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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to start a low tech planted tank. I currently have a 55 gallon community with gravel (which I am considering changing to sand) and 2 18" lights above it.
Stock:
9 neon tetra
2 silver mollys
2 blue gouramis
3 guppies (and 2 babies)
1 snail
3 ghost shrimp
1 anacharis plant as a trial run

I have a sun-glo light, aqua-glo light, and a aqueon floramax

I know the sun-glo is 6700k, and the aqua-glo is 18,000k. I'm not sure what the temp is on the floramax

All are T8 bulbs and the fixtures are nothing special. Just a white painted background.

My questions are, can I grow plants with just the two light fixtures I have with an appropriate bulb or will I need a different fixture. alsok considering using aluminum foiil as a makshift reflector for the time being. is this a good idea?

My second question is, which two bulbs should I be using for the time being? two that I currently have or should I get a different one.

Also, my brown alge growth seems to flourish on whichever side of the tank the aqua-glow bulb is on. Moving it to the other side of the tank makes it bloom over there.

Thanks
 

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That is interesting about the brown algae following the 18,000K light. This is the first reasonably controlled experiment I have seen that compares algae growth that way. It either provides more PAR than the other bulb, or it provides less PAR, thus causing the plants to be less healthy and more inviting to algae. I don't know which it is, but it is interesting anyway. Does the light look very blue with the aqua-glo? At 18,000K it should look blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I have two t8 18" light fixtures. Not ideal but I bought the tank off craigslist and that's what I got.

And yes, the 18000k light is a cool blue. But is it going to br enough light ever or am I going to have to add more light?
 

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Yes, I have two t8 18" light fixtures. Not ideal but I bought the tank off craigslist and that's what I got.

And yes, the 18000k light is a cool blue. But is it going to br enough light ever or am I going to have to add more light?
It is certainly outside of the range of color temperatures normally recommended for a planted tank. But, if most of the light from it is between 400 and 700 nanometers, it should be good for plants.
 

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I am pretty sure the aqua-glo bulb's 18000K "claimed" color temp isn't accurate (Hagen marketing ploy?). I have used a 48" aqua-glo T8 overdriven 4x in a striplight with an okay reflector over a 55g and grew some easy plants. Also there are several threads here on TPT with members experiences with aqua-glo bulbs. Here is the spectral graph for that bulb from Dr's F&S site.

Slope Font Graphics Plot City
 

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How did you determine this? Any ideas about why it would do that?
i have no idea... but every time i kept the 660nm on, my algae would explode, and not small creeps but next day id notice HALF my stuff covered... turn it off, and id watch it die out....
I tried this twice.. and i grew a nice hair algae field / bubble algae... twice to confirm it.. (my ottos wont even touch that.)

This is with CO2 injection and a Yellow Drop checker also btw... :bounce:

I ended up ditching 660nm in my builds now... if i do use it.. most likely a shrimp tank where i want all that algae growth.


Hoppy i am completely lost in why adding the red 660nm would spike it like that.
Red is suposed to lose strength the most under water... So im really lost... but yea.. avoid 660nm red light unless u want to see lots of hair.
 

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When you turned off the 660nm light, did you replace it with another light, to keep the PAR about the same? If not, maybe the algae explosion was just caused by the higher PAR? And, were you able to measure the PARs involved?
 

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When you turned off the 660nm light, did you replace it with another light, to keep the PAR about the same? If not, maybe the algae explosion was just caused by the higher PAR? And, were you able to measure the PARs involved?
i tried that on the second run.. i turned off the 3W's. Left the 10W's with the red's... then i swapped back to the 10W + 3W and turned off the reds completely... with 10W + the 3W i get bubble... with the 10W + Red's i get hair... just 10W's algae dies off and plants grow... You can see i was playing with light intensity.... lol..

But if you think about hoppy, i didnt increase overall intensity, i just spiked the red spectrum so it matched 1:1 or more with the blue spectrum.

So im really lost in why hair algae responds so well to red right.
 
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