2 gals, 14w CFL, Algae problem - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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2 gals, 14w CFL, Algae problem

After upgrading lighting on both my 2gal hexes to 14w CFL (900 lumen, warm white), I got blasted with algae in both tanks. Both tanks have eco-complete, a mix of plants (I believe crypt lucens, tropica sword, and brazilian
micro sword - and one tank has anacharis) and are lit for 10 hours a day.
The plants and the tank walls get slowly covered in algae

Is the lighting too high, and on too long? Would it help for me to cut down to 7-8 hours of light a day? (One tank has DIY co2, the other nothing. The last test I did had both tanks at ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate between 0 and 10.)

I'm hoping reducing the daily hours of lighting will help - what else can I do?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 04:25 AM
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Once I used a warm-white bulb (2700K) along with other 5000 to 10000K bulbs and under the spot where that bulb was I got some wonderful brown-green algae growth. So switching that bulb with a daylight (~6500K) flavor might be worth a try. However, my experience was with a 100 gal tank, so I wouldn't want to generalize and think the only reason for your algae growth might be the color of light. A 2 gal jar is very difficult to keep stable, and trying to turn it into a highlight tank isn't something for a beginner, even a high-light 10 gal tank can be very challenging, for many reasons... Of course it all depends, the a spiral CF bulb without reflector probably doesn't get too much light into the tank. Hard to say from here... You can try to reduce lighting period etc, good luck...


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 05:04 AM
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reduce lighting or break the day up into halves with a siesta in the middle. plants can shut off and on for photosynthesis quite quickly, but algae needs a warm-up period. By breaking the day in half with a dark period in the middle, you give your plants an advantage. Upping the CO2 and adding a bit of potassium could help. how about other ferts? phos.? nitrate range is a bit wide to know for sure if you need more there... 10 would be perfect, 0 would be an algae spore's dream. If you can't get the nitrate level with a little more precision, then algae is definitely going to be a problem.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Before the 14w light, I had a 4w CFL that was 2700k - no luck, so I upped to 14w warm-light. Now, I thought the warm was different from 2700k, because the old light looked very orange/yellow compared to the new ones. I used to think (from reading) that color temp wasn't as important as intensity. Now I'm thinking that a fuller spectrum light is more important (like a well balanced diet ) because my 20gal running with 15w of 10000k fluor runs great. My point being, getting different color bulbs is on the list of things to change.

Shortening and splitting the light cycle has been done. By siesta I decided about an hour and a half would be good. (I'm now going 10:00-2:00, 3:30-9:00)

I'm real curious about how much light is actually getting in the tank. I started with a black hood and no reflector, then used tinfoil because due to the size of the fixture/bulb one half of the tank was distinctly brighter. With tinfoil the difference in brightness is more subtle.

No ferts added at all now. My first wicked algae outbreak happened when I got a little bold after upping to 14w, and added 2ml of flourish. Algae showed up so I quit added any flourish, but the algae kept going... leads me to:

After a tank has a nasty algae outbreak, is it possible to tame it down? I did a scraping of the tank walls on both, did moderated water changes to get alot of the free-floating algae - but - both tanks just slowly got worse again.
Once algae has taken over, I'm guessing its almost better to admit defeat and tear down the tank and start over. (I've already started with one - I want to make sure I've got things under control before replanting.)

Thanks for the help so far... yeah 2 gal can be tough - but a tank running perfectly can be boring!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 03:04 AM
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The good thing about such a small tank is that tearing it down and starting again isn't a big deal. It took me awhile to get everything right.

The thing that has helped me the most was ferts and DIY CO2. I just put a couple drops of Fleet enema and a very small pinch of KNO3 in the tank evey few days and .5 ml micros now and then.
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