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Discussion Starter #1
I have this big window overlooking a site I want to put an aquarium with a lot of plants.Will natural sunlight be enough for plants, it would be natural timing so i suppose I would'nt need much light equipment... What do you think?
 

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At the very least it would be a great experiment that I for one would be very interested in hearing and seeing the results of the plant growth therein.

I imagine the plants might grow their "best sides" towards the light. Maybe passers-by would get a great view. You'd become known as "that house with the great tank" :)

Andrew Cribb
 

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I would think you will still need to use light fixture with plant bulbs also. I don't think the plants will get enough exposure to direct sunlight and the intensity will be decreased coming through the glass. Also haveing direct sunlight hitting your tank can cause algae issues.
 

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I would also be very interested in the results of such an experiment.

I wonder if the concept of direct sunlight causing algae is just a myth that has been ingrained in us so we don't doubt it at all anymore :???:

Every book on aquariums sternly tells you to set up aquariums away from direct sunlight... so that's what I've always done. What if it's not really the case? :-s

You never know, it could be a similar "truth" to the one stating that Phosphates cause algae...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was planning on havinga lot of algae eaters (som otos, amanos etc) and have a lot of plants that only need low-medium light to begin with and see how that turens out. Ill try it, if it doesnt work ill get a flourescent. :)
 

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Like any tank, I have to assume that with a bit of work and effort, the right balance of nutrients etc could be found to make natural light tanks possible, but if the source is a window, it would obviously result in an abbreviated photo period that would be too short. I would also think that it would be better to find a way to diffuse the light as opposed to a sun bean shining directly in the tank as long as you can still get good intensity for a sufficient period. Perhaps it would be better to try and pull it off in a sun room or similar.

I did have a 40 gallon on my back porch for awhile last summer, it just ended up there and I had a habit of throwing trimmings in it while looking for a home for them and they did grow and algae really wasn't a problem, but over the long haul it's going to be a bit more complicated I would think.
 

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Laith said:
I would also be very interested in the results of such an experiment.

I wonder if the concept of direct sunlight causing algae is just a myth that has been ingrained in us so we don't doubt it at all anymore :???:

Every book on aquariums sternly tells you to set up aquariums away from direct sunlight... so that's what I've always done. What if it's not really the case? :-s

You never know, it could be a similar "truth" to the one stating that Phosphates cause algae...
This would definitely be an interesting experiment! Aquarium books/online sources also recommend that you use carbon, zeolite, etc, etc to remove ammonia and such from our aquariums. There is also the recommendation to "cycle" the tank before adding fish. Planted folks do neither of the above so maybe you can be the one to prove the myth wrong!

I would, however, use an alternative source of light along with the sunlight for those cloudy days. We've had 4-5 straight days of cloudiness here and that may cause lack of light issues.
 

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I have a tank that in the summer months receives direct sunlight to about a quarter of it. Where the sun hits it grows algae like crazy. It looks like someone taped off a section of the sand and painted it green. The fish that I have in there love it and clear out about 75% of it. The next day it grows back. However this is not a planted tank because the fish also love to eat plants. I am tempted to move some fish around so that I can plant to see what happens.
 

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Definitely possible! I used to work at a LFS and we had a 180 in the front window. The tank had huge Ozelot and Red Rubin swords some Nymphaea, and Hygrophila polysperma. It was a pretty ugly tank, the plants were just plopped in. No alge problems when I worked there, plus the way the tank is situated in the store, it would be nearly impossble to scrub the glass. Five years later, the tank is still there, Hygro is gone more swords and Crinum, AND NO ALGAE. Come to think of it I don't even think we ever did a water change, just topped it off.
 

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think the biggest concern might be the tank overheating due to the direct light if it gets hot in your area. something to look into since chillers seem to be real pricey.
 
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