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Ramping up lighting intensity


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Hi all,


I've got a 29g cube that has led a...troubled life. The short story is that it was up and running nicely with a few fish, inverts, and some softies and LPS. Then it suffered a few injustices that resulted in the corals, a fish, and a few inverts meeting their demise. So it's been running as a FOWLR tank for a few months. However, it's also been running without a light (see long story below), just moonlight LEDs and ambient room light (much of it spillover from a 125gal cichlid tank nearby).


I've decided on the LED's and know how/where/what array I want, have them hanging and ready, so i'm not looking for lighting hardware recommendations. My question is: what sort of light acclimation should i do for the fish? Eventually I'll be adding corals back in, but not until the lights are up and running on their regular schedule, so no worries about bleaching or melting anything.


Should I:

  • Start with a short light timeframe, then gradually increase, at full intensity?
  • Go immediately to a full light timeframe, but use filtering screens to lower the intensity and increase that gradually over time?
  • Do both, using shorter timeframes and decreased intensity, upping both simultaneously?
  • Blast the fish at full intensity, full timeframe, and see if they scream?


Current inhabitants:

  • 2 clownfish
  • 1 royal gramma (cue the gramma haters)
  • 1 yellow watchman goby
  • assorted snails and hermits






(Long story: While we were on a week's vaca, our air conditioning went out and the tank heated up greatly...melted a few of the corals. Then a few months later (cue season change), massive ice storm knocks out power for a day, no heat, no anything while we try to dig ourselves out. Corals seriously damaged, one fish belly up. A couple months after that, an interior fitting from the return pump decided to disconnect itself and route about 15 gallons of saltwater directly THROUGH the t5 fixture, flooding the hood. Fortunately, I was sitting in the room with the tank when that happened, I imagine that could have caused a delightful electrical fire if we weren't home. The hissing and popping were quite dramatic and exciting, if by exciting you mean scary as hell. The remaining, struggling corals gave up the ghost when their light went, as I wasn't able to replace it immediately.)

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Normal timeframe, but low intensity. There is no real need for a lot of light for a fish only setup, and they don't really need acclimation. If/when you start adding coral, you can start increasing the output. As to what output you want to set it too, we need to know what the LED setup is. It's more about setting it up for the eventual corals more than the fish.

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Thanks, Evil!


I'm hanging 3 12x1w LED bulbs, that are a 6:6 mix of 15000K white and 450nm blue, with 60 degree optics. I'm planning to hang these 12-18" above the surface, depending on how things work out. I know the fish will do fine in any range of light from what they're getting now to what they will have when those are hung, I just didn't want to freak them out too bad upon first firing them up. I'm not afraid to play around with my lights to make the corals happy when I start putting them in, I had good luck with my last go around (besides the disasters, which weren't light related). I thought it would be fun to try LEDs this time as long as i had to replace the lights anyway, so this will be another learning experience like everything else in this hobby!

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