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Saltfishlover

Lighting question

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So I got an aqua light 30*3w LED picked it up used. I have it over my 20gal tall tank. How do I know if I need a defuser?  Should I run the lights at 100%?  Two lights are green two lights are red, 2 lights are UV, 12 lights are white and 12 lights are blue.  I have soft coral in the tank at various heights. Thanks. 

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There are quite a few factors that will determine this. From my understanding, the only use for a diffuser is to make the various spectrums of leds to blend together better. And then the amount of light can be adjusted with the intensity knob. The amount of light needed for soft coral is generally pretty low and without a par meter or knowing the par of that particular light at various depths of the tank it will be hard to say what percentage to have it at. I think the best thing to do is to start low and work your way up, coral won't generally suffer from to low of light in the short term but can easily be damaged or killed if exposed to too high of intensity of light. Is this the first light th you've had on the tank or do you know the wattage of the light that was used previously? The light that you are using is rated at around 90 watts of light output at 100% in reality this will most likely be less. So if you were previously running 90 watts or more, then it would be somewhat safe to say that you could run at 100% but it's still a good idea start lower. Another factor with leds is that if you can run them lower they will last longer too.

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Well I'm not sure what they were under before. This is the only light I've used on this tank.  Nothing is bleaching, but seems to not be growing well either. I run them at 50% now. 

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Do you have any coral that look like they are stretching towards the light? This is really visible with zoanthids and palythoa. If you've had it running on %50 for a little while and nothing is closing up or bleaching, I'd say it's probably safe to bump up the intensity 10-15% a week or every other week.

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2 hours ago, Saltfishlover said:

Thank you! I'll do that.. so far no, nothing is reaching up.  I do have a leather that won't fully extend polyps.  

No problem! I've never had good luck with leathers personally for some reason but the increased light might help.

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The Club has a par meter that are free to borrow for members with a deposit. It might give you some piece of mind and a idea what par your light is. Message Flashy Fins or lewisriverfisherman they have the info for the par meters. 

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