Which form of light allows for the minimum amount of algae growth?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by shrimp, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. shrimpValued MemberMember

    I do not want algae to grow in my tank. How can I minimize this? Is there a correlation between between types of light? Will incandescent light have less algae growth then fluorescent?

  2. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

  3. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Algea growth and plants or no plants are not the only things to consider. Do you want to be able to take nice photos of your fish? If so then you need a good enough light for photos to come out nice. When I had incandescent lights on the 10 gallon, I hated the resulting photos and to be honest I did not like the looks of the tank aesthetically either. So there are several factors to consider with lights, not just algea.
  4. shrimpValued MemberMember

    I started to have some growth on my shells with the fluurescent bulbs. I want to minimize the growth as much as possible. Everything else doesnt really matter to me lol.
  5. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Make sure that there is no sunlight reaching your tank because then the type of light bulbs is not what influences the algea: algea love sunlight.

    If you want to minimize algea, and especially if you do not have any live plants, be sure to not leave your aquarium lights on too long. Plants do not need more than 8 hours of light, and if you do not have plants than you should have your lights on even less. So to minimize algea it is not just less light but also for a shorter amount of time.

    Aside from lights, the other thing that contributes to algea growth is nutrients, such as phosphates and nitrates. If you do not have plants than the algea do not have that competition for those nutrients. Minimize neutrients by not overfeeding fish and also by more regular water changes and gravel vacuuming.

    EDIT: The other consideration is that it depends on which type of algea you have - different algea have different causes and different solutions. For example, unlike green algea the brown algea aka diatoms actually get worse in lower light and also due to silica but all or most new tanks have some diatoms, it's like a right of passage and they go away on their own. In contrast green spot algea are more likely to appear in a tank that is a bit more established, and these algea do get worse with higher light. You won't be able to keep a tank entirely algea free, and most likely some wiping or scraping off of algea will be needed as part of regular tank maintenance.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  6. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    Just fyi, I used the hood I linked on a pretty heavily stocked 15g for 6 months with zero algae growth lights on 12 hours a day(no natural light). Not everything is black and white in the hobby, you may get similar results or not. If you don't want live plants but want to see your fish for more than 8 hours in a day I would try the led.
  7. fishlover123456New MemberMember

    flouresent is the best because no algae plus you can grow plants
  8. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    Where did you come by this information?
    Any light that can support plant growth can support algal growth, as algae is a type of plant, and uses light in the exact same way as multi-celled plants. And yes, algae can grow in fluorescent light. I have tanks in my basement that have only fluorescent lights over them, and they grow algae just like any other tank.
  9. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, I would really like you to please inform the algea in my 29 gallon tank that they should move out because those are fluorescent lights. I'd really like that. :) Alas, I've got lots of algea. From time to time I go on a scraping/wiping frenzy and make it much easier to see everything in the tank -- I find that magic eraser sponges work surprisingly well on green spot algea. And then I neglect things for a while, until I get to the point again when it is hard to see into the tank, and then another cleaning frenzy. Rinse, repeat.
  10. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    It would be nice, wouldn't it? :D

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