Decreased Light Cycle, Increased CO2 Results? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Decreased Light Cycle, Increased CO2 Results?

Has anyone here ever added CO2 or increased their CO2 output and at the same time decreased the amount of time their lights are on? You often see that suggestion to control algae, something along the lines of decrease light to 6 hrs per day and increase CO2 to 2 BPS.

If you have performed the above adjustment, did your plants suffer any short-term ill effects from the change?

Thanks!

Salty


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 02:16 PM
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Inadvertently I did something like that.

In the summer I altered the timers to turn off the lights for several hours in the middle of the day.

I also started using DIY CO2. I had been using Excel, and I gradually used less and less until I ran out of it.

I attributed the reduced algae to the siesta style timing of the lights, but it sure could have been related to the CO2, irregular as that was. I did what I could to even out the supply, but DIY yeast is not known for a steady supply!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 03:11 PM
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I think it has more to do with proper amounts of co2 than decreased lighting. When you increase your co2, you are naturally allowing your plants to take up more nutrients which helps fend off algae. Of course, "increasing" to 2 bps would be a severe decrease for me! I run about double that lol.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 03:29 PM
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It depends on the bubble counter, bubbles are different thus a very arbitrary way to put it.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 03:48 PM
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Most of my co2 stunting went away when I decreased the lighting. I have been slowly dropping it and things keep looking better.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 04:46 PM
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Well.. The plants only use the co2 when the lights are on.. The only reason you may see an increase in growth from decreasing light and increasing co2 is if the co2 is not adequete For the plants throughout the whole light cycle, that's it.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:38 PM
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Having more CO2, even at the lower light duration, will allow the plants to better utilize the light that is available. My bubble rate is uncountable on a 57 gallon tank and the total light duration is 8 hours. I run one T5HO bulb for 5.5 hours, 3 bulbs for 1.5 hours, followed by the one bulb for the final hour. It has the least amount of algae I've ever had. In my case, it probably took longer than expected to build up sufficient CO2 to fend off the dreaded BBA.

Anyway, I went away for 4 days and I kept everything set the same except, not turning on the two bulbs for the 1.5 hours. I wanted to slow things down just in case the lower water levels from evaporation and the increased surface movement would off gas too much CO2. I expected less plant growth. Well, the Ludwigia didn't slow down and Sagittaria grew taller than usual. Probably wanting to grow closer to the weaker light. The plants were just as healthy and no string algae.

I would say keep CO2 high, its cheap. and your plants can still utilize the lower light duration and or intensity.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the feedback. I started another thread a week or so ago after I had a very fast die-off of dwarf hairgrass. A large patch literally died out within four days--from beautiful to brown. The one thing I didn't think to mention was that when I added CO2, I went from 10+ hours per day to a total of 8 hours per day with lights and CO2 on in the morning from 7:30-11:30am, CO2 and lights take a siesta until 6 pm and then are on for four more hours in the evening. I don't have an algae problem, but I was curious if anyone's plants suffered after lights were adjusted with CO2.

Now that I have added some fauna to the tank, I'm thinking it may not be the best for the animals to have this unnatural light cycle. What do you think?

Salty


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