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Lighting Options for Optimum Refugium Macroalgae Growth


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Refugium Lighting Options
IF YOU ARE A SALTWATER ENTHUSIAST currently maintaining a reef setup, one of the best ways to enhance your filtration is to employ a refugium.

Refugiums, small aquariums that are either near to or attached to your main setup (hang on), typically employ macroalgae, live rock, and live sand (or some combination of the three) to offer an ideal natural solution for enhancing and maintaining healthy conditions in an existing aquarium.

To fully benefit from your refugium, you will need to provide it with a lighting source. There are several lighting options to consider:

A simple lighting option is to use a strip light with appropriate bulbs. A 6,000°K-10,000°K daylight bulb should provide sufficient light to grow your macroalgae population, but you may wish to opt for a higher color temperature in order to match the light output and color display of your main tank. To find the best bulb for your fixture, reference our lighting guide.

A more trendy choice may be to utilize an LED fixture, such as the systems available from Marineland. The added benefit of using these fixtures is that they last longer, have an adjustable length, and best of all, the bulbs never need replacing.

Some aquarists prefer to have an open top refugium. If that is the case, you can utilize a clamp-on light such as the Viper Clamp Lamp. It features a 14,000°K HQI double-ended lamp, perfect for growing out frags in your refugium.

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