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This is a discussion on Cleaning Plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by walt Let me provide a bit more information. I have two 55 watt compact flourescent lights; one side is 8000K full ...

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by walt View Post
Let me provide a bit more information. I have two 55 watt compact flourescent lights; one side is 8000K full spectrum and the other is 6700K. I have been experimenting with lights and am leaning towards standardizing on the 8000K as it makes the water look clearer. I do not have any CO2 injection. API Leaf Zone has been my fert of choice but have been considering a change to Seachem Comprehensive. In addtionn a few months back I added some fert pellets under some of the plants.

The aquarium has been set up and running for about 1 year and algae on the rocks and plants have been a continual problem over the past 6 months since the lighting upgrade. The aquarium is fairly well understocked right now as I have been slowly bringing the PH down with additions of RO water. When I get the level to about 7.6-7.8 I will add more fish (I started at about 8.5). I do a 15-20 % water change weekly and my test today indicated zero nitrates, nitrites and amonia.

Thanks for all the great information so far.

Walt
I suggested changes for the light previously, so won't repeat that but it still holds. On the spectrum, I would advise not going to 8000K totally, as this is high blue but little if any red. As with the blue actinic light, plants do not respond well to this, according to those authors I've read; I've not personally experimented because I can understand the issue and see no reason to mess with my plants just to prove the point.

As mentioned earlier, the algae is due to the intensity of light, not the type. Algae will use any light to advantage, whereas plants are a bit more selective in their needs. This is why I always recommend the blue/red balance, and trial and error by many have proven this out. In a planted tank that is in balance there should never be an issue with algae; by this I mean a "problem," as algae is always present and natural, but not to the point of over-running the aquarium. Algae also seems to have an advantage in more alkaline water as you have so the point here is not to encourage it further with intense light beyond what the plants and fish require.

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by stephanieleah View Post
How to get lower wattage and higher kelvins? (this matters, right?).

I still can't find the tube kind you have. i looked on lowe's, too. I'll check again.
Agree with Angel's response to the previous post. These bulbs come in various wattage, and remember that as they are compact fluorescent they are more intense that the same wattage in ordinary incadescent bulbs. I believe the 13 watt bulb equals a 40 watt incadescent, or something like that, so with two of the small wattages you'll be OK.

As for spectrum, 5000K is workable, the mid-day sun is around 5500K. A 6500K gives a bit more blue which I like visually, and with fluorescent tubes prefer (the 5000K is a bit "warm" for my taste) but you should be OK with bulbs in the 5000-7000K range, just less wattage. But these CF bulbs come in sifferent "colours" like warm white (what you basically have), cool white and natural daylight or similarly-named.

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Old 01-03-2010, 09:00 AM   #13
 
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Most--not all, but most--aquatic plants will grow very well in approximately one watt of full spectrum/cool blue light per gallon. This assumes regular fluorescent, T8 or the former T12, not T5 HO which is much more intense and therefore less "wattage" is comparable. I have used slightly under one watt per gallon for more than 20 years, and the photos of the plants in my aquaria illustrate their active growth and health.
OK so I believe this thread is part of what I need to correct in my tank as well. My 32g uses 2x T8 tubes at 20W each and I have been wondering for a long while now if that was too much. I am well under the 2w per gallon (if my math is good) right at 1.25w/g. One tube is full sun spectrum at 4200K and the other is called aqua-glo (which I believe may be cool blue) at 18000K. I have been toying with the idea of removing one of the tubes... any thoughts on this?

Thanks... and sorry for high jacking your post walt!
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Hawkian View Post
OK so I believe this thread is part of what I need to correct in my tank as well. My 32g uses 2x T8 tubes at 20W each and I have been wondering for a long while now if that was too much. I am well under the 2w per gallon (if my math is good) right at 1.25w/g. One tube is full sun spectrum at 4200K and the other is called aqua-glo (which I believe may be cool blue) at 18000K. I have been toying with the idea of removing one of the tubes... any thoughts on this?

Thanks... and sorry for high jacking your post walt!
I just looked it up, the Aqua Glo has 18000K.
For my pers taste on tanks & plants that'd be too much, I'd pers set the tank up with the existing 'Sun" @ 4200 and another daylight one @ 6500K, IMO that'd be plenty sufficient for plants & tank mates (That's the set up I have on the 45g too)
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #15
 
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I just looked it up, the Aqua Glo has 18000K.
For my pers taste on tanks & plants that'd be too much, I'd pers set the tank up with the existing 'Sun" @ 4200 and another daylight one @ 6500K, IMO that'd be plenty sufficient for plants & tank mates (That's the set up I have on the 45g too)
Bear in mind, the higher Kelvin number is not an indication of more intense light, just higher blue and less red. I have two tubes on my 115g, one 6700K and one 11,000K and the intensity of light on this tank is actually less than on the 90g and 70g which both have one 6700K and one 6500K. However, the blue strength on the 115g clearly benefits the plant growth.

From that perspective, Hawkian's two tubes somewhat balance each other, one is red the other blue. However, the green will be largely absent so I would expect a purplish hue to the aquarium, which I personally do not like as it distorts plant and fish colours (yes, it highlights blue and red but things just look funny--in my tanks, the gravel appears reddish/purple under this type of combination).

The better solution may be to simply reduce the light period with both tubes. Having 1.25 wpg is not that much, it just needs to be balanced out with the nutrients. Of course, if there are few fish there will be little CO2 and this can be a problem. All aspects of the "balance" have to be considered.

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Old 01-03-2010, 12:51 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Hawkian View Post
OK so I believe this thread is part of what I need to correct in my tank as well. My 32g uses 2x T8 tubes at 20W each and I have been wondering for a long while now if that was too much. I am well under the 2w per gallon (if my math is good) right at 1.25w/g. One tube is full sun spectrum at 4200K and the other is called aqua-glo (which I believe may be cool blue) at 18000K. I have been toying with the idea of removing one of the tubes... any thoughts on this?

Thanks... and sorry for high jacking your post walt!
I partly answered this in my last post to Angel's post. If you like the "colour" of this combo, fine. I would reduce the light period and see if that helps. But personally, I would increase the red to a full spectrum 6500K to add some green, leave the blue, and see how that looks. Shortening the period might still be advisable, dpending upon the fish load and plants, again that balance has to be there. B.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:01 PM   #17
 
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Bear in mind, the higher Kelvin number is not an indication of more intense light, just higher blue and less red. I have two tubes on my 115g, one 6700K and one 11,000K and the intensity of light on this tank is actually less than on the 90g and 70g which both have one 6700K and one 6500K. However, the blue strength on the 115g clearly benefits the plant growth.

From that perspective, Hawkian's two tubes somewhat balance each other, one is red the other blue. However, the green will be largely absent so I would expect a purplish hue to the aquarium, which I personally do not like as it distorts plant and fish colours (yes, it highlights blue and red but things just look funny--in my tanks, the gravel appears reddish/purple under this type of combination).

The better solution may be to simply reduce the light period with both tubes. Having 1.25 wpg is not that much, it just needs to be balanced out with the nutrients. Of course, if there are few fish there will be little CO2 and this can be a problem. All aspects of the "balance" have to be considered.

Byron.
Apologize if my posting was easily misunderstood when I said 'too much' to my taste its 'too much blue' i pref a softer look on the tanks, eg the combo I posted and that also works well for my plants here...
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