05-29-2009, 02:42 PM
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8 hrs sounds about average for most tanks ive seen, some people kep their on for 10, others for 8. IF Byron jumps into this thread he can explain the whole lights and tank thing better. But from what ive read the algae issue is from inbalances in the tank. For example, the lights, nitrates, trace minerals, and CO2 must be balanced for plants to grow and when it isn't algae takes the extra stuff like lights, nitrates, etc and grows. Cycling balances ammonia and nitrates. When a tnak is in the proces of cycling, there is an excess of nitrates ans teh ammonia is being consumed by bacteria. This is why many new tanks see brown diatom breakouts, because nitrates are higher than they should be. Water changes keep this under control and so will introducing plants. Fish like plecos, this i read somewhere so i dont know for sure, create lots of waste and the poop and this poop dissolves and bacteria eat it up and generate mroe nitrates. Thats why plecos, goldfish, and other "messy" fish need stronger filters with more biological filtration to keep nitrates lower.