Is 4wpg too much without CO2? Algae Issues? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is 4wpg too much without CO2? Algae Issues?

I'm thinking of upgrading my 29g planted tank's lighting from 65watts T5 to a 130 watt (dual 65w T5) light. The system doesn't have CO2.

I really just want to bring out the red of my rotala indica and rotala wallichii, which are growing well but are only green with little (pink tips on indica) to no red (wallichii is bright green only), as well as maybe some thicker/better growth overall.

Could going to 4.5wpg (130 watts) without CO2 achieve this and not cause algae issues? I'd prefer not to use CO2 and have more maintenance time required. The tank has 3 SAEs, 6 Otos, 4 Amano Shrimp, and 30 Cherry Shrimp, so they are a formidable team at fighting any increase in algae growth.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 11:43 PM
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maybe instead of looking for higher light find a red plant thats red without highlight.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by allaboutfish View Post
maybe instead of looking for higher light find a red plant thats red without highlight.
Well I really like the two indicas and how the tank is setup, and they're doing well. It's a pretty well established aquarium already. I would also like better growth (for all plants, not just these two) from higher light, I just don't want to go overboard with CO2 and have to trim plants too frequently.

Basically I'm just wondering if I just upgrade the lighting (essentially doubling it), am I going to face problems with it being out of balance with no CO2?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 11:56 PM
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Are you sure you're talking about T5 and not PC lights? Big difference.

However, if I had to guess, I'd say that if you're getting decent growth with what you have, and double it, then yes, it will absolutely be too much light for a non-CO2 tank.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 11:58 PM
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You probably meant dual 65watt PC (not T5).

Unless that fixture is running some really crappy ballasts, it *should* be enough light to cause a LOT of algae problems without CO2 and fert dosing.

Allaboutfish nailed it on the head.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yes - CFL, not T5

My bad, I did mean compact florescent, not T5.

So is the general consensus that that is too much lighting and would probably be a bad idea unless I had CO2 and ferts to balance everything out? Otherwise I would be facing a lot of algae growth (more than the algae team could handle)?

Thanks again everyone!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 05:13 PM
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I just don't want to go overboard with CO2 and have to trim plants too frequently.

You'll be going OVERBOARD on the lighting WITHOUT having co2 in place. You will soon be greating an algae farm.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 05:57 PM
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with it only being a 29g why not try some DIY co2 and see if that helps. At the same time you can judge how much more maintence this will require.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 06:46 PM
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I had a 29g with a Coralife 65x2 PC and a Carbo-Plus Co2 doser from 2003-2005. I took a somewhat "organic" approach to the tank and had pretty good success. I simply added plants that I liked until it looked the way I wanted it to look. I have no clue how much Co2 was being produced by the Carbo Plus unit but I didn't have horrible algae problems. I did not consider the light to be excessive and at the time, the 3-5 wpg rule was still followed somewhat.

Actually, the light fixture is the only thing remaining from that setup and I'm going to use it again on a 36 bow. This time I'm using pressurized Co2, however. At this point in the hobby, the US has played enough catchup with Europe and Asia in regards to pressurized systems and regulators are not nearly as expensive and judging by the forum, a lot of people have worked hard at removing the guesswork that would have been involved 10 years ago.

If your fixture is like mine, you can run one bulb at a time. I would try different photoperiods until you come up with something that works for you. It's worth a shot. If you need DIY Co2 or pressurized, I'm sure there's a system that will cover your needs.
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