Controlling WRGB to Control Algae - Lighting Officianados Assemble - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Controlling WRGB to Control Algae - Lighting Officianados Assemble

I use a particular European brand of aquariums called Juwel. They have specific light units and bulbs which in short can't be easily replaced by other brands and so I have always taken the light unit as factor I can't change in terms of balancing the aquarium. Six months ago I started keeping discus. Since that time they've grown and now produce a lot more waste. The excess nutrients means I have to shorten the light cycle or algae builds fast.

I now have a LED unit which allows me to customise the WRGB. And while I plan to add a lot more plants to help balance the aquarium I was wondering how and if I should manipulate these individual spectrums to provide light to plants but, if possible, give algae less optimal conditions.

The interface. Note: The "profile 1" setting is pre programmed I don't plan to use a dip in light output.


Resulting light output


Initially the plan was to reduce the light intensity down to 50-60% but really wanted TPT's lighting experts to give some advice so that I can hit the ground running so to speak.

I am eager to hear your thoughts.

Last edited by RollaPrime; 01-20-2020 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Profile 1
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 05:20 AM
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Personally dont think the siesta does anything to hurt algae. Quality of light is more important IMO.
I've had some very algae free and very algae ridden tanks at nearly every type of lighting.
I have less Algae now at 4x t5 HO with some pretty serious PAR hydroponic lights than I did under lower PAR LED lights or under the Kessil LED light and I tried siesta's on both of those set ups and have never run a siesta on the t5's


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Personally dont think the siesta does anything to hurt algae. Quality of light is more important IMO.
I've had some very algae free and very algae ridden tanks at nearly every type of lighting.
I have less Algae now at 4x t5 HO with some pretty serious PAR hydroponic lights than I did under lower PAR LED lights or under the Kessil LED light and I tried siesta's on both of those set ups and have never run a siesta on the t5's

Thanks for chiming in @Chlorophile

There may be a bit of a misunderstanding here. The profile shown is preset. I'm not planning to have a fall in light during the daily photo cycle once it's up and running. The profile is a default setting. I included the pic to show the manipulation of WRGB and the resulting led output.

I'm asking if manipulating the WRGB has any benefit in combating algae. More green and blue as opposed to white perhaps?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for chiming in @Chlorophile

There may be a bit of a misunderstanding here. The profile shown is preset. I'm not planning to have a fall in light during the daily photo cycle once it's up and running. The profile is a default setting. I included the pic to show the manipulation of WRGB and the resulting led output.

I'm asking if manipulating the WRGB has any benefit in combating algae. More green and blue as opposed to white perhaps?
There are claims that green light is more usable by algae than plants but I can't say I've got any experience to prove it.
The best light to prevent algae will probably be the one your plants can use most efficiently so I guess you'd want to patch the PUR/PAR graphs available online if possible.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 03:28 PM
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There are claims that green light is more usable by algae than plants but I can't say I've got any experience to prove it.
Here's the absorption spectrum for common photosynthetic pigments:



Chlorophyll a and b and caretenoids are the photosynthetic pigments of green plants. Green light is hardly absorbed by them at all.

Phycoerythrin is a pigment in red algae that absorbs green light wonderfully (and makes the algae red.) It pretty much soaks up what green plants can't. Phycocyanin is a pigment in cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae") that likewise absorbs yellow light that green plants can't. So, yeah, the claim that red and blue-green algae use green light much better than green plants is true.

Green algae, such as green brush algae, have the same pigments as green plants and so it's unlikely lighting is a big factor in making a tanke favorable to them. Part of the reason they're so persistent is that they like a lot of the same things green plants do, though I'm seeing evidence in my own tank favoring the claim that they take over mainly when there's some nutrient deficiency.
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Last edited by kgbudge; 01-20-2020 at 03:31 PM. Reason: wikipedia won't show imaghe
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the absorption spectrum for common photosynthetic pigments:



Chlorophyll a and b and caretenoids are the photosynthetic pigments of green plants. Green light is hardly absorbed by them at all.

Phycoerythrin is a pigment in red algae that absorbs green light wonderfully (and makes the algae red.) It pretty much soaks up what green plants can't. Phycocyanin is a pigment in cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae") that likewise absorbs yellow light that green plants can't. So, yeah, the claim that red and blue-green algae use green light much better than green plants is true.

Green algae, such as green brush algae, have the same pigments as green plants and so it's unlikely lighting is a big factor in making a tanke favorable to them. Part of the reason they're so persistent is that they like a lot of the same things green plants do, though I'm seeing evidence in my own tank favoring the claim that they take over mainly when there's some nutrient deficiency.
This is interesting. Cyano is the algae that pops up unless I keep the photo period to 5 hours. Anything else and it starts to bloom. Obviously I'm fully aware that balancing an aquarium is multifaceted. And not just about the light. I have a lot of plants incoming. ferts and CO2 but I figured I'd make the thread as my approach was just to lower the intensity from 100% down to 50/60%
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgbudge View Post
Here's the absorption spectrum for common photosynthetic pigments:



Chlorophyll a and b and caretenoids are the photosynthetic pigments of green plants. Green light is hardly absorbed by them at all.

Phycoerythrin is a pigment in red algae that absorbs green light wonderfully (and makes the algae red.) It pretty much soaks up what green plants can't. Phycocyanin is a pigment in cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae") that likewise absorbs yellow light that green plants can't. So, yeah, the claim that red and blue-green algae use green light much better than green plants is true.

Green algae, such as green brush algae, have the same pigments as green plants and so it's unlikely lighting is a big factor in making a tanke favorable to them. Part of the reason they're so persistent is that they like a lot of the same things green plants do, though I'm seeing evidence in my own tank favoring the claim that they take over mainly when there's some nutrient deficiency.
Thanks for the graph, I wonder then about BBA..
Mine can take on a reddish hue, and its safe to say something black is absorbing most spectrums of light.... Of course there are other pigments that may be present not related to photosynthesis causing the color perhaps.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 05:18 PM
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Thanks for the graph, I wonder then about BBA..
Mine can take on a reddish hue, and its safe to say something black is absorbing most spectrums of light.... Of course there are other pigments that may be present not related to photosynthesis causing the color perhaps.
FIG. 13. Absorption and action spectra of the red alga Porpl~yr~ n~reocystis (in which phycoerythrin is the principal phycobilin pigment). The action spectrum corresponds more closely to the water extract of phyeoerythrin than to the absorption curves of chlorophylls and carotenoids (refer to Fig. 14) .



https://www.semanticscholar.org/pape...aaab5/figure/4
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 05:38 PM
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BBA, as red algae, have chlorophylls a and d as well as phycoerythrin. So, yes, they absorb more at all wavelengths giving them the blackish color.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 09:59 PM
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Heres same chart with legend. BBA is a red algae.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Heres same chart with legend. BBA is a red algae.

You'll have to excuse my ignorance on this one. I've been in the hobby for years and have always had a great handle on algae control through water movement, plants, ferts, and co2. And as a result I've never had to delve this deeply into lighting and different spectrums/wrgb. In short, I have no idea what the above means or how to interpret this and incorporate it into my next build.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RollaPrime View Post
You'll have to excuse my ignorance on this one. I've been in the hobby for years and have always had a great handle on algae control through water movement, plants, ferts, and co2. And as a result I've never had to delve this deeply into lighting and different spectrums/wrgb. In short, I have no idea what the above means or how to interpret this and incorporate it into my next build.
I wouldn't sweat it much..you already have a handle on the major causes..

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 05:41 AM
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Here's the absorption spectrum for common photosynthetic pigments:



Chlorophyll a and b and caretenoids are the photosynthetic pigments of green plants. Green light is hardly absorbed by them at all.
There are many more pigments in plants than the ones shown in this graph.

There are 6 known versions of Chlorophyll:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll

There are also multiple carotene,Pheophytin, and Xanthophylls.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotene
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_pigment

Many are not exclusive to algae or bacteria.

And it doesn't top there. the more you dig into it the more you will find in the science literature. In my searchingI even found a protein plant Phosphor that could absorb light of one color and then reemit it at a different color.

Many are not exclusive to bacteria or algae. Also in one experiment a green house was made with transparent solar panels. The Idea behind the experiment was the yellow, green, orange light would make electricity while the blue and red light would go through the panels to the plants inside. Many of the food plants did well. However a number did not. Indicating that some plants do need green, yellow, and orange light. Reseach into this idea is continuing but now the the solar panel are now allowing more green, yellow light though for the plants.

So the idea that you can use only blu and red light to grow plants without algae is enticing, But it is not likely going to work.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RollaPrime View Post
You'll have to excuse my ignorance on this one. I've been in the hobby for years and have always had a great handle on algae control through water movement, plants, ferts, and co2. And as a result I've never had to delve this deeply into lighting and different spectrums/wrgb. In short, I have no idea what the above means or how to interpret this and incorporate it into my next build.
Their just the peak light spectrum(s) that certain type of algae , bacteria and plants respond to with the most Photosynthesis.

As Surf pointed out it goes way deeper than what that chart shows. Those are just red algae and cyano types peak response curves laid over the standard PAR response curves of chlorophyll a and b.

Like many of the deeper water marine red algae really don’t need anything in red and yellow spectrum, they’ve evolved pigments that allow photosynthesis at deep water depths where all they really get is blue/green light.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:41 PM
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I don’t know if it will make a big difference with algae, but I’ve got my wrgb set up so it’s a little more blue dominant in the am and slowly shifts towards red in the pm. Light comes on at 8am, the blue channel peaks at 60% at 10am (red is at 40%). By 6pm, the red is peaking at 60% and the blue is down to 40% so the program kinda looks like a stretched out “x” between the red and blue channels. Lights off at 7.

I keep the whites and greens constant throughout the day (green 50%, white 30%)

Obviously have to adjust the power so it’s appropriate for the plants you’re growing, but I think you’ll be happy the spectral shift from blue to red dominant throughout the day- it mimics natural shifts that happen with the sun each day, it looks nice, and my plants and fish all responded well to it.

I don’t think it’s a big deal at the end of the day but it’s one more thing you can do to mimic natural conditions.
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