tank near a window? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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tank near a window?

I KNOW. Fish tanks and windows do not mix! I know all about the algae risks and temperature fluctuations. But I live in a 700 sq. ft apartment and I've run all over this place with a tape measure, considered moving bookcases and televisions and microwaves and beds-- there is just nowhere else I can put this tank (50 gal) that still gives me left-side access to the canister filter (in cabinet) and enough electricity to make it happen. The tank goes in front of the window, or I get no tank at all. How can I make this work? Would a black-out shade pulled down 24-7 do the trick? I really really want to bring this tank home! Suggestions? I would put a sheet of plywood over the window if that's what I needed to do, at this point.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 12:19 AM
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Never had an issue putting a tank in front of a window. Plenty of plants and a healthy, well established substrate and you'll have no algae issues. You will probably fight algae when you first set it up, but if you plant heavily enough it's easy to overcome.

If you're that concerned, a black or dark colored background on the tank or painting the back black would help keep stray light out.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 10:02 AM
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Risks of using natural light are exaggerated. If you read Diane Walstead's book on soil based tanks she actually recommends some natural light to make up for the lack of good lighting on many stock systems. If you're afraid of too much light just adjust your tank lights accordingly.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your thoughts. I'll black out the back side of the tank, and plant it heavily from the get go, and start from there.

29G planted, low tech: Anubias, Crypt. spiralis, Java fern, Java moss, Christmas moss, floating Ceratotopsis
6 platys, 6 black skirt tetras, 10 neons, 6 glo-light tetras
50G high tech, a tank of rescues: 12' pleco, clown loach, striped raphaelle catfish
platy/community tank?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:44 PM
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I think the window claim is ridiculous, my guess is it stems from people who keep non-planted tanks with tons of nutrients in their water with no plants to compete with the algae...
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricketchick View Post
Thank you for your thoughts. I'll black out the back side of the tank, and plant it heavily from the get go, and start from there.
I'm not against window light either but blacking out the back of your aquarium could exaggerate the bad aspects of natural light exposure. Natural light tends to heat up the aquarium water and the black paint will only absorb heat more. You would be blocking out extra lighting only to heat up the aquarium. Atleast that's my two cents.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 07:15 PM
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You can use the white styrofoam boards and cover the bottom half of the window, it will reflect the light and insulate.
If its a window that gets direct light or light all day, I'd block it off.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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The window has a due western exposure and gets its most direct sun in the afternoon for a few hours, but there are no trees/shade out there and I think styrofoam is a great idea. Because I will adjust my photoperiod to occur when I am home in the evening, the tank lights will be on anyway during the afternoon hours of direct sunlight. Also, the window already has cheap, white plastic horizontal blinds on it so the light is muted, not direct. I am thinking to start I will set the lights for 11 am-9 pm, as I go to sleep around 10-10:30. Although the hood holds 2x96 watt bulbs, I am going to start with one bulb and no CO2. 96 watts on a 50 gal seems enough when taking into consideration the add'l window rays and if I need more light I can always add another bulb (96W or something lower, dunno). As for the temp of the water, I keep my air conditioning thermostat set very low (70-72 degrees, we are in FL)... probably set the tank at around 76-78. Won't the tank heater just kick off if the water starts to warm?

29G planted, low tech: Anubias, Crypt. spiralis, Java fern, Java moss, Christmas moss, floating Ceratotopsis
6 platys, 6 black skirt tetras, 10 neons, 6 glo-light tetras
50G high tech, a tank of rescues: 12' pleco, clown loach, striped raphaelle catfish
platy/community tank?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 01:28 AM
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I have a tank right next to a SOUTH facing window. No algae issues with that tank... but I do have solar screens on that window so it doesn't get as much light shining through as it could.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 01:30 AM
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As stated above.. The only tanks I have issues with getting direct sunlight are my non planted tanks. And even then, the algae is very minimal and only after I skip a water change. My 55 low tech is directly in front of a window that gets direct light 10 hours per day at least, while I do have an occasional bba or hair algae outbreak, it's not due to sunlight, it's my ferts being off and needing adjusted.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 11:20 AM
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I run my tank mostly through natural light and direct sunlight during the late summer-spring. I've been it doing that way for a few decades.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 01:17 PM
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If your really still unsure of putting the tank next to the window why dont you try a little bit of DIY. Is it possible for you to change the access to the filter from left to right? Or you could do what my dad is thinking about. Take the door off completely and mount stonger magnets on the inside of the cabinet and the door. This way the whole thing just comes off completely.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:22 PM
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I use window light to offset the cost of lighting. Works great. Never had algae issues at all.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallaceGrover View Post
I think the window claim is ridiculous, my guess is it stems from people who keep non-planted tanks with tons of nutrients in their water with no plants to compete with the algae...
my tank sits accross from a 114 inch wide 4 foot tall window, neither gets direct sunlight but i can leave lights and co2 on for 15 hours either because plants dont need that much direct intensity and i will get algae, but my plants try to start growing before co2 or lights turn on because sunlight hits them in the morning in small doses.. causes the plants to bend towards the window daily.
i put a screen in front of my tank when im not at home to correct this, maintaining my tank was made almostr impossibly easy compared to what it was.
tank is very well taken care of as well, my maintenance routine is so strict my wife almost gets mad sometimes

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 03:07 PM
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If you are planning on keeping any Rainbowfish, you are in for a beautiful sight. A little natural sunlight coming their way and you'll appreciate the moniker "children of the morning sun".


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