Reef Flats vs. Reef Slope LED Color Profiles

Which one is right for me?

AcroOptics offers two distinct color profiles. The Reef Flats is a high-intensity, true sunlight fixture. The Reef Slope is a cooler profile, with a heavier emphasis on the 400nm-500nm range. So how do you choose? That depends on what corals you keep and what your goals are for your reef aquarium.

Reef Flats

True sunlight profile, ideal for shallow water/high light requirement species.

CRAVE LED Reef Flats Color Set

Diode Mix (CRAVE24 Count)

  • SemiLED NUV (395nm)                 6
  • SemiLED NUV (405nm)                 6
  • SemiLED NUV (415nm)                 6
  • Nichia Blue (465nm)                   72
  • Osram OSLON SSL Cool White (Broad)         36
  • Nichia PC Amber (600nm)             36
  • Osram OSLON SSL Hyper Red (660nm)        12
  • Osram OSLON SSL Far Red (735nm)         6

The Reef Flats, as its name suggests, imitates the lighting environment of the shallow flats areas of coral reefs. This reef zone is subject to intense lighting, and some are even exposed to air during low tides. The corals that thrive here have adopted to this bright environment, typically showing high growth rates and significant photo-inhibition capabilities. (Pocillopora, many Acros and Montis, Tridacnid clams) This is a seriously powerful light, and includes wavelengths into the 380nm range. If your invertebrates have been grown in the upper area of aquariums with metal halide lighting, they will be accustomed to this intensity. However, they should still be acclimated by ramping the output, especially the UV channel, up slowly over time. The thick glass between metal halides and the water surface block these wavelengths. You will see growth rates increase, and colors you may have never noticed before begin to emerge.

If you are an experienced hobbyist who keeps primarily SPS and Tridacnid clam species from shallow water areas of reefs, or a professional marine aquarist wanting to propagate such corals for sale or trade, this is the fixture for you.

Reef Slope

Broadband coverage makes pigments really pop!

CRAVE LED Reef Slope Color Set

Diode Mix (CRAVE24 Count)

  • SemiLED NUV (405nm)                    6
  • SemiLED NUV (405nm)                    6
  • Hyper violet custom (430nm)         6
  • Osram OSLON Royal Blue (450nm)            36
  • Nichia Actinic (470nm)                  36
  • Nichia Cyan (500nm)                     36
  • Osram OSLON SSL Cool White (Broad)
  • Osram OSLON SSL  Green (530nm)                  6
  • Phillips Lime (567nm)                    6
  • Osram OSLON SSL Hyper Red (660nm)            6

The Reef Slope is designed to cover water depths from 5m to 60m. It appears much “bluer” than the Flats, and can support a broad mix of coral types while still providing the intensities needed for SPS corals and clams. If you keep a mixed aquarium (SPS along with LPS, Acans, Zoanthids etc.) primarily for display, the Slope version is your best bet. The fantastic color mix will bring out the best in your corals, and allow you to “tune” the appearance as you desire. The custom 430nm diodes will highlight any bio-luminescence in your specimens.

To provide some context, the following charts display the spectral power density of both profiles running at 100%. Most users will not need to run either fixture this hard, but it allows for an apples to apples comparison.

Reef Flats Spectral Power Density

Reef Slope Spectral Power Density

Corals are remarkably adaptive. Many species can be found in several reef zones. The main rule of lighting is make changes slowly, to give your invertebrates time to acclimate to new lighting. Both fixtures make this easy to do, as they can be programmed to increase intensity over any number of days (up to 500). Corals are living creatures, and should be cared for with the responsibility that keeping any pet entails. So, slowly – be a good steward, and you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful environments on earth.

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