What Corals Can Grow Under t8 Lights?

t8-Lights

The fast answer to this is, all of them.  All coral types can grow under t8 lights, but not all coral types will grow well or without lots of attention and babying by their owners.

T8 lights are not the best choice for a hydroponic coral system, but they can work, and if that is what you want, then there are ways to make it successful.  If you want to make corals grow well under t8 lights, then you will want to follow the tips we have compiled for you here.

1. Choose Your Coral Carefully

Not all corals are created equally, which means not all corals will respond the same under t8 lights. Make sure that if you are purchasing new coral types for your system to use with a t8 light that you find those that will respond well to this kind of grow light system.  You can do this by talking to the store representatives, or doing some research.

2. Follow the Directions

This might be harder than it sounds.  It is easy for us to tell you to follow the directions of your t8 grow light system when we are not the ones who will have to turn them on and off and create a good schedule to ensure the coral does well.  However, if you want the coral in your tank to do well under t8 lights, you will have to be diligent and disciplined.

3. Increase the Water Flow

T8 lights will require that you increase the water flow in your coral tank.  You will have to be much more generous with how much water you circulate through your coral tank and how fast your generate this.  Keep an eye on the water levels at all times and make sure they never drop.  T8 light systems will take more water out of your tank than others, so make sure you compensate for this by paying particular attention to the water levels and flow rate in your tank.

4. Feed Them Well

If you are worried about the t8 light system taking too much water or nutrients out of your tank and coal growing system, then you can remedy this by simply placing more nutrients in the water than usual.  Start by feeding more often, then just increase the amount you use in each feeding.  Monitor how your coral does, and this will help you to know if you need more nutrients, or if you can get by with less.  Always keep a record of what you do so you know what to do and how to avoid mistakes of the past.

5. Use a Reflector

Using a reflector will get the heat from the t8 lamps straight into the water where it can do your coral tank the most good.  If reflector lamps cannot be found or if you simply do not want to invest in reflectors for your coral plants, then the heat can be utilized by placing the t8 bulbs as close to the water as possible.

Of course, you want to be careful to avoid any electricity problems.  Always err on the side of safety when it comes to water and electrical components.

The main question that spawned this article asked what kind of coral will work well with t8 lights.  We feel that if the previous 5 tips are followed, any corals will work well.  However, if you are looking for the best  coral types to work well under t8 lights without added time and effort, here is a list of those coral types for you:

  1. Leathery Corals: These are not the most popular corals, but they will be very successful under t8 grow lights.
  2. Zoanthids: These corals are beautiful and will grow well under most any conditions, including t8 lights.  If you are looking for a hardy coral type that refuses to die, then this is the coral type for you.  We actually suggest beginner coral gardeners should start out with zoanthids for this very reason.
  3. Disc Corals: These may need more than on t8 bank of lights, but they work well with t8 lights.  If you only have one bank of t8 lights to use for your coral tank, then make sure the disc coral is placed as close to the light as possible so that it can get the heat it needs.
  4. Brain Corals: This one might surprise you as they are seen as more fragile in the world of corals, but they really will be find under t8 lights as long as the nutrients you place in the water are at the right levels.
  5. Corallimorphs: These can be hit or miss.  They will either love your t8 lights or hate them.  We have found that if you start them young under the t8 lights, they will continue to like the t8 lights.  There may be no scientific merit to this, but it is a trend we have discovered.

So there you have it.  t8 lights can definitely be a component in a successful coral gardening system.  If you follow the 5 tips, and invest in the 5 kinds of coral we have listed, then we see no reason why your coral growing system will not do well with the aid of t8 grow lights.

– See more at: http://wickedhowtos.com/hydroponicsystems/category/grow-lights#sthash.GLq3H47C.dpuf

About the Author Andrew

Ever since I hooked an ignition coil up to a car battery and zapped myself I've been interested in 'how-to' do all sorts of things--I put some of them here.

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