Lighting? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 04:23 PM Thread Starter

I just increased the lighting on my 55 gallon from 32 watts to 64 watts. I added a second GE daylight 6500K. I can't believe how much brighter it is. I thought the fish might be a little spooked but they seem to be more active and their coloring is much better. My plants have always looked healthy, but I have never seen much growth out of them, except for the Vallisneria. I am hoping this will make them explode. I have never had much luck with foreground plants either, will this make a difference? I currently run the light 12 hours a day, should I decrease this to maybe 10 hours or just wait? I have never had any algae problems but I do not want to start. Also, with higher intensity lighting do I need to change my fertilization schedule? Right now I use flourish comprehensive once a week. Will the increase in light have an effect on the temperature in my tank? I am a little excited, can you tell?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 06:48 PM
64w on a 55g still isn't much, however it's probably better to go 10hours a day. I believe it says to use Flourish twice a week on the bottle.

As to the light having an effect on temperature in the tank.. I dont think it should be anything significant.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
My bottle says once or twice a week. Should I go twice a week? I want to limit algae growth and I worry that a surplus of nutrients could cause this. One of the conditions from my wife for my fish keeping is that I keep the tanks clean and pretty. Is there a relationship between increased lighting and increased fertilization?
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
I might add the tank is somewhat densely planted, I have just had limited growth.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-05-2011, 11:02 AM
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Several factors affect things, but to control algae you will likely need to reduce the duration. Two T8 tubes is fine over a 55g, but algae will try to take over.

And this is where the Flourish Comp enters. Once or twice weekly depends upon other nutrient sources. The hardness of the tap water (calcium and magnesium basically, but other minerals too), the fish stocking (type of species, numbers), how much food they are fed, and the plant species and number. All this affects the system. I would start with once a week Flourish Comp and see how the plants respond.

Algae increasing is a sign of too much light and-or insufficient nutrients to balance. Having doubled the light intensity, you should expect some algae issues until the new balance settles. I would myself reduce the light to no more than 10 hours. Presently, I have my tanks lit for 8 in order to control algae, and these are larger tanks with two T8 tubes. It is the light only that causes algae, not the nutrients. Provided the plants have adequate nutrients available, they will use the light; only when the nutrients are missing will algae use the light because the plants no longer can photosynthesize to the max.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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