method for 1+ hours. That likely plays into their quick encrusting.

 

Now again all this growth experience etc for me was with a 1A x5 cool white string, 350ma x 5 royal blue, 350ma x 5 blue string... I know the colour could be better thus the reason for the change to higher current (and more PAR) on the blues... I'll simply have to take the next couple months to see what happens at this point... but I CAN tell you that I've had zero issues with SPS health up to this point with LEDs.

 

As a note, I do not dose, have no skimmer and only do weekly water changes. I've never measured my magnesium or dKH so I can't comment there. My calcium is freakishly high @ like 480-500 constantly so I assume my dKH must be in spec or my SPS would not grow.

Link to comment

Check the water you are using. Do you use ro di water. If so have you checked it with tds meter? Also 3 gallons per week on your 10 seems a bit much to me maybe cut back to a gallon per week. Make sure your water you are replacing is the same temp, salinity and make sure the water has been aerated so the ph is not low. Keep your salinity at 25. Let your corals adjust to the leds. Try to run your lights for 5 hours a day until the corals start to look better and then slowly 1 to 2 hours more per week until they can handle 10 to 12 hours per day or raise them a foot or so from the surface for a couple of weeks.

Link to comment

Your Ca is pretty high, you need to maintain Mg at about 1450ppm and alk at 9 or so dKH for the corals to be able to use it. Otherwise they will act like the Ca is too low and brown/bleach out... I would let it drop to about 400-420ppm and adjust Mg to about 1250 ppm if neccessary. Think simpler...

Link to comment

I've had nice colors and growth from LEDs though. I must say it took more than 2 months for them to actually start showing some growth. Started on the base covering the plugs.

Link to comment
Check the water you are using. Do you use ro di water.

 

I have a RO unit (5 stage).

 

Also 3 gallons per week on your 10 seems a bit much to me maybe cut back to a gallon per week. Make sure your water you are replacing is the same temp, salinity and make sure the water has been aerated so the ph is not low. Keep your salinity at 25. Let your corals adjust to the leds. Try to run your lights for 5 hours a day until the corals start to look better and then slowly 1 to 2 hours more per week until they can handle 10 to 12 hours per day or raise them a foot or so from the surface for a couple of weeks.

 

Actually is more than 10 gallons because I have a 5.5g sump. So maybe the total water volume will be in the range of 12gallons. I might cut my water changes to maybe 2 gallons?

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

Link to comment

not sure about sps but some of mine grows super fast and others dont. i have 20 LED 10 white 10 blue. crees of course.

 

your system is probably too new for sps to really take off which is 6months+ at the soonest.

 

also sps has to grow on something not just light.

 

get a good calcium/magnesium/alk test kit.

Link to comment

LED are very intense.Many of us forget or don't relise that

You need about 2 to 3 months to accimalise your LS especially SPS .

Start with about 50% of the intensity if you have PWM or lift up your light

from the water.

Increase the intensity slowly by PWM or lower the light.

By the second or 3rd months all your LS will get use to the LED light.

Link to comment

Also, you need undetectable levels of phosphates (less than .03 ppm actually). They hinder SPS growth and the SPS colors start to fade. Alk just needs to stay stable. If it swings a lot, SPS will hate you as well (though there exceptions).

 

Corals actually do not need long periods of light. I am down to 6 hours a day and things are growing just as fast if not faster. Another guy I know has his down to 4 hours. His is tank and corals are everyone's dream here locally.

 

Long photo periods is purely for the hobbyists enjoyment. I am actually going to supplement my MH setup with LED's to increase my photo period.

Link to comment

Did you light acclimate the corals at all? Did you full blast 100% at the corals? The placement of your sps is definitely high to the top of the tank right?

Link to comment

Hmmm, the title of your post suggests that you'd like to blame your SPS problems on LEDs instead of the myriad (give or take) of other variables in your tank. My Monti cap has taken over about a third of my BC14 under LEDs and my new acro frags are growing well with full polyp extension.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...