Help With Aquarium Led Light And Algae

KimAnnKitz

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Hello all,

I've been having trouble trying to figure out planted tank LED lights since I started keeping fish in 2013. I still haven't figured it out and it's making me crazy. I run mostly 5-6 gallon tanks because of space limitations, I did just replace a 16 gallon tank that had serious leaking issues with a 16 gallon Fluval Vista kit. (In hindsight the kit idea was a bad one.)

I set the tank up on March 4 and started adding plants from a 6 gallon that was going to be taken down. People online had said the were successfully growing plants with the stock light in this kit... For me the stock lights helped cause a huge growth of brown diatoms and sickly looking plants.

Oh, I should give you the list of plants I'm growing... Crypts (wendtii bronze?), Anubias Nana petite, Ludwigia Repens Rubin, 1 dwarf Amazon sword and some struggling dwarf jungle Val. The Ludwigia, jungle Val and sword are new plants the others all came from the 6 gallon. Nothing too demanding. I think the brown diatoms were hard on the new plants. The Ludwigia melted away and had to be replaced and the jungle Val died back but is showing some new growth. The sword has some brown spots and looks sad but it is getting new leaves. I did put some nerite snails in the tank to help and they've done an awesome job on the glass, rocks and wood.

I decided that the stock light just wasn't gonna cut it so I pulled out the Finnex Planted light that I had on the old 16 gallon. That seems to be helping but it means that I have to get rid of my hood and fabricate a new lid of some sort. (My fish are jumpers) Here comes the problem... That Finnex fixture is 24" long, same as the tank length. It grew plants beautifully in the old 16, but it also grew some pretty awesome hair algae and green spot algae that I never could get rid of entirely. I'm afraid the same thing will happen in this new tank. So...HELP!

I have no clue about par values, k's, wattage equivalent or any of that stuff although I have done extensive research online. This Finnex light is on or off, it does have blue night lights. It's not one of the newer ones with the remote and the adjustability. I have it on a timer this time around as I am very inconsistent about turning lights off and on. I do like the tank to be lit in the evening because it's in an area where it is seen mostly at that time. Right now I have it come on for 3 hours, off for 2 and on again for 5. IDK why... I guess because I read somewhere that it's good to split the photo period. This light sits on the rim of the tank which is about 14" from the bottom of the tank. I am already seeing a little bit of bba on a few anubias leaves. I really need some input before the whole tank goes nuts with algae. I have an algae problem in a 5 gallon tank with the same light - only smaller - I can take care of it pretty easily but I don't want you fight a huge amount of algae in a 16 gallon tank again. It may make me change to fake plants but I'd really hate to give up on the real ones.

Sorry for the long post. Hope you don't have to dig too much to get the info you need. I may need a different light which is fine if it's not too expensive... I also have to mention that I can not use any light that would need to be suspended above the tank. I prefer one that sits on the rim of the tank.
 

SFGiantsGuy

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OK, so, it's really really good that you have a timer. Consistently to the very minute is VERY important in a plant's daily photosyntheiss period. And ehhh it's kinda debatable if you were to permit a "siesta" period in your lighting schedule. It either will, or will not help to hinder some algae. However, most importantly, you may need to dial back your light time. I just did by about 2-3 hours now, as I have a manageable amount of green hair algae that's kinda spotty everywhere, but not too bad, as I have a good "clean-up crew" lol. Secondly, PAR stands for, photosynthetic active radiation. Think of it as how far your LED light will effectively go through water down to the substrate. As an example, within an 18 inch deep aquarium with an LED light with a good PAR, "in water", its ideal effect is about 30-32 PAR. I use NICREW LED lights for smaller tanks, which work really really good. Their PAR is usually about 30-40 "in water", in a 12 inch deep tank. Most LED light companies will have a chart representing specific light's PAR values that correspond to the sizes of tanks, as well as measurements, etc. etc. You can also find those online in many different postings all over the place. Check out NICREW LED's for smaller tanks. They're really impressive! : )
 
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KimAnnKitz

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Thanks for the input. I will take a look at those lights. I am doing 8 hours a day total right now and am seeing more bba every day. Do you have any idea how long I should run the Finnex light each day? The room the tank is in is kind of a dining room but it's also part of the kitchen. That room is lit by a florescent ceiling fixture that is on most of the day. It's a darkish room...(North side of house 2 windows. One small over sink and another that's under a carport). The tanks don't get much light from the flourescent but enough that it looks like very early morning.
 
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KimAnnKitz

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SFGiantsGuy said:
. I use NICREW LED lights for smaller tanks, which work really really good. Their PAR is usually about 30-40 "in water", in a 12 inch deep tank. Most LED light companies will have a chart representing specific light's PAR values that correspond to the sizes of tanks, as well as measurements, etc. etc. You can also find those online in many different postings all over the place. Check out NICREW LED's for smaller tanks. They're really impressive! : )
My tank is 24 inches wide. Is there a particular Nicrew light you would recommend. They don't sound like very strong lighting, but maybe that's my problem. I feel like there should be a lot of output. I'd like to be able grow at least medium light plants. The light will be going through an acrylic lid that has to be built very soon.
 
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