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Lighting For the Reef Tank

By Albert Thiel. Presented 6/1/1997 on #reefs IRC.

Good evening to all of you, and thank you for joining us in the #reefs chat area. Let's get right to the point ... For as long as I have been in the hobby, and that is quite a few years as most of you know, lighting has been a hotly debated topic, both in the saltwater and freshwater side of the hobby. It is is my opinion that this will continue for years and years. Let me preface this by stating that I, too, do not have all the answers by any means. In fact, I don't think anyone does because of all the variables we need to deal with when it comes to aquarium lighting.

What I am going to do is put forth a few ideas and topics that we can discuss and elaborate on when we get into the question and answer part of the "Chat". Some may sound controversial, that is OK with me. That will give us more to chat about as I am allowed to clarify what I really mean. Others are basics dealing with lighting and energy.

1. Lighting requirements are dependent on the animals, not on the size of the tank. These requirements apply to intensity, to Kelvin degrees and to the type of bulb(s) used to produce the desired strength (corals perceive light as energy, and that energy is what really counts).

2. The type of lighting used is therefore dependent on the animals kept. Generalizations do not work most of the time, even though many hobbyists would like to receive such recommendations. Watts per gallon may sound an appealing way to make recommendations, but it is not a real accurate way to go about it. We often use it in the hobby because it give hobbyists some idea of what kind of level of intensity we are talking about, but it is not an accurate way of

3. The depth of the tank has not much to do with what kind of light you need to use. What is imporartant though is that, if an animal that requires a lot of light is placed at the bottom of a deep tank, the power emitted by the light source used, will need to be far greater than in a shallow tank or the desired energy levels will not be achieved.

4. If, however, we place an animal in the same tank that is low in energy requirements (lighting defined as "photon" irradiance ... gee there I go, I used the "p" word) then a totally different scenario comes about and we do not need that much intensity to provide that coral with its required photon irradiance (which in turn determines the level of energy the coral can derive from that light source).

5. Photon irradiance is the real manner in which the amount of energy a coral (in this case) is exposed to and can "absorb and process" should be looked at. It is, however a complex matter and not within the scope of most hobbyists, at whatever level of expertise they have arrived. Not that they cannot understand the concept, on the contrary. The problem would be how to calculate the amount of watts required based on the photon irradiance needed by a coral.

6. Photons and Quanta, and various other related ways to look at lighting intensity and energy are very complex, to say the least. It takes a real thorough understanding of "light" and I am not sure we want to go into it, here, as it IS truly very complex. I will give you a real good reference book at the end, if you are interested in reading up more on the subject and looking at the mathematics behind it all.

7. Just briefly : light refers to the behavior and intensity of light in natural seawater and and in the water in our aquariums (and the two are not the same) !! The factors influencing the intensity and wavelengths are totally different in aquaria than they are in nature and so are the light sources we are comparing (the sun vs bulbs to state it simply).

8. Light is, in this case at least, the radiation in that segment of the electromagnetic spectrum between 400 to about 700 namometers. That range includes the blues, and the other wavelengths needed for Photosynthes I and II cycles.

9. It is interesting to note that the breadth of this band is very much in the width of wavelengths that the human eye can perceive, hence the risk for greater confusion, as we sometimes think "the more intensity the better", forgetting that corals do not perceive light as the amount of intensity, but as the amount of energy they derive from it (the more photon irradiance on a particular coral, the more energy is that coral exposed to). Some corals may in fact not need all that much light energy. Some do and some don't as we all well know.

10. The behavior of light is greatly influenced by the medium it passes through, as the media affect both the wavelengths and their intenties (reducing them of course). Whereas air as a refractive index that is close to 1 (actually 1.00028), water and especially salt water has a far higher one, on average around 1.33..

11. This of course influences the end amount of light energy one exposes the corals to as the loss from traveling through air is one, but the far greater loss of traveling through water is the major one. This is influenced as well by salinity, temperature and turbidity.

12. Light, electromagnetic radiation of a particular kind, behaves in the form of a wave (hence wavelengths). The type of wavelength determines the energy contained in the particular light band. The shorter the higher, and the longer the lower the energy is. That is why blue light has more energy than say yellow or red.

13. Thus, a small amount of short wavelength light can only be duplicated with far more intensity of longer wavelength light (note this as it explains why increasing the intensity of one type of light can bring about the same results as a far lower amount of another type). The bracketed procedure is not recommended but often used. Stash as many lights over your tank as you can, disregarding the type, and all animals should do well. Not really.

14. Energy is expressed in Joules, which through some real fancy calculations beyond the scope of this "chat", could actually be converted to watt. Unfortunately not across the entire spectrum though but just across narrow ranges of it. This is described in great detail in the book I recommend at the end of this "chat"

15. What you should know though, is that the energy originally given off by any light source is reduced to a great degree by distance from the water and by penetration into the water and by anything that may be placed between the bulb or light source. The bulbs' glass shield itself causes a reduction as well. Humidity does too. Dust does, etc.

16. Now on to Corals. Some require real high amounts of energy, as they are strongly photosynthesizing. Such corals will require more energy and will only do well if that energy level is provided. It can be provided in two ways that are obvious : a certain amount of short wavelength light or a far larger amount of longer wave light. The latter is not the best way to go though, as indicated earlier.

17. This explains why when using light with high amounts of actinic (short) output, not as much is needed as when one uses a light source that emits a far higher wavelength (e.g regular fluorescent tubes). In the first case only a small amount may be needed whereas in the second case a far greater amount will be required to achieve the energy levels that particular corals are in need of.

18. Not all corals require the same amount of energy of course. That is where our problem comes in. What is plenty for one, may be not enough for another one, and may be too much for yet another one. Requirements are coral or animal specific. Many may be close to each other in terms of requirements (good for us), but others are not. Knowing the difference is important.

19. Knowing lighting requirements helps a great deal therefore, and allows us hobbyists to place corals in positions within the aquarium where the amount of light they receive is closer to what it should be. Low energy requiring ones towards the bottom, medium ones towards the middle, and high intensity (energy) needing ones towards the top. Some corals with real low energy needs may even need to be shielded so they are not overexposed to energy (and close up before the photoperiod over your tank is ended).

<Albert> 20. As you can see, there are so many variables to deal with that it is difficult to satisfy them all and hobbyists, therefore, end up having to compromise and use a middle of the road approach. It is not possible to "really" optimize light (energy) for all corals in your tank. This would be possible though if you had a species aquarium and knew the requirements of that species.

21. Depth is really irrelevant to a great degree, unless you plan on placing corals that require a great deal of intensity at the bottom of the tank (in which case the ones that are higher up in the aquarium may either receive too much energy and close up early in the day, or may receive so much that they are damaged in the process).

22. Again, knowledge of the amounts of intensity and the type of wavelenghts such corals are exposed to in nature helps a great deal. This is covered in detail in my new book The New Marine Fish and Invert Reef Aquarium (expanded version) which will be out finally in the fall.If you want details on the contents you can send me email at The cost for pre-payment is $40.00 vs the retail of $90.00, and if you prepay you also get a free electronic version with more photos.

23. Let us deal with yet another concept : direct and indirect light, or direct and reflective light. This is another important facet to look at when deciding where to place a particular coral. Elegance coral, for instance, is often found under overhangs and receive only reflective light (but strong) not direct light. The ones that have lots of green zooxanthellae are the ones that receive direct light of great intensity and the ones that do not are the ones that receive less energy from light and receive it mostly in the "reflective" form.

24. Generalizing is very difficult and tricky, but is unfortunately what we all have to do in tanks that contain corals with various, and differing, energy requirements. We do not really have a choice. We try to achieve the best for all corals, and newer bulbs allow us to provide energy output that is closer (but still nowhere near) to what the high photosynthesizing corals require. We need to be careful though not to overexpose those corals that have low lighting requirements. Knowing requirements through reading, and then applying that and positioning the corals in certain areas is the key to success.

25. I know that you will have many questions and hope that I can give you answers that make sense. No one, in my opinion, has all the right answers, more so even where it comes to lighting and the energy derived from it by corals and other animals in the aquarium.

26. For those of you who want to really get into this in depth I recommend the book: "Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems" by John O. Kirk (Cambridge University Press - around $70.00 for the full version - 400 + pages of highly highly technical material on the subject. BTW the book lists 561 additional titles you could read or refer to, if you wanted to have all the information

27. An expanded version of this introduction to lighting will be added to the NetClub Library on our web site Note that to have access to this Library of very up-to-date info, you need to be a member of the Netclub. See details on our web site and note that the price of joining is going up at 6 AM tomorrow morning by $10.00. Thanks for letting me plug the Netclub <G>.

28. I am now ready to take your questions and hand this over to the moderators so I can deal with one question at a time. Please realize that I do not have "all" the answers either and that I have no shame about saying: I do not know when I do not. I rather say that than mislead you with a guess.

<Albert> Thank you for your attention and thank you for being here.

<Albert> Albert Thiel



<Albert> ===end of introductory notes====

<guitar> yep

* EricEE asks everyone to message their questions to guitar.

*** Quits: DBW (Ping timeout for DBW[chemengpc02.chemeng.unimelb.EDU.AU])

*** Joins: DBW (d.warren@chemengpc02.chemeng.unimelb.EDU.AU)

Q: What about the fact that many of the corals can adjust to the light intensity by the amount and species of zooxathellae in their tissue? Doesn't that mean that they can adjust to a large range of light intensities outside what is the optimium for the species?

Within certain ranges that certainly applies but there are limits. Place a coral that needs little energy under a high energy emitting light and it will close To some degree the adjustments happens but not at infinitum one can overdo it (e.g. place an Elegance coral under a 20 000 K light and it will barely open because it only needs to expose a little amount of polyp to get all the energy it needs.

Q: What about temperature effects on corals?

Well this is a talk about light and not really about temperarture. One needs to look at what kind of temp that coral normally if there is such a thing as normal exposed to. Reading and reading is what brings knowledge and I highly recommend that everyone should read before they buy Corals will live in ranges of temp but not when the swings become too large or when the top temp or the bottom temp are outside of the range I would suggest and that is only mine, that a range of 76-80 degrees with minor higher and lower temperatures from time to time

Q: Albert, throughout your talk you frequently referred to "an amount" of light at various wavelengths. I don't understand what you mean, because you didn't say what units you're expressing these "amounts"in. The standard measures for light in the scientific literature are energy measures, which completely avoids the problem you discussed at length of shorter wavelength light being more energetic. What unit did you have in mind that apparently isn't

The talk deals with intensity and intensity is defined as the photon irradiance or the amount of quanta that ended with "an energy measure"of light that an animal is directly exposed to Quanto or photon stream that reaches the aniamal would be the more correct answer

Q: The opinion these days seems to be that the higher kelvin bulbs put out less PAR, than the lower K bulbs and hence we may be starving the corals of light when we switch to the higher K bulbs. Any comments or sugggestions?

Yes that is correct I have seen references to that as well but I have not seen any detrimental effects from using medium to high K degree bulbs say from 5500 to 10 000. The 20 000 are IMO way too high except for specialized applications or when mixed with other bulbs to reduce the overall K degree that irradiates the animals. I indicated the reaction of Elegance to 20 000 K in this regard. We will have to wait and see what the longer term effects are of continued exposure to higher K degree bulbs to gain more insights but I have personally not seen any detrimental effects with K degrees of up to 10 000 for extended periods of time using a photoperiod of 10 to 12 hours a day .

Q: Can a tank be lit solely with Metal Halide, and would an appropriate bulb for something like this be a 6500K, 10K or another bulb altogether?

Yes if you are going to use MH only then the bulbs mentioned all give good results but as indicated in the intro, one needs to adjust the light to the animals in the tank and not just decide that because one reads that these are the greatest bulbs that you need them too. It may very well be that you do, but you should make sure of it by knowing what you have in the tank and whether these animals require high, medium or low intensities (energy). I would suggest and it is only a suggestion that more is needed as we use less K degree bulbs as the energies that are developed by lower K degree bulbs may not provide enough quanta for the animals.

Q: Do you still recommend using Damar 60 Watt Bulbs on Small Reef Aquariums, such as a 20 gallon Long tank?

Actually, yes they are excellent bulbs and really inexpensive and are rated if I remember at around 6250 K or close to that. Damar is a brand name BTW

Q: DO you believe that the "glimmer lines" that are produced by MH are benificial to corals, and also how important do you belive a "dusk/dawn" cycle is?

Interesting question indeed, it sure duplicates what happens in nature but I know of no research that has ever demonstrated that their is a benefit. OTOH no one has demonstrated negative effects either. I kind of like the look of it too to be honest (although that has nothing to do with the animals). Yes I like the dusk dawn cycle because it imitates what the corals are normally subjected to by minimizing the change from full ligth (high intensity) to suddenly far less or no light at all. A good practice IMHO is to run blue light before the photo period and after it for about 30 min but not run hundreds and hundreds of watts of it

Q: What about the fact that the photosynthesis process is influenced to a large degree by a couple of narrow light bands?

All the bulbs now on the market that hobbyists use cover both the PS I and PS II photosynthetic ranges and so I do not think one would have a problem at all here since the wavelengths needed for those PS cycles are emitted by such bulbs ( I am refering to the 5500, 6500, 10 000 ones especially and possible supplementation by some blue low nanometer bulbs e.g. Actinic O3

Q: what effect does light have on the chemicals in our iodine and such??

Real good point indeed as some chemicals are very light sensitive and break them down faster, iodine and vitamin C are certainly two of them. One needs to adjust by testing to make sure that the suggested levels are maintained. I feel and that is my personal opinion that when we test more we obtain better results because we know more about our tanks and the more we know the easier it is to make adjustments when necessary. the case of iodine in particular is important as it breaks down real rapidly not only because of light but also because of the skimmers we use nowadays and it is removed as part of the matter that is evacuated and "foamed" out

Q: DO you use the berlin method of reefkeeping? If so do you use a "formula" for the amount of live rock in relation to the size of the tank for succesful de-nitrafacation?

Gee that is hard to answer. The load determines to a great extent how much filtration is necessary and needs to be sustained on a continuous basis so in a tank with a heavy load would by inference need more LR than in a tank with less load. Of course one needs to take in to account too that the practice of most hobbyists who adhere to the latest methods is to use live sand as well. Since we can assume (I know that is dangerous) that at some point or another our tanks ARE heavily loaded since we keep adding animals all the time let me suggest between 1 and 2 pounds of LR per gallon of water in the system and then a layer of about 2.5 to 3 inches min of live sand on the bottom. Note I said LIVE sand so if you star off with non live form containing sand you will need to practice care and cycle the sand so to speak to ensure that it becomes "live"

Q: Have you read the recent article in Aquarium Frontiers that suggest that lights of lower Kelvin IE 6500K may actually provide more blue light thant those of higer K Temps. In regards to quanity not percentage?

Yes I have and with certain manufacturer's bulbs that seems to be the case but again we need to keep in mind that we have to look at what is in the tank or what we are going to add and determine whether more or less blue is necessary. Reading and researching it is what is going to give us the answers here we need to balance the total energy emitted by whatever bulbs we use in my opinion to match the requirements of the animals in the tank. There is no so many watts or so much blue as a standard that we can apply to all tanks IMHO.

Q: Is their still a Theil approach to reefkeeping, or you have converted to the "Berlin" Method?

Well I think the Thiel approach is a nice compliment <G> but it is just an approach that uses the same principles as those advocated by other authors but may differ in some minor points. For instance I do not like chelated compounds. I prefer real complete additive and separate additions of iodine and do not advocate using Lugol's sol because one can so easily overdose. I prefer more iodine with careful monitoring by testing. I also believe in the addition of strontium and kelp extracts as in KSM one of our products and I have done away with plenums as they become cesspools and repositories of nitrate, phosphate and silicate that can leach back into the aquarium by osmosis or through breaks in the plenum set up if there is one. I like both the KW and extra calcium addition for better control over levels. I also advocate the use of supplements that are colloidal because their bioavailibility is far higher (e.g. Vandium and Chromium which assist in the calcium chemistry etc. Apart from that I do not really think that my methods differ a great deal from what others suggest. Note though that a lot depends on at what level the hobbyist is in terms of knowledge and that in some cases going for systematology that they are not familiar with can cause problems for them so some hobbyists may feel more comfortable with what some may consider older methods. What I suggest to anyone though is to read up on the LR and LS methods and go for it as the results obtained with such systems are far above what we used to be able to do a few years back

Q: What do you see us going to in the future as far as lighting for the tank...or other possible options?

I do not see much of a change. I think (my opinion) that we will continue to use MH but may go back to the HQI types when their prices are more in line with what we are willing to spend. What I mean here is the bulbs with real noble gasses from the Halogen group of elemetns

Q: So do you not advocate the use of lugols because you think the average hobbiest is not capable of diluting it to proper percentages?

Sorry but I did not say that .. what I stated is that it is very easy to overdose with Lugol's.There is also the question that no one has researched as to what the alcohol introduced in the system does so if you feel confident that you will "not" overdose you can certainly go ahead but great care is necessary

Q: What kinds of experiments does your company do to determine the effect on marinelife of some of your exotic additives?

Testing with real small amounts and observing what goes on and documenting and more documenting

Q: Do you have any references citing the use of Vanadium and chromium in reefs?

No off hand ... no, but chemistry books can be refered to for the interaction of chromium and calcium and many refs will be found there. Vanadium gets depleted rapidly and is present is natural seawater and is usually not found in other additives

Lugol's does contain a certain amount of alcohol.

EricEE> I have the a big bottle of it, I'll go read the label.

Q: Bromine is found in large qunaties in the ocean, but the sea salts dont generally contain Bromine. Why does no one advocate the addition of Bromine?

Bromine is highly reactive and it was left out of salts going back to the days when ozone was used and the danger of ending up with toxic brominous acids was real high. Nowadays I see that bromine is being looked at again but have not experimented with it myself yet

Q: What about the use of garlic extracts in very small amounts as a basic suppliment as talked about in Seascope?

<EricEE> OK, I have a pint bottle of Humco Brand, "Strong Iodine Solution" which is the pharmaceutical name for Lugol's. Ingredients: Iodine 5% (I2) Potassium Iodide (KI) 10% and Purified Water.

Vital Gold our top selling additive contains such extracts and the reason for it is that in testing with plant extracts several appear to be beneficial indeed. The amounts are minute though and and make the supplement just that more "complete"

Q: Does the testing you refered to take the form of controlled experiments, as in publish scientific reaserch?

When such is possible yes. It depends on what is being tested or experimented with and whether controls can actually be set up in view of the many variables involved. Indeed it is not that easy to set up two indentical tanks that such would require. The nature of the aquarium is such that is is nigh impossible to do so. often one needs to monitor over time what a particular additive that is used brings about and whether doing so over and over again in different aquariums with about the same population brings about the same results. if enough of such occurances come about then one can infer some benefits although one can not always scientifically "prove" them unfortunately because the controls are so hard to set up

Q: There has been some interesting theories (in the science community also) about coral pigmintation in the small polyped corals. Would you like to comment on your veiws on this subject?

The pigmentation appears to be a real hot topic in that area indeed and no one appears as far as I have been able to determine what exactly brings about one type of pigment versus another one or what colors a SPS takes on based on what type of additive used. I guess a lot more research will be needed in this area

Some suggestions : when attempting to determine results change only 1 variable or the result may not be reproduceable. I was talking to Bob Keane the other day and he was experimenting with strontium additions to see how it would affect the coloration and pigmentation of Acropora in his aquariums and he found, so he stated, that lesser amounts of strontium appeared and I repeat appeared to make his SPS corals loose their pinkish colors. Yet when he increased the addition, pigmentation returned I am sure that tests conducted with lighting though would result in such changes as well as the type of wavelengths that any coral and thus SPS ones are subjected to would directly influence the type of pigments that would be formed.

An analogy can be drawn, but not necesarily transposed to, what happens with cyanobacteria where subjecting them to different wavelengths will bring out different colors due to different pigments predominating. Again more time will be needed I feel to get to the bottom of this. It is amazing when one thinks about it that we think we know a lot but the more we think the more.

This portion of the log is from the unmoderated section of the talk.

<Mark> Indeed thanks very much for your time and efforts, im sure its appreciated

greatly by the bulk of the people here

* DBW would like to thank Albert for a good talk

<Albert> we realize how little we really know and that certainly applies to me.

<X-AlO2> Yet, how do you explain corals in the wild, living side by side,

same species, yet have different pigmintation.

<Albert> Thank you for your attention

<BRose> Mr Thiel, Re: points #22 & #23 (" my new book The New Marine

Fish and Invert Reef Aquarium (expanded version) which will be out finally in the

fall. If you want details on the contents you can send me email at

The cost for pre-payment is $40.00 vs ...") Is this the Signed and Serial Numbered

(#26) book I pre-paid for over 4 years ago and still haven't received?

<Albert> Yes it is the expanded version that will "finally" come out after

<Albert> all the travails we went through with a printer that'

<Albert> went bankrupt and had a large amount of money from us and ..

<Albert> all our color separations. Finally it is gettting there ! AT

<Sanjay> Is it possible that there are elements in sea water that corals

dont make use of and hence adding them will show no adverse effects. If so do we assume

that they are beneficial in the long run , and worth adding to the tank. ?

<Albert> I personally think that because water is the universal ..

<Albert> solvent and contains all known elements and untold amounts

<EricEE> Wouldn't that be like taking pepto bismol when your stomach feels


<Albert> of compounds that there are for sure plenty such elements and

compounds taht

<Albert> serve no known purpose (at least at this time) aT

<Albert> Eric: I guess we take lots of elements in ourselves of which ..

<guitar> the channel is unmoderated people feel free to talk and ask questions

<Albert> we do not know the end result of our health ... AT

<Sanjay> So how do we know for sure that when such elements are sold, they

are worth adding.

<cap> It sounds as though you're saying we should add anything to our tanks

that isn't known to be harmful.

<cap> s/anything/everything

<Mindy> I don't think he was saying that.....

<ksmith8964> ok on sick fish with ick and/or velvet do you recommend only

vit c or addition of copper also.?

<Albert> If we try to add what we know is beneficial then we ..

<Albert> achieve some result that is close to what we want ..

<Albert> If we add more than that we assume that because these elements ..

<Albert> are in nature that they must serve a purpose and that is ..

<Albert> fine I think. It seems that when one follow the lit. new ..

<BRose> Thanks Mr. Thiel, appreciate your time and knowledge.

<Albert> compounds that are needed are documented all the time so I guess

<Sanders> Albert, I have heard that it is rarely ever dark on the reefs,

due to moonlight....should we assume that a tank should have some wattage of

light at all times or do you see any benefit to this???

<Albert> adding more is certainly not bad. OTOH what is known to be


<Albert> should not be added aT

<Cindy> Eric: What ever happened to the 'lights' subject? That's what the

talk tonight was on right?

<X-AlO2> Mr. Theil, I am the person who asked about sps pigments. How do

you explain corals in the wild, living side by side, same species, yet have different


<Albert> It does get dark at times but most of the time not indeed ..

<Albert> I guess taht is why many of us use low amounts of light during the

night as I have done and advocated AT

<Eddie_C> Albert, I think I remember reading on your list server that you

were going to do more research on iradicating dinoflagelates, how is this going?

<EricEE> Yes Cindy, that's what Albert's talk was about.

<guitar> Goodnight all time to nab some food

At this point, one of the female members of the audience got so excited, she threw her panties at Albert. We've decided to conceal her name to protect her privacy.

<Albert> Currents may influence the pigmentation and different symbiotic

algae may

<Albert> bring about different colors as well .. AT

<dc> please, no disrobing in #reefs

<Albert> Yes that is one of the areas I am looking into using ..

<Albert> oxidizers of a different kind than permanganantes but it is ..

<Albert> too early to give any suggestions in this respect aT

* DBW believes that the best we can do is to give our tank inhabitants that

same water conditions that are found over reefs in nature. Why try to improve on

where they have evolved over the last several million years?

<X-AlO2> I have noticed that in your whole talk you only mentioned 20,000K

bulbs once, and in a negetative sense.

<Albert> Agreed AT

<Albert> Not really I think but I see them as useful and beneficial ..

<Albert> when used in conjunction with other ones to attenuate the ..

<Albert> the high K level which is so energy potent that many corals ..

<Albert> do noteven open when they are used AT

<Sanders> Albert, can you give a few more specifics on the Damar

bulbs...are they just clear 60 watt bulbs in a reflector???

<Albert> They have a normal base as a regular bulb and are ..

<Albert> available at many DIY stores and are rated at various K degrees ..

<Albert> the ones to look for are 6000 + ones and they run off ..

<Arnie> you mean regular incandescent bulb base?

<Albert> regular bulb sockets and give real white white light and ..

<Mindy> thank you very much for the talk Mr. Thiel....enjoyed it very much:)

<Albert> some blue of course since they are pretty high in the K AT

<Sanders> ok....thanks

<Arnie> How about heat output from the damar bulb?

<Albert> With pleasure it was nice being here AT

<Albert> Not much at all (60 watts). Minimal ventilation will .

<Albert> take care of it. Cost around 7 or 8 dollars I think AT

<Albert> I would like to suggest to those who have not yet ..

<Albert> to visit our web site at

<Albert> and check out the many many free article in the SW Library ..

<Albert> and joining the mailing lists we have on our site AT

<Ichthus> How do these bulbs compare in efficiency to flourescent or MH in

terms of lumens/watt?

<Sanders> Albert, what are your thoughts on setting up tanks paced in

direct sunlight for limited periods of the day???

<Mark> Thanks, your web page is a great resource for the hobby.

<Albert> On Damar : excellent you should try them and see for yourself AT

<Albert> I think they are excellent choices for small tanks AT

<Albert> On sunlight : Minimal I think is beneficial and one ..

<Albert> needs to make sure that nutrient levels are really ..

<Albert> really low or algae outbreaks will occcur. As a suppl ..

<Albert> to your other lighting I feel it completes what the corals ..

<Bulldog> Albert Ijoined the net club today about how long will it take to

recive the pass word?

<Albert> are getting and is thus closer to nature AT'

<X-AlO2> About the 20K bulbs. Yes, this true for lagoon corals, such as C.

plicata and Trachaphillia. But I have been keeping a 150g with sps lit only by three

400W 20K bulbs. And growth is excellent.

<Albert> Re NETCLUB you will get the passwords tonite if I can process the


<Albert> I will email them to you. AT

<Bulldog> Thanks I enjoyed the talk.

<Albert> Thanks AT

<Albert> Re 20 K : yes certain corals will do well and Clams ..

<Albert> and some SPS especially but LPS apparantly from my experience ..

<Albert> do not do so welll at all, they barely open up AT

<Sanders> Albert....a talk about lighting isn't complete without a small

chat about algae.....what benefits are any of these....MACROALGAE, BLUE GREEN


<Albert> That would take another few hours I think ..

<Albert> Maybe Eric can schedule another talk on Algae and ..

<Albert> the like which I will gladly do especially on ..

<Albert> the Cyanos and the various forms (see our web site for ..

<Sanders> ahhh...okay....perhaps another time then....

<Albert> three long articles on cyanos btw in the SW library) AT

<Albert> Well if Eric would like me to ..

<EricEE> Q: If you were going to light a tank with only a MH pendant, which

K bulb would you use?

<Albert> I will gladly do a talk on Algae in general AT

<Gregg> Albert, without a long description, could you tell me what method

of cyano removal you have found? I have tried hydrogen peroxide (h2o2), cleaning

my skimmer, and water changes. Any other ideas?

<EricEE> OK, algae talk sounds like a good idea. I'll get with you this

week on scheduling it.

<Albert> What do you have in the tank ? AT

<Albert> Eric sounds good would love to do it as it is a most ..

<Albert> interesting subject indeed AT

<EricEE> the MH will be lighting a portion of my 125 reef tank. It will be

over an "island" which will have SPS and perhaps a clam or two

<Sanders> thanks Eric

<Albert> on cyanos : no I have not found that to work either.

<Sanders> I have lots of Algae questions

<Albert> HJowever reducing the DOC makes a big differences and that ..

<Albert> can be achieved by stronger skimming and by using oxidizers AT

<Albert> You can email me at on the algae and

<Gregg> Any other oxidizers besides h2o2 that may work better?

<Albert> read the articles on our web site as there are plenty

<Albert> already there that you may be interested in AT

<GaryB> Is there an easy way for hobbyists to measure DOC?

<Gregg> thanks

<Albert> Yes bromates but extreme care is necessary when using them AT

<X-AlO2> \quit

<Gregg> what exacly are bromates?

<Albert> With DO tests spaced 48 hours apart and noting the difference ..

<Albert> anything higher than 1 mg is high IMO AT

<Arnie> DO ? = dissoved o2 or dissolved organics?

<Albert> Dissolved oxygen tests AT

<Albert> Samples must be taken at the same time and one stored in the dark for

<Albert> 48 hours then tested (see our SW lib on our web site there ..

<Albert> are articles there explainging it at

<GaryB> Thanks AT!

<Albert> Pleasure AT

<Sanders> Albert, we discuss how lighting can benefit our corals and

inverts, what about any detriments to our fish and does lighting (intense) effect them in

any way???

<Albert> I do not think so as the amount of light they get

<Albert> in nature is far higher. They do need hiding spaces ..

<Albert> though in the tank but the light we provide ..

<Albert> is powers of ten lower than what they are exposed to

<Albert> on the reef AT

<Albert> I will be glad to answer any other questions you may have AT

<Sanders> Albert, have you ever used mecury vapor lights and do they have any

significant use in our hobby?

<Albert> Only on FW tanks for plant growth ..

<Albert> they are high in red and yellow and will ..

<Albert> promote algae growth. Now if you like macro algae ..

<Duncan> hello all.

<Albert> then that would be a good light to use but IME it ..

<Albert> is mostly used in FW plant tanks as described for instance

<Albert> in a book I translated from German called

<Albert> The Optimum Aquarium AT

<Albert> For algae growth you will also need to look at the ..

<Albert> nutrients you supply and iron availability for them AT'

<Sanders> Well....todays light is better than when we used to sun our

corals in fish bowls once a week....

<Albert> You can read up on that on our web site too in the SW and

<Albert> FW libraries at

<Albert> Sure is and also a little <G> more costly AT

<Sanders> any other thoughts on lights you want to give???

<Albert> Know what your corals require and try to match ..

<Albert> that as closely as possible by positioning the ..

<Albert> corals in such a way that they receive the photon irradiance

<Albert> they require. My new book explains that in great detail BTW.

<Albert> It is key IMO to success.

<Sanders> I look forward to the algae talk and thank you for answering all

my silly questions

<Albert> There are no silly questions. Glad you liked to the talk

<Albert> and look forward to "seeing" you again on the algae one AT

<GaryB> OFf the wall question - Do you think the "average" reef aquarium is

noisy to its inhabitants?

<Albert> No I do not think so. Noise in the ocean is very high too AT

<X-AlO2> Mr. Theil, you mentioned about little fluctuations in temp in our

reef tanks. And to keep temp at 76-80. Currently there has been trend of raising the

reeftank temps to 85. And allow fluxes, for spawing.

<X-AlO2> Any comments

* Yes_I_AM would like to know where you got the pics on your website

(article on elegance corals)

<Albert> I believe very few practice this and it is a special

<cap> My experience in the ocean is that there aren't loud 60 hz buzzing

noises constantly. Stick your ear under your tank water. I wouldn't want to

live there. It's obviously loud. The question is, does anything care.

<DBW> What about the low whine that pumps generate ?

<Albert> situation with a specific goal IMO so as a general rule I

<DBW> Very good Q there cap

<Albert> for one would not run my own tanks at that temp. AT

<Gregg> i wouldn't think there would be the steady noise like in our tanks

<Albert> I don't think anyone actually knows how corals react to

<Albert> noise ( I do not ) so I can not give you an fair answer but

<Albert> it is a good question indeed AT

<Albert> Hi Cindy

<GaryB> Cap - Have you really dunked your head in your tank?

<DBW> Fish it may be more important to, sound that is

<cap> yes

<guitar> cap would do that I can see it

<Albert> Yes that could be although the noise level around

<EricEE> Cap: You take any pictures of the dunking event?

<Albert> reefs is very very high in general aT

<cap> Sorry Eric. Maybe I should. It'll be good for my web page.

<GaryB> Loud laughter over here!!

<guitar> so does my home theater at THX sound levels affect my tanks?

<Cindy> Hi Albert

<EricEE> What's a THX sound level?

<Albert> Some say that bass affects the fishes behavior and

<DBW> Very Loud?? ;-)

<Albert> interferes with their swimming ability but I have

<guitar> very loud reference level. its what Lucasfilm rates the optimum

sound level for movie watching

<Albert> not seen much research done on it except for

<Gregg> hmm, once bass knocked over one of my rocks...

<Albert> Dolphins and other similar large fishes AT

<guitar> hmm wonder if I should move that 15" subwoofer

<Albert> That would not be a bad idea and you could try

<Cindy> My fish swim funny when the stereo is on, no research needed here

<Albert> and report what differences you notice in the

<Albert> fishes behavior AT

<guitar> cool I might actually do that. Wonder what movie we should use as

a reference. Hmm Twister has good bass

* dc nods

<Cindy> What about Jaws?

<guitar> my cat freaks out when I watch Jaws

<GaryB> As long as the tank inhabitants can't see it!!

<Albert> If no one has any other questions I am going to

<Albert> check my mail and Netlcub orders so I can send those

<Albert> who subscribed their passwords

* Yes_I_AM would like to know where you got the pics on your website

(article on elegance corals)

<GaryB> Guitar - cats freak out as a natural part of life!!

<X-AlO2> What do you think of kalk reactors?

<guitar> what about the amount of fish in a reef tank? Is there a specific

number or inches?

<Albert> I enjoyed being here and tank you for your questions

<guitar> garyB: this is true

<TangMan> Yes_I_Am, they look like the pics on Pfohls site to me.

<Albert> I would have to go look as I have so many pics that I do not]

<GaryB> You have the cat - not me!

<Yes_I_AM> One of them is of my tank

<Albert> know off hand to be honest with you. Lots of hobbyists

<Yes_I_AM> the only place it is on the net is on Jeff Pfohl's website

<Albert> send me pics for use on teh site and some were taken by

<Albert> frineds and by myself AT'

<Yes_I_AM> or the only place i put it anyway

<dc> Thanks albert!

<GaryB> Albert - Thanks for your time!!

<Albert> Pleasure.

<Albert> Well I will have to go and have a look and see where I got

<Gregg> thanks for the talk albert! bye!

<Albert> those from. I can email you if you send me a note or give me

<guitar> CYA ALbert

<Albert> your email address

<Yes_I_AM> its the one in the middle, of the 'red-brown' one

<Albert> At

<Sanders> thanks again

<Albert> Good nite.

<Cindy> Bye Albert

<Albert> YesIam : can you email me at

<X-AlO2> Mr. Theil, last Q before you go. What do you think of kalk

reactors? And the high dKH we are keeping to increase growth?

<Mikem> Bye ALbert, great talk

<guitar> depends, I guess you'll sta hard

<guitar> oops

<Albert> I think the kalkk reactors are recent in their appearance

<Albert> on the market and more time will be needed but I have

<Albert> seen a few tanks using them now that look real good indeed

<Albert> so I think this warrants more investigation. It

<Albert> is intersting that Fossa and Nilsen do not seem to

<Albert> like them that much though AT\

<dc> I tried to buy some of them for my local customers, but Bob Keane

decided I was too insignificant to do business with :(

<X-AlO2> Recent here in the states maybe. But they been used in germany for

many years. with great success.

<guitar> you are insignifigant dc

<Albert> Yes true, but mixed reviews AT

<Albert> Guess it is the KW crowd vs the kalk reactor crowd <G>

<Albert> Bob K refused to sell to you ... wow AT

<EricEE> I'm in the KW crowd

<gedee> you'll just have to build one DC

<dc> I was surprised as well. I am known to be one of the good guys in the


<X-AlO2> Actually, from comminications, it is believed to be the product of

choice, in favor of Cal Hydroxide.

<dc> build me 3 Gary :)

<Albert> I visited Bob the other day and he wants to sell reactors

<Albert> so I am surprised. AT

<Albert> Well good nite everyone. Thanks for being here

<dc> This probably isnt the place to air this grievance.

<guitar> CYA ALbert

<EricEE> Bye ALbert

<dc> Night albert!

<Albert> Got a few more things to do like checking my email AT

<Albert> Good nite and bye now AT

Albert Thiel is the owner of Thiel Aquatech.

His email address is:

The Thiel Aquatech Web Site is Located at:

Created by liquid
Last modified 2006-11-26 04:28