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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone experimented with the LED configuration on a 36 inch Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light for a 30 gal long tank in particular? I've been experimenting with the settings for the past 1 year and am yet to achieve optimal combinations.

Tank size: 30 long (36x12x16.75)
Plants: amazon sword, java fern, anubias, duck weed
Fish: neon tera, von rio flame terta, julie corydora, otocinclus
Light: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 VL-CRV36
CO2 injection: none, but 1 ml/day of NilocG Enhance (glutaraldehyde - algaecide) is used.
Fertilizers: Thrive capsules for the amazon swords + PPS Pro DYI macro (1ml/day) and micro (0.5 ml/day) with 30% weekly water change.
Substrate: white sand

The Finnex 24/7 is evidently too much for my low-tech tank. My tank has been established for 6 years and I upgraded my old T8 fluorescent Hagen Power-Glo light to the Finnex LED 1 year ago. That's when all the algae and slime problem began. Green algae, brown algae, black beard algae, everywhere in the tank. Never had these with the T8 light. After 15 months of adjustments, the BBA is now almost gone but some green algae still forms in the upper half of the top of the tank (on driftwood and on leaves that reach the upper half of the tank) and brown algae still forms at the bottom (on the glass walls as well as driftwood and stones in the bottom parts of the tank). The sand substrate also has a thin, slimy, top layer of gunk and sand combined. This never existed with the T8 light.

LED Light intensity setting evolution:
Month 1: W-100%, R-100%, G-50%, B-50% - instant algae, java ferns struggled with high light.
Month 2: W-70%, R-70%, G-70%, B-70% - all algae still thriving. Fish and plants struggling.
Month 4: W-60%, R-60%, G-60%, B-60% - all algae still thriving.
Month 6: W-50%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA reduced, green & brown algae still thrive.
Month 10:W-40%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA reduced further, green & brown slightly reduced.
Month 13:W-30%, R-40%, G-0%, B-40% - BBA almost gone, green & brown remain in reduced amounts but still need weekly wiping. Slime layer on sand substrate still forms. Java ferns not dying. Anubias and swords thriving.
Month 15: present - suggestions please?

Finnex 24/7 applies gradient intensity for every 3 hr cycle. I wanted to have one photo period in the morning and one in the evening when I'm home. All the above settings were set for 9 am and 6 pm only. All other set points on the remote (12 pm, 3 pm, 9 pm, 12 am, 3 am & 6 am) were blacked out (0% for all). So even with this configuration, there is a total of 12 hrs of light/day with varying intensity, since Finnex starts the gradual ramp up 3 hours before the set point and the ramp down for 3 hrs after the set point. For example, for the 9 am setting in month 13, the white (W) LEDs will start from 0% intensity at 6 am and slowly ramp up to 30% by 9 am, and then slowly start ramping back down from 9:01 am and reach 0% again by 12 pm.

While the algae problem is considerably down now, it still is nowhere close to how fine things were with the T8 fluorescent light. Maybe reduce the R% further and increase G% a bit? Any other combination of RGB and W? After more than a year of trying, I'm thinking of just going back to the T8 light at this point. My fish were happier too before. All my cories have lost their barbels since I switched to LED light and the algae & slime problem started. They are still alive and eating, but I don't think they're thriving. On that note, I started using Enhance (glutaraldehyde) only after the algae problem with LED started. Could this be another cause for loss of barbels?

If you have any recommendations for further customizing the light settings and/or changing anything else in how the tank is being run, kindly let me know. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you DeepAsHadal, that's very helpful to know. I'll reduce the intensity further to 20% and also reduce the fertilizer dosing. PPS dosing if probably not even needed for this low-tech tank with low-light plants.

When you turned your W down to 20% and ran the light for 6 hrs, was this still with the gradient intensities (ramp up and ramp down for every 3 hr cycles that Finnex 24/7 uses), or did you use a timer along with one of the set memory options for providing the same intensity for 6 hrs straight?
 
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