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We've been talking about slowing the growth in a high light tank by charging the tank with intense light for the middle of the day. What about using intense lighting for the first 3 weeks to fill in the tank, and then dropping down to 1-2 watts to enjoy the aquascape that has been created?

I would think that once you dropped the light that the plants would not look as good, but I don't have to much experience with low light setups. I've only noticed in my high light tanks that when leaves get overshadowed, they are no longer vibrant.
 

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Starting a tank with a lot of light and high CO2 is not a guaranteed success. The same goes for low light and high CO2. As far as maintenance is concerned there is no question - lower light is easier. A thing to note here is that according to Edward at least some higher light plants do well if the nutrients are balanced - he grows Rotala walichii under 0.9 wpg if I'm not mistaken.

I've tried both aprroaches and both required close attention the first few weeks. Here's my logic - if something is out of ballance it's the algae that will reproduce faster, not the plants :)

Oliver practices careful regulation of the light in the first stages. I tried that - reducing the lighting time to 6 hours and gradually increasing it to 11. It worked well, no algae problems (except diatoms but they are very much normal in the beginning, especially if no otos are used). Still that is only 1 tank I'm talking about.

To me personally one can really get a grip on the tank from day 1 using very high light if the nutrients are in balance.

--Nikolay
 

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niko said:
Starting a tank with a lot of light and high CO2 is not a guaranteed success. The same goes for low light and high CO2. As far as maintenance is concerned there is no question - lower light is easier. A thing to note here is that according to Edward at least some higher light plants do well if the nutrients are balanced - he grows Rotala walichii under 0.9 wpg if I'm not mistaken.

I've tried both aprroaches and both required close attention the first few weeks. Here's my logic - if something is out of ballance it's the algae that will reproduce faster, not the plants :)

Oliver practices careful regulation of the light in the first stages. I tried that - reducing the lighting time to 6 hours and gradually increasing it to 11. It worked well, no algae problems (except diatoms but they are very much normal in the beginning, especially if no otos are used). Still that is only 1 tank I'm talking about.

To me personally one can really get a grip on the tank from day 1 using very high light if the nutrients are in balance.

--Nikolay
I typically will use less light in the beginning, there's less plants, less overshadowing, less chance of algaem, much more wiggle room, etc.

If you add peat and mulm to the gravel before set up, then you will not have any break in peroid provided you use quality plants to stock the tank and fill the tank well.

High CO2 and low light afford the best long term tank since it slows the growth down and allows a number of different methods to supply the CO2/nutrients to the plants.

The next step in slowing things down beside lighting(the best IME/IMO)

CO2,
Then PO4(but not absent, just limited.

It should be noted Both of these other methods also use less light to achieve these results more effectively

So less light is the best general answer.

Low light non CO2 tanks are great, some of the easiest tanks to keep and you can grow about any plants at 1.5-2 w/gal

More ain't always better.

Back to the issue though:

You can replace faster growing plants with slower growers, remove plants, add rocks, or wood etc.

So that will lighten the work load.
Amano used fair easy plants and only 1/3 or less was planted in the rear, that makes it much easier to maintain and also holds the design togetrher over the long very well.

Easy to maintain that type of foreground and present itself well for a fish person also(not a jungle with all the fish hiding).

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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How about a period of high light early in the photoperiod? Could high light early drive photsynthetic reactions throughout the day by reaching a threshold?
 

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You can try it, see what you think.
I tend to doubt it makes a huge issue.
I'd rather do it in the middle, gives the plants a chance to get going and chugging along.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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