Lighting Advice...

Help Support Reef Frontiers:


Well-known member
Jan 27, 2005
Okay we are prepared to upgrade our lighting and can't decide what we should get. We don't plan on having corals. We do want to try a few anemones and a variety of fish. We have live rock in the tank also. I have tried to research the issue but it is all a bit overwhelming. We have a 75g tank. Any input is greatly appreciated... :)


Scarlet Begonias
Feb 8, 2004
Columbia Falls, MT.
Anenomes are light lovers, so I would definitly go with metal halides. I have 2 250w 10K over my 80. They should also be put in a well established tank, one that has been running for at least a year. If you have just set up your tank, take it slow and don't rush, or you will be spending more money replacing them than enjoying them!!! JMHO.


Jun 16, 2004
Bremerton, WA

Lighting requirements in a Reef tank are as varied, as the situation encountered. Try to look ahead in your hobby. Right now, you enjoy a variety of fish, and wish to try an anemone. The "Bubble Tips" can survive even under normal output florescence bulbs. (Please notice that was "can survive"... not necessarily "thrive"). Your fish, for the most part don't care about lighting. They want some daytime, and some nighttime. What will care, is what MAY go into your tank in the future.

From my experience... it really is much cheaper to look ahead, and plan for what "I may wish to try a year or two down the road". Right now, you don't have any corals... but what if next month you see a lovely Torch Coral (or any of thousands other lovely LPS and Softies)... and since you have a Salt-Water tank... its possible. Now, you're in a situation where lighting becomes more important

Over a 75gallon tank... 96Watt PC lights do very nicely as do VHO bulbs. If you see the possibility of SPS (Hard Corals) in your future... then the MH (Metal Halide) lighting becomes enticing. Personally, I would go with either PC lighting, or VHO's. Both have their good and bad side, and are a personal choice. If that later date comes, and you do wish to try the SPS's... upgrading to those MH bulbs then would be needed... but not right now.

I tend to be very wordy, but hopefully gave you a little to think about... which will save you money in the long run.



Staff Housemonkey
Jul 31, 2003
Charlie and Ed gave you some good advice...
The type of lighting you need will depend on the anemone. Bubble tip anemone's can survive under high wattage PC's and VHO's, just about everything else requires MH's. And like Ed mentioned, its cheaper to buy something once as opposed to upgrading later.
Here is a link to a good place for buying lights....good prices, good equipment... Specialty-Lights

There is also flow requirements to think about with anemones. Anemones like the H. magnifica and S. gigantea require high flow, and high lighting, as well as the excellent water quality required by all anemones.

Alot of people are under the mistaken impression that anemones are easier to care for than corals.

Here are a couple of links to give you an idea what all is necessary for keeping anemones and what you're really in for:

http://www.carlosreef.com/AnemoneFAQ.pdf (you will adobe acrobat for this pdf file)
Reef Index Anemone links

I you are serious about keeping anemones, you will need excellent water quality. You will need a very good skimmer.
IMO, most skimmer manufacturers are overrating their skimmers. I would suggest getting a skimmer rated for a tank at least 2-3 times larger than your tank. Ideally you want to be running your systems total volume 4 times an hour through your skimmer. So if you have 75 gallon tank with a 25 gallon sump, you want a skimmer that can move 400 gph through it.

Make sense?

Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.