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Thread: My first attempt

  1. #21

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    Re: My first attempt

    flow is very important yes, but believe me when i say switching my lights out has helped a ton!!!

    Jake

  2. #22

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    Re: My first attempt

    I've gone from 4x 15w spiral compact fluorescent @ 3000k (don't even bother, they produce so little light!) to 4 x 18w PLL fluorescent @ 6500k with mirrors either side and the bulbs at around 2" from the mesh.
    So there is a huge amount of light on the mesh itself.
    I checked last night, and the nitrates are at 8ppm, so it's not run out of food completely, there's a bit more buildup of brown algae in some areas, especially in the higher flow areas, so I think it's likely to be the cause.

  3. #23

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    Re: My first attempt

    [attachment=0:gvb8i8y9]TOM_3872.jpg[/attachment:gvb8i8y9]

    Here's the latest growth as of this evening.
    Again, see the massive growth difference between the bottom and the top
    You can clearly see the water line about 2" from the bottom, then the fairly heavy growth above that for another 4" or so, then very little above that.
    The lighter area above the dark patch is where there is by far more light than anywhere else.
    I was thinking about what you said before Santamonica, the actual flow rate in litre/hour or gal/hour will not change between the top and the bottom, the water will simply flow faster, but more thinly. The volume of water per time period won't change, so I'm more convinced now that it's the light causing the lack of growth at the top. The bulbs are only about 2" away from the mesh itself, and I've used plastic rather than glass, so there could well be a fairly high UV content to the light at that range, I'm guessing that's what is most likely to be causing the lack of growth.
    I'm considering getting some glass cut to replace the plastic and try and cut down the UV output to see if that makes a difference.
    What do you guys think? Strange huh?
    (and yes, there is a little hair algae starting to grow, and some slightly thicker more seaweed like green algae growing about 1/4 of the way down on the left, plus loads of red, brown and some green algaes growing at the bottom)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #24
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    Re: My first attempt

    What is the bulb type?

  5. #25

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    Re: My first attempt

    4x Phillips 18W PL-L 6500k:

    you can't see on this photo, but where the wood across the bottom is, from there down is where the major growth is.
    Also, up until two days ago the lights were on 24x7 as I didn't have a spare timer (already using about 10 of them in the house for various other tanks, including 3 for the marine tank lights!).
    Maybe the 8 hours off at night will make a difference?

  6. #26
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    Re: My first attempt

    That might be it!... it had no rest time, and the closer to the bulb, the worse it was.

  7. #27

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    Re: My first attempt

    I'm already starting to see a small improvement in the growth in that area that was more highly lit.
    Well, I'm not seeing a major drop in algae growth in the display tank yet, it has only been running for 20 days now, and on a new system with only 2 perc clowns, however I'm seeing a massive improvement in water clarity.
    The water is the clearest I've ever seen in any tank anywhere, I can't believe how clear it looks. It could be pure RO/DI water it looks that good, even looking through the side of the tank is just as clear. I know everyone says that, but wow, it really is amazingly clear. I'll setup my DSLR on a tripod to try and get some photos to do it justice.
    I'm going to be adding some more fish this week and see how it does with the extra load, hopefully more growth on the screen :lol:

  8. #28
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    Re: My first attempt

    Good to see it's clear. Not sure why, since N and P are invisible. Also there should be more pods swarming around (unless you have a mechanical filter).

    Let's see how the dead spot does with off-light time.

  9. #29

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    Re: My first attempt

    jski711 is right, turning the lights off has made a massive difference already, with the huge "dead spot" where the lights are. There is large amounts of growth on there already, give it another day or two and it will be as dark as the rest with full coverage. I'll take some photos shortly
    Interestingly, it has made almost no difference to the area that had grown already, that was further away from the lights. So up to a point, if the lights aren't so bright, or far enough away, you can get away with 24x7 growth, but with larger amounts of light, you actually need to give the algae a rest before it can grow optimally.
    I'm now fully expecting to see *faster* growth where the lights are, and slower growth where the lighting is lower.
    Apparently 8 hours rest for growing phytoplankton is also needed, so it does appear to be a common thing with algaes.

  10. #30

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    Re: My first attempt

    Santamonica:
    The water clarity, I'm guessing, is due to the higher oxygen (redox) in the water, which will break down waste faster, very similar to the way that adding ozone to the skimmer often clears the water in the tank.
    It really does appear that the ATS are a hugely more natural way of keeping a marine tank, and the sort of "missing-link" we've all been looking for.

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