Lighting too Low

Jason

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I'm back again, In my 40 gallon I have a bad algae problem, and I was thinking as I only have 1 light tube of 30W in it and as the plants don't grow as good as in my smaller tank does anyone reckon that as the plants cannot grow good enough the algae takes over as the more dominant and has the ability to survive and grow better in lower light.

Do you think I should buy a twin bulb set up to help he plants grow better and therfore use up the nutrients to stop algae from growing??? ???
 

atmmachine816

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It depends on your plants, if their fast growers or slow? I"m having the same problem in my 29 gallon and expierementing with my 5.5 for ways to fix it. You can see it in the plant forum the two page post sorry doing hw can't get u a link.
 
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Jason

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I know but I have the same plants in both tanks and in the smaller with the higher wattage to gallon ratio the plants grow much better and there is little algae in comparison.
 

atmmachine816

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Then yes it's possible, it doesn't hurt to try if you have the money, you can also add DIY co2 which is pretty hard to hurt your fish with. I would add some more lighting, I'm probably going to get a versa top and use 2-3 strip lights.
 
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Jason

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Oh well there goes my birthday money
 

atmmachine816

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LOL I know how you feel, I'm using the rest of my leftover x-mass money on buying a new hood for my 5.5 then my 29, wish I could get a job at a lfs but I'm not allowed because I'm "handeling" chemicals, though I do already. What you can do is just buy another strip light, rip off the part where you lift the hood to feed, get a piece of plexi-glass or something similar and cut it to fit on the bottom of the new strip light and put it where the lid was and just lift that instead to feed your fish.
 
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Jason

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That would be a great idea if my light was attached to a hood. Unfortunately I don't have a hood just glass lids and a separate light unit.When I was buying it I knew I should have gone for the twin set up. oh well lesson learned. Just like when I had a 12 gal and 6 months later upgraded to a 17gal.
 

Isabella

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J-Man said:
I'm back again, In my 40 gallon I have a bad algae problem, and I was thinking as I only have 1 light tube of 30W in it and as the plants don't grow as good as in my smaller tank does anyone reckon that as the plants cannot grow good enough the algae takes over as the more dominant and has the ability to survive and grow better in lower light.

Do you think I should buy a twin bulb set up to help he plants grow better and therefore use up the nutrients to stop algae from growing??? ???
J-Man, can you tell me what plants exactly do you have? What substrate? How deep is it? Are you adding any ferts? What is the color spectrum of your light? When the light is around 10,000K and above, it may cause algae as this light has bluish shades in it, and blue spectrum causes algal growth for some reason. The light spectrum that is around 6,700K should not cause algae. Also, your current wattage is 0.75 watts per gallon ... which may be OK if you only have plants such as Java Moss, Anubias, and Java Ferns. But even there plants probably would do better with at least 1 wpg. For a low-light tank, I'd recommend something like 1.0 - 1.5 wpg if you won't be using ferts or nutrient-rich substrate. And I'd recommend at least 1.5 wpg for a tank with nutrient-rich substrate and/or ferts, plus a spectrum of 6,700K. If you buy a twin tube (2 x 30W), this will give you 1.5 wpg - which should be much better. However, remember that the higher the lighting, the faster the plants grow and the faster they metabolize. This means that you have to be very careful with ferts - because if you add too much, you'll have algae, but if you add too little, the plants may start dying. You need to come up with a good balance there. All of this info is for a low light tank without CO2 injections.

To give you an idea, this is what I'll have in my 75 gallon planted tank: 130 watts of light total (which will give me 1.73 wpg), Eco-Complete substrate (it's nutrient rich), plus maybe Flourish fertilizer. The spectrum of the light will be 6,700K. No CO2 injections. As long as you keep the lighting under 2.0 wpg, you shouldn't need CO2 injections. I cannot say whether I'll have algae or not, so I guess experimenting will show that. But what I'll try to do will be to find the correct balance for my plants. My plants will be low-to-medium light species.
 

atmmachine816

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Plants are in his sig, he could use more light for some of them. I have algae and I have almos the same lighting as he does, I don't have enough fast growers in the tank to use up the nutrients so the algae are using them which is probably what J-man is expierencing along with his light
 

Isabella

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OOPS ... sorry, I didn't see the plants' names I don't know what kind of a plant Ambuila is, but of the plants that you Have J-Man, Amazon Swords and Valls definitely need higher lighting. They would also benefit from nutrient rich substrate. However, if you cannot get it now (since you'd have to remove your current substrate and put the nutrient rich one in), maybe provide these plants with at least some liquid fertilization. But remember to keep the balance - because as I've said, too much fertilization may cause algae, and not enough of it may cause the plants to die. As for the Crypts and Hygrophila, I think they need at least 1 wpg too. Maybe Anubias is ok with only 0.75 wpg, but if it's dying too, it would also benefit from a bit higher lighting. If you get the twin tube, it will be enough for your plants, and you won't need any CO2 injections. If you do get the twin tube, get the one that is 2 x 30W, and that has a spectrum of 6,700K or something like this (I personally wouldn't go below 6,700K and wouldn't go above 10,000K).
 
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Jason

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Woah info overload, Thankx Isabella and atmmachine for your help. From your information I will get the twin light setup, and will get the bulbs with ratings under 10 000k. At the moment I have no idea what it is now as the bulb came with the light thingy. I do use liquid ferts every 2 weeks or so and was thinking of some tablet ones as well. Substrate is regular gravel 2-3mm. Dont think be able to get special substrate though. Hopefully doing this should help the plants grow better and stop the algae from taking over.

Cheers,
J-Man (Jason)
 

atmmachine816

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I would stop using the ferts until you get rid of the algae, obviously there are excess nutrients or too little of certain nutrients feeding the algae, I would try and buy some hornwort and let it float, it's helped my algae problem a lot. Once you get the algae control then use the ferts, I did that and my plants are growing madly and algae is in check.
 

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