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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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I have read through this thread again and it does seem that reducing the lighting period (a "noon burst" may also be considered a light reduction depending on the application) may be the best effort to reducing algae. A lot of folks with high light tanks (myself included), seem to have some issues with algae in their tanks.

I think the majority of issues are CO2 related since fertilizing has been covered pretty much by the EI and PPS methods so fertilizer deficiencies should not be much an issue any longer. Some folks just just can't seem to get enough CO2 into their tanks regardless of their methods and reducing the light intensity/duration will help with CO2 levels.

I have combatted both Green Dust and Diatoms successfully by reducing my photoperiod and intensity of lights. I think the one things we may have overlooked (or not mentioned) thus far in this discussion is determining and or applying the Watts Per Gallon rule.

Wasn't the WPG rule created a long time ago when T-12 lamps were our only source of lighting for planted tanks other than incandescent bulbs? T-8 lights have now replaced T-12 lamps in most commercial strip light fixtures today. T-8 lamps give us more intensity per watt when compared to T-12 lamps. How much do we decrease the original wpg rule for the greater intensity of T-8 lamps?

Compact Flourescent lights are a big step up from the T-8 lamps in intensity per watt yet people still use 3+ watts per gallon with these more intense sources of light. Do we need to decrease the WPG rule more to take this more intense light source into consideration? How much more intense are PC lamps..are they double the intensity of T-12 lamps?

I believe the linear T-5 lamps are an even greater increase in intensity over the compact flourescent lamps since they have less restrike and possibly even better reflectors. Should the WPG rule be decreased even more for linear T-5 lamps and if so, by how much?

One of the SWOAPE members, rwoehr, is growing a nice variety of plants in his 75g tank with 108 watts of T-5 lights. I don't think I would try to grow those plants with 120w of T-12 lighting over a 75g tank ;)

I realize the WPG rule was originally devised to make it easier on new hobbyists to select lighting for their tanks but again, it was created with the inefficient (by today's standards anyway) T-12 lamps.

We used to believe PO4 caused algae and a lot of folks now keep their tanks at 2ppm or better. It is now commonly believed that increasing PO4 levels actually reduces Green Spot algae. I really think when dealing with lighting and the WPG rule we need to revise it for todays higher intensity more efficient lamps. The fertilization methods have changed greatly since the WPG rule was developed why not revisit the WPG rule also?
 

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This is really complicated. Lots of different types of algae out there. Lots of different water conditions and plants. My guess is that bright light with plants that can take advantage of it will help control algae. Do this with plants that can't fully take advantage of this and algae may gain the upper hand.

Wasn't the WPG rule created a long time ago when T-12 lamps were our only source of lighting for planted tanks other than incandescent bulbs? T-8 lights have now replaced T-12 lamps in most commercial strip light fixtures today. T-8 lamps give us more intensity per watt when compared to T-12 lamps. How much do we decrease the original wpg rule for the greater intensity of T-8 lamps?
This is my personal crusade on this forum. :) :) :)
Repeat after me, three times: "WPG is an estimate, not a rule."

My rough calculation is that WPG is +/- 50 percent considering tube technology (efficiency), tube spectrum, and reflector.

Compact Flourescent lights are a big step up from the T-8 lamps in intensity per watt yet people still use 3+ watts per gallon with these more intense sources of light.
My 2nd personal crusade on this forum is that Compact fluorescent lights only make sense for tanks less than 24 inches wide. Linear tubes, whether T8, T5, or T5 HO make much more sense for tanks wider the 24 inches wide. This is due to three factors.

Factor one is that power compact tubes are bent in a way that sends light back into the tube. This means that reflectors are basically crippled with these lights.

Factor two is that the ends of fuorescent tubes don't produce as much light, so really short tubes don't produce as much light. So this technology is appropriate where you would have to use a really short tube because of limitation of physical space.

Factor three is that aquariums tend to be rectangular. Therefore, it seems totally insane to me to have 48 inch compact flourescent fixtures when T5 HO produces a little bit more light per watt than compact flourcent lamps and can have much better reflectors. T5 HO also work better warm and don't need (the wasted energy for) a fan when the fixture is designed properly.

Do we need to decrease the WPG rule more to take this more intense light source into consideration? How much more intense are PC lamps..are they double the intensity of T-12 lamps?
...
Should the WPG rule be decreased even more for linear T-5 lamps and if so, by how much?
Yes, there are some tables online for this. You will probably like this http://woo.gotdns.com/Aquarium/CalcLight.php?Width=18&Length=48

What makes more sense to me is to come up with a scheme to modify lumen/lux watt meters. Need to fliter out the UV and infared to get something close to PAR, then notch out the green. $100 for the light meter, $100 for the filter is my gut guess. May only make sense for photographers who have other uses for the filters and meter.

I believe the linear T-5 lamps are an even greater increase in intensity over the compact flourescent lamps since they have less restrike and possibly even better reflectors.
In order of efficiency of lumens/watt:
T5
T8
T5 HO
Power Compact *
T10
T12
T12 VHO
* I have a spiral twist hydrobulb that claims to be better than metal halide, but provides no proof for this on the bulb package :)

The fertilization methods have changed greatly since the WPG rule was developed why not revisit the WPG rule also?
Repeat after me... :) :) :)

With the greatest respect, but can't help being fanatical when people want to use rough estimates as absolute rules.
 

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I tried dosing, I tried presurized CO2. I didn't see much of a change in algae growth. I cut back my lighting period from 10hrs/day to 8hrs/day my algae growth slowed noticibly. My 2500G tank will be low tech with 4x 1000w MHs. I will start with 4 hrs per light per day. I'll run 4x 96w CF's about 8 hrs/day. 2 13w CF's will run 12hrs/day. 10 lunar lights will run when the 13w's turn off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Is it true T5's have a lower life span than T8's?
Somehing about less gas.
This is the first time I've heard this. T5s, as far as I know, have a *longer* usable lifespan than T8s...

So far I've been running T5s on planted tanks for just about two years without changing them and still have yet to see a problem. ;)
 

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In order of efficiency of lumens/watt:
T5
T8
T5 HO
Power Compact *
T10
T12
T12 VHO
* I have a spiral twist hydrobulb that claims to be better than metal halide, but provides no proof for this on the bulb package :)
What is the difference between T5 and HO T5, and why is "non-HO" T5 more efficient? I thought HO T5 i.e. linear 5/8" dia. 24w, 39w, 54w, 80w were the most efficient...
 

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Hi, I have been reading on here for HOURS as I have an algae problem.

There has been no mention yet of different light temperatures affecting algae. I am suspicious of one of my two Arcadia t8 bulbs, it emits a rather red light.

Any more light temperature thoughts??
 

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Some people think that some color temperature bulbs encourage algae more than plants, but I haven't seen any test results that show that to be true. Light intensity and duration seem to be the primary parameters that determine whether the light will encourage algae.
 

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hmmm so is that website saying (or calculating) T5HO lights the same as PC? I am trying to 'guesstimate" what 48watts of T5HO would be over my 20H...medium high? I know its just an estimate.
 

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...Light intensity and duration seem to be the primary parameters that determine whether the light will encourage algae...
I agree and in my experience based on my experimentation with different tank setups, I would dare say the "biggest" parameter, even though not the only one by any means.
 

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In order of efficiency of lumens/watt:
T5
T8
T5 HO
Power Compact *
T10
T12
T12 VHO
* I have a spiral twist hydrobulb that claims to be better than metal halide, but provides no proof for this on the bulb package :)
Do you have a link you can post that shows how this data was arrived at?

Thanks,
Steve
 

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This is the first time I've heard this. T5s, as far as I know, have a *longer* usable lifespan than T8s...

So far I've been running T5s on planted tanks for just about two years without changing them and still have yet to see a problem. ;)
I can't agree, bulbs will decline it's spectrum around 1/2 ~ 1 year, the bulb is still working doesn't means it wroks the right spectrum range for plants, I'll suggest to change bulbs every year even for our human eyes can't tell the difference.

Just my 2 cents. :mrgreen:
 

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Hi,
I am relatively a very new member but have been visiting this site very often. My aquarium has all the algae you can think of and also all other which you cant think of. I wonder how come my aquarium can home so many kinds of algae.
The water parameter seems fine to me. ph 6.7, GH 3deg, NO3 10 mg/l, NO2 negligible and water temp of 26-27 deg celcius.
The tank is approx 95 gallons and i am using two MH 150 watts each switched on for 5 hrs and there after two 18 watts osram fluora. for next 6 hours. I am using pressuried co2. The plants are growing very well but even better the algae.so far i have noticed black beard algae, green spot algae, dust algae, thread algae. theres another algae some what blk brown in colour and appears as small algae balls stuck to my gravel.
before i bought these MH i did my required reiki and came across with MH with ceremic techology and found their spectrum good enough for consideration. the spectrum were peaking in red and blue, 4200 k, 14000 lumens and cri of 95.
I am following estimative index for fertilisation which involves khpo4,kno3 and microsol-b.
Any one who can render some advise.
regards
Tarun Jawa
 

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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?
watts per gallon isnt a truly accurate way to mearusre lighting at all. 110 watts with a good reflector or separate relfectors for hte bulbs is a whole different animal then 110 watts with a poor relflector. I think this is where people are giving advice without know what the deal is. And pressurized co2 makes a world of difference. moderate lighting with press co2 will grow almost anything, just more slowly. However high lighting plus excel or diy co2 will almost always cause algae disaster or take up all your time mixing yeast bottles. 2 watts per gallon of pc light with AH supply lighting + press co2 will def grow almost anything and fairly well.
 
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