A Few CFL-related Questions
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:31 AM   #1
Django
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A Few CFL-related Questions


Hi.

I have a 10g planted tank with 2 14w CFLs mounted in "brooder" type dome reflectors vertically oriented. I will be getting rid of half the gravel leaving 1-1/2" substrate depth. The photoperiod is 8 hours right now. I have a Cyanobacteria bloom going, probably caused by too much dissolved organic compounds from not vacuuming the gravel. I got around half the gravel during a water change this week and I will cover the rest this week-end.

Question 1: I prefer a photoperiod of 10 hours. Is there anything "better" about 10 hours than current 8 hours, or is it just that when I started, someone told me to start out with 10 hours? I acknowledge that it is not a good time to increase the photoperiod with Cyano in the tank. But one day the Cyano will be gone, and it would be good to hear what I should do then and how to do it. The Cyano doesn't seem to have as much punch to it right now, since I vacc'd the gravel.

Question 2: Is 2 14w CFLs enough, not enough, or just right for my 10g?

Thanks for any help on this.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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If the tank is planted, why are you vacuuming? Or are you just removing mulm from the surface of your substrate? Either way, unless it's really unsightly, it's good for your plants.

Two 14w CFLs is actually a lot of light for your tank. Are you using CO2 and dosing ferts?

If you want a longer photoperiod, you can go the low light route, use smaller bulbs or break your photoperiod up into two segments a few hours apart. Some members like to have their lights on in the morning, off a bit during the day and on again in the evening when they're home to enjoy their tank.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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just to toss this for consideration, all my tanks run a 6 hour photo period. why? because i am not home most of the day and it serves to keep all my plants lush and healthy. Of course the quality of light and fert dosing must be considered but if you are dealing with algae, youre going to have to curb either light intensity, duration, purging the excess nutrients in the water column/substrate and likely several other factors to get the tank into a good place.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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I am vacuuming the gravel because there's too much gravel (3") and there's a lot of gunk at the bottom. I'm doing this because I think it is a source of dissolved organic compounds, the cause of the Cyanobacteria I have right now. I am also getting bubbles from the substrate, which indicates an anoxic condition. I am trying to siphon up some of the gravel too.

I am not using injected CO2. I just don't want to get into it. I will raise the lights or go to 2 x 10w if I really can't shake this Cyanobacteria.

@acitydweller:

My photoperiod is 8 hours. I hope sometime I can put it back to 10 hours like I used to have it - the plants were doing very well. Granted, they could have been running on internal resources.

Thank you both for your input.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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Since cyanobacteria isn't really algae, you can treat it with Maracyn-Two. That's worked well for me in the past and has never harmed even the most sensitive shrimp, fish or snail.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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I was getting lots of GSA, but not cyano and had to cut my photoperiod to 6 hours. I raised my lights 4 inches and put it back at 10 hours and haven't had any problems in a week.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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Both sound like very good suggestions - thank you.
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