• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

ADA Aquasky RGB 60- Questioning lower light output

aquascape1987

Member
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
I’m using the Aquasky RGB at the moment and am having some issues with growth of certain species of plant growth and also now some diatoms.

Sorry this is a bit long winded, but unfortunately my thought process on the issues I’m having is long winded, so please bare with me 😀.

Firstly, I was torn between posting this in the lighting, algae or plants section, but decided to post here as I’m currently questioning whether or not to move back to my Twinstar 600s, but I’m at a bit of an impasse in my though process as to what to do next, which I’ll explain.

The growth issues:

Basically, I changed from using a Twinstar 600S to this light, when I rescaped about a month ago now, and I am currently questioning whether this light may be my problem. (Hoping that this isn’t the case though, as I really like the light)
I know that this thought is an unpopular one, as I’ve read a lot about people loving this light, and also everyone I’ve spoken to suggests that the light has more than adequate output for growing anything. I also love the colour rendition of the light. But none the less, I can see that it is not as bright as the Twinstar, and I can see that the actual area where the LEDs are under the light is significantly smaller than the twinstars, which may result in the spread of light not being as effective

Since planting, I’ve had a mixed bag of growth across the different species of plants in the tank. My stems, rotala macandra, rotala sp green, and also, ammania pedicellata gold seem to be doing well. Although it’s worth noting that I couldn’t not grow myriophyllum Guyana, which I have removed and replaced with rotala green.

My HC Cuba carpet in the foreground and Glossostigma mid ground , are not doing as well as the stems. The Glossostigma, although growing, doesn’t seem to want to grow and spread compactly, and a lot of it is growing upwards. At the first trim, I removed it all, re prepared and replanted it in individual stems rather than clumps, as I suspected that this may encourage more compact growth, but it hasn’t. You can imagine my frustration as this was no small task 🙄

The HC carpet is really struggling to establish its self , spread and thicken up. Growth is VERY slow, although it has grown a little, but I’ve had to add quite a bit more than I originally planted where some has melted and disappeared.

I’ve just realised today that the minimal diatoms that I thought I had, and was to be expected with a new scape, are a bit worse than I thought. The HC Cuba is riddled with it (brown fuzzy) and so is the Glossostigma which I hadn’t realised previously. I’d seen a bit of browning on the struggling HC leaves, and also the Glossostigma, but had only noticed a bit of a fuzz before, but on closer inspection, there is more than I had previously seen. The stems are currently unaffected by this, and there are no other algae issues.

A couple of points to note, are that before questioning the light, I firstly questioned C02 , flow and nutrients but I don’t think these are the problem here. I get a stable 1.3 pH drop and lime green drop checker throughout the photo period which has been proven by weeks of ph profiles, and moving multiple drop checkers all around the tank. I can also see that the mist from my twinstar distributes quickly to all areas of the tank. Filter turnover is also around 20x as I’m using 2 x Eheim 250s through spray bars on the back wall. Fertiliser, I’m using TNC complete, and am dosing based on the ‘double triple’ method to provide equal to EI. I am actually doing this method very generously as well, so I’m actually exceeding the double triple TNC method.

My initial thoughts on the HC Cuba being very slow to take off and establish was that the Aquaskys lower output maybe causing it. I can see that the Twinstar 600s is a brighter light, and I have grown HC carpets in the past with it that don’t struggle at all to establish and spread. I did get similar diatoms early on when I grew it using the twinstar, but it was always a transient phase that took hold, AFTER initial healthy growth and establishing of the carpet. But this time, the carpet seems to have failed to take off at all, and now the diatoms have started already. My thoughts have centred on that perhaps the lower light from the ADA had not stimulated the Cuba to grow initially and establish, which has encouraged the brown growth within it, before it has even got going.

The Glossostigma, I’ve only had a bit of experience with it in the past, so I really don’t have any reference experience, but my thoughts again were that the reaching growth could be a result of it not getting enough light. It is in an open area of the tank, and is right below the lighting unit which is puzzling me.

Impasse on what to do next:
So as I mentioned, I’m currently struggling to decide what to do next.
I’m considering either adding more clean up crew including Siamese algae eaters to try to get rid of the brown diatoms whilst I ride out the diatom phase, and hopefully then the Cuba will establish and spread, and also the Glossostigma will grow compactly.

Or, I am considering swapping back to the Twinstar, to see if the Cuba growth and spread improves, as well as the Glossostigma starting to grow more compactly, whilst at the same time riding out the diatom phase.

In terms of the ADA Aquasky, I know it is a dimmer light than the Twin-star, I can see that with my own eyes. But I’m struggling to rationalise that the light output is not enough, even though the Glossostigma reaching growth definitely suggests this, and the failure of the HC establishing and spread, may also suggest this. Struggling to rationalise because a) it is ADA and is supposed to be the pinnacle of quality, and b) because I cannot find anyone else talking about the same issues (although there aren’t many in depth reviews of the light)

Even though I have cause to suspect the light, surely it cannot be this beautiful and expensive bit of kit? Could the diatoms actually be the cause rather than the effect, and riding them out with a bolstered clean up crew the solution?

Or could it actually be the light, and I’m trying to ignore my intuition, because of the ADA brand hype, and because you would naturally expect a light from this company, and at this price point to be the pinnacle. And also because it looks pretty, and the colour rendition makes the plants look prettier? Confused.com

Again, sorry for the essay, but thoughts and experience very much appreciated if anyone manages to get to the end of that 😂
 
Last edited:

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
1,805
Location
Nottingham
You don't mention how deep your tank is, I know that Glosso can be quite demanding, but I would be surprised is the ADA light wasn't bright enough.

A picture speaks a thousand words, so some images, including a FTS might assist.
 

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi, the tank is 30cm deep, and yea, my thoughts exactly on the light, but the glosso is reaching and the HC is just not taking off healthily.

So for me, having ruled out CO2, flow and ferts, I only come to two possible issues... Either the light isn’t strong enough, or the lights fine and it’s just the diatoms limiting the light getting to both.

Using the Twinstar though, I have managed to get the carpet grown in and spread by the time diatoms come, but this time they have come before the carpet has taken off. It has taken longer as well to take off, it’s not that diatoms have come early:

2B90CD17-0B25-44A1-9F86-43275D9E7AEE.jpeg
78879219-5CFD-4487-8D38-6082AF1B07C7.jpeg
AD4DA76E-1952-4FFE-83D2-F96C23134380.jpeg


8C06346B-5E0F-4E29-B00E-F5F93C49F734.jpeg
E544F31C-E11C-4E23-99AD-165509C04A48.jpeg
 

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Those pics are also under the Twinstar. The tank looks a lot healthier under the RGB light, but this is no good to me if it just an optical illusion.

You can see the different shades and larger leaf sizes in the HC Cuba, and this is where I have replaced bits that were lost with new.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
1,805
Location
Nottingham
Can you post up a full tank shot though, not zoomed in to any part, showing the whole tank - I can’t see where your inlet is positioned.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
1,805
Location
Nottingham
Well, 2 spray bars actually, each fed by a filter

Pretty much ideal distribution set up then.👍

Trimming the carpet plants will encourage more compact growth, and a clean up crew will help deal with any diatoms - they would be my next steps, along with manual removal.

You seem to be doing everything right, so it might just be a matter of upping the water changes, getting a clean up crew and generally riding it out to let the tank mature.

I tend to find a tank turns a sudden corner when it becomes biologically mature, and everything just takes off. How long has it been set up?
 

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Trimming the carpet plants will encourage more compact growth, and a clean up crew will help deal with any

So you think that I may be over thinking this in respect of the the light then? I’d really wince while trimming the HC in the not established state it is at the minute state at the minute... I feel it’s barely hanging on to survival 😂. Or do you think I should just grit my teeth and wince? I’ll keep going with the Glossostigma in this respect however.


I tend to find a tank turns a sudden corner when it becomes biologically mature, and everything just takes off. How long has it been set up?

Yea, my own experience tells me this as well mate, perhaps I’m just being a bit impatient and panicking? It’s just irritating me that the tank seems to be eating £s worth of HC Cuba and not establishing. The tank has technically been set up for 2 years and I have used I’d say 75% of the original substrate, and maybe added 25% new this time around. Also used the same filters which were kept running and the same rocks. Just rearranged, cleaned the retained substrate and planted with new plants. So technically 2 years, but only 4 to 5 weeks since rescape and plant.
 

Ady34

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,854
Location
Co. Durham
I may be incorrect but I believe although the twinstar light looks bright to the eye, it is actually not so strong and the issue you may be facing is the opposite to your conclusion in that the new ADA light is too strong for the current levels of supplied co2 and other fertilisers. The melting and excess algae also would back up this theory. I would maybe increase co2 and fertilisers before adding to your cuc to see if that helps.
Your drop checker looks to be a darker green rather than lime green, although I don’t know at what stage in the photoperiod the images were taken. I would aim for a more lime green colour for the photoperiod duration, especially important at the start of the photoperiod with the lack of controllability on the ADA light unit. Slowly increase levels whilst monitoring fish behaviour.
Also the Ada light is not controllable, did you have the twinstar on any sort of dimmer or was that also at 100% intensity for the duration of the photoperiod?
 
Last edited:

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
I may be incorrect but I believe although the twinstar light looks bright to the eye, it is actually not so strong and the issue
You may be right on this... problem is the two the different manufacturers give their specs in different parameters, and not the one we actually want... PAR 🙄 I’m going to stick with the ADA light for a bit anyway. Although I have a bit of diatoms, I haven’t really got any other algae such as green spot forming on the glass. This is one thing to me that suggests the output is less than the Twinstar, as it was always possible to grow this on the glass if you turned it up too bright. Nothing like this with the Aquasky on full power, which in this respect is a good thing.


The melting and excess algae also would back up this theory
I know this can be a symptom of Poor CO2 and or fertiliser with HC Cuba, but I’ve read that HC does Kamikaze when it doesn’t get enough light as well?


Your drop checker looks to be a darker green rather than lime green, although I don’t know at what stage in the photoperiod the images were taken.
Some of the pics above were taken during the day before CO2 on/ during the build up by switching the lights manually just to get a photo, so I think that’s what you are seeing with the darker green DC colour.

This is a better pic of the DC at lights on tonight... What do you think?


E0F678A2-190C-4EBB-98F4-AC9179AFBA07.jpeg

Would you say that is lime green? It stays like this throughout the photo period, if anything it is almost yellow when the CO2 finally clicks off. The drop checker also have a reference colour solution/chamber within it, so don’t let this skew your perception of the colour. This is supposed to be a helpful feature of the drop checker, and I thought it looked cool when I bought it, but in actual fact it sometimes makes it harder to read. It looks good when the bromo blue is fully blue, but the more green it goes, the more confusing the whole thing looks 😂. In real life though, the DC colour pictured is actually a bit lighter than the reference, which you can see better with the naked eye.

With the ferts, I’m dosing between 15 and 20ml daily of TNC complete. I measure to at least 15, but sometimes it’s over, never less. My tank is 90 litres, so the double triple method (6x) dose to achieve lower end of EI scale would be 10.80 ml per day. If I’ve understood this correctly. I think I’m going to have a bash on @Zeus. fert calculator tomorrow to double check this.

With the Twinstar, on my previous scape, I ran the twinstar at maximum of 90 percent when the tank had grown in, and stabilised. If I tried 95percent, you would start to see algae not matter what you did to mitigate it. I slowly increased from 60 percent after planting, to 90 percent some 2 months later, which I found useful.. I must admit, not being able to dim the Aquasky is a bit annoying, and disappointing that they don’t produce a dimmer for it. I do run it through my Twinstar dimmer, but with the ADA power supply. The electrical specs for both check out fine, but the light definitely cannot be dimmed. Has to be run at 100 percent. If you do try to dim it, nothing happens until you get down to 30 percent, and then all of a sudden the light turns green, which is no good, and probably not healthy for the light, so I only tried once.

Do you think that it may be worth upping my photo period? It’s currently at 6.5 hours. Just another thought?
 
Last edited:

Ryan Thang To

Member
Joined
18 Jul 2013
Messages
1,562
Location
London. milton keynes
hello mate.
this reminds me back in the days where i first started i had that same problem.

firstly i would recommend you take out one filter and buy a glass lily pipe.
place it at the front and co2 diffuser at the opposite side.

light should be about 7 to 8 hours

if your using tap water you need to turn on the co2 at lease 2 or 3 hours before light come on and off a hour before light off. if you using ro water then 1 or 2 hours is fine. base on experience i will always use ro now.
also don't add too much fertiliser maybe half and then slow add more once you see new plant growing. better to add little every day. by the way what brand are you using?

looking at your tank you have low plant mass. better to add more fast growing plant. hc and gloss is slow at first but once they settle in the glosso will take over lol.

her my tank using the same light.
 

Attachments

  • 20200312_213742.jpg
    20200312_213742.jpg
    3 MB · Views: 40

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi Ryan,


firstly i would recommend you take out one filter and buy a glass lily pipe.
place it at the front and co2 diffuser at the opposite side.
Why would it benefit me to reduce the flow turnover by getting rid of a filter?

Also, the reason I have moved away from glass Lilly pipes is because they are not particularly good for achieving equal flow around the tank... which is why I changed to spray bars. Surely a spraybar along the full back wall, pointing at the front glass creates more optimal flow all around the tank than than a Lilly pipe? Also, surely halving my turnover by taking away a filter is not going to help? Interested to understand

CO2 wise, my CO2 comes on 4.5 hours before lights and goes off 30 mins before lights off. Lime green drop checker throughout photo period and a stable 1.3pH drop throughout the photo period.

With the plant mass, I think the photos are a bit deceiving as the full back of the tank is planted with rotala macandra, rotala sp green and ammania golden. You just can’t see them because I’ve trimmed them back and they haven’t yet grown back above the rocks.
 

aquascape1987

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2014
Messages
373
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
So, as @Wookii mentioned, my tank seems to have started to turn the corner on its own. Cuba is suddenly growing new, diatom free leaves, and is starting to spread more. Glosso is also growing some new diatom free leaves, although its still a bit more leggy than I’d like. Still, not as much as it was before when I posted this originally, so I do feel it’s moving in the right direction.

The only thing I have changed is that I added 2 Siamese algae eaters, and poof! ! Within a week, no more brown fuzzy diatoms strangling anything, and everything starting to grow properly.

I think, as @Ryan Thang To has shown with his stunning tank pics under this light, it is definitely not the light that caused the problem for me... I think it was the diatom algae 😁
 

Similar threads

Top