Reef lighting is arguably the most complicated of aquarium lighting that you can come across. This is because you have to think about three things all at the same time. Here is a basic look at all three to help you balance it out and get the right lighting for your tank.
1.Lighting for your fish – this is the first and foremost thing you need to consider. No matter what happens, the fish are the star of the story. You want to make sure that the lighting is suitable for them. They need a regular day and night cycle and the light cannot be too bright, too warm, or too different from their natural habitat.
2.Lighting for your coral reefs – like all natural plants coral reefs require sunlight in order to survive. That is why coral reefs only live on shallow sea water where the sunlight can still penetrate through. This is all for good photosynthesis. You want your reef lighting to be able to promote photosynthesis instead of halt it or slowing it down.
3.Lighting for algae – there are bad algae then there are good algae. You want the lighting designed so that bad algae don’t accumulate in your aquarium but you also want the good algae to thrive. This is because good algae help your coral reefs with photosynthesis. They all become one complicated eco-system.
When it comes to reef lighting you will want to choose high powered T5 lighting or you might want LED lighting if you can afford it. They are the ones most capable of creating the reef lighting required to meet all requirements as stated above.