Great corals accross various light spectrums

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CenlaReefer

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This thread gives details of my limited experience. I would appreciate it if interested aquarists would add their findings as well to this discussion.

I've been thinking about doing this thread for many months. I've been reefing since about 2011 and noticed that that some corals are a great disappointment regarding coloration, while others are consistently beautiful across all light spectrums. I really enjoy having 3 display tanks that each have 3 very different lighting setups:

(1) Dining room 20 gallon tall - AI Prime with one 24" Reef Brite strip having 50/50 blue & white diodes. The LED strip is set at a diagonal as far to the left of the tank as possible. This is so that I can have different coral coloration even in the same tank. The left side looks mostly like natural daylight.
Here are the AI Prime settings:
Screenshot_20220425-094711_myAI.jpg


(2) Sunroom 29 gallon cube - SB Reef Lights black box fixture with only blue spectrum on at about 80%.
(3) Sunroom 34 gallon frag tank- 1 Radion Gen 4 in the middle of the tank running at lowest factory setting & dual T5 fixture with 2 ATI bulbs: one blue plus and one actinic bulb.

The 2 sunroom tanks share a common sump. I like to swap corals around all 3 tanks so that I can get my favorite coloration with various corals. Here are my findings:

Corals that look GREAT in all 3 tanks:
(*) Jason Fox raja rampage- I have also seen this coral in a tank with superstrong natural daylight and it was outstanding! It looks great under super deep blue light, and everything in between. I mentioned this one first because it is magnificent.
20220218_175645.jpg

(*) burning banana stylo- This coral does not look nearly as good under natural daylight and looks better with higher flow to help subdue the polyps. Under low flow, a mature colony can look like a carpet of red, hiding the beautiful yellow base of the coral.
20220425_122449.jpg

(*) neon green nephthea- This is a classic, great coral. I have not experimented with it under natural daylight.
(*) jawbreaker mushrooms- I have seen this under strong natural daylight, and it was great as well.
20211114_203917.jpg

(*) reverse prism dragon soul favia- This coral will have tri-coloration under more blue spectrum, yet it is still delightful under a more natural daylight spectrum.
(*) kaleidoscope acan from Epic Aquaria- This one is very fine! I prefer it under strong blue light.
20220425_194540.jpg


(*) super red mushrooms- These usually stay red.
(*) toadstool with florescent tips- This is is a magnificent sarcophyton! I got it from @Grabloids' mother colony which was about 2 or 3 feet in diameter. It was a beautiful cream color. I have found it delightful under every light spectrum.
(*) green & red-orange plating montipora overlapping colonies- This is a very inexpensive combo to try out. The stark color contrast would look great in anything you would put it in.
(*) orange rhicordia yuma. This gem is fabulous in all 3 tanks yet best under more blue light for multi-coloration.
20220405_110117.jpg

(*) Miyagi tort- This acropora has a good record for being easier to keep, and its color contrast is very nice in all 3 tanks.
(*) various zoa look fine in all 3 tanks. Here are some examples:
20220425_122746.jpg
20220425_122332.jpg


Corals that look poor or almost invisible under very blue light yet very fine in natural spectrums:
(*) pink koji nephthea
(*) solid blue or purple mushrooms & montipora
I guess one could say any solid blue or purple coral.
One coral that is not great in any of my 3 tanks:
(*) Mardi Gras acan - I got this one directly from Epic Aquaria a couple of years ago. I know there was a lot of hype about this one even in Reef Builders with Jake Adams. It is nice, but I have not been able to get it to look anything like the pictures that Jake showed in his online article. I'm sure this review will not help me to sell frags of this coral. Oh well.

I plan to do more posts regarding other corals with my lighting preferences for those.
 
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CenlaReefer

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An additional coral that is great in all 3 of my tanks and under somewhat strong natural daylight is the Sunkist bounce mushroom. Still, it stands out beautifully under more blue light.

I have tried my beach bum monti in both tanks in the sunroom. It is very fine under the heavy bules yet gets a bit of multi-coloration when more natural lighting is added it.

Corals that I only recommend under a heavy blue spectrum:
(*) bizarro cyphastrea. It does not really stand-out much from a meteor shower cyphastrea if placed under moderate blues with 10-15% whites. This coral is great if you love a super blue tank.
20220425_122617.jpg


(*) Jelly bean rainbow chalice- i tried this one in my frag tank and it was very nice, yet I moved it back to the super blue cube tank because I missed the vibrant colors.
20220425_122557.jpg

(*) some vibrant-colored acropora- The popping colors come best with lots of blue. If under too much natural spectrum, many of these "show pieces" will just show green. Nutrient levels have a whole lot to do with coloration as well.

(*) inferno chalice- I tried the moderate blues for a few months and the coral began to resemble a rock in the tank. I will only keep this one in the heavy blue cube tank from now on.
 
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Lazyfish

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I Love the idea for this thread. Personaly my tanks go through a blue ramp up then a blue ramp down phase. Thay way I get to enjoy my corals in sevral lighting types. This a thread to give people an idea of what the corals may look like
under their own lighting.
 

CenlaReefer

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With the sunroom, I get natural daylight hitting the frag tank directly for about 2 hours. I can enjoy the pink koji best at that time.

After they 1st opened, Epic Aquaria in Shreveport had their lights slowly transitioning between heavy blue and a more natural spectrum every 3 or 4 minutes. That way customers could get a better idea of the coloration range for each coral for sale.
 
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CenlaReefer

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Here is a very particular toadstool that is hard to get to color-up to the ideal pink polyps. Still, I believe it is a very worthwhile endeavor. I got 2 of the same toadstool from @Lazyfish. That helps when experimenting. I was able to try it in all 3 tanks. The coral looks almost invisible in a heavy blue spectrum. In my sunroom frag tank (tank 3), it looks blah as well. Here is a pic from today from the frag tank with and without an amber gel filter:

20220430_112647.jpg

16513359064539158174324793800722.jpg


Below is the coral in tank #1 under a somewhat ideal spectrum under the AI Prime with very little bleed-over from the Reef Brite strip:
20220309_202440.jpg


Anyone should be able to replicate these colors using something similar to the AI Prime settings shown in post 1. I do wonder if the same setting for a Radion would produce the pink polyps.

I would like to produce something much more like what @Lazyfish posted in one of her threads. I downloaded her GORGEOUS image below. Surely this was a better camera than what my Samsung phone has to offer. Please tell us you light setup and approximate settings when this pic was taken:

20220211_121151.jpg
 

CenlaReefer

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Here is a pic that is in somewhat better focus yet with digital zoom and the same Samsung cell phone camera:
16513374415328166454815179698126.jpg
 

Lazyfish

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Its under x2 ai prime hd this is almost directly under one if them and it sits close to the top. They are about 8-10 inches above the tank I think. I have a galaxy s8 I think this was later on the day so leaning twords blue spectrum many with some purple hues i would have to look at my settings when I get home and may have been taken with a yellow filter perhaps....cant remember. It was a top down shot with the pumps off so that realy enhances the clarity. Under solid blues I also find the polyps and stalk realy are nearly invisible but then the cap flouresses a nice bright green but it can be difficult to see unless the polyps retract because they are so thick. This is prety close visually to what it looks like for me. Except the polyp tips are closer to a creme color I thin the camera is picking up the hues leaning twords purple. Ive noticed this with some top down shots. The polyps were partly retracted in that pic giving a better view of the cap it's not allways that visable. I find the brighter the light the greener it gets. In my friends tank under gen 1 radion situated over about 3 ft away from the lights the polyps have a creme color at the ends with a very light green on the polyp stalks with a green cap that's a good bit lighter than the one on mine.

Your phone should have a basic image editor try taking a photo without zooming then crop the photo and use sharpen to sharpen the edges and make it crisper looking. That's what I usualy do and use my filters now that I have them.
 
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Lazyfish

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Here it even looks difrent in my tank.
Closer to daylight fully open
20220430_121820.jpg

Partly open
20220430_120656.jpg

Close to daylight with some blues With a yellow filter.
20220430_121720.jpg

Evening medium blue no no edit filters
20220430_121602.jpg

Heavy blue blurry pic closed used orange filter this is the baby in the other under the original ai primes.
20220430_121002.jpg

Partly open under heavy blues orange filter the fact that the polyps are super thick and it makes it very fluffy it looks very nice with an intermittent flow waving the polyps to reveal the green underneath.
20220430_121043.jpg

Yours dose appear to have less intense pigment overall and lighter polyps. The one in the other 20g under standard primes also has lighter polyps and a slightly brighter green on the cap
Are your lights the original prime or the hd?
I cant remember my schedule off the top of my head but I do know I'm useing alot less uv and violet on both my hd and original primes and a I run a bit of red and green looks like you have more of whites but your blues are also both turned up more than mine. My schedules prety crazy looking honestly . Over complicated someone told me but I like it. I do know in the hd and old prime have difrent led chips.
The hd ones are over the mother colony.

The original used 1 more cool white thsn in the HD
Hd prime uses 1 more royal blue/ deep blue than the original and its a different brand with better output.
The hd also uses Cree vs the osram deep red
The hd also uses 400nm UV vs 405 nm in the original prime.
You can over power the individual channels

I've tried useing the same settings on my non hd ones and it looks nothing alike at all. By comparison the non hd tank always looks slightly washed out to me no matter how I tweak the settings unless its just under heavy blues.
 
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CenlaReefer

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@Lazyfish, I love the pics!

I am running the AI HD. I guess I am running a spectrum somewhat close to the pic entitled "Evening medium blue no no edit filters." Still, my greens and reds could be raised a bit. Could you please take a screen shot of your schedule?
 

Lazyfish

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Prime hd it's set lower than yours comes out more white during the day x2 of these on a 20g not sure your tank size or how many lights.
20220430_203150.jpg

Here it is curently at 8:45pm orange filter no edits.
20220430_204538.jpg

Old prime I need to streamline this one take down the white a bit more. I've been meaning to do that for a while.
20220430_201619.jpg
 
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CenlaReefer

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I have tried both the rainbow monti and the JF fruity pebbles monti. I am not sure, but they may be the same coral yet just different names. This coral only looks good under a heavy blue spectrum. It is very blah under anything else.
 

CenlaReefer

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These 2 pics do NOT do this coral justice! This is the Tyree toadstool. It is in tank (1) directly under the AI Prime spectrum mentioned from post 1.

This coral has gorgeous, deep green florescent polyps with a blue cap or base under this spectrum. It is perhaps in the top 5 of all the corals I have ever owned. The first pic is without a photograph filter; the 2nd is using a light yellow photo filter. The second looks somewhat more like what I am seeing except the blue base does not show as blue for some reason.
20220515_203254.jpg

20220515_211355.jpg

The coral is very blah under mostly natural light spectrums. I have not tried it under a super deep blue spectrum. I would love to see pics from others who have this coral.
 

Lazyfish

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This is a good example of a corals color morphing under difrent lighting conditions. All are from the same mother and curently under a skyye light but untill a week or so ago were kept under difrent lighting conditions one has a very nice green cap color with tan and creme polyps one is a light green throughout and one is totaly tan with creme polyp tips. Ive found not only do corals show up difrent under difrent light they can also change over time to look totaly diffrent. I would be intrested to see other examples of not only how they look under various spectrums but how the corals color development might change.
20220614_152436.jpg
 
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