Sunlight/algae/water changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Sunlight/algae/water changes

It 'seems' that my young plants like direct sunlight, but then as we all know so does algae. These plants are are all recently purchased and are currently residing in a 10 gallon quarantine tank without CO2. They are planted in 2" of organic soil and 1" of gravel as a cap (soon to be 1" of Eco-Complete)

For the last three or four days I've been leaving this tank in direct sun for 4 hours and indirect with fluorescent grow lights for an added 6 hours. Obviously the algae went crazy so I started changing 60% of the water (well water) every two days and the plants are looking happy. Or so my imagination thinks.

Question: Is there a negative if I keep on cycling like this? Can most aquatic plants handle sustained direct sunlight. Is there a downside to massive water changes?

My goal is acquire some size to these plants before I transplant them to my main tank. I divided most plants I've purchased and I'm attempting to grow every species in both an emerged and submerged state. The reasoning is that no matter how much I read you can't beat experience and this not only teaches me how different plants respond to different stimuli it also doubles my chances of something living and thriving.

Whichever plants become the strongest, whether emerged or submerged, will be acclimated to submerged as per Seattle_ Aquarist's blog and transplanted to the main tank. The exception being that I will dip them to destroy excessive algae.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 09:02 PM
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As long as it has no fish, it should be fine.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Raymond, that's a relief because moving this stuff around makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something ;-)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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That was a failed experiment !!! No blame on Raymond since he doesn't have a glass ball on my conditions. This should have been Ok but I may have overdid the light, both sun and grow lights.

Even though I was replacing 80% of the water the algae grew so fast that it smothered plants like the Pogos, They went from showing promise to melted in a matter of days. The mess created by the melting plants did nothing but fuel more melting, not to mention fuel the algae. The anubias actually had black floating up off the tips of all leaves. Even though the water was being replaced every two days eventually, the water changes became redundant because there was so much melted material and algae on the bottom.

Other plants not only weren't bothered but seemed to like these squalid conditions or else it could be they were dying slower.

I actually used the gentle current from the hose to was all plants and wash away any melt. It broke my heart because there's that point where you actually believe you can save the arm that's solid green with gangrene.

After I washed everything down good I let the hose run gently in the tank for an hour or so and that floated up the majority of algae and melt and washed it over the top.

Will the melted plants come back...stay tuned :-)

I'm no longer going to use a grow tank to quarantine plants. I'm placing a large order with aquarium plants and they will be treated and planted in the main tank the day they arrive. I'll add a foot of water the first day and watch and see what happens while I add my cycled media and ready the tank for fish.

My biggest question now is "is my water good for plants" (deep well water)

Only time will tell. I am planting a lot more plants than necessary which is easy because they'll start out small. Survivors will be my keepers.

What a trip ;-)


Last edited by MeCasa; 06-03-2014 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Spelling
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