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Best lighting for coraline algae growth

This is a discussion on Best lighting for coraline algae growth within the Coral and Reef Creatures forums, part of the Advanced Saltwater Discussion category; --> Originally Posted by onefish2fish a 1x 10K and actinic should provide enough light for your needs Thanks. Is there anything this much light might ...

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Best lighting for coraline algae growth
Old 07-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
a 1x 10K and actinic should provide enough light for your needs
Thanks. Is there anything this much light might be too little for? That is, by not getting a fixture with more bulbs, how might I be limiting what I can keep in the future? How beneficial would it be to opt for the 4 bulb version of this fixture even though I would have to change the way I feed my fish because I couldn't lift the front part of the glass cover?

Which begs the question, since I found a fixture short enough to use in my canopy including its stand, do I need a glass cover over the water? Our large stars and stripes puffer fish who we lost last week or so used to get excited and splash water everywhere all the time. Without him in the tank doing that, is there any reason to keep the glass cover over the water?

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Originally Posted by onefish2fish
again the most of the work is going to be keeping stable alk, cal and mag levels. it shouldnt be to hard with no corals to use up these minerals but that is what is going to promote the growth of it.
I had been waking up and vacuuming my puffer's poop each morning, so I'm no stranger to regimented maintenance and don't doubt my ability to keep these levels where they need to be.

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Originally Posted by onefish2fish
scraping some from a nice piece of live rock will help seed the coraline algae spores in your tank too.
We have two pieces of live rock in the tank right now. One was fully cured and covered with coraline algae when it went in. The other was "90% cured" and had no coraline algae when it went in. I've been adding a cap full of Purple Up every other day since putting them in. I'm not sure either is "live" anymore, though, because recently our nitrates have been off the charts. I did a 50% water change just last night and this morning the nitrates are still higher than they should be but not as bad. I am going to wait until Saturday and change another 50% then. Anyhow, the coraline algae on the piece of rock that had it looks like it's been fading. I'm hoping that getting the water quality into better shape via the water changes will halt and die off and allow it to start growing back. Do you expect that will be the case and do you think this piece of rock with some remaining coraline algae will be enough to seed the other in the way you've described?

I'm sorry you had to leave your 180 behind, but hopefully you'll have another some day. It sounds like a pretty good setup, notwithstanding your regrets about where you located the sump. The idea of wooden floors sagging over time is scary! If I'm ever fortunate enough to be in a position to buy a house and put a 180 gallon aquarium in it, I think I'm going to look into having a structural engineer check things out. I can't imagine too many people go to such lengths, though... might all this worry about the weight be much ado about nothing, or do we tend to not hear much about aquarium weight related disasters because most people who get into aquariums of this size research their requirements thoroughly and plan accordingly?

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thanks for the house picture.. thats pretty funny, and to think they only kept a 10 gallon nano tank.
Sadly, Nemo was never found.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:30 PM   #12
 
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the 2 bulb strip you want will prob. limit you at just softies and a four bulb would prob. allow most LPS and possibly some SPS higher up in the tank. if you want clams or anems id go with halides but i dont suggest getting anemones for the simple reason people love buying them just for nemo and killing them. not saying thats what you do, will do or plan to do but they are fragile inverts and really should have the option of strong penetrating light like halides. ontop of that nemo may or may not host an anemone.. ive found they'll host what they feel comfort and safety in. it could be a piece of rock, a coral, a powerhead, ive even seen them attached to a magnet algae scraper lol.
the glass does not need to be over the tank and will help it run cooler esp. with stronger lighting = more heat. however the downfall is more evaporation, salt creep and the possibility of fish carpet surfing ( leaping out to see how long it takes the fish owner to realize its dried to a crisp behind the tank ) which some fish are just known jumpers and a net or glass lid should def. be used in these cases.
you dont need to scrape the coraline but i suggested doing so to help increase the speed of growing on all your rock. with 1 or 2 rocks with it present, some patience and stable alk, cal and mag you should have purple rocks in no time. adding purple up, is just an expensive overpriced alk suppliment.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:51 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
the 2 bulb strip you want will prob. limit you at just softies and a four bulb would prob. allow most LPS and possibly some SPS higher up in the tank. if you want clams or anems id go with halides but i dont suggest getting anemones for the simple reason people love buying them just for nemo and killing them.
I'm going to see if we can fit the 4 bulb version of that fixture in the canopy, then, even if it will mean having to drop food through the space in the back. I don't know if we will even be able to keep coral because when we went to buy new fish after we lost all of ours my wife just had to have a baby clown trigger. It's currently just a little larger than the size of a quarter but I know it won't stay that way and it isn't reef safe. Coral aside, I figure the 4 bulb fixture should help the coraline algae grow that much faster and make the tank look that much better. Is that a safe assumption? There is also always the possibility that the trigger will find it's way to a different tank at some point and we'd be able to keep coral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish
the glass does not need to be over the tank and will help it run cooler esp. with stronger lighting = more heat. however the downfall is more evaporation, salt creep and the possibility of fish carpet surfing ( leaping out to see how long it takes the fish owner to realize its dried to a crisp behind the tank ) which some fish are just known jumpers and a net or glass lid should def. be used in these cases.
This is a view from the top of our tank now.

top.jpg

As you can see, we keep the top half of the glass cover folded up against the fluorescent light fixture, so between the area in front of the light fixture and the area behind it, required so that the U tube can enter the water, only about half of the surface of the tank is covered by glass anyway. In light of that, do you think it would make much of a difference as far as evaporation and salt creep if we removed the glass altogether once we got a fixture with stands that propped it two inches or so above the water?

I've actually witnessed the ultimate in fish carpet surfing. I was sitting on the couch watching tv one day years ago when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed our stars and stripes puffer fish, who was around the size of a large orange at the time, take what looked like a running start at one end of the aquarium, race to the other, and soar up and out of the aquarium, across a good portion of the room, and land on the floor with a little splat. We didn't have a canopy at the time, obviously, and I guess the glass cover was off for some reason. I thought for sure that it must have broken every bone in its body. I jumped to my feet, picked him up, and put him back in the tank. Surprisingly, he was fine. I was very glad I was in the room at the time!

Anyhow, right now we have a baby clown trigger fish, a passer angel fish, a blond haired naso tang, a blue spot jaw fish, and a gold head sleeper goby. Are any of these fish jumpers as far as you know? Even if they are, might the canopy, which is 5 inches tall on the front and sides but open on the top and in the back, be enough to stop them, especially if the larger 4 bulb fixture were hovering a couple inches above most of the surface of the tank? Would you ditch the glass cover in this case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish
you dont need to scrape the coraline but i suggested doing so to help increase the speed of growing on all your rock. with 1 or 2 rocks with it present, some patience and stable alk, cal and mag you should have purple rocks in no time. adding purple up, is just an expensive overpriced alk suppliment.
Right now the coraline algae on the one rock that has it appears to be receding, so I'd rather focus on getting the water parameters right to stabilize it before I think about scraping any off.

I'm very close to making a light fixture purchase now thanks to your help, and I plan on getting the calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium tests at the same time. It just occurred to me that I don't know or have what I'd need to raise or lower these three parameters in accordance with the test results, so I'll start another thread about it so this one doesn't stray too far from its purpose.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
 
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i personally would remove the glass lid. salt creeps building up on the underside of the glass anyways and blocking out light, unless you dont mind cleaning that very often too. i dont think your evap or salt creep issues without it will be anything crazy but you will notice an increase.
i think your angel is more of a concern to corals then the trigger will be. the trig will prob. find snails and shrimp delicious, but the angel will be in the corner munching on your polyps lol. dont get me wrong a trigger may nip corals too.
thats a funny story about the orange size puffer lol.. who would think a puffer would jump... and that far too. which makes it obv. any fish that wants to jump will go for it, esp if they get scared or chased out by another fish. out of your group, the gobies will prob. be the first to explore the outside world. i wouldnt stress to hard over it though. infact if your really concerned you could get some mesh netting or some kind of netting and staple gun it to the top and back side of the canopy. no one will even know its there but you, and it wont add to the weight of having to remove it for maintnence.
i think it may be wise to find an asian supermarket/store and pick up a pack of algae sheets. they sell the dried sheets ( even looks exactly like nori or any of the expensive aquarium brands ) for making sushi. put a piece in everyday or every other and your tang will love you.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:33 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
i personally would remove the glass lid. salt creeps building up on the underside of the glass anyways and blocking out light, unless you dont mind cleaning that very often too. i dont think your evap or salt creep issues without it will be anything crazy but you will notice an increase.
I was reading about the fixture I'd planned to order today and noticed that the instructions say

Quote:
DO NOT place fixture underneath a canopy or hood. This light fixture is designed to be placed above an aquarium. It is not intended to be placed under a canopy. The light fixture is to be used over completely covered aquariums only.
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...&pcatid=16770.

Do most canopys have tops and backs so that my 3 sided canopy without a top or back is not the standard canopy they are warning against using this fixture with here? Also, by "completely covered aquariums" they mean an aquarium with a glass cover over it, right, in which case I should just keep the glass cover on if I bought this?

The 4 bulb version of this fixture has a fan and the reviews I've been reading about it say the fan is very noisy, so I'm not sure about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
i think your angel is more of a concern to corals then the trigger will be. the trig will prob. find snails and shrimp delicious, but the angel will be in the corner munching on your polyps lol. dont get me wrong a trigger may nip corals too.
Make that multiple reasons we probably won't have coral anytime soon, then.

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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
thats a funny story about the orange size puffer lol.. who would think a puffer would jump... and that far too. ... if your really concerned you could get some mesh netting or some kind of netting and staple gun it to the top and back side of the canopy. no one will even know its there but you, and it wont add to the weight of having to remove it for maintnence.
If the fixture I end up with instructs that the aquarium should be covered then I will just leave the glass on so that jumping isn't an issue. Otherwise, that's an interesting idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
i think it may be wise to find an asian supermarket/store and pick up a pack of algae sheets. they sell the dried sheets ( even looks exactly like nori or any of the expensive aquarium brands ) for making sushi. put a piece in everyday or every other and your tang will love you.
Thanks for the tip. This reminded me of the thread I wanted to create about the tang not eating, Blond haired naso tang won't eat.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:47 AM   #16
 
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i think you'd be fine with keeping one of those in a canopy esp. yours since it has better air circulation with the open back and top. do remember they will get hot though.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:56 AM   #17
 
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i think you'd be fine with keeping one of those in a canopy esp. yours since it has better air circulation with the open back and top. do remember they will get hot though.
It turns out that although the canopy is open on the top and back, the fixture didn't work out because its vents were on its sides which were covered by the sides of the canopy. I hadn't thought of that.

I found and ordered 4 bulb T5HO fixture meant specifically for use in canopies, though, which has fans on the back. It also came with little 3/4" or so pegs so that it could sit right above the glass cover instead of on the taller mounting legs (which may have caused it to be too tall for my canopy). It looks great!
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #18
 
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First, let me tell you that I am posting without reading the other posts. Sorry if this duplicates anything. I have personally not seen a difference in the quality and speed of coraline growth based on lighting. Alkalinity and calcium levels have been the key to my success. My 180 FOWLR is a perfect example.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:25 AM   #19
 
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Thanks for your input, Mark. While I won't be able to compare the rate of coraline algae growth under the new light vs the old one, the new light definitely makes my aquarium look better. At least I recall thinking it did when I first swapped out the Perfecto fixture for it.

What kind of light do you have over your 180?
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:27 PM   #20
 
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Thanks for your input, Mark. While I won't be able to compare the rate of coraline algae growth under the new light vs the old one, the new light definitely makes my aquarium look better. At least I recall thinking it did when I first swapped out the Perfecto fixture for it.

What kind of light do you have over your 180?
LOL

Just florescent strip lights.
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