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Fluval 3.0 - Trying to achieve "low light" on a tall tank

ShropshireLad

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2 Sep 2020
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Shropshire, UK
Hi All

I am currently in the process of trying to rescue a neglected planted tank, which was set up around a year ago. I was a complete noob at the time and it failed despite being heavily planted - almost certainly due to lack of maintenance and fertilisation (and possibly incorrect lighting). The tank became extremely overgrown with BBA and BGA and I kind of gave up on it. Now I'm trying to rescue it and I'm unsure whether I'm actually delivering correct lighting to the tank or not.

Tank: 250L. Ea Freshwater 900. 900mm L, 500mm W, 700mm H. (Why did I buy a tank so tall?!)

Substrate: Tropica soil powder.

Filtration/Flow: Oase Biomaster 600. 1250lph. Spray bar used at one end running across the length of the tank just under water surface. Decent amount of surface agitation. Inlet at the same end as the spray bar. Flow at one end of the tank is good but not great underneath the spray bar. I think i need to add a powerhead to make it more difficult for the BGA to mob up on the substrate.

Light: Fluval Plant 3.0 46w. Running at 50% with blue turned down very low. 6 hour photo period with 30min ramp up/down. The room is bright as it has a lot of windows and is painted white but the tank doesn't revieve direct sunlight.

Plants: Currently low mass. Only survivors were 1 large amazon sword which is doing fine, and about 12-15 struggling crypts and anubias covered in BBA/BGA. And a couple of siamensis 53b which were doing terribly and also covered in algae but the tips were OK so I have replanted those and pulled out the rest. Just added 5 more large amazon swords and some floating water sprite.

Ferts: Ea Aquascaper complete. Now dosing 15ml twice a week which seems fairly inline with their instructions for low tech and low plant mass.

Co2: None. Slightly overdosing Excel during water changes to help combat BBA.

Water: Now comitting to 50% W/C per week. Tap water is 20d hardness clarke with 25ppm Nitrate and PH of 7.5. I have done midweek water changes too during the last 2 weeks as i step up my efforts vs the BGA which keeps coming back.

Stocking: 6 angels, 6 sterbai cory, 11 rummynose tetra, 2 nerite snails.

Temp: 24 degress. Used to run at 25-26 but trying to slow everything down a bit.



Anyway, thats the background info. My main question is about the lighting. I currently have the light sat on the rim of the tank with the lid removed (for the purpose of the newly added floating water sprite - its only a few CM from the water otherwise) The distance from light to substrate is now 65cm. Running at 50%, am I delivering enough light to the crypts at the substrate? Would this be considered accaeptable for low light? I have a feeling its not quite enough due to the height of the tank, but need to be careful about notching it up with the BGA/BBA being so rampant.
 
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Driftless

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4 Jul 2020
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256
Location
Chicago-area
I have Fluval 3.0's on two of my tanks, both 22" tall. One tank is an angelfish tank and it has one light the other is a Discus tank which is deeper and it has two lights. Like yours, the tanks are in a bright room. I don't find the Fluval's to be particularly strong and I run them at full power and spectrum except for the ramp-up and down periods. To combat the BBA/BGA I would consider adding CO2, trimming all of the leaves with BBA/BGA, and adding more plant mass. My tanks are heavily planted.
 

Ian61

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26 Mar 2021
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108
Location
Keswick
Hello. I have 120cm long x 60cm wide x 50cm high tank with a fluval 3.0. I have elevated it on 8cm brackets to give a broader spread. I’m now running at 40%intensity having gradually increased from 30% over several months. Algae has been minimal and plants largely doing well, though admittedly they’re not what you’d class as exotics.
Excuse the plastic tub which currently contains 1 newly hatched panda Cory and some ram spawn. I need another tank!
 

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ShropshireLad

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Shropshire, UK
I have Fluval 3.0's on two of my tanks, both 22" tall. One tank is an angelfish tank and it has one light the other is a Discus tank which is deeper and it has two lights. Like yours, the tanks are in a bright room. I don't find the Fluval's to be particularly strong and I run them at full power and spectrum except for the ramp-up and down periods. To combat the BBA/BGA I would consider adding CO2, trimming all of the leaves with BBA/BGA, and adding more plant mass. My tanks are heavily planted.
Do you run CO2 in either of them? I think I need to up that plant mass some more definitely. Then I can think about ramping the light intensity up a little. Just a bit weary of wasting money and losing them to the algae. Also think I need a powerhead to run across the bottom where the BGA originates from, stop it from settling perhaps.
 

ShropshireLad

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Thread starter
Joined
2 Sep 2020
Messages
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Shropshire, UK
Hello. I have 120cm long x 60cm wide x 50cm high tank with a fluval 3.0. I have elevated it on 8cm brackets to give a broader spread. I’m now running at 40%intensity having gradually increased from 30% over several months. Algae has been minimal and plants largely doing well, though admittedly they’re not what you’d class as exotics.
Excuse the plastic tub which currently contains 1 newly hatched panda Cory and some ram spawn. I need another tank!
Thanks. So with mine being 20cm taller 50% intensity could be about right then. Very nice tank BTW.
 

Driftless

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4 Jul 2020
Messages
256
Location
Chicago-area
Do you run CO2 in either of them? I think I need to up that plant mass some more definitely. Then I can think about ramping the light intensity up a little. Just a bit weary of wasting money and losing them to the algae. Also think I need a powerhead to run across the bottom where the BGA originates from, stop it from settling perhaps.
I run CO2 in all of my tanks. Flow is an important but separate issue. Your tank is sort of like one of my tanks, UNS 90u, 35.4" x 22.04 x 22.04, which is also a heavily planted angelfish tank. That tank has two Twinstar lights.
 

ShropshireLad

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Can anyone tell me roughly what PAR this light will give me at substrate from a distance of 65cm? And what be an acceptable par for this tank? I don't have carpeting plants. Just want to make the sure the crypts are getting enough light
 

oreo57

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19 Jun 2020
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346
Location
USA
Soo 25" approx from light to substrate.
From the above at 3" off axis and 19" height for a 48" light par is 67 at 100%
Or at 13" 99 par dead center
If one " believes" the inverse sq rule applies inside an aquarium with multiple point light sources, worst case is 99/4 at 26"..approx 25 par in the hot spot.
 

Ian61

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26 Mar 2021
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108
Location
Keswick
Thanks. So with mine being 20cm taller 50% intensity could be about right then. Very nice tank BTW.
Hi. You may also need to factor in the elevation provided by the DIY supports. I also have quite a lot of surface plant cover. I fertilise with the EI method but only about 25% recommended dose as I’ve no CO2. Initially I was only about 12% dose.
If I were you I would be tempted to maybe go a bit lower than 50% intensity and see how you get on. Good luck

BW Ian
 

ShropshireLad

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Hi. You may also need to factor in the elevation provided by the DIY supports. I also have quite a lot of surface plant cover. I fertilise with the EI method but only about 25% recommended dose as I’ve no CO2. Initially I was only about 12% dose.
If I were you I would be tempted to maybe go a bit lower than 50% intensity and see how you get on. Good luck

BW Ian
Thanks Ian. I've decided to go to 45% intensity, using this table to keep the ratios right. Ill run it for 2 weeks and see what happens!
Screenshot_20211003-212237_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
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