Lighting to highlight fish without encouraging algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
TCD
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Lighting to highlight fish without encouraging algae

Hi everyone,

I have a medium-planted 24" cube low-tech tank with a single Finnex Planted+ for light. The plants (java ferns, java moss, mixed crypts, anubias, water sprite, water lettuce) all seem to be doing well enough in the lowish light it provides, and 8 months in I'm managing to keep the algae mostly in check, which is a first for me.

But my fish (guppies, glowlight tetras and a dwarf neon gourami) are not looking their best unless they happen to be in certain spots near the top underneath the light strip. Is there a clever way I can add more light (perhaps of a specific colour?) to help bring out the best in the fish without just cranking up the light and encouraging the dreaded algae to flourish? Or is this just something where I have to decide to live withe the consequences of low-tech?


Thanks,

Tom
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 08:35 PM
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Buy a RGB LED strip with multiple colors. Fix it on your regular light fixture around the edge. About 150 to 200 cm Long section will do. You can fold it as required to fit the available space at the corners. the link below is just an example. you can get something similar.

https://www.amazon.com/PHOPOLLO-Chan...%2C304&sr=8-43

-Preeths
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Preeths, that's a very cheap solution! Is there a specific colour I'm supposed to be aiming for with these (red for the glowlights?). I'm assuming the important thing is the lack of white light.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 09:29 PM
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What you are asking about which colors is something that will vary as we each see light in a different way and what we each like will be a bit different as well. I find I like to leave thing flexible, so that I can easily change as I see over time. Even what I like changes!
So what I might find ideal is a bunch of cheap LED that work off 12 VDC but produce differing color of light and then use some small plug in holders to let me easily play until I got what I wanted! Many do go through lots of study, time, effort as well as lots of money and try to get it exactly right but for many of us, it might be far simpler to just go with avoiding the study of power supplies and go for simple like wall-wart type power supplies and bulbs that work with that simple stuff. The 12VDC is handy and lots of it due to car use, so it is often easy to find.
The human eye and what we like is hard to quantify as it is a very personal thing.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank PlantedRich, I guess I was more interested in the question of if certain colors will encourage algae and certain won't. Or if it's just any light could do it. The Finnex Planted+ has adjustable led levels so I can play around with those settings for specific colors.

[edited addition] Because of course the danger I've found with playing around with light levels is that there can be a long delay before algae growth changes, and then it can be hard to work out what to go back to!

Last edited by TCD; 08-17-2020 at 10:12 PM. Reason: extra info
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2020, 01:25 PM
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Preeths has a great suggeestion. The RGB strips will produce a visible white light that is comprised of more energy emited in the green and red spectrums than regular white LEDs. The blues, greens, and reds emittied by RGB LED's will be reflected by the fish and plants, bringing out much more color. Spectrum is less important to algae growth than intensity. Both algae and plants can grow under blue LED's alone, but the intensity of those blue lights will determine the nutrient uptake of your plants vs. how much nutrient is left over for algae. The relatively low intensity of an RGB LED strip would serve to better illuminate the colors of fish and plants without contributing significantly to photosynthesis.

RGB means that the visible white light is produced from Red, Green, and Blue diodes only.

75g...medium tech...?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2020, 07:49 PM
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These Diodes are very weak. You cannot grow plants or algae with these. The intention of adding these is to supplement the normal lights with the colors that will make the fish look better.

I put these pictures up on another thread, but here it is again.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...ce-needed.html

First Picture there is Blue and Red LED mixed with the White LED's, look at the color of the tetras, they "Shine"

In the second picture, there is only white light. Probably 4 months after the first picture was taken.
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-Preeths
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