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Just purchased new light - should I replace bulb
I just bought a Coralife Aqualight 30" Dual lamp T5 2x18w. For my 30g planted tank. I currently have Anubias, Java Fern, Anacharis, Wisteria, and Amazon Swords in there.
Before this I had a the standard single tube T8 24" Floramax bulb at 17w. The plants survived with the Wisteria doing the best of all. The Aqualight is a upgrade as it is providing double the light.
The Coralife comes with one 6700k 18w and a 18w 'Colormax' bulb. I was wondering do I need to replace these bulbs with something else to get a better outcome?
The tubes are fine, with respect to spectrum. I would be more concerned over the increased intensity, especially if the plants were doing well previously. Now that the light is significantly greater, the nutrients are not, esp CO2. Reducing the light duration may be necessary. Keep a close eye on the tank, looking out for any increase in algae which would be a sign that the light is too much.
Is it NO or HO T5?
It's NO as far as I can tell
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You were right. I now have brownish/black algae growing on the tank, plants, and decorations. I can get it off with a scraper on the glass - It comes off of some plants by rubbing but on others it doesn't.
My ammonia and nitrites are 0. My nitrate is 40ppm. I am going to do a water change now to try to bring that down. My last water change was a 20% yesterday so the high nitrates are alarming.
I have been dosing with half a cap full of flourish twice weekly. My lights are on for about 9 hrs a day.
Outside of reducing my lighting period - any steps to take? What should I start my lighting period at now?
On the nitrates, that is high for a planted tank. Is this tank fairly new?
I thought it was high too. Tank was setup in June. Plants added slowly since July.
I changed the timer to a 8hr schedule. I am assuming a week should be good to see if it halts the algae growth?
Will MTS eat this type of algae?
You might see a change in a week, or certainly two. Again, it is just noticing no increase, or very little increase, in the algae. I never bother this on wood or rock, it looks very natural; it is when I see it on plants that I take action. A bit is OK, you cannot keep the tank free of algae. You aim for the balance to keep it under control.
I asked about the new tank because in a new tank for the first say 2-3 months, the biology is settling into a balanced state and algae being quick to take advantage can often appear during this period. Once the tank is biologically stable, it is easier to then balance the light and nutrients for the plants. Algae will be out of luck then.:-) You'll still see it, as I say, but not excessively--unless something upsets the balance. I have had brush algae suddenly increase in summer when the days are longer and brighter, just from the additional ambient light in the room. I've also had it increase when the tubes over the tank were no longer emitting sufficient intensity, which is usually after 12 months with T8, T5 should be a bit longer.
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