I'm in the process of obtaining equipment for my build, and I need some advice about purchasing a light. I'm leaning toward and LED fixture but I want a quality unit that will suit the needs of this tank. It's not a reef tank, so there will be no photosynthetic corals, and many of the features found on reef LED fixtures are appealing to me. The main things that I want out of this purchase are:
- Show off the colors of the fish.
- Have features that automate sun and moon lighting effects (sunrise, sunset, etc.) to help induce spawning activity in the blennies.
- Provide enough and the right kind of lighting to grow brackish plants and macroalgae, and perhaps saltwater if this tank moves toward the saltier Chesapeake Bay biotope.
- 36" x 36" coverage (might have to purchase 2 lights)
Plants could be shoal grass or eelgrass. Ulva, Gracilaria as well as brown algae are common macros that I could collect.
What would you recommend?
More info about what I'm doing is below, from a build thread on another forum:
I have been planning and working on this tank several years until funds became short. I'm in a position now that I can resume this build. It is my dream tank using locally collected species, but I'm trying to duplicate as close as possible an Oyster Reef biotope. I'll post more about how I achieve the build later, but since this is a DIY Decorations section, I thought that I'd start out with what I've done to build the reef. I still need to purchase some equipment, and I can't proceed with setting up the tank until I finish my 75g native stream tank background and roots because I'm using the unfinished stand as a work bench, LOL (works great)
One of my dreams was to duplicate the oyster reef environment of the Chesapeake Bay as best I can without predation. I had a tank and sump built for this a several years back, and almost finished a stand but personal troubles in my life have caused me some delay. The tank is a 101 gallon cube (36"X36"X18"), and the sump/refugium is 36"X18"17". The tank and sump will have live sand from the Chesapeake Bay. I'm shopping for an inexpensive LED that will duplicate lunar cycles, daylight and nighttime lighting transitions and seasonal variances in an attempt to induce spawning behavior. I will not be growing photosynthetic corals in this tank.
Right now, this will be a fish only tank until the tank is established, then I hope to add a few oysters and perhaps mussels, tunicates, sponges, gorgonians etc. although I realize that I'd have to find some way to supplement feeding. The sump will contain macro algae found in the Bay.
Animals will be collected from the Bay that live side by side in this environment:
Several striped blennies (Chasmodes bosquianus
) - striped blenny which will be the feature fish of this tank
- feather blenny if I'm lucky enough to catch any
Northern pipefish (will live in the fuge but not until the tank is established)
Ghost shrimp, hermit crabs, snails, etc. for clean up crew that live in the Bay, both in the tank and sump
just about any critter that comes in on the rocks (fish will not be introduced for 6 weeks after the tank cycles)
I may try my luck at some of the other species of fish too eventually, maybe even a spotfin butterfly fish if I'm lucky. Eventually, I'll bring the tank to nearly full salt, but it will be on the saltier side of brackish to start
Anyway, this video is my latest inspiration for my biotope build:
Here is a pic of the tank after I bought it:
Here's a video of my hardscape for the tank. The macros could be just about anywhere, but the grasses would be in the "valley" between the oyster cultches.