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What lighting changes will have a positive impact on the reduction of algae?

  • Reduce lighting period

    Votes: 119 32.1%
  • Reduce lighting intensity

    Votes: 45 12.1%
  • Reduce lighting period and intensity

    Votes: 83 22.4%
  • Program a "noon" burst of light (ie 3hrs 1.5wpg, 4hrs 3wpg, 3hrs 1.5wpg)

    Votes: 36 9.7%
  • Program a lights off "siesta" (ie lights on 5hrs, off for 5hrs, on for 5hrs)

    Votes: 33 8.9%
  • Change the spectrum/color temperature of lights

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • I don't know: I never have algae! ;-)

    Votes: 31 8.4%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious to know what people think...

Given that all your other plant nutrients (including CO2) are available to your plants in adequate (or more than adequate) amounts for your level of lighting, what lighting changes will have a positive impact on the reduction of algae?

Assume that you have let's say 3-4wpg.
 

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To me the control of nutrients in the water is the ultimate approach in algae control.

But I chooze the "noon light burst" as most efficient if we talk about the light.

--Nikolay
 

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The answer would be Reduce lighting period.
In my sunroom some aquariums are receiving strong direct sunlight. Interestingly, only the aquariums with additional artificial lighting increasing the lighting period are developing GW green water.

Extra long lighting periods makes plants weak and less resistant to algae. The old saying that plants need sleep time is true.

Edward
 

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False premise? Lighting, nutrients (including bioavailable carbon), and plant mass must all balance. Changing one requires sampensating changes in the others.
 

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I voted for reduction of lighting period and intensity. But I also agree with RTR, change one aspect you have to change another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can understand the comments re balance.

However, are your tanks *that* delicately balanced that a "fine tuning" of the lights will throw everything off? I don't think so. If so, then you're constantly walking a tightrope and that can't be too much fun!;)

Remember, I'm talking about fine tuning here; not massive changes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RTR said:
That is exactly why I quit running high light fast growth tanks. I had more algae issues. Lower and slower has a wider safety zone.
I couldn't agree with you more!:D But many people are still convinced that high light plants means that they need 5+wpg. At that high of lighting if you fall behind on ferts it's an algae disaster waiting to happen. That is definitely a tight rope...

I still hear comments about how 2 to 2.5wpg will only let you grow low to medium light plants.

More opinions please! 82 views and 8 votes? [smilie=t: ... speak up!
 

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I've said this before, but I grew some of my nicest Rotala macrandra and Pogostemon stellatus with 136 of T-8 (96w, 9325K) and T-12 (40w, 5500K? Nutrigrow) lighting. I did have pressurized CO2 which was a big help. Algae was practically non existent and P. stellatus rarely if ever stunted. The plants grew much slower with that amount of light, but so did the algae.

Why is it that such high light levels are recommended and do we really need it for most plants?
 

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Well, because I'm American and I love stem plants and I like to grow them fast and "have it now" as they say, my vote was for the noon burst method. I find that simulating a real daylight period works well for keeping algae at bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've recently been experimenting with the noon burst on a tank. Too soon to really tell the impact (only three weeks so far) but I've noticed quite a bit less buildup on the glass. Used to have to clean the glass once a week but now could probably go two weeks without.

The stem plants grow at a more manageable rate too...

I have 2x 39w on for 8hrs and 4x 39w on for 5hrs (the noon burst). So 2x 39 on for 1.5hrs, 4x 39 on for 5hrs and 2x 39 on for 1.5hrs.

There is an excellent set of discussions on light, noon burst and nutrient uptake that I ran into a while ago. Here are some comments by PJAN, who is a plant physiologist based in Holland (and has some beautiful tanks by the way):

(Post 91):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19984&page=7&pp=15&highlight=light

And again:

(Post 109):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19984&page=8&pp=15&highlight=light

Further along in the thread are some replies by Tom Barr.

Very interesting reading!
 

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Edward said:
Grandmasterofpool,
Have you tried the noon burst method and what Wpg have you used?

Thank you
Edward
Yes, I have but it's more of a midday burst as I use an 8 hour period.

I built a custom pendant for my 75 gallon tank using a retrofit 2 x 175 watt MH kit from Cool Touch Lighting. I then added a 48" T5 HO bulb on either side of the two MH bulbs. The bulbs used are Ushio 175 watt 10,000Ks and Aqua Medic Planta T5s.

I turn the T5HOs on for 12 hours a day and the MH comes on for 8 hours in between that for a total of 460 watts. No, I do not recommend this setup for a beginner. :) I have to be very diligent about fertilizing or things get out of whack fast.
 

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plantbrain said:
Plants do not need that much and algae does do better as higher and higher light intensities are present.
Tom Barr
The 6 Wpg PC aquariums with daily PPS dosing and UV look impressive. It's worth the trouble.

Edward
 

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I've been on both sides--low light and high light. Light is a critical factor in algae issues. High light can create some spiffy plants. I would recommend it for smaller stem plant tanks. Low light can still create nice plants, if you've got the time. I maintained a heavily planted 100g tank for over 2 years with very low light (1.6w NO). Best algae free tank I've ever had; by far the easiest tank to care for by far--moreso than a 20g high light tank.

Overall observations I've made: You need only enough light to grow what you are trying to grow. Adequate light spread is more important than sheer intensity alone. Also, the bigger the tank, the bigger the headache of high light systems. Algae in a 100g? There goes your Sunday.

So I will vote for a reduction in lighting intensity. 10 hours per day at one intensity will provide the best results. I'm trying the "sunburst" method now to see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, out of 26 votes so far, 8 votes, or 31%, voted the noon burst of light, followed by 7 votes, or 27%, for reduction of light period. Next comes 6 votes for reduction of light period and intensity.

Interesting that the most votes so far go for the noon burst of light; I didn't realize that so many people were using this method. I'm trying it out and so far I like it. I might even reduce the noon burst further.

More votes/opinions welcome!

And I still want to hear the magic recipe of the person who never has algae! :D
 
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