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  #16   Report Post  
Old 05-03-2003, 11:51 PM
LeighMo
 
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Default Dealing with bright tanks

What causes the pH to go up (alkaline) in high light tanks?

There are two different mechanisms. One is depletion of CO2. This causes
daily pH swings. As the plants use up the CO2 during the day, the pH climbs.
When the lights go off, the plants stop absorbing CO2, and start releasing it.
The pH drops back down, reaching a low in the morning, just before the lights
go on. A small swing is nothing to worry about, but in high light tanks, the
swing can be large enough to make your fish very unhappy indeed.

The other is "biogenic decalcification," which causes a steady rise over days
or weeks. Not all plants can do this; the ones that can are generally the
plants that only grow submersed. They don't produce aerial leaves, and so have
adapted to getting CO2 out of the water. Egeria and Vallisneria, for example.
If there's not enough CO2, they can extract it from the bicarbonate in the
water. Often, if the plants are doing this, you'll find a chalky precipitate
on the leaves -- calcium carbonate. The KH will drop, the pH will rise. pHs as
high as 10 have been reported, due to biogenic decalcification.

Neither of these mechanisms is a problem with lower light. In low light, the
plants don't grow fast enough to deplete the CO2 in the water. Normal
diffusion with the atmosphere keeps CO2 levels steady, despite the plants'
using some of it.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/

  #17   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 12:15 AM
Victor M. Martinez
 
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Default Dealing with bright tanks

LeighMo wrote:
plants don't grow fast enough to deplete the CO2 in the water. Normal
diffusion with the atmosphere keeps CO2 levels steady, despite the plants'
using some of it.


Thanks! That was most informative.

--
Victor M. Martinez

http://www.che.utexas.edu/~martiv

  #18   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 12:39 AM
m.dekort
 
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Default Dealing with bright tanks

My plants do very well and algae was cut way back

Christopher wrote:

I heard this can do weird things to the nutrients in your tanks and can
retard algae growth?
has anyone hooked up a steralizer to a planted tank and had success?

"m.dekort" wrote in message
...
If one of your problems is algae get a sterilizer. Once I had it set
right the algae went right down

Tony wrote:

Hi,

I'm new to this newsgroup. I've been reading the post here for a
while. I wanted to thank all the posters. I've gotten tons of useful
information by reading the posts here. I've used a lot of the
information here to setup a 46 gallon bowfront that is doing OK.
Thanks!

I wanted to start a discussion regarding tanks that have a lot of
light, at least 3-4 watts per gallon (wgp). I have two such tanks and
have had a lot of problems. What are other people's experiences with
tanks that have a lot of light. What problems have people had with
bright tanks or high light tanks? What are some of the benfits that
people have experienced with bright tanks? How have people dealt with
algae? Any other experiences that you'd like to share?

In another post I'll put the details of my tanks, but I just wanted to
start some discussion first.

Thanks,
Tony




  #19   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 12:39 AM
m.dekort
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

I disagree a bit. It will only kill free floating algae however if you clean
the plants, tank and rocks well new growth is cut way back

LeighMo wrote:

I heard this can do weird things to the nutrients in your tanks and can
retard algae growth?
has anyone hooked up a steralizer to a planted tank and had success?


Me. I've had a UV sterilizer on my tank almost from the beginning.

It won't do weird things to the nutrients in your tank. While UV light will
oxidize iron and the like, the effect is negligible. Hydroponics growers
routinely use UV sterilizers.

It won't solve all your algae problems, either. It does make short work of
green water, but has no effect on other types of algae.

Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


  #20   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 12:51 AM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

I disagree a bit. It will only kill free floating algae however if you clean
the plants, tank and rocks well new growth is cut way back


That has not been my experience. I had a UV sterilizer on my tank almost from
the beginning, before algae had a chance to get established. (It was to
prevent ich as I stocked the tank.) Nevertheless, as the weeks went on, I got
various algae infestations. IME, this is normal for a newly established tank,
and I didn't do anything special to control it, other than make sure I had
enough CO2 and fertilizer. Eventually, it went away on it own. However, I
still have more algae in the tank with the UV sterilizer than in the tank
without one. (Because the other tank has les slight, and lots of snails.)


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


  #21   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 01:39 AM
Craig Brye
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

I have over 4 watts per gallon on my 29 gallon tank and I don't have an
algae problem. I'll admit it took a while and a lot of learning, but I made
it. It takes a lot of learning regarding fertilization, pushing your CO2
output to the upper limits of about 30 ppm (while still keeping your fish in
mind), and a lot of patience. If your nutrients are in correct balance, the
algae should go away, but sometimes this can take some time. I was doing
things correctly, but the algae was slow to disappear and I got impatient.
I kept changing things around and kept messing up. Trust the advice given
in this newsgroup by the "veterans" and give it a little time. Everything
will strike a balance. Once you reach this point of being "algae free",
I've found it's hard (at least for me) to get the algae back as long as you
keep the balance (at least make a conscious effort, which you must do
especially considering the lighting you have).

--
Craig Brye
University of Phoenix Online

"Tony" wrote in message
om...
Hi,

I'm new to this newsgroup. I've been reading the post here for a
while. I wanted to thank all the posters. I've gotten tons of useful
information by reading the posts here. I've used a lot of the
information here to setup a 46 gallon bowfront that is doing OK.
Thanks!

I wanted to start a discussion regarding tanks that have a lot of
light, at least 3-4 watts per gallon (wgp). I have two such tanks and
have had a lot of problems. What are other people's experiences with
tanks that have a lot of light. What problems have people had with
bright tanks or high light tanks? What are some of the benfits that
people have experienced with bright tanks? How have people dealt with
algae? Any other experiences that you'd like to share?

In another post I'll put the details of my tanks, but I just wanted to
start some discussion first.

Thanks,
Tony



  #23   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 06:03 AM
Christopher
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

perhaps a more powerful UV sterilizer?
are the steralizers inline with the filter or how do they work?
can anyone give me the best and easiest one to get? I have 2 fluval 404
filters and I'd rather not have another intake and outake on the back of my
tank

"LeighMo" wrote in message
...
I disagree a bit. It will only kill free floating algae however if you

clean
the plants, tank and rocks well new growth is cut way back


That has not been my experience. I had a UV sterilizer on my tank almost

from
the beginning, before algae had a chance to get established. (It was to
prevent ich as I stocked the tank.) Nevertheless, as the weeks went on, I

got
various algae infestations. IME, this is normal for a newly established

tank,
and I didn't do anything special to control it, other than make sure I had
enough CO2 and fertilizer. Eventually, it went away on it own. However,

I
still have more algae in the tank with the UV sterilizer than in the tank
without one. (Because the other tank has les slight, and lots of snails.)


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/



  #24   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2003, 12:51 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

perhaps a more powerful UV sterilizer?

No. A UV sterilizer will take care of green water, but it will *not* fix other
algae problems. The best way to control algae is to keep your nutrients
(including CO2) in balance with your lighting and your plant selection, and to
keep some algae-eaters for mop-up.

are the steralizers inline with the filter or how do they work?


There are two kinds of UV sterilizers: inline and standalone. Some can be used
either way.

The inline models are meant to be used with cannister filters. You just hook
it up "inline" with the cannister filter, and the cannister filter's pump runs
water through it. (You should get a T-connector, so you can control the amount
of water that goes through the sterilizer.)

The standalone models are meant to be hooked to a powerhead, which you must buy
separately. (Check to make sure the flowrate of the powerhead is within the UV
sterilizer's recommended flowrate.) Get a standalone if you'll be using the
unit on more than one tank.

I bought a Custom Sealife "Double Helix" model, which is one of those that can
be used both inline or standalone. (I'm using it standalone, with a Penguin
powerhead.) I chose Custom Sealife because it's lower maintenance than most.
With other sterilizers, you have to wipe algae off the quartz sleeve over the
bulb every once in awhile. With some types, this means dismantling the unit to
clean it. Others have a "wiper," that allows you to clean the sleeve without
taking the unit apart, or even taking it off the tank. The Double Helix
doesn't have a quartz sleeve. It's made out of special polymer that's so
slippery algae can't adhere, so there's cleaning.

In addition to cleaning, you have to change the bulb regularly, or the
sterilizer won't be effective. The interval depends on what model you get --
generally, it's anywhere from every six months to every eighteen months.

Also make sure the sterilizer you choose is sized for your tank, and that you
have the proper flowrate going through it. I recommend sizing up one;
sometimes manufacturers exaggerate the effectiveness of their units. And ich
can be tough to kill.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
  #25   Report Post  
Old 07-03-2003, 12:46 AM
m.dekort
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

Not to push the thread but. . .I had the same issue until I got the flow right.
Too slow and algae was not affected. Based on the specs to kill algae and other
bad things i believe i have found a happy medium. For example - I used to get
algae on the glass at the output of the return nozzle - now I do not.

LeighMo wrote:

I disagree a bit. It will only kill free floating algae however if you clean
the plants, tank and rocks well new growth is cut way back


That has not been my experience. I had a UV sterilizer on my tank almost from
the beginning, before algae had a chance to get established. (It was to
prevent ich as I stocked the tank.) Nevertheless, as the weeks went on, I got
various algae infestations. IME, this is normal for a newly established tank,
and I didn't do anything special to control it, other than make sure I had
enough CO2 and fertilizer. Eventually, it went away on it own. However, I
still have more algae in the tank with the UV sterilizer than in the tank
without one. (Because the other tank has les slight, and lots of snails.)

Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/




  #26   Report Post  
Old 07-03-2003, 01:01 AM
m.dekort
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

My 2.5 cents again

You can also rig a sterilizer with an external power filter. I take water from the
post filter media side, run it through the sterilizer and then put the output back
in the tank at the other end. I regulate flow with a "pinch" type collar that is
made for this. $ months and it works great. (I did it this way because I had the
power filter first. I use the clean water filter input instead of just drawing
from the tank because it is (should be) cleaner)

LeighMo wrote:

perhaps a more powerful UV sterilizer?


No. A UV sterilizer will take care of green water, but it will *not* fix other
algae problems. The best way to control algae is to keep your nutrients
(including CO2) in balance with your lighting and your plant selection, and to
keep some algae-eaters for mop-up.

are the steralizers inline with the filter or how do they work?


There are two kinds of UV sterilizers: inline and standalone. Some can be used
either way.

The inline models are meant to be used with cannister filters. You just hook
it up "inline" with the cannister filter, and the cannister filter's pump runs
water through it. (You should get a T-connector, so you can control the amount
of water that goes through the sterilizer.)

The standalone models are meant to be hooked to a powerhead, which you must buy
separately. (Check to make sure the flowrate of the powerhead is within the UV
sterilizer's recommended flowrate.) Get a standalone if you'll be using the
unit on more than one tank.

I bought a Custom Sealife "Double Helix" model, which is one of those that can
be used both inline or standalone. (I'm using it standalone, with a Penguin
powerhead.) I chose Custom Sealife because it's lower maintenance than most.
With other sterilizers, you have to wipe algae off the quartz sleeve over the
bulb every once in awhile. With some types, this means dismantling the unit to
clean it. Others have a "wiper," that allows you to clean the sleeve without
taking the unit apart, or even taking it off the tank. The Double Helix
doesn't have a quartz sleeve. It's made out of special polymer that's so
slippery algae can't adhere, so there's cleaning.

In addition to cleaning, you have to change the bulb regularly, or the
sterilizer won't be effective. The interval depends on what model you get --
generally, it's anywhere from every six months to every eighteen months.

Also make sure the sterilizer you choose is sized for your tank, and that you
have the proper flowrate going through it. I recommend sizing up one;
sometimes manufacturers exaggerate the effectiveness of their units. And ich
can be tough to kill.

Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


  #27   Report Post  
Old 08-03-2003, 09:33 AM
Christopher
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

so still, shouldn't it take a considerable dent out of the free floating
algae spores? Wouldn't this slow the appearance of algae as it would not be
able to spread in the tank nearly as fast?
"LeighMo" wrote in message
...
wouldn't it kill algae spores and not allow the algae to spread in the

tank
as easily?


Not by my experience. UV sterilizers don't actually make the tank

sterile.
Some people claim that the fishes' immune systems get weak, because

there's no
germs to keep them revved up. Or that they kill off the biological

filter.
Not true. There's plenty of bacteria, spores, and the like in a tank with

a UV
sterilizer on it.
The UV sterilizer can only kill the stuff that's free-floating, and it

doesn't
kill 100% of that.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/



  #28   Report Post  
Old 08-03-2003, 12:32 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Dealing with bright tanks

so still, shouldn't it take a considerable dent out of the free floating
algae spores? Wouldn't this slow the appearance of algae as it would not be
able to spread in the tank nearly as fast?


IME, no. Unlike, say, ich, it's not the amount of spores that controls how
much algae you have in your tank. It's what's available in the tank to feed
the algae.

A lot of people have tried to control algae by keeping spores out of the tank.
It never works. Similarly, if your tank is in balance, you can add plants and
rocks that are covered with algae, and it will not spread; it will just die
off.

A UV sterilizer might be a good investment for you, for treating ich, because
of the size of your tank. Medication is a hassle with very large tanks. But
don't expect it to solve your algae problems. If you have algae, your tank is
out of balance. Too much light, not enough CO2, or some kind of nutrient
deficiency.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


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