The time a reef spends under moonlight is believed to be as significant as the time spent in full daylight. Moonlight triggers various internal and external biological activities among the many thousands of reef organisms. Many corals continue to grow under moonlight conditions and some begin the reproductive process. Predators come out and cruise, while prey go into hiding.
Until recently, the only way to view your aquarium during the evening was under white daytime lighting, but new lights that simulate the moon have since added another dimension to aquarium keeping.
Moon Lights Simulate Nature
Nocturnal life in your aquarium can also be fascinating. In the past, some aquarists used flashlights to observe nocturnal activity in their aquariums. This often scared the fish, plus the observers could never really get a totally accurate view of nightlife. Now, lamps that simulate the light of the moon are available. This means aquarists can observe aquarium inhabitants when the sun goes down and other lights are off.
Moonlight lamps can encourage your reef creatures to behave naturally, letting you observe without disturbance. Some corals actually fluoresce under moon lights, creating a dazzling effect. Moonlight LED lamps last a long time, draw little energy, and generate virtually no heat, making them an economic way to watch nocturnal sea life in your own home.
Lunar Lights contain a light emitting diode (LED), a hybrid, miniaturized phosphor light source that simulates actual moonlight. Many fixtures, such as
Coralife Compact Fluorescent Lunar Aqualight incorporate lunar lights with Compact Fluorescent or Metal Halide lights for a two-for-one fixture.
Recommendations For Use
Understanding the response of various organisms to changing light conditions is the subject of ongoing study. Many aquarium experts claim success simply with twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of simulated moon light. You can easily automate this cycle using a
Marineland Aqua Timer or, a
Coralife Power Center, which combines 24-hour timer(s) and 8-outlet indoor power strip for seamless transition from dawn to dusk lighting conditions. Because some corals and organisms appear to need a period of total darkness before moon light appears, you might delay turning on the moonlight for an hour or more after turning off daytime lighting.