Best lighting color percentages?! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Best lighting color percentages?!

Hello Everyone,
My first post here and happy to be here!! So I’ve been doing planter tanks for a little over a year now and have always tried to find that percent light balance with the colors on my light. I have an aquasky 3.0 Bluetooth set up and was wondering the best percentages of each color to use to promote the best growth and minimal to no algae. I do run pressurized CO2 in my tank and run a 8 hour light cycle in my 90G moderately planted tank. I am having a small BBA issue which is the main reason to my original question. My Co2 levels are sufficient as my drop checker is at a light green color and have great flow through out the tank. So back to my question, what percentages should I put each color at? I know green is barely used by plants and red and blue are used most. But I want my tank to look natural, not like some alien planets ocean with purple water. Haha. Attached is a pic of my tank from a few days ago.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 04:04 PM
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Googled around and found this:

"At least 50% red light in the wavelength range of 630 to 700 nanometersAt least 35% green light in the wavelength range of 500 to 580 nanometersNo more than 15% blue light in the wavelength range of 435 to 495 nanometers"

https://aquanswers.com/led-lights-fo...th-best-color/

Somewhere to start!


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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Love your tank and stocking.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NotCousteau View Post
Love your tank and stocking.
Thank you, at one point I had 3 tanks and when had to move I just decided to combine all 3 into one and I love it. I do need some more plants though.

[QUOTE=Freemananana;11278535]Googled around and found this:

"At least 50% red light in the wavelength range of 630 to 700 nanometersAt least 35% green light in the wavelength range of 500 to 580 nanometersNo more than 15% blue light in the wavelength range of 435 to 495 nanometers"

https://aquanswers.com/led-lights-fo...th-best-color/

Somewhere to start![/QUOTE

So this is what I came up with, Iím just sure if this chart on my lighting app shows actual percentages of each color or just different levels of intensity. Or is that the same thing?! Ugh!
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 11-26-2019 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 09:01 PM
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Now that is a question for someone using the same app! I have a CHEAP LED light that has never given me any fuss, so I've never tinkered with anything else.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 09:46 PM
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BBA is a red algae, as such it’s main photosynthesis accessory pigment is Phycoerythrin.

“Phycoerythrin absorbs slightly blue-green/yellowish light and emits slightly orange-yellow light.
Phycoerythrin is a red protein-pigment complex from the light-harvesting phycobiliprotein family, present in red algae and cryptophytes, accessory to the main chlorophyll pigments responsible for photosynthesis.”

Good thing is that spectrum it uses is also spectrum human vision is most sensitive to, so when we dial in what our eyes perceive as a nice, neutral color on our lights we are already limiting that spectral range.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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BBA is a red algae, as such it’s main photosynthesis accessory pigment is Phycoerythrin.

“Phycoerythrin absorbs slightly blue-green/yellowish light and emits slightly orange-yellow light.
Phycoerythrin is a red protein-pigment complex from the light-harvesting phycobiliprotein family, present in red algae and cryptophytes, accessory to the main chlorophyll pigments responsible for photosynthesis.”

Good thing is that spectrum it uses is also spectrum human vision is most sensitive to, so when we dial in what our eyes perceive as a nice, neutral color on our lights we are already limiting that spectral range.

In laymen’s terms please?! Ha. Does this mean reduce the red spectrum lighting orrrrrr? My current light color percentages are at 100%red 20%green 60%blue and 85%white..is this good or does it need to be tweaked?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:31 PM
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No, reds are usually 640-660nm, thatís chlorophyll a and b spectrum used by plants.

525-605nm are spectrum you want to limit. But as I stated above usually when we dial in what looks balanced to our eyes your actually already limiting that green to sunny yellow spectrum because of way our eyes see color. Way we see color and way plant pigments absorb and use color are very, very different.

Your 1st pic looks fine to me, no need to change a thing. Getting rid of BBA is more of husbandry thing than a lighting problem that needs corrected.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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No, reds are usually 640-660nm, that’s chlorophyll a and b spectrum used by plants.

525-605nm are spectrum you want to limit. But as I stated above usually when we dial in what looks balanced to our eyes your actually already limiting that green to sunny yellow spectrum because of way our eyes see color. Way we see color and way plant pigments absorb and use color are very, very different.

Your 1st pic looks fine to me, no need to change a thing. Getting rid of BBA is more of husbandry thing than a lighting problem that needs corrected.
Okay, I think I get it now. So limiting the greenish light will help in reducing algae, right?My BBA isn’t bad, but I don’t want it at all. So my current light percentages look okay to you? And one more question while I’m here, in my 90 gallon tank, how many bps should my co2 be injecting? I’ve read on other sites and even done calculations that say only about 4-5 bps would be enough but it seems low to me.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawfy989 View Post
Okay, I think I get it now. So limiting the greenish light will help in reducing algae, right?My BBA isnít bad, but I donít want it at all. So my current light percentages look okay to you? And one more question while Iím here, in my 90 gallon tank, how many bps should my co2 be injecting? Iíve read on other sites and even done calculations that say only about 4-5 bps would be enough but it seems low to me.
There's no real measure on what the correct BPS is for any given tank. Plant load, light, size of bubble (not all the same) are some examples of why you can't do that.

You should use redundant means like a drop checker and PH drop from degassed to peak co2 period. Generally you want a 1.0 PH drop.

Best way to curtail BBA is good maintenance, insure good co2 levels, healthy plants and reduce light duration if 8 hrs is causing BBA. All this spectrum stuff has very little impact on BBA from my experience, especially if you have healthy growing plants.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crawfy989 View Post
Okay, I think I get it now. So limiting the greenish light will help in reducing algae, right?My BBA isn’t bad, but I don’t want it at all. So my current light percentages look okay to you? And one more question while I’m here, in my 90 gallon tank, how many bps should my co2 be injecting? I’ve read on other sites and even done calculations that say only about 4-5 bps would be enough but it seems low to me.
There's no real measure on what the correct BPS is for any given tank. Plant load, light, size of bubble (not all the same) are some examples of why you can't do that.

You should use redundant means like a drop checker and PH drop from degassed to peak co2 period. Generally you want a 1.0 PH drop.

Best way to curtail BBA is good maintenance, insure good co2 levels, healthy plants and reduce light duration if 8 hrs is causing BBA. All this spectrum stuff has very little impact on BBA from my experience, especially if you have healthy growing plants.
Okay, yeah I have a drop checker and it’s gets to a light greenish color. I have it turn on an hour and half before the lights and a hour and half before they turn off.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 02:58 AM
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Your tanks demands/planting density/plant choices are minimal at best as far CO2 requirements go. So yes, if figured correctly needed CO2 addition could be that low.

Most of those plants can be successfully grown without any added CO2 anyway.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:51 PM
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Post How do fluval light colors correspond to wavelenths

This is the best forum! (besides the ones that help me fix my dishwasher every 6 months) I appreciate all the info on wavelengths/chlorophyll types, etc but I am not understanding what wavelengths translate into the Fluval lighting 'colors'. Anybody know what I am talking about? I am trying to optimize my use of the Fluval freshwater 2.0 light for my 29 gal heavily planted tank that has: angel, glolite/xray tetras, clown loach, new pair of golden wonder killifish, bristlenose pleco and otocinclus. I use DIY CO2 at 2-3 bubbles/second. I want to optimize growth of plants (swords, lotus, java ferns, vals, ludwigia and anubia) and showoff the fish colors. I seem to get a lot of diatom coating plant leaves and some hair algae.
The Fluval light colors that I can adjust percentages on are, in the order given by Fluval: Pink, Blue, Cold White, Pure White, Warm White. Fluval includes 3 different Presets for Lake Malawi, Tropical River and Planted tanks. The 'Planted' has presets of max percentage of the colors at: Pink 84%, Blue 20, Cold White 73, Pure White 100, Warm White 80. I adjusted this to showoff more of the fishes color by adding more Blue 25% and Coldwhite 80%. (I also follow the preset 'Planted' recommendaton to have a 1hour period of low/no light in order to interrupt the algae production.) But i am guessing on what % to set and why? Besides the wavelength=color question, any suggestions?
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