effects of light intensity vs photoperiod on algae growth - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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effects of light intensity vs photoperiod on algae growth

I'm not sure if anyone has done research on this matter, but I was wondering which is more likely to cause algae in an aquarium, too high of par or too long of a photoperiod? Concrete example: 60 Par for 4 hours vs 30 par for 8 hours. The lighting "volume" is the same here but assuming we have a CO2 or nutrient imbalance, which lighting would cause more algae? Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 03:49 AM
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I don't think imbalance would have anything to do with it. If you have higher lighting, the plants are being driven to grow faster, thus needing more of each nutrient. With a fixed concentration of the nutrients the higher lighting would cause a shortage of some nutrients, causing unhealthy growth by the plants, with the less competitive plants not growing at all. The lower lighting, for 8 hours, shouldn't present any problems. If you were referring to 12 hours, it probably would encourage algae growth, but I believe most plants will grow for 8 hours with no problem.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 06:26 AM
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I remember reading a scientific article that discusses exactly this type of lighting imbalance.
It's conclusion was that algae need as much as 8 hrs continuous light per day in order to survive, whereas higher plants can do with less.

However, . . .
I can't find that article anywhere. So, until I do, please accept this comment as UNREFERENCED.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 06:38 AM
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Great question. We focus a lot on what plants need but there seems to be little on what algae needs. Perhaps algae needs more time than intensity (assuming an equal imbalance in both examples). Maybe it's dependent on the exact type of imbalance in the system.

My guess is that photoperiod is more important granted a nutrient source in the tank. I too recall an greater emphasis placed on continuous lighting more so than light intensity.

Great question though...I'll be reading this thread!
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