Too much light?!
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Too much light?!

This is a discussion on Too much light?! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I've been having an on going algae problem in my 10 gallon despite it having quite a few plants in it (3 java fern ...

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
 
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Too much light?!

I've been having an on going algae problem in my 10 gallon despite it having quite a few plants in it (3 java fern and two bunches of rotala indica). Since setting up my 29 gallon and realizing it only has one 17 watt flourescant tube, I'm suspecting the small tank having two 10 watt CFLs may be the problem. If I go to just one, half the tank is not lit so those plants wouldn't get much light and the tank looks odd. Any other thoughts? Are the standard 10 watt incandescants any good for the plants? I know they have much less light output than the CFLs.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
 
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The intensity should not be too much, but the duration may be, and you haven't mentioned that. Java Fern is slow growing so it does not need much light, but if your Rotala indica is doing well I would not reduce the intensity.

I would stay with two CFL 10w daylight 6500K bulbs, I have this over my 10g. If you have a different spectrum, that might be part of the problem. The Daylight 6500K CFL's work very well over planted tanks.

Floating plants often help with algae control, and they also benefit other ways. In a 10g something like Brazilian Pennywort I find works very well, you can keep it controlled better than larger-growing plants like Water Sprite; just one of these would easily spread over the entire surface in no time.

On duration, not knowing what it is now, I would say no more than 8 hours daily. I can expand on this when I know the present duration. Also, what type of algae?

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Old 01-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
 
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I have both this tank and my cichlid tank on the same timer set for 10 hours and the bulbs are marked as full spectrum. An email to the company got the reply that they were 5000K. The algae I'm getting is a very dark (almost black) algae on the fern leaves and a bright green, stringy algae in the corners of the glass. The ferns are constantly shooting off new leaves and roots and the rotala is developing a lot of new growth at the base of the plants while the tops are looking a little brown.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russp View Post
I have both this tank and my cichlid tank on the same timer set for 10 hours and the bulbs are marked as full spectrum. An email to the company got the reply that they were 5000K. The algae I'm getting is a very dark (almost black) algae on the fern leaves and a bright green, stringy algae in the corners of the glass. The ferns are constantly shooting off new leaves and roots and the rotala is developing a lot of new growth at the base of the plants while the tops are looking a little brown.
The black algae on the fern leaves is likely brush algae. This often appears on Java Fern and Anubias if the light is too intense. The very slow-growing leaves attract this algae in light. Some shading with floating plants would help. And I would reduce the duration. Perhaps a second timer for this tank if the other is doing well with the 10 hours.

The "warmer" spectrum of your CFL's should be fine for the Rotala, so I wouldn't mess with that. It is possible the reduction may affect this plant, but you can always change it back. By the way, is any liquid fertilizer being used? This would help the plants use the light more and algae would be less able to increase.

The light reduction (duration) should solve the stringy algae (perhaps hair, or staghorn...) also. It may take some fiddling, you have a higher light and a much lower light requirement plants together, and in a small space it is not always easy to accommodate both.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
 
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The cichlid tank has some amazon swords, wisteria and a couple java ferns and absolutely no algae. All the plants are doing well so I may try cutting back the timer to both tanks and see what happens. I haven't been running any fertilizer. The one time I did a few years back, the algae went crazy so I've stayed away from it ever since. Would the wisteria from the cichlid tank grow as a floater in the smaller tropical tank?

I see your from Vancouver, my favorite place on earth. I've been there a number of times and took the wife there for our honeymoon; she fell in love with it also. There is even a 40" wide panoramic phote of the Vancuver shoreline at night over my cichlid tank.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by russp View Post
The cichlid tank has some amazon swords, wisteria and a couple java ferns and absolutely no algae. All the plants are doing well so I may try cutting back the timer to both tanks and see what happens. I haven't been running any fertilizer. The one time I did a few years back, the algae went crazy so I've stayed away from it ever since. Would the wisteria from the cichlid tank grow as a floater in the smaller tropical tank?

I see your from Vancouver, my favorite place on earth. I've been there a number of times and took the wife there for our honeymoon; she fell in love with it also. There is even a 40" wide panoramic phote of the Vancuver shoreline at night over my cichlid tank.
I moved here 26 years ago, deliberately. It is a beautiful city. I remember then-President Clinton when he was here for the summit with President Yeltsin in 1993 or thereabouts, saying that he could never have imagined such a beautiful city, and he would be back. And he has been.

Wisteria will grow floating. I have no luck with this plant, my light is not sufficient. Wisteria should be good at keeping algae at bay because it grows fast and thus assimilates nutrients and uses the light.

If the plants are doing well, don't worry about fertilizer. Some tanks need these, some don't. Nutrients come from the fish food (directly or from organics) and tap water. If the plants are getting what they need naturally, fine.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
 
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Let's see what happens. I dropped the lighting time down and added a few stems of wisteria from the cichlid tank to the 10 gallon tropical. As fast as it grows in the cichlid tank, it should form a canopy in the 10 gallon pretty quick and I can add more if needed. Thanks.
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