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Too much or not enough light?

Simmo

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11 Dec 2020
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Scotland
Hi All,
I’ve been having BBA problems for a few months now and one thing I’ve wanted to do (this is not a BBA thread so I won’t list the other measures) is reduce light intensity. The tank is a Juwel Lido 200 LED. These Multilux lights seem bright, too bright to me but I am ignorant, however, they are not adjustable.


Juwel give Lumen as 3220 and Kelvin figures (6500 and 9000 for the two LED strips) but not par.

So today I had a small flash of inspiration and rotated the tubes 180 degrees. The tank is now much more to my liking although feeding time is a bit dazzling!

I’ll post a pic but wonder if this will now not be enough light for the common aquarium plants? Echinodorous, Vallis, Crypts...How much do they need in a low tech set up? In the old days it was common to have hoods with a couple of dim light bulbs. I am dosing TNC complete at EI levels and there is s bay window 3 ft away from the tank. Lights are on 6 or 7 hours a day. I’d estimate by eye light levels at the bottom of the tank are down bu 60%.

Thanks for your thoughts. Suppose I just need to suck it and see though?
Cheers
 
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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
I’ll post a pic but wonder if this will now not be enough light for the common aquarium plants? Echinodorous, Vallis, Crypts...How much do they need in a low tech set up?
Hi @Simmo They don't need much light. My Swords and Crypts are absolutely thriving in a very low light environment - just make sure you have a good fertilizer scheme (especially NPK) and good flow (distribution of nutrients) throughout the tank. Lowering the light intensity is key to getting rid of the BBA - it will take a while before you see results though. You may also want to increase your WCs while combatting the BBA - gets rid of algae spores excess waste etc. that the algae thrive on, and get rid of leaves that are beyond the point of being able to recover.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Simmo

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Hi @Simmo They don't need much light. My Swords and Crypts are absolutely thriving in a very low light environment - just make sure you have a good fertilizer scheme (especially NPK) and good flow (distribution of nutrients) throughout the tank. Lowering the light intensity is key to getting rid of the BBA - it will take a while before you see results though. You may also want to increase your WCs while combatting the BBA - gets rid of algae spores excess waste etc. that the algae thrive on, and get rid of leaves that are beyond the point of being able to recover.

Cheers,
Michael

Thanks Michael good to hear I might be on the right track. I’m doing lots of other stuff, more sediment cleaning, higher filtration rate, cleaner media and increased water changes, plus leaf removal and new fast growing plants but it’s stubborn! Cheers
 

MichaelJ

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Thanks Michael good to hear I might be on the right track. I’m doing lots of other stuff, more sediment cleaning, higher filtration rate, cleaner media and increased water changes, plus leaf removal and new fast growing plants but it’s stubborn! Cheers
Hi @Simmo, yeah, BBA is the worst. One additional option is to brush the leaves with Seachem Excel (or another similar liquid carbo product)... take out the plant, let it dry a bit... gently apply the Excel with a fine brush to infected leaves and let it sit for a minute or two before putting the plants back in... Be careful not to get the Excel on the roots though as that will kill the plant.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Simmo

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Hi @Simmo, yeah, BBA is the worst. One additional option is to brush the leaves with Seachem Excel (or another similar liquid carbo product)... take out the plant, let it dry a bit... gently apply the Excel with a fine brush to infected leaves and let it sit for a minute or two before putting the plants back in... Be careful not to get the Excel on the roots though as that will kill the plant.

Cheers,
Michael

Thanks Michael, I’ve taken the non chemical route and will stick at it, it is working I think but I’ve lost a depressing number of epiphytes.
I think the best aquarists must be fastidious people with immaculate homes! Regrettably I am not such a person. Discuss lol 😀
 
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ceg4048

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I’ve been having BBA problems for a few months now and one thing I’ve wanted to do (this is not a BBA thread so I won’t list the other measures) is reduce light intensity.
Hello,
BBA is a CO2 deficiency related algae. There are many BBA threads available, and in general, correct attention to CO2 techniques, as well as to flow/distribution is necessary.

Cheers,
 

Simmo

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Hello,
BBA is a CO2 deficiency related algae. There are many BBA threads available, and in general, correct attention to CO2 techniques, as well as to flow/distribution is necessary.

Cheers,

Thanks, it was not actually a BBA thread just a question about lighting but has drifted that way 😀 I’ve read a lot of those threads and received some good advice already; to increase flow I’ve increased the pump from a 600 to 1000 l/ph model and angled the spraybar upward to increase surface agitation. The flow around the tank is increased so hopefully in combination these will help.
Cheers
 
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mort

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15 Nov 2015
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My brother has a lido and it's a case of same lights, different algae. He has spirogyra and I've told him some of the ways to help eliminate it but he's to lazy.

The problem is the light isn't controllable so you need to get the other parameters bang on to maintain a pristine tank. If you could dim the lighting it might be far easier to achieve this but some algaes are problems due to other reasons. I'd not thought about turning one of the bulbs, the way we attacked it to begin with was by colouring the water with tannins, letting vegetation grow thicker and having surface planting.
 

Simmo

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My brother has a lido and it's a case of same lights, different algae. He has spirogyra and I've told him some of the ways to help eliminate it but he's to lazy.

The problem is the light isn't controllable so you need to get the other parameters bang on to maintain a pristine tank. If you could dim the lighting it might be far easier to achieve this but some algaes are problems due to other reasons. I'd not thought about turning one of the bulbs, the way we attacked it to begin with was by colouring the water with tannins, letting vegetation grow thicker and having surface planting.

Thanks Mort, yes it’s not a fab system IMO, for Crimbo I’m getting the adjustable Juwel light system so will see if thats any better - bloody better be for £300 - I wouldn’t pay for it myself 😂...algae apart, the stock system is so bright it makes stuff kind of overexposed looking to my eye,

I would not pin the blame on lighting for my algae problem, I neglected maintenance and let a whole load of oak and beech leaves and other stuff just rot plus it got a lot of sunlight in the summer...so I’ve made a lot of adjustments since.

I found the lights still very bright with one rotated tube and I have some floaters, so rotated both, hence my post - is it enough light? Rhetorical question I guess but probably. The downside is it’s blinding when you lift the lid and perhaps not great for the eyes

I like your solutions and am going on a leaf hunt over the holidays as since removing much of the wood the water is much clearer. My only concern now is that the bamboo shrimp have enough crud in the water to eat...complicated innit!

Cheers
 

erwin123

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I found the lights still very bright with one rotated tube and I have some floaters, so rotated both, hence my post - is it enough light? Rhetorical question I guess but probably. The downside is it’s blinding when you lift the lid and perhaps not great for the eyes
When it comes to human perception a lot of factors contribute to our perception of brightness. for example viewing a lit tank in a totally dark room vs viewing a lit tank in daylight.

Based on specs on the internet, the Juwel Multilux 70 for Lido 200 is only 14w x 2 which is not particularly a high powered light for a 200 litre tank so I agree that you could be looking at other reasons for algae (like neglected maintenance which you have pointed out) rather than 'too much light'.
 

Simmo

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The effort to lower the light right now one of a number of measures to make it a poor habitat for BBA. I don’t think the lights are a cause as such given I had them on for 10 months with no issues.

The aesthetics of the lights have always bugged me, as you say this is subjective, it’s also a con of having a fixed hood, I prefer the lighting further back from the middle but to achieve this the tank is open to atmosphere; not a big deal but a trade off.
 

mort

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We both have the same opinion on the lights then. My brothers not that fussed and doesn't mind a little algae but if it was mine I'd have explored all the options open to me. The trouble is I don't really like any of the element of juwel tanks individually, heaters aren't the best, box filter takes up loads of space etc but they are sturdy well made tanks which will last forever and are probably still some of the best value ones out there.
I know algae is a pain but your livestock looks really healthy and I was admiring the honey gourami picture you posted a little while ago, so don't be to perturbed about it.
 

Simmo

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We both have the same opinion on the lights then. My brothers not that fussed and doesn't mind a little algae but if it was mine I'd have explored all the options open to me. The trouble is I don't really like any of the element of juwel tanks individually, heaters aren't the best, box filter takes up loads of space etc but they are sturdy well made tanks which will last forever and are probably still some of the best value ones out there.
I know algae is a pain but your livestock looks really healthy and I was admiring the honey gourami picture you posted a little while ago, so don't be to perturbed about it.

Yes I bought the Juwel because with the white cabinet it is the right dimensions and style for the space and the extra height means it makes more of an impact in the room (but is a pain to clean). I agree with your sentiments on its quirks and limitations but overall I’m happy with the package although thought the cabinet would be better built. The filter is a bizarre ‘we know best’ feature, why they did not make it removable Is beyond me, of course I’m used to it now.

Thanks for your thoughts on the fish etc, To be honest I don’t mind a bit of algae, it has its place but BBA is an issue as it decimated the plants so I’d like to get into a better set up and routine to minimise the chance of reoccurrence.

Have a great Christmas!

Upside down lights below!

Cheers
 

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