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Lights on Lights off!

phantomfisher

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Is there a recommended amount of time to leave the lights on in a planted fresh water aquarium? :?:
 

JamesM

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I start out at 6 hours per day, then work my way up over several months to 8 hours for high tech setups and 10 hours for low tech low light no co2 tanks.
 

phantomfisher

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I currently have my lights and Co2 on for around 12 hours per day with the Co2 starting 2 hours before lights on and finishing 2 hours before lights off, if I am to reduce the lights on period to say 6 hours should I reduce the Co2 injection time period pro rata? :?:
 

phantomfisher

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I will try your suggestion and see how it goes.

Effectivelly I will be reducing the lighing period from 12 hours to 6 hours and the Co2 period from 12 hours 8 hours is this correct? Also and this may seem like a stupid question but what benefits do you think I will see by reducing the lighting & Co2 periods apart from the obvious reduced cost of elecricity and gas through lower use?
 

Piece-of-fish

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Ok, i will try to answer for the first time, correct me if i am wrong about anything.
The most important reason you are told to reduce the light is to avoid algae during initial tank startup period gradually increasing it little by little. If your tank is already running succsessfully for some time and you have no algae issues then its really up to you, you can run it as long as you like.
To answer your question about the benefits:
longer lasting co2 bottle, less prunning could be mentioned.
since you have 6 t5's i would try to create more natural environment and run just have of them switching on all in the middle of photoperiod from 3 to 5 hours. :wave:
 

phantomfisher

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Piece-of-fish said:
Ok, i will try to answer for the first time, correct me if i am wrong about anything.
The most important reason you are told to reduce the light is to avoid algae during initial tank startup period gradually increasing it little by little. If your tank is already running succsessfully for some time and you have no algae issues then its really up to you, you can run it as long as you like.
To answer your question about the benefits:
longer lasting co2 bottle, less prunning could be mentioned.
since you have 6 t5's i would try to create more natural environment and run just have of them switching on all in the middle of photoperiod from 3 to 5 hours. :wave:

My tank has been up and running for about three months and I have tried a number of lighting/Co2 options. I use the 'James' Planted Tank' dry ferts regime and my plants are doing reasonably well however I do have some algae issues i.e. growing on the leaves of my Echinodorus Bleheri, Mopani wood and rocks which I would really like to get under control.

Unfortunately my T5 Luminaire has only one power lead for all 6 T5's so I am unable to have them switch on and off automatically 3 at a time using a timer. There are 2 switches on the luminaire itself which allows for either 3 or 6 T5's to be switched on so I have been runing on just 3 T5's for the past week but still get algea as described above. I work from home so it shouldn't be two difficult to switch the other 3 T5's on for a few hours in the middle of the lights on period if required but do you really think this is a good idea baring in mind my algae issues? :?
 

Piece-of-fish

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Well i think you should wait more than one week to see the results i suppose. Try to reduce the whole lenght of photoperiod as well as recommended before. I dont think you need to reduce to 6 hours honestly if your tank is mature already.
I have only theoretical knowledge which is not backed up by experience so an advice from someone more experienced might be helpful.
reducing the intensity to just 3 lamps should help as well especially if you dont have high light demanding plants and are ok with a slower growth rates. Most plants will do well in lower light if ferts and co2 are on top.
As about algae the general advice would be to try and clean the wood and rocks, remove any affected and poor health leaves. Check for deadzones in flow. You would be told to increase the water changes for couple of weeks but this could be a problem on the tank this big unless you have any device which helps the process to be done easier, but if like you say there arent to many of algae i think just reducing the light and getting rid of existing algae maybe supported by couple exter water changes should help.
There shouldnt be to difficult to try and connect the second power lead to be able to run lights separately if you are not scared of DIY as well.
 

phantomfisher

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Piece-of-fish said:
Well i think you should wait more than one week to see the results i suppose. Try to reduce the whole lenght of photoperiod as well as recommended before. I dont think you need to reduce to 6 hours honestly if your tank is mature already.
I have only theoretical knowledge which is not backed up by experience so an advice from someone more experienced might be helpful.
reducing the intensity to just 3 lamps should help as well especially if you dont have high light demanding plants and are ok with a slower growth rates. Most plants will do well in lower light if ferts and co2 are on top.
As about algae the general advice would be to try and clean the wood and rocks, remove any affected and poor health leaves. Check for deadzones in flow. You would be told to increase the water changes for couple of weeks but this could be a problem on the tank this big unless you have any device which helps the process to be done easier, but if like you say there arent to many of algae i think just reducing the light and getting rid of existing algae maybe supported by couple exter water changes should help.
There shouldnt be to difficult to try and connect the second power lead to be able to run lights separately if you are not scared of DIY as well.

I will run on 3 T5's for 8 hours for a week or two and adjust Co2 accordingly and see how that goes. Come the weekend I will get to grips with the algae, carry out a bit of pruning and do my weekly 50% water change. As far as the DIY electrics are concerned you are quite right it shouldn't be too difficult to rig a second power line to give better control of the T5's.

Many thanks for your thoughts and advice. :thumbup:
 

Piece-of-fish

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Ok, nice photos. From the plant list i assume the only plant which want more light is alternatera but even for it 3 lamps could be enough, need a more experienced advice here on this one from someone else.
Had a quick look through your other posts. :thumbup: for switching to planted, the nicely arranged cichlid tank could be a stanner as well though.
If you are really in to the bug and want a funcy scape, lots of reading should be done and this forum is a treasury. I got hooked this april and it took me 3 month of frustration and dissapointment with constant battle with algae until i have read mountains of information and only then all pieces started to come together :lol:
Its either you choose to learn through practise which taking into consideration the fact that it takes time to get a decent scape and any major mistake could ruine couple months work or you do your homework first and read a lot and then the whole process goes much smoother. I chose the second way and finally now starting to feel happy :) Now its only practise left. To make it faster as well i got 2 tanks and planning to start the third one, just to get more experience during the same time. My larger tank is not much of a scape but a playground for observing the plant growing patterns, practising pruning techniques, have about 15 plant species at the moment in there.
Ok, went a little off topic here heh :rolleyes:
If your goal is just to have a nice long term tank at home and not bother about the fancy scaping then you are almost there. Your equipment seems complete and you just need a small tweaking here and there.
In your other topic you had some good advices from Ceg and he is one of our best gurus here :thumbup:
You could really add more plants there, especially to fill the middle (anubias, some smaller crypts could be perfect). And the co2 as advised should be gradually increased. I am running about 4bps on my 25G and 5-6 on 45G and having a lime green bubble counter through all lighting period.
Remove every single unhealthy leave you see in there as well, it will grow back, if you dont it will not only look unsightly and not recover but will also feed algae due to leeching ferts back to the water, keep on top of maintenance, dont miss water changes, filter cleaning should be done at least once a month, ( you could clean one every 2 weeks and maybe once per month or two the tubing), and give it more time, things dont change in 2-3 days.
Hope this was not to boring to read.
Regards.
 

phantomfisher

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I decided to take the bull by the horns and have pruned to within an inch of my life. :thumbup:

I already have 24 plants on order, crypts and aponogetons so hopefully they will arrive tomorrow and I will get them planted and see how that goes. Have not tried anubias yet so I will see what space is left and perhaps get a few. I have just got through a period of crypt melt which nessesitated some heavy pruning of those but they are now starting to recover with new growth. :crazy:

My bubble rate is only around 2bps and I am getting a nice lime green through the lighting period, I would have thought the rate for my 400L tank would have needed to have been higher than in both your tanks :?:

I cleaned my filters a couple of weeks ago in tank water so they should be fine for now. Water changes are 50% per week in line with recommendations when using the Estimative Index method of fert dosing :)

So I think I am pretty much on top of things now and will keep a close eye on everything tank over the next few weeks and hopefully see a decline in algae, increase in plant growth and if I could win the lottery as well then all would be at peace with the world :thumbup:
 

Piece-of-fish

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Ye should be fine, the different bps is probably due to different bubble sizes, because according to the average 2kg bottle should give you about 2,5-3 month of gas in 25G and mine is already running for more than 4 o_O
By the way i have some cabomba, higrophila difformis and ammania gracilis ready to go. They are all stems, the last 2 of them with quite large leaves. I could send it to you for free if you want, anyway they will be going to the bin or other members.
:wave:
 

phantomfisher

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Piece-of-fish said:
Ye should be fine, the different bps is probably due to different bubble sizes, because according to the average 2kg bottle should give you about 2,5-3 month of gas in 25G and mine is already running for more than 4 o_O
By the way i have some cabomba, higrophila difformis and ammania gracilis ready to go. They are all stems, the last 2 of them with quite large leaves. I could send it to you for free if you want, anyway they will be going to the bin or other members.
:wave:

Many thanks for the plants offer, some of the Higrophila difformis and Ammania gracilis would be great. I am not keen on Cabomba so will pass on that. I would be happy to pay for the post and packing so that you are not out of pocket?

I will send you a private message with my contact details. :thumbup:
 

Piece-of-fish

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Hi again, dont worry about the payment, it will only cost me under 1£. I am using old envelopes and just paying for a large 1 class envelope stamp.
There is a 'pay it forward' scheme going in sale/swap section and i got ammania from there. The point of it is that you receive a plant for free and when it grows and you trim it you pass it to 2 more people so it keeps spreading. If you do the same good, its good for the community, if you fail then dont worry. :wave:
Will send it out on monday then.
P.S. These 2 plants could be triimed 2 ways:
You can whether throw away the bottom part and only replant the top which will give you thicker and wider stem with larger leaves or you can trim it as normal leaving the bottom part to develop new multiple shoots.
 

phantomfisher

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Piece-of-fish said:
Hi again, dont worry about the payment, it will only cost me under 1£. I am using old envelopes and just paying for a large 1 class envelope stamp.
There is a 'pay it forward' scheme going in sale/swap section and i got ammania from there. The point of it is that you receive a plant for free and when it grows and you trim it you pass it to 2 more people so it keeps spreading. If you do the same good, its good for the community, if you fail then dont worry. :wave:
Will send it out on monday then.
P.S. These 2 plants could be triimed 2 ways:
You can whether throw away the bottom part and only replant the top which will give you thicker and wider stem with larger leaves or you can trim it as normal leaving the bottom part to develop new multiple shoots.

It's a great idea and I will be happy to pass on any spare plants I have in the spirit of the scheme.

Many thanks again :wave:
 

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