LED Settings

Tom Raffield

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I am copying this post over from my journal (Tank Reborn) in the hope that someone 'in the know' with lightning might help me out. I am avoiding the 'Algae' forum for the minute as I believe my issue is light.

I have noticed the first signs of algae in my new tank but am hopefully catching this early so I can avoid any disasters! Plant growth appears good and the plants look healthy. I had to trim down my rotala this week as it reached the surface. I am using the frogbit as my guide for when to dose ferts.

Am I correct in seeing staghorn on the vallis and some form of BBA (of a reddish colour) on the java fern? Or are they both BBA? It also appears to have attached to one of my fishing wires for holding down the wood - you can see one clear white wire and the other covered. Regardless as to the type of algae, I don't really want it!

I'm not dosing ferts in any major quantity or running full CO2 (in fact this is heading towards zero now) so would I be right in thinking my light could be the issue. Switching to LED from two T5s was an unknown arena to me. I have a JBL LED Natur (57w) and Effect (16w).

Having never used LEDs before, am I better off reducing the photoperiod or the intensity (I think I can do that using the WiFi controller by changing the red, blue, green, warm white and cold white LEDs - is there a 'better' mix of lighting to go for? I tend to stay away from the pre-programmed 'biomes' as they run a 12 hour light period I believe).

My lighting is currently running a 1 hour sunrise, 7 hours on (with a slightly darker 'cloudy' hour midway through) and ending with a 1 hour sunset. The main lighting is set as shown in the image. I'm not sure if the values have meaning or are there just as a guide.

Any thoughts are welcome as after all my hard work I want to nip this in the bud before it takes hold.

IMG_20200829_151136.jpgIMG_20200829_151008.jpgIMG_20200829_151202.jpgIMG_20200829_151110.jpgIMG_20200829_151301.jpgIMG_20200829_151450.jpgScreenshot_20200803-191451.png
 
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Tom Raffield

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What size tank is it and can we see a picture of the top of the tank with the light on (to see coverage)?

@Driftless It's a Juwel Vision 260. I've added a few photos of the light units from various angles (ignore the Millennium Falcon on the table - was another lockdown project!) :D

IMG_20200830_171708.jpgIMG_20200830_171754.jpgIMG_20200830_171808.jpg
 
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Tom Raffield

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Cool, is that the big one or the small one?

@hypnogogia The Big One -[UWSL] 8,500 pieces! Probably not for this forum but if you are interested I can post some of the photos of the build in the Chit Chat forum. Also timelapsed the whole thing. [/UWSL];)

Any thoughts on my lighting? I've also noticed the frogbit this evening looking a little sickly in places. 95% of it is looking great though.

IMG_20200830_190816.jpgIMG_20200830_190826.jpg
 

hypnogogia

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@Tom Raffield wowzzers! Most I’ve built is 4500 pieces. Yup, pics in chit chat would be good, thanks. :)
I don’t have any thoughts with the lighting as I’m unfamiliar with your lights. However, as to the frog bit, I’d be tempted to thin it out a bit. It looks very dense. Is it that dense across most of the surface, or is it bunching because of water flow? The green looks healthy enough, so you have enough nutrients, and because it’s not co2 limited I can’t really see what could be wrong with it, other than being too dense.
 
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Tom Raffield

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Thanks @hypnogogia - it has 'bulked' out since it went in. I'll remove any of it that looks less than 100% when I do my water change tomorrow.

Hoping someone has an idea with this JBL kit. It looks great so I just need to adjust it correctly to get what I need for my low tech setup.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've also noticed the frogbit this evening looking a little sickly in places.
It looks OK, but it really needs a good thin. I'd take all the plants out, pick off all the dead leaves and then replace about 1/3 of the plants in the tank. They will fill the "empty" space back in in a few days.

cheers Darrel
 

Tom Raffield

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Thanks Darrel, I will do this tomorrow.

I have also had a long trawl looking for any tips on this JBL set and especially the WiFi Controller. There is not a lot out there at all really apart from videos showing the 'fun' elements of the lights rather than how to make them work for what I am trying to create. Do others use controllers like this to hand tune their lighting mix?
 

alto

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Plants are looking much better :)

Rather than less CO2, I’d bring this back (it supports healthy plant growth)
- what is your present CO2 rate?
- what was CO2 rate after the tank reset?

I just did a search on the Solar/Natur and Controller, most discussion seems to be on German forums
- note the Solar Controller has only been available for a relatively short time https://www.jbl.de/en/blog/detail/364/film-jbl-led-solar-setup-and-light-control

JBL website does have some QandA but this is mostly for the PAR experiment - I’d send off some emails to the team that did this experiment (the measured PAR values at 60 & 70cm are higher than I expected but there’s no discussion of the actual PAR meter used, or how the sensor location was varied in position across the width of the tank - I suspect that they are reporting the maximum PAR directly under the lamp)

When you choose some of the preset programs, can you then look at the light details, eg, different color intensities, cloud etc?

It seems that the presets are 10h programs
I’d suggest looking at the Brazil Pantanal and Community Aquarium presets (the Dreamscape is high intensity)

With the basic controller included with the LED units, you do have the option of dimming the light, after selecting a color temp of 2700 4000 6700 (if I recall options correctly) - I’d contact JBL and discuss how this dimming contrasts to what can be done with the WiFi Solar Control


As always when seeing visible algae, look at increased cleaning (I know, not what you wanted ;)), so check filter, inlet/outlet tubing, spray bars etc; check for debris collected in the java fern and areas that aren’t easily reached during usual water change siphoning
Its only been several weeks since the tank reset (mid July I think), I’d look at maintaining CO2 for ~3months as this is generally considered a minimum time for tank to “establish/balance” - at this point, if all plants are growing well, minimal algae, begin to change over to your reduced light and CO2 goal (though I’d encourage a continued weekly water change, even if deeper maintenance is moved to monthly)

Do these changes slowly, gradually
(note that Filipe Oliveira and Jurijs mit JS both continue to run relatively high light and CO2, while reducing water column fertilizers (enriched substrate) to slow growth, but also watch for signs of nutrient deficiency
If you’ve followed FO’s M ramirezi spawning and fry grow out ... there’s lots of algae there and then gradual improvement)
 

Tom Raffield

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So I have massively thinned out the frogbit and only replaced the best looking bits. Also gave the rotala a big trim which means the vallis now comes in over the top which looks nice.

Interestingly the hair algae and BBA is only on the 'open top' left and middle which is not under the frogbit. On the frogbit shaded side there is no algae at all (yet).

Rather than less CO2, I’d bring this back (it supports healthy plant growth)
@alto Thanks for the reply.
Good idea - I've gone back to my 4bps that I had been running since the tank was setup. I was probably tweaking too much too soon perhaps.

When you choose some of the preset programs, can you then look at the light details, eg, different color intensities, cloud etc?
This is the frustrating part. There is no information on what these preset programmes look like when the RGB and white LEDS are mixed. You can simply select and run the programme as it is. The only flexibility is to delay the start time to later in the day (which I would probably do) and to have a 'break' in programme somewhere to reduce the time the light is on. Does 10 hours (including the inbuilt ramp up and down (sunrise and sunset) seem a lot?

I’d suggest looking at the Brazil Pantanal and Community Aquarium presets (the Dreamscape is high intensity)
When I select these at their peak light, they do seem less intense than the custom programme I had made when playing with the light mix. Essentially my plants are easy and low light and therefore a less intense programme is probably the best way to go. I'll give the Community Aquarium a run through and see how it looks throughout a day.

I’d contact JBL and discuss how this dimming contrasts to what can be done with the WiFi Solar Control
I did try contacting JBL when I was stuck with my kit that was too small. They didn't respond in anyway which wasn't useful. I put it down to the pandemic so perhaps now they might be more on the ball. I will try and send them an email or use their customer support pages.
As always when seeing visible algae, look at increased cleaning (I know, not what you wanted ;)), so check filter, inlet/outlet tubing, spray bars etc; check for debris collected in the java fern and areas that aren’t easily reached during usual water change siphoning
Its only been several weeks since the tank reset (mid July I think), I’d look at maintaining CO2 for ~3months as this is generally considered a minimum time for tank to “establish/balance” - at this point, if all plants are growing well, minimal algae, begin to change over to your reduced light and CO2 goal (though I’d encourage a continued weekly water change, even if deeper maintenance is moved to monthly)
I gave the tank a thorough clean and trim today. Hovered over the low plants to get any bits up and also did a hefty water change over 50%. I can't get anywhere near the substrate though so at no point will I be able to do a vac clean.
Thanks for the advice on time scales; I think I have been a bit too keen to make changes too soon. I'll focus on lighting as I believe this is the key area for me and the area that could cause me most problems.

I haven't been dosing ferts on any sort of fixed basis. Instead I have been waiting on the frogbit to guide me but perhaps until the tank hits the 3 month mark I should be dosing more regularly and maintaining my water changes. CO2 will remain at its very low level for the time being to supplement the plant growth. I do have Flourish Excel but am holding off using this for plant growth or algae treatment at this stage.
 

Tom Raffield

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Is it that dense across most of the surface, or is it bunching because of water flow? The green looks healthy enough, so you have enough nutrients, and because it’s not co2 limited I can’t really see what could be wrong with it, other than being too dense.
@hypnogogia It is fairly dense in that corner. The flow of the spray bar pushes them over there - is there anything else I could do to keep the plants better spaced?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Interestingly the hair algae and BBA is only on the 'open top' left and middle which is not under the frogbit. On the frogbit shaded side there is no algae at all (yet).
Probably won't grow under the Frogbit.
It is fairly dense in that corner. The flow of the spray bar pushes them over there - is there anything else I could do to keep the plants better spaced?
You could try some <"airline tubing">.

cheers Darrel
 

alto

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I did try contacting JBL when I was stuck with my kit that was too small. They didn't respond in anyway which wasn't useful. I put it down to the pandemic so perhaps now they might be more on the ball. I will try and send them an email or use their customer support pages.
I suspect that language also comes into it
I’d email again, including specific names in the Subject (eg, those in the blog posts linked on the Solar Natur and Controller pages) - also try calling if it’s not too expensive (for suitable tech support emails)

It should be easy enough for a Solar Controller tech support person to provide the program details of the PreSet Programs (I’m very surprised that you can’t just “step” through them - though they would be locked out from access/change; it would also be simple enough to have these PreSet Programs available as a template from which you could adjust parameters)

As you’re already running 9h light, I’d give the 10 hour preset programs a try - if you’re home for the day, I’d just monitor the tank and see what the lighting “looks” like (except human perception of light may not reflect actual PAR levels ... somewhere there’s an example of this online but I’ve no recollection of what I was actually searching when I came across it)

I’d begin with the Brazil Pantanal as its designed for a planted tank, while the Community Aquarium is designed more for fish appearance and less so for plants (at least that is my take from looking at all the info/video etc I could find)

Assuming the PAR levels are higher than I expect (BUT remember that Aquaowner did not find these lights to be as bright as many other LEDs on the market, especially once the Effect LED shares the power supply), you might also try raising the lights (if this can be done safely re small children)

Given JBL comments, I suspect PreSet Programs will tend to run stronger light for less than 8/10 hours


Interestingly the hair algae and BBA is only on the 'open top' left and middle which is not under the frogbit. On the frogbit shaded side there is no algae at all (yet).
Also consider if this might also be affected by current, and plant choices in the area

I’d pick up some “red root floater” to add, it’s a lovely color
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Phyllanthusfluitans(028TC)/22848

and the roots (and growth) are less aggressive than
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Limnobiumlaevigatum(063TC)/4761
 

alto

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I haven't been dosing ferts on any sort of fixed basis. Instead I have been waiting on the frogbit to guide me but perhaps until the tank hits the 3 month mark I should be dosing more regularly and maintaining my water changes. CO2 will remain at its very low level for the time being to supplement the plant growth. I do have Flourish Excel but am holding off using this for plant growth or algae treatment at this stage.

This sounds a reasonable action course :)

(though you might also leave fertilizers as they are and focus on lighting changes, while increasing water changes, CO2 back to 4bps - which really on this size of tank, you may need to maintain at that level, especially if spray bars disturb surface during photoperiod)
 

Tom Raffield

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Thanks for the messages @alto and for the airline suggestion @dw1305
Noticed this on the frogbit today. This looks more like physical damage but I could be wrong? Any idea what could cause this?
IMG_20200901_175639.jpg
 

lilirose

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This is what happens in my tanks when water drips from the lid directly onto the frogbit. It could also be splashing from another source. Frogbit really hates getting dripped on.
 

Tom Raffield

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Thanks @lilirose - I'm very new to floating plants but this makes sense. My maintenance and splashing about must have caused it! I'm definitely going to need to find a way of 'containing it' so I can move it out of the way more easily when working on the tank.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I'm definitely going to need to find a way of 'containing it' so I can move it out of the way more easily when working on the tank.
I don't regularly put my hands in the tank, but if I do want to do some tank maintenance I scoop all the floating plants out with an aquarium net, and just put them in a bowl with some water.

Then, after whatever needs doing in the tank is done, I have a pick through the floating plants, take off dead leaves etc and then return the ones I want (and any snails, Asellus, fish fry etc) to the tank.

cheers Darrel
 

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