09-24-2009, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tsweers89
Thank you. that is the exact one they have at my local LFS except my LFS wants $45 more. maybe i can get them to price match. Also they said this one has a built in timer in it since it doesnt include a switch. About how long should i leave my lights on?
The timer would be a nice feature. The duration of light depends upon the available nutrients (has to balance) and the type of plants. You want the plants to use the nutrients and light while its on, so algae won't. If there is more light than nutrients, algae will take advantage.
Nutrients includes macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The last comes from the fish and some from the biological processes in the aquarium, but mostly its the fish. The more fish, the more CO2. The light should be the limiting factor, not CO2, because algae is better able to obtain carbon from carbonates than higher plants. If the CO2 is the limiting factor, the plants will stop photosynthesizing (growing) regardless of the light continuing; same goes for fertilizer nutrients.
If you are thinking along the lines of my setups, 10-12 hours a day will be enough, provided you fertilize with the Flourish Comprehensive (or similar comlete fert). Mine are on 12 hours and algae is not much of a problem (there is some, its natural, but not excessive) but I have a lot of fish in my aquaria which provides the CO2 and I fertilize twice a week.