The Red Sea REEF-SPEC® performance criteria is the result of Red Sea’s years of research into the sustainable growth of all corals, including the most delicate “SPS” corals, in an artificial reef environment. This knowledge, gained over 25 years, forms the basis for the specification of all Red Sea MAX aquarium systems designs.
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Red Sea REEF-SPEC® General Features
Current research into the photobiology of corals has provided new insights into the definition of REEF-SPEC lighting and is the basis for the lighting configurations used in all MAX aquarium systems.
Based on Red Sea’s research, the optimal light for sustainable coral growth in MAX reef systems (including the most demanding SPS coral species) has a PUR (Photosynthetic Utilized Radiation) value of approximately 450 micromoles per square meter per second at the water surface and 90 at the bottom of the tank.
The PUR is a combination of the relevant wavelengths required for corals and is only a small part of the PAR readings of the full visible spectrum (400-700nm). PAR readings, which are typically used to indicate the strength of reef lighting therefore does not guarantee their suitability for corals.
Red Sea’s all-new ReefLED® units provide a REEF-SPEC lighting spectrum with a true PUR output of between 80% to 100% of the PAR according to the selected color settings, guaranteeing strong growth and coloration of even the most delicate SPS corals.
The heart of the Red Sea MAX filtration is the protein skimmer, which removes the vast majority of the waste produced by the aquarium inhabitants, as well as thoroughly oxygenating the water.
Red Sea defines a REEF-SPEC skimmer as being one which will pass the aquarium’s water volume through the skimmer 3 times per hour, and with an air:water ratio of 1:2. This skimmer specification sets MAX filtration apart from other systems and is necessary in order to provide the water quality required by delicate SPS corals.
In addition, all MAX systems are equipped with full size mechanical and chemical filtration.
Sufficient water flow is crucial to provide corals and other sessile invertebrates with the nutrients and minerals (e.g. calcium) necessary for growth.
Turbulence of the water surface is necessary to prevent the accumulation of a bio-film that reduces both light penetration and efficient gas exchange.
Red Sea’s REEF-SPEC circulation defines a required turnover of 10-15 times per hour of the total water volume. Accordingly, MAX systems are equipped with a full-size surface skimmer and powerful circulation pumps, all housed discreetly within the design ensuring the beauty of the aquarium is not compromised.