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Old 06-16-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
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Direct sunlight question

Everyone says to avoid direct sunlight on the aquarium. My question is why? We all buy really expensive lights to mimic the sun... so why is it so bad to utilize what is provided naturally?
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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It can cause algae outbreaks within the aquarium. I have 3 rooms in my house, so I'm limited on where my tanks can go. My living room, which is the only option, is almost solid windows on 3/4 sides. My 36 gal has no sunlight hit it and is perfect, I can leave it be with only minor use of my mag float. My 55 on the other hand is surrounded by windows. When my sump went down which took out both my fuge and my dual reactor. This normally would be fine since I just moved my skimmer onto hob, put a hob filter on, and did slightly larger water changed w/ my ro/di setup. Without my fuge, my algae exploded. It literally turned my rock into a field of hair algae. It took almost 2 months to get under control again. Even with everything going with my fuge again, just the sunlight moving across the front of my tank as it rises is enough to cause a film algae growth that was not there prior to sunrise. I am only talking 2 hours of it moving across the length of my tank, if that.

Now, the flip side of this is that there are actual uses for natural sunlight. I'll admit that even though it causes algae issues in my tank, my corals look amazing. They have never looked this good, and I say this as there used to be a cabnet blocking the sun to the tank. There are people who utilize natural sunlight for their reef aquariums. When I first got started in November, one of the builds I loved following was a large build that a guy built as a divider between his kitchen and dining room, or something like that. He utilized natural sunlight that came in through a port in the roof, though I do not recall what setup he had that was able to fully utilize the sun's rays.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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Ok, now that being said, isn't algae prevented by good husbandry? I mean if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, wouldn't algae be prevented? I'm talking about using ro/di water, doing the water changes on a regular schedule and keeping phosphates down by not overfeeding, then algae wouldn't be as likely to form. In addition, having a planted aquarium would help in my opinion.

Now, I'm not arguing the fact that it would make fighting the algae even harder, but like you said, I would think that corals would thrive! No company can make a light that is as pure and perfect as the sun.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Even with the best care you will still have algae. No real way around it. But when we use our lighting, we use certain spectrums that encourage coral growth. These ranges are much higher than ones that encourage algae growth. I use a simple 6500 bulb to grow algae. Spectrums for corals arent usually lower than 10k unless you use leds and get them for lower spectrum.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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Ahhhha, I see. Well, I will reconsider putting my new nano tank in direct sun light. Thank you all!
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin0329
Ahhhha, I see. Well, I will reconsider putting my new nano tank in direct sun light. Thank you all!
Sunlight going through the glass is diffused light. Not the same as sunlight through water. That's why you should not rely on sunlight. As mentioned it will cause nuisance algea.
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