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Lights minus algae?

1382 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  alicem
While browsing our Library for any articles that I hadn't read yet, I came across the lighting post by Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec. In it he states "If, for seemingly no reason, your aquarium starts to grow algae, think about when was your last lamp change? If it was over 6 to 8 months, consider that the lamp's spectrum may have shifted and the lamp needs changing."
In my 29g Tang tank I do not have any kind of algae-eater. Twice I have tried plecostomus that have not made it, one being a $35 albino long fin B/N, so I quit trying... resorting to pulling the rocks / shells and scrubbing them monthly.
Is there a color temp of light that I can look for that DOESN'T grow algae? I thought any color light with descent intensity would grow brown, then if strong enough later green algea.

P.S. I have a healthy B/N plec in my Mbuna tank who works hard to keep it clean, and all of my backgrounds are painted black, just as an FYI.
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Hey, Hoosier Tank!
I found this on

It does not matter what colour of light you provide for your aquarium
plants. Choose a colour that makes it look good for you.
If you are not interested in algae (fresh water people usually are not)
you can additionally try to avoid the blue part of the spectrum
(or keep it to a minimum). This also means that high light temperatures
(>5500K or so) are better suited for a salt water aquarium.
---> Your mileage may vary.<---
I found this on, it's not exactly what you are asking but a little more info for ya...
There are two categories of algae of concern to aquarists: "good" and "bad". Good algae is present in small quantities, is indicative of good water quality and is easily kept in check by algae eating fish or simple removal during routine maintenance. This algae is a natural consequence of having a container of water with nutrients and a light source. Bad algae is either an indicator of bad water quality or is a type of algae that tends to overtake the tank and ruin the aesthetics the aquarist is trying to achieve. The label of "bad" is entirely subjective. For example, one type of green, hair-like algae is considered a plague by some American aquarists, yet is cultivated by European aquarists as a valuable addition to most tanks, serving as a dietary supplement for the fish.

Algal spores are everywhere and will always be present in an aquarium unless drastic measures are taken. For fish only tanks, a properly set up ultraviolet sterilizer will kill algal spores in the water and prevent them from gaining a toehold. For planted tanks, this is not a good solution since the UV light will also oxidize trace elements needed by the plants and will limit the plant's growth potential.

Unfortunately, conditions that are good for growing plants are also good for growing algae. Fortunately, plants will usually out-compete algae for the available nutrients. However, if there is an imbalance of nutrients, algae will opportunistically use whatever is not used by the higher order plants.
I think lighting is alot like water chemistry.
What works in one tank doesn't necessarily work in every other tank you have.
Just one little thing can be off and you'll find yourself in the bizzaro world. :-?
Alas, it's the burdon we carry as fish keepers.
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