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I feel like giving up...

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Laurystevens, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Each GroBeam emmits 24watts each. So thats a total of 180watts in my aquarium, which is about right? My aquarium is 90 UK gallons so if you need roughly 2watts per gallon then mine is pretty much spot on, if not just under (if it refers to US gallons)

    So my lighting is ok with x2 plant bulbs and x3 LED groBeams?. Maybe it's just too much plant friendly spectrum? As they're all aimed at for plants?

    I've got my self in a right 'o' pickle now haven't I.

    The Grobeams might be 12 watts actually after reading further...

    http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/aquaray-lighting.asp
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    kelvin temps dont matter too much as far as plants are concerned. Its more what type of light you like to see over your tank.

    PAR is the only relevant measurement for plants, 40-60 micromoles at the substrate is enough for most plants. This is hard to measure without an expensive PAR meter.

    If your lights are T5's then under 2 wpg should be plenty with pressurized CO2. Without pressurized CO2 I would be aiming for less, just over 1 wpg. You must pick the right plants for this type of a setup.

    If the growbeams are T5's then I don't think they would be 12 watts.

    Other things to consider with lighting is spread and distance from the water surface. Sometimes you can end up with "hotspots" directly under the bulbs that is very bright.

    To conclude, 180 watts of T5's over your tank is too much light without pressurized CO2.
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The aquarays are LEDs?

    LED's give off a lot of PAR and are very good at penetrating the water.

    You should remember that we see light in terms of Lumens (visible brightness to us) and plants need PAR. We can't see that.

    Excel is not the same as CO2 injection. It doesn't have CO2 in it. It has carbon based sugars that plants turn CO2 into. In such a large tank I would not look at Excel as a CO2 substitute. Some plants are better than others at utilizing it.

    Because I personally like the look of LED's, the light looks more natural and gives a good shimmer, I would consider using only the LED's and losing the T5's instead. Sorry, i didn't realize the aquarays were LED's.

    its tough to guage LEDs as they are relatively new for our application. You may have to fiddle to find a good level. I have heard that with good LEDs 1 wpg is ample. I can say for sure, however, that all of the lights on is too much without CO2.
     
  4. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Yeah the aquarays are LED's. Well I'd rather lose the T5's then the LED's so I'm happy with that :) I'll do that today. I also pulled all rocks/wood out yesterday to clean in preperation for this weekend. I vac'd the gravel under neath those areas (as I know thats where most dirt tends to build up most) and it was almost black! Sould all those silicates (i think) have helped the algae? I've vac'd approx 30% of silicates out of the tank just under the rocks etc, seems like a lot more but relaistically probably somewhere between 20-30%.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think silicates contribute more to diatoms. Algae grows off the same stuff as plants.

    Plants can out compete algae when conditions are right. If things are unstable or something is limiting the plants, then algae does better.

    This weekend I did some serious algae cleaning of my own. scrubbed rocks with a toothbrush, cut off as much algae infested leaves as I could. A lot in the hair grass:(
    Then overdosed some excel.

    I also improved flow and decreased surface agitation, problem is now I have to fine tune my CO2 again. My rams are not happy with its levels at the moment. I may have overdid my GH booster as well to upset them. Oh well, another water change and I'm good.

    The algae is now turning red and dieing. After another week or so of staying on it, it should be gone.

    You will beat it back soon!
     
  6. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Hopefully :) Thansk. I'll let you know how I get on!
     
  7. Saria

    Saria New Member

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    I am not an expert, but I will just echo what I've heard from actual experts: Overdosing Excel is not a sustainable option for high-light, over-driven plants. Either switch to T5NO (normal output) or T8 and the appropriate plants, or get on board the pressurized CO2 train.

    Your plants cannot possibly utilize your current amount of light without the proper amount of CO2 (and nutrients) to photosynthesize. What CAN outcompete your plants in photosynthesis? Algae. Why is this? Well, algae is NOT limited by nutrients and CO2 like your plants are. While your plants are struggling to utilize the light because they are CO2-starved, the algae is growing free and wild.

    Excel will become more expensive in the long-run than a CO2 setup because you will be using ridiculous amounts to compensate for such high light! You are more likely to overdose and kill your fish than you are in winning an intense algae battle. If you are really are worried about total cost, switch to "lower" lights --- buying a new fixture will be cheaper than a CO2 setup. You will still be able to grow most of the plants you want, just at a slower (and more manageable) rate, with no algae problems. If you keep things the way they are now, you are setting yourself up for frustration (and burnout).

    I'm not sure if it's against the rules to post a link to another forum, but I found this thread by Darkblade48 over at Aquatic Plant Central EXTREMELY helpful when researching about how CO2 works and what you need to begin:

    Pressurized CO2...Just thought I'd share.

    (There's a wealth of information out there on CO2, equipment, lighting, etc. but without proper synthesis or organization of this information, it's almost useless to us newbies.)
     
  8. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post Saria.

    Laury, your greatest enemy is too much light. Control the light, and you'll control the algae developing in the tank.

    -John N.
     
  9. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Well hopefully I have now. I've still got the HR Carbon in there to help do some magic until friday saturday night when my partner and I will tackle my tank together (It's always a good feeling when some thing gets a good clean and freshened up). It would make sense about the light as I never had any issues before the T5's except for the plants were somewhat leggy. But I also changes other facts at that time too so never knew exactly what caused it. I've got the LED's on for 8 hpd now and the T5's for an hour and a half in the middle of the LED time. I'll see how that goes, I can always cut the T5's all together but while I've got them I'd like to encorperate them somehow. Thanks guys, I'll let you know how the progress goes :) You've all really helped me to understand the issues with my tank a bit better, definatly learnt something here :) thanks again.
     

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