View Full Version : Lighting for 12g Long Macroalgae tank

01/15/2017, 09:30 AM
Hello all. You may have seen some of my other posts in this forum regarding my Mr. Aqua 12g long macro algae/patch reef plans. I looking for some thoughts on lighting, as I don't have much experience with macro algae. I currently have a 40 breeder SPS tank with T5/LED lighting, but I would like this little tank to be a slick LED fixture if possible.

The goal is for macro algae, some gorgonians, sponges, and perhaps some soft corals. I would also like to have a porites/christmas tree worm rock if possible. I would like the light to be able to handle a wide range of macros, and potentially sea grass (I am debating on whether to have a "grass field" of Caulerpa or of true grass"). I would also like the capability to have moonlights on at night, as this tank will be mostly stocked with small invertebrates.

The tank's dimensions are roughly 36"L x 9" W x 9" D. Would a current USA orbit LED (non pro) work for this tank? I like the aesthetics, controllability, and price. Any other recommendations?

Ron Reefman
01/16/2017, 03:40 AM
I have 2 comments for you, and please remember, I may have 12 years in the hobby, but I make no claims to being even somewhat experienced in macro algae or a display refugium.

1) I think the Current will probable do the job given the tank is only 9" deep. I went with a Reef Breeders Photon V2 over my display refugium which is 20" deep. And like you, I wanted complete color control over the fuge. Now, almost 5 months in, I'm running the display refugium with the same colors and same sunrise/sunset program I run over my DT which is mostly sps. I tried a much warmer white early on and I had run away hairy algae in the fuge. The red macro algae I have seems to grow just fine with cool white and the nuisance algae much less so. I didn't feel the macro algae did any better under warm white.

2) The vast majority of sponges are not photosynthetic and filter feed on food smaller than what we typically feed our fish and even our corals. So keeping decorative sponges can be a huge challenge. The only ones I've had any real success with have been 2 photosynthetic ones I've bought. One is a pinkish red and the other is a bluish purple. All the other last for a month or even two, but eventually they just shrink down to nothing.

01/16/2017, 04:52 AM
Thanks for the thoughts. I think I am going to go with the current light. That way I can easily modify the warmth of the light, it is cheap, and it looks good over the tank.

Regarding the sponges- I am not going to have much for fish (maybe a few 1" gobies), so I might run a little nutrient poor. I was thinking about NFS gorgonians/sponges as a means of adding more nutrients to the water. I understand sponges require very small particle sizes relative to gorgonians, so that might be the tricky part. I will probably start with photosynthetic specimens and see if I can build up a bacteria population to feed the sponges.

Michael Hoaster
01/16/2017, 02:09 PM
Progress pic?

01/16/2017, 02:44 PM
Well, I just set the tank up 2 days ago, so there isn't much for progress. I might start a build thread in this forum, as the macro algae crowd on RC seems to be pretty tight-knit and well-informed.