I am pretty sure Paradox used metal halides. Check the tank talk forum because I think he had a build out thread for it (I remember him saying things about using the bathroom as a shop ).
I so want LED's to work but I serendipitously acquired a new LED light that lights one of my tanks nicely but the test polyps I transferred have bleached and the only thing I can think of is the lighting. They were under compacts before that appear dimmer so the jury is out on this set up at the moment. The polyps are surviving but have very little color, regardless of where I placed them in the tank.
HAve you tried a bluer LED bulb? I know it might sound crazy but ive done some reasearch and talked with a LFS owner who has 29 gallon biocubes with the hoods off and hes pushing a fixture with 69? bulbs and they fixture is supposed to be half white half blue bulbs.... hes runiing a completly blue system and the color is AMAZING... Im not sure what you are reffering to by test polyps.. but he has zooanthids(spelling) and brightly colored polyps in there and he told me yesterday that its the blue that really pops that color. Also the other thing i can think of is position in the water coumn which is a no brainer. Are they high, low, right in the middle? Hee told me sometimes if they have indirect light they flourish too. Hopefully my Novice input helps think about things alittle more. :)
I had no luck finding the thread dwhatley, its alright i just really love the way not only the cuttles look under that light, but all the corals and other life. Its a beautiful tank!(Paradox if you're reading this) I just wanted to try and duplicate the lighting, or get something similar.. I think LED will do the trick :)
The tank with the LED did not have any corals (it has been used for a nocturnal octopus tank since it was set up) so I fragged some of my existing polyps to try the new lighting. I placed three sets in different hights in the water column, all are badly bleached. The fixture has both blue and white lights but only about 1/3 blue.
I don't know much about LED lighting for fish tanks (my octopus doesn't need much light) but I thought that each led was designed to put out light in only a very narrow sliver of the spectrum, so that to get a spread of different wave lengths (colors) you would need to mix different LED's. It makes me wonder what specific narrow bands of the spectrum are necessary for corals to thrive.
I am pretty sure Paradox was using halides and I posted the tank talk link in post #5. For soft corals, compacts work fine but remember to give the cephs plenty of overhangs (as shown in Paradox's tank) for shadowing.
D on my local reef forum they talk A LOT about LEDs. From what I read the problem is the par... PC dont have very good par while LEDs have phenomenal par up words in the range at 200 to 500 hitting the sand floor on a 21 inch tall tank with the light being 3 inches above the tank. It cooked your polyps.
They are also always talking about getting a controller to dim them so that would help with the par... I think... but its a problem to get the programing because of the whole PFO thing. Anyway, just thought I would share.
Interesting, I will try leaving the lights off for a longer period to see if that makes a difference. The polyps are not dead, just bright white (and they should be varigated with a lot of brown. I know this type changes coloration with light differences and have been puzzled at what I am seeing). The gorgonian I put in the tank is doing well. I would really like the LED's to work with the softies and would love to change out all my lighting, eventually. It would be curious to try the hard corals in there if too much light is actually the problem but I only have two (one inherited) and I am not quite willing to test with them. If reducing the photo period increases the polyp color, I may try putting one in there, let the polyps go white and monitor closely.
It is hard to indentify if they are leds just by pics, but as per my experience, I think they are really close to blue led effect that may fall into range 460 to 465nm clear blue, but not royal blue, just a guess. They may be led fluorescent or led spotlight.