Here's someone else that had NO bulbs with SPS corals. There's also pictures. This guy did mention that he saw a difference between the NO bulbs and VHOs, which he eventually upgraded. www.garf.org/40watt_vho.html
If you read the first article carefully, he did say that some SPS corals, not all SPS corals thrived under NO and also he had the clams and corals really high in the tank. It would make a difference if the corals are a few inches away compared to 15". He also mentioned that growth is greater with more intense light. I do agree with you guys about the more light the better, but there might be a possibility that there is success using only NO bulbs.
Dang...I was going to hook up these 8 NO ballasts I found and run 16 4' standard NO bulbs over my 55....you guys don't think that'll be enough light?
Yup...I've heard about all kinds of success stories with all kinds of products...lots of ways to develope a reef I guess. Myself...I'll keep my combination of PC's & VHO's...until I get my MH's...then I'll run a combo of VHO's and MH's until I can up-grade futher.
I've tried growing corals under NO light. But barely could grow shrooms. But I've seen pics with sps and clams under NO lights. The sps were brown the clams were alive. But the tank owner used ocean water in weekly w/c. The key in the article is Plankton friendly. Corals and clams are filter feeders so they can live if thats the case. But IME I would still need to see the tank. It may still look crappy to me. I prefer at least vho lighting. But I would always have halides. JMO
I know what you are saying. My friend bought a PC hood with 6 55w PC bulbs on his 75g. He's keeping mostly softies and some LPS. I told him it'll be cheaper to go with MH or even 4 VHOs since the corals he has doesn't need a lot of lighting. I know when he replaces them after a year it'll cost him about $180 compared to maybe a $100 for the VHOs or MH.
I had what is considered by the old watts per gallon to be more than sufficient light (9.5)with VHO. Even by keeping the corals at the top, SPS would grow, but the color wasnt what I wanted. VHO's put out alot of light, but the intensity is lacking. There is no way that NO can put out sufficient intensity for sps and clams to thrive. I just upgraded to MH today to get better color in sps.