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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae
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To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae
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demorphica
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:09 pm Post subject: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Hello  friends,
 
 I  am  'finally'  going  to  set  up  a  Hi-Tech  5'x2'x2'  150G  densely  Planted  tank  at  last,  but  I  ran  into  a  lt  of  conflicting  things  when  it  came  to  the  lighting.
 
 I  had  planned  on  using  4x54W  6500K  T5  HO  Crompton  Greaves  Tubes  =  216W  and  2x150W   BLV  14000K  MH  lights  with  reflectors.  This  works  out  to  around  3.4  W/gallon,  which  I  think  is  enough  to  grow  a  glossostigma  lawn  nicely.
 
 Diana  Walstad,  on  page  162  of  her  "Ecology  of  a  Planted  Aquarium",  in  answer  to  a  question,  mentions  scientifically  backed  data  that  points  to  algae  being  more  adaptable  to  use  the  higher  end  (blue)  spectrum  of  light  as  compared  to  plants,  as  this  higher  spectrum  makes  iron  more  readily  available  to  algae.  
 
 Recently  I  saw  the  an  8  footer  planted  tank  of  a  friend  who  uses  4x2700K  Warm  White  Philips  T5s.  I  have  been  seeing  this  tank  for  the  past  year  now.  No  algae,  at  all.  None.
 
 Now,  what  do  I  choose?  Since  I  am  going  to  have  CO2  fertilization  at  2  bubbles/min  and  I'm  also  going  to  dose  daily,  what  do  you  recommend.  Which  Lights  do  go  for??
 
 PS:  I  know  Diana  Walstad  wrote  regarding  Lo-Tech  Aquaria,  but  the  discussion  is  still  valid,  simply  because  algae  do  not  discriminate  between  Lo/Hi  Tech,  and  I'm  not  going  to  use  any  other  Low  Tech  technique  mentioned  in  the  book
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Tirtha C
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:21 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 @Demo,  first  I  will  request  you  to  update  your  location  in  your  profile,  so  we  can  understand  from  which  part  of  india  you  are.  Now  coming  to  your  light  points.
 
 According  to  your  comment,  you  are  going  to  use,
 4x54W  6500K  T5  HO  
 2x150W   BLV  14000K  MH
 
 Now,  first  of  all  your  MH  with  14000K  will  be  of  no  use.  Cause  for  Photosynthesis  plants  don't  need  that  much  of  Kelvin.  You  have  to  use  4500K-8000K  MH  according  to  your  requirement.  
 
 Now,  what  will  happen  if  you  use  14000K.  Plants  won't  be  able  to  use  that  spectrums,  and  light  will  be  excess.  All  the  excess  lights  will  be  used  to  grow  algae.  That  means  you  are  making  a  play  ground  of  algae  by  yourself.
 
 Now,  as  you  said,  Hi-Tech,  that  means  Light  should  be  minimum  4wpg.  And  in  the  5x2x2  tank  you  need  arround  600W  of  light.  For  proper  distribution  you  can  use  4  MH  of  150  watt  each.
 
 What  you  are  planning  to  use  as  substrate  and  what  will  be  your  plants  list?  If  you  are  a  planted  beginner,  I  will  strongly  suggest  you  to  start  with  Medium  light  tank  with  CO2  and  PMDD  and  lots  of  fast  growing  plants.
 
 PS:  Diana  Walstad  method  won't  be  applicable  for  a  High  Tech  tank.
 
 All  the  best!
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ravi
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:02 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Hi  demorphica,
 
 Check  out  Tom  Barr's  Estimative  Index.  Then,  read  up  on  effect  of  co2  on  various  algae.  Tom  says  algae  problem  in  aquarium  is  an  indicator  of  co2  deficiency.  Excess  light  on  it's  own  will  not  cause  algae  growth.
 
 4  x  150  watts  MH  will  be  a  good  idea.  Try  combination  of  6500  &  5400  k  lamps.  14,000  will  be  of  no  use  for  planted  tanks.
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Rana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:54 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 demorphica
 
 I  just  give  my  opinion  in  your  case.  
 
 First  of  all  you  do  not  really  need  very  high  light  intensity  in  your  tank  to  grow  plants  even  glosso.  At  2.5  watt/gallon  will  work  enough  for  you.  Specific  Watt/Gallon  numbers  are  applicable  depending  on  tank  size  and  since  your  tank  is  large,  I  think,  2.5  watt/gallon  FL  will  be  sufficient  for  your  purpose.  But  my  suggestion  to  you  to  keep  the  tank  height  at  lower  side  say  21".
 
 Analyse  the  spectrum  of  the  lights  you  are  going  to  select.  The  intensity  of  the  spectrum  should  peak  in  both  blue  and  red  region.  Just  kelvin  number  does  not  reveal  the  true  picture.  A  light  with  6500K  with  more   distribution/spike  in  green/yellow  range  will  not  help  you  much  in  growing  plants.
 
 Employ  combination  of  normal  FLs  with  full  spectrum  lights  with  K  rating  like  9540  or  9560,  Osram  Biolux  is  a  good  choice,  you  may  use  plant  tubes  like  Osram  Fluora,  with  specific  dedicated  spectrum  for  plant  growth.
 
 For  MH  go  for  flull  spectrum  or  daylight.  
 
 For  algae,  no  specific  method  is  full  proof,  it  is  a  balancing  act  to  maintain  a  closed  ecosystem.  You  need  to  balance  nutirents  including  CO2,  water  change,  substrate,  correct  light  spectrum  and  intensity  and  filtration  system.  Water  temperature  is  also  a  important  factor.  
 
 Just  one  point,  if  your  plant  grows  well  algae  will  not  grow,  but  if  your  plants  suffer,  algae  will  take  a  upperhand.  So  rather  than  focusing  on  algae  control,  focus  on  plant  growth,  your  algae  problem  will  be  solved.
 
 Just  jump  in,   wishing  you  a  nice  planted  tank
 
 Happy  Holi!
 
 Rana
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rasikanayak
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:15 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Hi  Rana,
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
First  of  all  you  do  not  really  need  very  high  light  intensity  in  your  tank  to  grow  plants  even  glosso.  At  2.5  watt/gallon  will  work  enough  for  you.                  

 
 can  you  please  elaborate?  Have  you  been  able  to  grow  Glossostigma  elatinoides  at  2.5  watt/gallon?  What  were  the  other  parameters?
 
 Thanks,
 
 Regards,
 Nayak.
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Rana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:26 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Nayek
 
 Watt/Gallon  rule  is  not  universally  applicable  to  all  tank  sizes.  For  example,  in  a  5  gallon  tank  you  can  not  grow  plant  with  a  20  watt  bulb,  even  you  are  having  4  watt/gallon.  I  recommended  2.5  watt/gallon  with  respect  to  demor's  tank  size.  If  his  tank  size  were  smaller,  defintely  he  needs  better  watt/gallon.
 
 In  the  web,  many  large  tanks  are  aquascaped  with  even  less  than  2  watt/gallon.
 
 I  am  having  one  4  footer/80  gallon,  where  I  use  220  watt  PLL,  i.e  2.75  
 watt/gallon,  and  I  have  a  good  carpet  of  Glosso.   One  of  my  friend  at  Kolkata  also  have  glosso  carpet  with  just  2.25  watts/gallon  with  a  tank  size  of  4.5  feet.
 
 But  in  another  smaller  2.5  feet/28  gallon  tank,  I  utilised  approx.  3.8  watts/gallon  and  I  also  suffered  green  water  problem  along  with  that  for  3  months  !!.
 
 Here  is  the  link
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=6805.
 
 I  could  not  understand  your  query  on  other  parameters.  Please  elaborate.
 
 Regards
 Rana
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rasikanayak
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:40 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Hi  Rane,
 
 Thanks  for  your  reply.  Your  Link  gave  me  the  other  parameters  you  are  using  to  maintain  your  tank.  
 
 I  have  a  48*18*18  tank  waiting  to  be  planted.  Just  could  not  decide  on  foreground  plants.  Like  to  do  Glosso  but  was  worried  about  light  requirement.  Thanks  again.
 
 Regards,
 Nayak.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:47 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Wow...
 
 Thanks  for  the  replies...  I  live  in  Pune  and  will  surely  update  my  profile  to  reflect  that.
 
 T2CHATTO:  I  know  that  the  Walstad  method  is  not  applicable  to  Hi-Tech  Tanks,  please  read  my  PS  at  the  end  of  my  post.  All  your  advice  is  taken.  Will  surely  think  abt  it.
 
 Ravi  :  Was  on  the  Barr  Report  yesterday.  Am  reading  up  on  it  now.
 
 Rana:  You  are  absolutely  right.  No  doubt  abt  it,  but  how  do  I  find  out  a  reliable  source  for  all  the  variety  of  light  sources  available  in  the  market  here?  beats  me...  Also  you  are  right  abt  the  WPG  rule  not  applying  to  smaller  tanks.  Amano'  smaller  tanks  are  all  relatively  better  lit.  And  I  don't  think  it's  because  he  made  a  bulk  order  for  the  same  light  Very Happy  .  The  guy  can  certainly  afford  to  use  whatever  lighting  he  wants.  Why  are  his  smaller  tanks  better  lit???
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:55 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Demo,
 As  already  mentioned  a  14000k  light  will  be  more  or  less  useless  for  green  plants  but  it  can  be  utilized  by  red  plants,  but  it  would  be  a  risk  trying  to  run  halides  at  that  kelvin  rating.  If  you  can  get  hold  of  a  5700k  bulb  then  it  would  be  the  best  for  planted  tanks  even  though  it  has  a  peak  in  green  but  it  has  sufficient  levels  of  lighting  in  all  other  spectrums  (except  pure  red).  
 
 I  have  tried  4000k  halide  bulbs  on  FW  tanks  and  they  also  do  fine  but  a  5700  was  IMO  the  best.  I  did  not  have  glosso  but  I  had  plants  like  myriophyllum  and  didiplis  diandra  that  did  very  well.
 
 Also,  2.5wpg  should  be  good  enough  for  your  tank  as  the  common  3-4wpg  rule  will  really  not  work  for  a  tank  your  size.  It  is  pretty  much  useless  for  any  tank  more  than  100  gallons  as  the  lighting  may  be  a  bit  too  much.  At  one  time  I  had  2wpg  light  on  my  90  gallon  using  halides  and  I  did  consider  it  on  the  higher  end  of  the  epg  rule.
 
 Personally  I  dont  know  what  bulbs  are  available  in  India  but  historically  (people  may  have  forgotton  this)  standard  cool  white  4000/4200k  bulbs  have  been  in  use  for  planted  tanks  and  they  do  seem  to  do  a  good  job.  I  think  4000k  bulbs  are  the  common  cool  white  bulbs  available  in  India.
 
 I  am  also  not  a  fan  of  6500k  bulbs  as  I  have  not  had  great  results  with  it.  I  think  it  lacks  in  some  spectrum  that  the  lights  need.
 
 Kelvin  rating  is  just  a  generalizes  system  for  plants  and  there  is  no  real  hard  and  fast  rule  that  having  lights  above  a  certain  spectrum  will  be  good  and  having  lights  below  certain  specrum  will  be  bad.  A  clear  example  of  this  is  a  Sylvania  Grolux  T8  that  is  I  think  a  3500k  bulb  and  has  been  regarded  as  one  of  the  best  T8s  for  growing  aquatic  plants.
 
 Nim
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sridharp77
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:59 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 If  your  budget  permits  get  the  ADA  MH  bulbs  instead  of  other  MH  bulbs.  The  overall  fixtures  will  cost  you  a  bomb  but  the  ADA  bulbs  can  be  used  in  the  normal  other  fixtures  available  in  our  country.  They  are  so  pleasing  to  our  eyes  and  the  plant  growth  is  also  good.
 
 Regards,
 
 Sridhar
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nimmat
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:25 am Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 I  had  a  look  at  the  8000k  spectrum  and  it  does  look  good.  Almost  very  similar  to  the  5700k  but  with  a  bit  more  broad  range  blues  (hence  why  the  higher  temperature).  It  would  be  a  much  better  option  for  tanks  deeper  then  60cm  but  I  dont  know  the  price  difference  between  a  5700k  and  a  8000k  ADA  but  from  experience  of  ADA  products,  I  suppose  it  would  be  twice  the  price...  if  this  is  the  case,  my  personal  choice  for  a  tank  not  deeper  than  2  ft  would  be  the  5700k  (This  is  also  sold  by  Arcadia  as  their  plant  growing  bulb).
 
 I  guess  the  cost  would  be  a  driving  factor  here  Smile
 
 Nim
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Rana
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:11 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Demo
 
 I  just  would  like  to  contribute  a  little  more  in  this  discussion.
 
 1>  Pl  use  mirror  reflector  for  FL/PLLs  .  If  you  go  for  Metal  Halides  for  better  penetration  in  your  deep  tank.  You  may  select  one  particular  bulb  from  OSRAM  -  HCI-TS  150W/942  NDL  PB  UVS  RX7S  FS1.  See  the  spectrum  form  OSRAM  web.  Philips  also  have  a  similer  bulb  in  70  and  150  Watt.
 
 But  one  point  not  to  miss  here,  metal  halides  bulbs  loose  their  spectrum  very  fast.  
 
 2>  Use  of  OSRAM  Biolux  or  Sylvania  Grolux  and  Osram  Fluora/Plant  light  combination   will  give   very  good  result  provided  you  reduce  your  tank  height.  Even  Philips  Trulite  6500  and  4000  combination  gives  good  spectrum.  For  aesthetically  pleasing  views  in  may  add  8000  K  bulbs/tubes.
 
 Regards
 Rana
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fishyman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:42 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 Hi,
   My  aquarium  has  all  the  algae  you  can  think  of  and  also  all  other  which  you  cant  think  of.  I  wonder  how  come  my  aquarium  can  home  so  many  kinds  of  algae.
 The  water  parameter  seems  fine  to  me.  ph  6.7,  GH  3deg,  NO3  10  mg/l,  NO2  negligible  and  water  temp  of  26-27  deg  celcius.
 The  tank  is  approx  95  gallons  and  i  am  using  two  MH  150  watts  each  switched  on  for  5  hrs  and  there  after  two  18  watts  osram  fluora.  for  next  6  hours.  I  am  using  pressuried  co2.  The  plants  are  growing  very  well  but  even  better  the  algae.so  far  i  have  noticed  black  beard  algae,  green  spot  algae,  dust  algae,  thread  algae.  theres  another  algae  some  what  blk  brown  in  colour  and  appears  as  small  algae  balls  stuck  to  my  gravel.
 before  i  bought  these  MH  i  did  my  required  reiki  and  came  across  with  MH  with  ceremic  techology  and  found  their  spectrum  good  enough  for  consideration.  the  spectrum  were  peaking  in  red  and  blue,  4200  k,  14000  lumens  and  cri  of  95.
 I  am  following  estimative  index  for  fertilisation  which  involves  khpo4,kno3  and  microsol-b.
 Any  one  who  can  render  some  advise.
 regards
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Tirtha C
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:00 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

                                                   
Quote:                
so  far  i  have  noticed  black  beard  algae,  green  spot  algae,  dust  algae,  thread  algae.  theres  another  algae  some  what  blk  brown  in  colour  and  appears  as  small  algae  balls  stuck  to  my  gravel.  
                 

 
 
 Hi  Tarun,  let  take  a  look  at  the  reson  for  the  algaes  in  your  tank.
 
 black  beard  algae  :  Less  CO2  and  uneven  distribution  of  CO2  all  over  the  tank.
 
 green  spot  algae:  Not  a  bad  sign  in  a  healthy  planted  tank.  Comes  due  to  longer  light  period.
 
 dust  algae:  Comes  due  to  longer  light  period.
 
 thread  algae:Less  CO2  and  uneven  distribution  of  CO2  all  over  the  tank.
 
 small  algae  balls  stuck  to  gravel:  Lack  of  water  circulation  along  with  higher  photo  period.
 
 So  need  to  reduce  your  Photop  Period.  (I  would  suggest  you  to  go  for  a  3+3  hr  photo  period  with  1  hr  break  inbetween)
 
 And  spike  up  your  CO2  as  well  as  make  sure  they  are  spreading  all  over  the  tank.
 
 A  question.  Are  you  using  only  4200K  MH  in  the  tank?  Then  change  it  to  a  mix  of  4200K  and  6500K.  Cause  use  of  only  4200K  is  not  advisable  in  planted  tank,  as  it  will  fail  to  give  enough  Blue  spectrum.  And  Plants  will  not  be  able  to  complete  photosynthesis  due  to  lack  of  Blue  Spectrum.  That  means  Less  Plant  Growth  and  High  nutrients  in  Water  column.  That  leads  to  an  algae  out  break.
 
 And  how  you  are  dosing  Sulphate  in  tank?  There  are  no  chemicals  in  your  list  which  is  providing  Sulphate.
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nimmat
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:01 pm Post subject: Re: To kelvin or not to kelvin ... light spectrum for Algae Reply with quote

 I  agree  with  Tritha,
 
 I  have  used  4200k  ceramic  phillips  bulbs  before  and  they  actually  promoted  green  hair  algae  and  staghorm  (I  never  had  these  when  I  was  using  the  5700k  bulb).  So  I  would  advise  you  to  replace  both  the  bulbs.
 
 Also,  do  you  have  plenty  of  water  movement  in  the  tank?  It  is  a  very  essential  part  of  a  planted  high  light  tank  to  be  able  to  have  all  round  water  movement  so  that  there  are  no  dead  spots  where  CO2  and  nutrients  cannot  reach.
 
 I  would  also  suggest  you  increase  your  dosing  of  trace  elements  and  a  bit  of  nitrate  as  well  to  aim  for  nitrates  around  20..  I  had  good  success  in  my  90  gallon  with  this.
 
 Bottom  line:  Change  your  bulbs,  reduce  your  lighting  period  slightly,  get  some  water  movement  across  the  tank,  increase  your  dosage  of  trace  elements,  and  also  physically  get  rid  of  any  algae  that  you  can  once  you  have  completed  the  above  steps.
 
 It  will  help  for  sure.
 
 Nim
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