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Low PAR Lighting for Viewing Only?

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I'm in the process of setting up my 125, and since it separates my living room and dining room, I would prefer that the lights stay on for viewing much longer than will be best to avoid algae issues in a planted tank. It occurred to me that the lights with a good PAR value could be regulated appropriately for plant growth with no algae issues, but lights with low PAR ratings could be employed strictly for their lumen value so that the aquarium could be visually appreciated for a longer period during the day. Has anyone tried lighting from this approach? One possible issue I can think of would be whether or not algae responds to the same light wavelengths as the plants we want, or does it respond to other or all wavelengths, or do different types of algae respond to different wavelengths? I would love to have one set of lights that grew plants well, that was on a limited schedule, and a different set of lights that better fits MY preferred viewing schedule. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Olskule
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The finnex 24/7 in 24/7 mode provides viewing times that the par would be too little for algae. Is what I run. I run it in 24/7 mode from 6-8am then on max light till 6pm them from 6pm-9pm in 24/7 again this way I get longer viewing than what the plants and algae need for light. Here is a graph that shows the different par levels at different times. The graph was done at 7.5" from light to sensor.

 

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If enough light is provided for plants to photosynthesize then algae can grow.
Many plants indicate this process spreading their leaves during optimum lighting.

I think your goal can be achieved since lighting is the gas pedal in our tanks.
Unable to offer a PAR value or lumen value to achieve though.
 

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I run a monster ray for 10 hours and a ray 2 for 6. The monster ray gives the tank awesome color and very low par and the ray2 gives it highlight for 6 hours a day. I had a 24/7 but switched back to the monster ray / ray2 combo because of the color it gives the tank. If I start to get algae I'll adjust the ray2 timing.
 

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I'm in the process of setting up my 125, and since it separates my living room and dining room, I would prefer that the lights stay on for viewing much longer than will be best to avoid algae issues in a planted tank. It occurred to me that the lights with a good PAR value could be regulated appropriately for plant growth with no algae issues, but lights with low PAR ratings could be employed strictly for their lumen value so that the aquarium could be visually appreciated for a longer period during the day. Has anyone tried lighting from this approach? One possible issue I can think of would be whether or not algae responds to the same light wavelengths as the plants we want, or does it respond to other or all wavelengths, or do different types of algae respond to different wavelengths? I would love to have one set of lights that grew plants well, that was on a limited schedule, and a different set of lights that better fits MY preferred viewing schedule. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Olskule
low light will do it. i run a low light for 14hrs a day. long viewing times. barely any algae issues. the low light def keeps everything algae safer. no excel dosing either. if you keep the area of the fish tank in a darker area, the low light in the tank will appear brighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input, folks, I really appreciate it! At the moment I have a BeamsWork 72" with 6700k color temp 0.5 watt LEDs (I don't remember exactly how many LEDs, but I kept the label so I would know) set slightly diagonally​, and two 36" Coralife double T5 fixtures (they came with the tank) with one Coralife Colormax and one Coralife 6700k bulb in each one, with one on the dining room side and the other on the living room side of the aquarium, at the ends, beside the BeamsWork. I read on here (TPT) that the Coralife fixtures are inefficient as far as PAR goes due to low quality reflectors, so I leave them on longer, pretty much just for viewing, and run the Beams Work light on a 4 on/4 off/4 on timer schedule, since that schedule does well for me on a different tank. (I know, different tank, different light, but it's a starting point.) I've started to think this may be too much right now, considering that it is "lightly planted" at the moment (I hope to make a large plant order this month if everything goes as planned.) Incidentally, I did a 5 minute/5% bleach dip when moving my plants from my BGA-infested 55 to the newly set up 125, and my swords melted, so at the moment, they're just stumps w/o leaves. But that's okay, they'll come back. But that's just that much less plant load to use all the light, but should that matter? I mean, it's not the same as having an imbalance of fert macro-nutrients, right? Oh, speaking of which, I'm using the recommended weekly dosage of API Leaf Zone (weekly), Flourish Advance (daily), Iron (on occasion--would like to test it, but iron tests are pricey!) and daily Excel. I have Flourish Potassium and Phosphorus, and I ran out of Flourish Trace, but the Advance covers most of the trace elements. (Not all, but a lot of--actually too much--overlap. I hate to waste money on two different products that provide much of the same things, but one has things the other doesn't have.) I will also be adding a bacterial​ suppliment and watching the Nitrogen cycle as I increase the fish load. I also plan to run the fish through an antibacterial quarantine tank for a week or two to make sure they don't bring any BGA with them from the 55 to the 125. (Is BGA gram positive or negative?) It may sound like overkill, but I don't want to have to deal with THAT stuff any more at all, especially in my big aquarium!

Any way, does it sound like I'm on the right track?

Olskule
 

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Thanks for all the input, folks, I really appreciate it! At the moment I have a BeamsWork 72" with 6700k color temp 0.5 watt LEDs (I don't remember exactly how many LEDs, but I kept the label so I would know) set slightly diagonally​, and two 36" Coralife double T5 fixtures (they came with the tank) with one Coralife Colormax and one Coralife 6700k bulb in each one, with one on the dining room side and the other on the living room side of the aquarium, at the ends, beside the BeamsWork. I read on here (TPT) that the Coralife fixtures are inefficient as far as PAR goes due to low quality reflectors, so I leave them on longer, pretty much just for viewing, and run the Beams Work light on a 4 on/4 off/4 on timer schedule, since that schedule does well for me on a different tank. (I know, different tank, different light, but it's a starting point.) I've started to think this may be too much right now, considering that it is "lightly planted" at the moment (I hope to make a large plant order this month if everything goes as planned.) Incidentally, I did a 5 minute/5% bleach dip when moving my plants from my BGA-infested 55 to the newly set up 125, and my swords melted, so at the moment, they're just stumps w/o leaves. But that's okay, they'll come back. But that's just that much less plant load to use all the light, but should that matter? I mean, it's not the same as having an imbalance of fert macro-nutrients, right? Oh, speaking of which, I'm using the recommended weekly dosage of API Leaf Zone (weekly), Flourish Advance (daily), Iron (on occasion--would like to test it, but iron tests are pricey!) and daily Excel. I have Flourish Potassium and Phosphorus, and I ran out of Flourish Trace, but the Advance covers most of the trace elements. (Not all, but a lot of--actually too much--overlap. I hate to waste money on two different products that provide much of the same things, but one has things the other doesn't have.) I will also be adding a bacterial​ suppliment and watching the Nitrogen cycle as I increase the fish load. I also plan to run the fish through an antibacterial quarantine tank for a week or two to make sure they don't bring any BGA with them from the 55 to the 125. (Is BGA gram positive or negative?) It may sound like overkill, but I don't want to have to deal with THAT stuff any more at all, especially in my big aquarium!



Any way, does it sound like I'm on the right track?



Olskule


To make dosing ferts MUCH easier and cheaper I do this and would recommend going this route. Super easy. Just dose micros and macros on alternating days each 3 times per week and done. I use to use seachem but found this much easier and cheaper. And there will be no question you have all of the nutrients covered. http://nilocg.com/diy-ei-liquid-fertilizer/


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