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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, this is my first post here, and for the life of me none of the searches I have done have turned up anything to fully answer my question. So here goes:

I have a 135 gallon tank with two 72" URI, 10,000K 160 watt VHO bulbs. I will be getting my plants in tomorrow and it will consist of Valisneria gigantea, Bolbitis, Java Fern, Amazon and Ozelot swords and three varieties of wendtii Crypts (Red, Tropica, and Green). There will also be Hornwort in the bunch. Sorry that I did not put all the scientific names, I just have not memorized them all yet.

My question is, without CO2, is this too much light? The tank was setup 2 weeks ago and I am already starting to get algae along the areas that are closest to the light. Currently the lights are running for approximately 10 hours a day with no direct sunlight going to the tank. As the tank builds up the bacteria, there have been no new fish added, but the Pacu, Severum, and two Gouramis seem to be added just the right amount of fish waste as my water parameters are good (Ammonia= 0ppm, Nitirites=.1 ppm, Nitrates=10ppm, 77 degrees, pH=7.4). After a few more weeks of quarantine, I have 6 plecos that will be going in, and then a few weeks after that some Geophagus altifrons and Corydoras sterbai.

I know this is a lot, but I just want to make sure I put all the info I can out there. From the articles I have read, it looks like I am pushing the limit of lighting without CO2, and wonder what my alternatives are other than, "just see what happens". I am not looking for a ton of plant growth or a heavily planted tank, just something to be pleasing to the fish. BTW, this will be my first planted tank.

Thanks all, and great forum, I have learned so much here!

-Chris
 

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While there are some factors that may play a part in the amount of 'useable' light, what you have sounds like a decent starting point. I would try out what you have and go from there. Without CO2 and considering the plants you are going to grow, you really don't need a lot of light. I would tend to think you have more than enough.
 

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Thanks Avalon, I guess I am just worried that there will be TOO much light and cause harm to the plants. Could this happen?
I think there is a thing as to much light. I had quite allot of light and dosing ferts with the EI method and some of my plants looked like cr**. I then noticed that the exact same plants that i had in the high light tank I had in the low light tank and and they looked quite healthy compared to my high light tank.
I took 1/2 of my lighting away from my high light tank but kept dosing the same ferts and the plants are looking much better and growing about the same.

I am convinced that to much light is one of the biggest problems people have. You convince yourself that more light is better but that just is not true.
 

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The more light you have the smaller the margin for error in dosing. If you took half the light away and dosed the same, then you probably should have been dosing more at the higher light levels. Its all about balance. And better is relative, and personal preference.
 

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Hello everyone, this is my first post here, and for the life of me none of the searches I have done have turned up anything to fully answer my question. So here goes:

I have a 135 gallon tank with two 72" URI, 10,000K 160 watt VHO bulbs. I will be getting my plants in tomorrow and it will consist of Valisneria gigantea, Bolbitis, Java Fern, Amazon and Ozelot swords and three varieties of wendtii Crypts (Red, Tropica, and Green). There will also be Hornwort in the bunch. Sorry that I did not put all the scientific names, I just have not memorized them all yet.

My question is, without CO2, is this too much light? The tank was setup 2 weeks ago and I am already starting to get algae along the areas that are closest to the light. Currently the lights are running for approximately 10 hours a day with no direct sunlight going to the tank. As the tank builds up the bacteria, there have been no new fish added, but the Pacu, Severum, and two Gouramis seem to be added just the right amount of fish waste as my water parameters are good (Ammonia= 0ppm, Nitirites=.1 ppm, Nitrates=10ppm, 77 degrees, pH=7.4). After a few more weeks of quarantine, I have 6 plecos that will be going in, and then a few weeks after that some Geophagus altifrons and Corydoras sterbai.

I know this is a lot, but I just want to make sure I put all the info I can out there. From the articles I have read, it looks like I am pushing the limit of lighting without CO2, and wonder what my alternatives are other than, "just see what happens". I am not looking for a ton of plant growth or a heavily planted tank, just something to be pleasing to the fish. BTW, this will be my first planted tank.

Thanks all, and great forum, I have learned so much here!

-Chris
I think you would be better off running just two of those bulbs, especially with your plant choices. Less algae, less electricity, less heat, and all of those plants will have enough light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you would be better off running just two of those bulbs, especially with your plant choices. Less algae, less electricity, less heat, and all of those plants will have enough light.
Do you mean only to have one bulb? I only have the two 160 watt VHO bulbs in there now. Also, I have been thinking of setting up a dusk to dawn and back again simulator. This would have a few low wattage fluorescents to turn on gradually, then the full VHOs would come on mid-day for a 4-5 hours and then continue the same process in reverse. What do you think of that plan?
 
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