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Low light no co2?
#1
Hey guys,

I've been having issues with BBA and diotom algae. So brown algae. Ever since I started my tank in may last year.
It hasnt been normal yet and I'm pretty much at the end of my patience with it..

I came across this part of an article on Tom Barrs forums:

How to calculate the light level:

Divide the total aquarium light wattage with the aquarium volume (gallons or litres) to get the light level per gallon/litre.

e.g. Lets say the aquarium is 48 gallons (180 litres) and has 2 x 30 watt fluorescent tubes.
2x30 watt = 60 watts in total over the aquarium
60 watts divided by 48 galls = 1.25 w/g, or
60 watts divided by 180 litres = 0.33 w/l
meaning this is a low-light set-up.

Now I am using a light that aparently has 44 Watts. This is a LED light ofc so i dont know if that is counted the same as fluorescent tubes.
My tank is netto about 150 liter. Following this previous calculation this means I have 44:150= 0.29 Watts per liter.

Not hard to see this is low light. And right now I dont have the budget for an extra light or changing it.

The intensity is set to 90% at the moment and the tank is not yet heavily planted. It will be cause ive got alot planted but its rooting in at the moment and needs to grow.

Another quote from the same article reads:

1. Lets say you have a very busy life; long working hours, studying, kids, etc... and don't have much time left for often aquarium water changes.

In this case, it is best to choose the Low-light Low-techplanted method, which needs only 5-6 water changes per year. For Low-tech tanks I dose nutrients once a week e.g. Tropica Plant Nutrition+ (read
plus) which contains NPK and traces 5ml per 50 litres. Even though plants can get most of the nutrients via soils we have to bear in mind that soils will become exhausted after approximately 6-12 month. To prevent this from happening it is beneficial to dose macro and micro nutrients via dry or liquid fertilisers once a week.

Now my question is..should I disable my co2 and lower the light intensity to 85% and make it a low light/low tech tank?

I dont want to give up the hobby but im getting desperate at this point Sad
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#2
How long are your lights on for? are you adding any ferts? Is your co2 bubble counter running at the correct speed and diffusing enough co2? What is your maintenance regime? Sorry for all the questions just trying to get a bigger picture Smile
I read an article a while back about lighting and algae, that stated that algae needs around 4hours of continous light for it to start to grow. It also explained how by breaking up lighting periods (using timers for example), in low/no light the plants give out co2 which they reabsorb when the lights come back on. This was for low tech tanks, which is how i run mine. I still however do weekly changes (worked roughly round my shifts).
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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#3
(11-01-2019, 10:07 PM)Gingerlove05 Wrote: How long are your lights on for? are you adding any ferts? Is your co2 bubble counter running at the correct speed and diffusing enough co2? What is your maintenance regime? Sorry for all the questions just trying to get a bigger picture Smile
I read an article a while back about lighting and algae, that stated that algae needs around 4hours of continous light for it to start to grow. It also explained how by breaking up lighting periods (using timers for example), in low/no light the plants give out co2 which  they reabsorb when the lights come back on. This was for low tech tanks, which is how i run mine. I still however do weekly changes (worked roughly round my shifts).

Hey,

No problem. I appreciate it.

My lights are on for 9 hours. 12:00 to 21:00.
I run my co2 at 108bpm which goes on at 11:00 and off at 20:00. I have two dropcheckers. One front right just above the sand and one top right in the back up high. Both are lime green. I also have mild surface agitation.

I do a 25÷ water change weekly and add ferts after this water change. I have a all in one fert that has all the nutrients. Right now im dosing the small dosis due to the low bioload at the moment.

I also cut away any dying leaves or ones with bba etc.

I also test my water parameters regularly and have been constantly in ideal levels.
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#4
It might be worth cutting back the lighting period and maybe breaking it up, normally we recommend starting around 6 hours and upping it to 8hours gradually once things have settled. Its all to do with balance and working out where that is Smile
Also i wouldnt reduce the nutrients as this tends to cause algae taking over as the plants dont have enough nutrients, but algae can thrive on much lower nutrient levels than plants.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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#5
(11-01-2019, 11:21 PM)Gingerlove05 Wrote: It might be worth cutting back the lighting period and maybe breaking it up, normally we recommend starting around 6 hours and upping it to 8hours gradually once things have settled. Its all to do with balance and working out where that is Smile
Also i wouldnt reduce the nutrients as this tends to cause algae taking over as the plants dont have enough nutrients, but algae can thrive on much lower nutrient levels than plants.

Alright! But then theres still my initial question about the lights being low light and keeping co2 on or not.

When I look around it seems most LEDs are around that Wattage amount. So now I'm confused how to calculate if I have low, medium or high light and also what percentage of intensity.

You mention breaking up the hours too. 6 would probably be too low as I have some plants that have been settled. Most havent after I redid the layout.

So all of this combined what does this mean?

- 8 hrs broken up how? 08:30 - 13:00/ 16:30 - 21:00 with a ramp on and off of 30 min?
Also what % intensity would you say with these 44 Watt LEDs?

-And should I turn off co2 during the time inbetween or keep it on to build a co2 buffer for when the lights go on again for the 2nd 4hrs?

- Or should I stop using co2 and go low tech or should I keep it on in regards to the light?

- The ferts have 2 dosing methods. 10ML per 100L per week with low amount of plants/no co2 and 45ML per 100L per week for alot of plants/with co2. So that would mean for me either 15ML or the 45ML. But this goes hand in hand with the light. What do you think?

Thanks for your help so far.
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#6
I would keep the co2 on, do as your doing (on hour before light, off hour before lights off), and if you decide to split the lighting period i would follow the co2 on an hour before etc. But i would bring it down from 9hours of light to see if it helps.
It might be worth trying a half dose of ferts to supply the plants, they might not take up as much nutrients with lower light, so this might help prevent there being an excess of nutrients allowing the alage to take over.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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#7
(12-01-2019, 12:19 PM)Gingerlove05 Wrote: I would keep the co2 on, do as your doing (on hour before light, off hour before lights off), and if you decide to split the lighting period i would follow the co2 on an hour before etc.  But i would bring it down from 9hours of light to see if it helps.
It might be worth trying a half dose of ferts to supply the plants, they might not take up as much nutrients with lower light, so this might help prevent there being an excess of nutrients allowing the alage to take over.

Oke, so dosing the lower dosis and keeping co2 on, check!. And the lights from 9 to 8 then? What about the intensity of it?
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#8
I would keep the intensity where it is, it probably wont benefit you lowering the intensity as this would lower the amount of light the plants would have available, but i would reduce it to 8 hours or less to see if that helps.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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#9
I only have my lights on for 6 hours (3pm to 9pm) on timers, 12 sounds a lot to me. I still get diatoms though, I think my tap water is full of it and its very difficult to erradicate fully.
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