Marine aquarium lighting with metal halide lights
When it comes down to marine aquarium lighting, there is considerable choice any hobbyist has for lighting their reef tank. Some options include fluorescent lighting and metal halide lights. Most marine fish tank enthusiasts, though, would agree that metal halide lights are they best option for marine aquarium lighting. If metal halide lights are used, it is worth knowing the benefits, the traits, and exactly what is needed for proper use.
Benefits of metal halide marine aquarium lighting
The type of light produced by metal halide lights is HID lighting. HID stands for high intensity discharge and as a result, MH lights produce light that is more intense than any other aquarium light available. The benefits of MH lights include a very high efficiency. Because MH lights are efficient, they produce more light, resulting in better photosynthesis, faster growth and more intense corals. With metal halide marine aquarium lighting, corals are noticeably healthier.
Marine aquarium lighting definitions and specifics
Some definition and specifics are necessary to help one understand marine aquarium lighting. As a basic rule, 175W lights should be used for reef tanks less than 18″ deep, 250W for 18 to 24″ deep aquariums, and 400W metal halide lights for marine tanks that are more than 24″ deep. This guideline will provide a moderate amount of light for the corals that are being lit. An important trait to understand is the Kelvin rating of aquarium lights. Kelvins measure the color temperature of the light emitted from the bulb. For warm colors, less than 3000K is used while for cool lights, 6500K or more are ideal. The higher the Kelvins, the more blue the light will appear.
What is needed when using MH for marine aquarium lighting
If one is using metal halide lights in their marine aquarium, then three items must be purchased including the bulb, the reflector, and the MH ballast. The ballast is used to start and regulate the aquarium light. Reflectors redirect vertical light back towards the reef tank and its corals. If using 10,000K or 6,500K metal halide lights, they should be supplemented with actinic lights for optimal coral growth. If using 14,000K marine aquarium lighting, then no supplementation is necessary. Click here for the best deals on metal halide lights for aquarium use.