algae control without co2

Discussion in 'Algae' started by davideyre, 5 Mar 2008.

  1. davideyre

    davideyre Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Oxford
    trying to avoid algae before it starts...

    i have a juwel rio 125 tank (33 US gallons), 2nd hand, new set up.
    substrate is tropica plant substrate with fine gravel on top.
    it is an old style juwel tank with 2x18w t8 tubes, i have bought another starter so now have 2x24w t5 tubes also in the hood. i can therefore run just the t5s or both the t8s and the t5s - would be interested to know what people think?

    using the juwel internal filter
    planning on using pmdd based approach as not easily able to do 50% weekly water changes called for by ei
    cannot afford pressurised co2 system at present, but have made a 2 bottle diy system set up with the nutrafin diffuser. changing bottles on alternate weeks.
    plan to plant tank with an online plant collection.

    reading around i appreciate that diy co2 is far from perfect and blamed for much algae. if i get algae (of a type that is co2 dependent) and cannot add more co2 as most articles suggest, can i reduce other factors to limit it - e.g. reduced lighting, reduced nutrient dosing? given that i would only be using diy co2 i imagine that just using the 2 t5 bulbs rather than all 4 would be most sensible as that would give me about 2wpg (if you multiply the t5 wattage by 1.3 or 1.5)? i am not keen on adding liquid co2 as i hear it damages quite a few common plants.

    thanks.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hello, and welcome to the forum! :D

    I'm not a fan of DIY CO2 although many use it successfully. It seems to me that your best bet starting out would be to simply use the T8s over your tank, forget about adding CO2 and only change you water in your tank twice a year. Dose the nutrients once a week and be done with it. Be sure to have an enriched substrate. That will be the key to a non-injected tank.

    Later if you fell you want a little bit more growth rate then add the DIY and see how it goes.

    The moment you flip the switch on those T5's is the moment your troubles will start. Just use one or two of those bulbs when viewing the tank, if you want, but otherwise leave them off. That's the easiest solution.

    That's the best formula which fits your stated goals.

    Cheers,
     
  3. davideyre

    davideyre Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Oxford
    thanks for the quick reply. if i were to just use the t8 lamps i would be running at 1.1wpg - from what i have read elsewhere that seems a bit on the low side, even for less demanding plants? is that fair?
     
  4. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    It will be fine @1.1WPG.

    I would just go CEGs route.

    If you want more light later then get the pressurised as well.

    Plants can grow at much lower levels than a lot of people think given the right nutrients and care.

    For example I bought some Blyxiua Japonica which you will see in the link below is supposed to be a difficlut plant and requires high light!.

    Once I planted it in my tank it melted. 4 weeks later it looks glorious. I have 1.5WPG (although T5 HO) with pressurised CO2 and daily ferts.

    http://www.plantgeek.net/plant-38.htm

    Andy
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Yes, that's a fair statement. You could think about having a single T5 bulb on for just a few hours per day, or if both must be on, you could think of a way to reduce their intensity either by obscuring the reflectors or by directly obscuring the bulbs themselves. The problem is never quite knowing exactly how much to obscure them because we have no way of directly measuring intensity. You have also imposed self restrictions such as banishing the use of liquid carbon products.

    You would have a better control and a much wider margin of error if you were to lift this restriction and to simply use plants that are not affected by liquid carbon. Liverworts, Bladderworts and some mosses don't like Excel but there are hundreds of other plants that benefit greatly from the addition of this product. The only real deterrent to the use of Excel or Easy-Carbo is their rather awkward economics.

    Assuming one could afford the liquid carbon it would be a better choice and would be easier to use than DIY, although you could use both and they would augment each other quite nicely. This would allow you to use the T5(s) with much less trepidation.

    Cheers,
     

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