Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank - Lighting - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-10-2020, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

Has anyone experimented with the LED configuration on a 36 inch Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light for a 30 gal long tank in particular? I've been experimenting with the settings for the past 1 year and am yet to achieve optimal combinations.

Tank size: 30 long (36x12x16.75)
Plants: amazon sword, java fern, anubias, duck weed
Fish: neon tera, von rio flame terta, julie corydora, otocinclus
Light: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 VL-CRV36 (36 inch long)
CO2 injection: none, but 1 ml/day of NilocG Enhance (glutaraldehyde - algaecide) is used.
Fertilizers: Thrive capsules for the amazon swords + PPS Pro DYI macro (1ml/day) and micro (0.5 ml/day) with 30% weekly water change.
Substrate: white sand

The Finnex 24/7 is evidently too much for my low-tech tank. My tank has been established for 6 years and I upgraded my old T8 fluorescent Hagen Power-Glo light to the Finnex LED 1 year ago. That's when all the algae and slime problem began. Green algae, brown algae, black beard algae, everywhere in the tank. Never had these with the T8 light. After 15 months of adjustments, the BBA is now almost gone but some green algae still forms in the upper half of the top of the tank (on driftwood and on leaves that reach the upper half of the tank) and brown algae still forms at the bottom (on the glass walls as well as driftwood and stones in the bottom parts of the tank). The sand substrate also has a thin, slimy, top layer of gunk and sand combined. This never existed with the T8 light.

LED Light intensity setting evolution:
Month 1: W-100%, R-100%, G-50%, B-50% - instant algae, java ferns struggled with high light.
Month 2: W-70%, R-70%, G-70%, B-70% - all algae still thriving. Fish and plants struggling.
Month 4: W-60%, R-60%, G-60%, B-60% - all algae still thriving.
Month 6: W-50%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA reduced, green & brown algae still thrive.
Month 10:W-40%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA reduced further, green & brown slightly reduced.
Month 13:W-30%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA almost gone, green & brown remain in reduced amounts but still need weekly wiping. Slime layer on sand substrate still forms. Java ferns not dying. Anubias and swords thriving.
Month 15: present - suggestions please?

Finnex 24/7 applies gradient intensity for every 3 hr cycle. I wanted to have one photo period in the morning and one in the evening when I'm home. All the above settings were set for 9 am and 6 pm only. All other set points on the remote (12 pm, 3 pm, 9 pm, 12 am, 3 am & 6 am) were blacked out (0% for all). So even with this configuration, there is a total of 12 hrs of light/day with varying intensity, since Finnex starts the gradual ramp up 3 hours before the set point and the ramp down for 3 hrs after the set point. For example, for the 9 am setting in month 13, the white (W) LEDs will start from 0% intensity at 6 am and slowly ramp up to 30% by 9 am, and then slowly start ramping back down from 9:01 am and reach 0% again by 12 pm.

While the algae problem is considerably down now, it still is nowhere close to how fine things were with the T8 fluorescent light. Maybe reduce the R% further and increase G% a bit? Any other combination of RGB and W? After more than a year of trying, I'm thinking of just going back to the T8 light at this point. My fish were happier too before. All my cories have lost their barbels since I switched to LED light and the algae & slime problem started. They are still alive and eating, but I don't think they're thriving. On that note, I started using Enhance (glutaraldehyde) only after the algae problem with LED started. Could this be another cause for loss of barbels?

If you have any recommendations for further customizing the light settings and/or changing anything else in how the tank is being run, kindly let me know. Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2020, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

I think you very likely have so much light intensity that the plants have to have injected CO2 to be able to grow in a healthy way. Glut is possibly better than nothing, but it is not a good substitute for CO2. There are two "easy" fixes: one is to raise the light about 6 inches higher above the top of the tank, and the other is to put a layer of gray fiberglass window screen between the light and the tank - like right on top of the tank. Also, if you have a PAR meter you can adjust the light down to about half the intensity it is now.
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

I have the "old" versions of different Finnex fixtures over Walstad tanks. These are the simple on/off type. Based on my experience, a Planted Plus over a 16.5" tall tank would be too much --it is almost too much over my 21" tall 75g tank. I have to run two relatively short photoperiods (4 hours) with a long siesta on that tank or it is Algae Empire.
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Old 12-19-2020, 07:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

Thank you Hoppy and Michael for your insights. I will try the grey fiber glass screen and/or reduce the intensities a bit further. I'm also thinking of reducing/simplifying the PPS fert dosing which isn't really needed for this low-tech tank with low-light plants, based on advice from Momchil from Aquanswers.
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Old 12-19-2020, 07:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

I have this for my 75G.
I have a glass cover as well and it does reduce the PAR/ intensity of the light. At full blast, I'm getting 45 PAR at the substrate, that's about 18 inches down. I guess that's low to medium lighting.

Once BBA takes hold, it's there forever . It doesn't matter what light intensity you give it.
You can only clean, scrub, it out of your tank. You might want a cleaning crew to help with the algae, shrimps, snails, fish. Mollies have been know to chew on BBA. Snails will take care of any brown algae.
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Old 12-21-2020, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

I have an LED fixture on my 29. It would produces far too much light for my Walstad-type tank, but I plug it into a rheostat (dimmer) dialed down to 60% or 70%, and it works fine.

Would this work for all LED's? Would the 24/7 feature get in it's way?

Bill
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

Mistergreen: you're right, I am coming to terms with that fact now. Once BBA takes hold, it's there forever in some percentage or other

Aquabillpers: that's a great idea using a dimmer. Good question, I am not sure if the 24/7 would get in the way of an external rheostat, it probably might. Maybe someone who has tried it out can chip in before I purchase one.
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

I agree on the potential 24/7 conflict. I'm considering a "plain" Finnex 30 inch fixture but no where, so far, can I find if it will work with a dimmer.

I could try asking Home Depot! They know just about everything. <g>
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

There is more than one type of dimmer for lights. The right kind of dimmer will possibly work with a LED light, but if it is one that lowers the voltage applied to the light, I don't think it will work. You can get inexpensive dimmers for LED lights on Amazon and Ebay. I use one on my DIY LED light.
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light configuration for low-tech 30 gal tank

Last week I asked Finnex if the Stingray line would work with a dimmer. Thus far I've received two form emails but no answer to my question.

I also wen to a local big box store. I told the sales person what I wanted - a plain vanilla device that would work with a LED aquarium fixture. He showed me a dimmer that on its package proclaimed "Works with incandescent, fluorescent, and LED lights." The price was right - three for $20.

But the sales person, echoing Hoppy, warned that I should check with the fixture manufacturer; "The package doesn't say "All".

Finnex has the ball.

Bill
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