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Old 12-20-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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Lower my lighting?

Now, if i'm doin something foolish, slap me on the wrist, lol

I've got a coralife 96watt 20 inch fixture, on a perfecto 44 gallon pentagon.

Now, i have some driftwood right in the middle of my tank, it goes from top to bottom.

The problem: Algae likes to grow like a weed right where the light blasts on the top of the driftwood stump (see gallery to see what i'm talking about)

I've got realitivly low-light plants in there, and my hornwort is looking ugly and brown due to the high light, though it is growing nicely.

My 17 watt "stock" light that came with the tank was not enough. I'm finding this to be too much at the moment, so what i've done is cut some black plastic squares and put it underneath the light so it doesn't shine directly on problem area's of my tank.

Will this have some unforseen concequence?I used plastic from a CD jewel, and i know that it can withstand at least boiling temperature before melting, so i'm not worried about heat. Anything else you can think of?

Its pretty funny that I'm trying to reduce my lighting when everyone else always talks about getting more. I just don't have the money for a proper CO2 system, and i'm realizing now my tank layout isn't optimal with the tall driftwood going from top to bottom in the middle of my tank.

What are your thoughts? (please take it easy, lol)
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:58 PM   #2
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If you lived in my area, I'd offer you all the algae eating snails you want. I can't grow algae anymore. (Still in first generation of mystery source snails. I hope they don't turn into plant eaters when they get older.)

Black plastic will generate heat. White will reflect the light back up, hopefully into your reflectors, aiming the light down on non-problem areas of the tank.

Is there any way you could re-arrange the light in the hood to shine on a more advantageous location?
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:46 PM   #3
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Hey! sorry, went away for the holidays!
Yeah, i've replaced the black plastic with white plastic, it made a bit of a difference, Good idea. The BBA is all gone! just tiny amounts of fuzz now, i'm rather happy!

HOWEVER, i come back from 5 days, and my 10 gallon has green algae growing on the plants. and ONLY plants. It is TRYING to blanket it. I also have mystery snails in there, more than likely from my girlfriends tanks (I'm housing harlequin rasbora's for her for the break) and i've killed 3 so far. Little browny gold guys. Annoying.

GOt a new camera! coolpix 5900. Going to post pics now!

Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:27 PM   #4
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Why kill the snails? They might help with the algae situation. The only other real solution to algae growing on your plants is to do a bunch of testing and target fertilizing.

If it's just the 10 gallon, you could do DIY CO2 pretty cheap. All you need is airline, diffuser/airstone, and a soda/fruitjuice bottle. (That and charging ingredients from your kitchen.)
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:13 AM   #5
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I have DIY co2 on both my setups. a 700ml bottle feeding into the intake of my AC mini, which keeps CO2 around 20-25ppm. I have a 2L bottle on my 44 gallon, in conjunction with a Nutrafin CO2 ladder and HOB canister. It keeps it about 30 PPM, sometimes it goes to 38ppm if i'm not careful

I have planted tanks, i was under the impresson that mysterysnails, if left unchecked, will take over your tank and eat your plants for a snack.

I have a clown loach in my 44 gallon, so he makes short work of whatever may find his way, but i am paranoid. I have little brown snails occasionally in my 10 gallon.
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:34 AM   #6
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Some snails can make a mess of your plants, but there are plenty of varieties that like to eat algae or much on decaying matter you forgot to trim out. I'd give them a chance. If you see large bites out of your plants, that's the time to freak and do something about it.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:19 PM   #7
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hmmm. I kinda wanted ONE big one to go around on my glass and drift wood. How often does the average snail breed with itself?
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:44 PM   #8
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Depends on the species. Some species need to start as a pair, other species can self-breed. Research the species you are considering. Breeding rate depends on the amount of food the snails find, and how active the fish are at eating the snail eggs.
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