"normal" And "blue Lights" Vs "blacklights"

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by treadingwater, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

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    Illinois
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    What are your thoughts on these various lights in aquariums, but mostly the blacklight?

    Basics:

    *White light- helps everything, got it. Just about every tank has it. Some are LED and some are halogen.

    *Blue light makes glow items pop, some tanks have it, most don’t. Are LED.

    *Blacklights are not common in aquariums so here are a few basics.

    "Black lights emit ultraviolet radiation in the UVA (320 to 400 nanometer wavelength) and in the UVB (290 to 320 nanometer) region. Chlorophyll in plants is strongly absorbent of longer wavelength UVA radiation."

    Now if I’m reading the above quote correctly, the blacklight is acting like the UV light inside my filter (which is not on). I’ve seen people claim this is killing off the good bacteria on my fish and above the filter. If this is the case, wouldn’t it be a moot point since there is more being flushed out from the filter from what’s inside my canister filter? I’ve also seen arguments for the opposite, saying this is helpful.

    Thoughts?

    ...............

    Here’s a bit of background on "MY" tank and why I would like to have a discussion on this. I’m not really looking for advise on my tank per se` (I know what a disaster it is ATM,) just a healthy debate on lighting.

    I recently came out of "fishkeeping retirement" from a 55gal to a 125 gal freshwater tank at the request of my employer, who wanted a fish tank at work. I thought I knew what I was doing. I was wrong. It’s been a nightmare from day 1. Having a commercial tank is so much different than having a private tank and you wouldn’t even think. A tank is a tank, right? Nope.

    #1 its in a 24 hour a day lit area. I've never dealt with so much algae blooms in my 10+ years keeping fish.

    #2 Ethics aside, we have glowfish. I know, I know, but its not MY tank and I have what the owner wanted in there.

    #3 we have a gold fish. A large one.

    #4 We started with an already cycled/established tank and moved it 30 miles to the public area of work. I’ve had it two months at this location and...ugh. Idk if I can maintain it. The algae blooms (4 now), the ammonia spikes...one step forward and four steps back.

    #5 We also just added 4 snails, 3 algae eaters. We also had a guest put a decorative painted “find my rock!” whose paint melted off and is now in the aquarium. It’s a disaster. And I want to cry.

    Anyway....back to the lighting.

    We have all 3 lights on the tank. We have the "Day Time" lights that light the aquarium and then we have "Disco Mode" lights that come on when the sun goes down. This keeps the aquarium from being a black hole on the wall and lets the fish rest. The actual black lights are a recent addition within the last 7 days. Another algae bloom since but I can’t tell if it’s just par for the course for the tank or what.

    .......

     
  2. A201

    A201Well Known MemberMember

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    I keep my LED's in a subdued blue setting from 9:00 AM till 9:00 PM. Its sort of dim during the daylight hours, but really pops at night. No algae problems. If you slide the LED's to the front of the tank & have a black background, it creates an illusion of depth. Here is a pic of my tank w/ subdued blue lighting. 20190527_120043.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

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    Gender:
    Female
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    Illinois
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    Thats a stunning tank!
     
  4. sixtyfour

    sixtyfourValued MemberMember

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    Columbus Ohio
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    Interesting, I've never heard anyone suggest a blacklight would damage the tank. I'm not buying that. If the UV of the blacklight was strong enough to damage the bacteria, it would be killing that algae too. I've always wanted to see what the glofish look like under a blacklight. Do they look better than under the blue LEDs?

    I've recently been playing with lights myself. At the this time I've settled on T5HOs for the main lights. They run a plant optimized schedule. Then I have some LEDs as accent lights in and behind the tank. You can get some nice color out of the glofish with the green setting on you LEDs. Green doesn't do much to help plants, but it doesn't generally promote algae.

    I would guess your algae problems have to do with daylight. I'm I understanding correctly it's in full sun?

    Vish has cool write up about how CO2 really helps on the algae front. Is your tank planted.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    193
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ratings:
    +161
    Experience:
    More than 10 years

    They look just about the same. Maybe a tiny bit more intense under a black light? The decorations definitely do, but my colors are off due to the bloom. I’m seriously pulling my hair out with this tank. I thought the same about the blacklight/UV light but I don’t know enough about the spectrum and how it affects bacteria and plants to make an educated decision on if they were correct or not. Hence, my post. My filtration system has a UV light in it so I don’t know what the difference would be with it internally vs externally.

    The second picture I posted is with "disco mode" on (I was in the middle of a water change, the tank is normally full) . I have a color changing LED strip around the edge right now that is set on blue but maybe if I turn it to green that could help a bit?

    It’s not in full sun. It is next to a vestibule, but no direct light ever comes in that window and we have shades up to assist in filtering the light even more.

    It does have 3 plants; Cabomba, hornwort and one I dont know the name of but looks like underwater poison ivy so thats what we will call it for now. I've never had live plants so I wanted to start small. Cabomba plant is dying, droping fronds and just really sad. Hornwort plant is thriving, throwing off roots like crazy and I've had to trim it back twice now. There is a dead spot in the tallest shoot but that is about it. It just gets tall but its super healthy otherwise. The poison ivy just sits there and has developed some black spots but IS trying to root from the leaves. None of them have ever pearled for me.

    The fish dont seem to act any differently under any type of light with the exception of staying closer to the surface when just disco mode is on. I think they like the purple? It also may be just my imagination as well.
     
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