The Critter Torch from MarineReefLED may not make the reef gearheads swoon with excitement but if you want to see cool stuff in your reef tank at night, you’re going to need some form of red light. Part of being able to see what’s going on in a reef aquarium at night is about having that red light source handy, and that’s where the Critter Torch comes in.
At first we were a little hesitant to “review” MarineReefLED’s critter torch because, how hard could it be to make a little red LED flashlight? Whatever the case, we took the Critter Torch for a tour of our reef and coral tanks after-hours and we had plenty of subjects to test with a menagerie of reef critters from every major phyla populating over a dozen tanks at Reef Builders HQ.
To our surprise, we found the Critter Torch to work exactly as promised. The Critter Torch’s red light and narrow beam made a nice spotlight of red light that was visible to human eyes but all but invisible to various reef invertebrates. Giant clams, feather duster worms, bristleworms and various ‘pods did not seem to react to the Critter Torch at all. A few different shrimp seemed to be able to see the light, but were not that responsive to it and we were able to get a great look at our very elusive pair of blue leg coral banded shrimp, Stenopus tenuirostris.
For us the real test of the Critter Torch’s effectiveness was how our harlequin serpent starfish would react. These beautiful Ophioderms are extremely sensitive to the tiniest bit of light and we’d lost count of how many there were, until we pulled out the Critter Torch. To our delight the harlequin serpent stars did not perceive the red light and we got our first look at the group of them in years.
If you’ve got a thing for night time viewing of your coral or reef aquarium, it’s possible that any red LED light will do. However, if you really want to see some of the tiny monsters living in your sand, live rock or refugium, the Critter Torch did the job and it lived up to the claims. [MarineReefLED]