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Old 10-24-2006, 10:46 PM   #1
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Low tech or too much light?

First thank you 7enigma for pointing this out so I can get help before a possible algae crisis.

Well I have a 48 inch shop fixture wth two 40 watt bulbs so a total of 80 watts over 2, 10 gallon tanks. Measuring the tank and doing calculation says that about 33 watts of light are over the tank in question. There issome side lighting because the fixture sticks out over the side of the tank so it might be 40+ total watts, potentially.

Now I know according to the new rules that this is medium light and not medium high. Also with the reflector being so wide it reduces a lot of light. I have also seen tanks with two 20 watt screw in bulbs do really well without CO2; credit to Lonewolfblue.

I have already taken out the CO2 because my BN didn't seem to like it and the lower pH. This has been confirmed by Bud, my 5 inch Male responding by eating 300% more in 3 days than I have seen him eat all together in the past 2 months. The fish health is the reason for the removal but not the quesiton here.

The question is, does this tank fall into the realm of a low tech no CO2 category or am I in for a rude awekening with possible massive algae problems?

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Old 10-26-2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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Hara is doing lots of T5 watts over 20gals, with only Excel and doing great. Was it Glitch who had the sweet algae eater tank with no dosing? I think you should run with your gut and see what happens -- you'll learn from it however it turns out.

FWIW I think whatever plan you choose, you need to stick with it for a while. If it were my tank I'd stick with all the EI advice you've gotten, explore your ideas with current, and give my tank time. I don't think you've given EI and such a fair shot yet.


"2- before attempting to plant, have a beer or a Bourbon. That will help to steady your hands" -- elwaine

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Old 10-26-2006, 11:10 PM   #3
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I still plan to get powerheads for all 3 tanks even though one isn't planted well nor lit well at all. EI is still the main course for both well lit tanks, I have grown to really like it and there is no worries about tests coming back inaccurate because I know my dosing can only put so much in my tanks at any one time.

I made the change for my BN, not because of anything failing with my plants. The advice I have gotten with EI and dosing has been so useful and my tanks, although I do have spats of algae, are running better with better growth than I had ever imagined.

If you don't do it already, dose EI!
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:59 AM   #4
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My 29g has 72watts of CF lighting over it (certainly more light in the tank than you described).
I am using an Au natural method on this tank. It gets no ferts except for 1 tsp of Equilibrium at water change. And water changes are once per month. The tank has tons of shrimp and tons of snails... but only about 6-8 inches of fish. I feed it fairly heavily.
Anyways, this tank has no real algae issues. It slowly gets some GSA, i only clean it every 2-3 months so its not that bad.

I am a proponent of EI, and use it on my high light tanks. But anything less than 3wpg (of high quality light) and I just let the tank be.
Interestingly enough, I am about to set up a row of tanks in my garage much as you have described.
I am going to line up the 10g's on a shelf and put a regular shop light over them (2x 40w). They will be planted with crypts and moss, they are for my wife Guppy breeding. She has a strain of Japanes Blue endlers. I'd show you a picture of these lovely fish, but guppies are only a colorful blur on my old camera.

I was just thinking back to my old Shrimp tank. It had 30w (2x 15) over 10 gallons. It grew a ton of plants and no algae. No ferts, no CO2.
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:18 AM   #5
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Well I am not ready to give up on EI because of all the plants but we will see if I wind up needing it. I have cut the doses to about 2/3 of what they were so not as high but growth is still really good so far. The vals are suffering but I kinda expected that. Have thought about Excel but I think my BN recovery has been so astonishing that I am going to leave it alone and not dose Excel.

Will be an experiment and will keep the best records I can to give others who want to go low tech but grow lots of plants the best information I can. Will be a real blessing if I can grow the plants I want and not have to deal with lousy CO2 levels from DIY CO2 that have caused what little BBA I have in my other tank that still has the DIY CO2.
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light, low tech

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