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I Stopped Using Led Lights And Sure Enough,bba And Black Algae Is Gone..

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Stan510, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    From the 70's to now,I always used gro lux or as I got into plants in the 80's,gro lux and a combination of daylight/warm white,usually I liked 2,40 watt gro to two of the other types. Never had brown algae,black algae. It took years before I even saw any blue green.
    But I try Walmart shop light LED and there is the brown algae..I try a better true aquarium LED and now there's lots of BBA.
    I took off the LED as longer days give me enough light from a big window. The black algae is already nearly gone..my white gravel is white again. No tiny dots of black algae.
    I think LED lights are not as great as the world thinks. Less wattage and more brightness is true. But it's..a cold light. I see why more and more I read aquascapers going back to T5 fluorescents.
    I probably will now stick to my flourescents as it turned out,I always had enough light..it was the near total lack of iron in my local water that was stunting plants.
    Yes,I know nano tanks really benefit from LEDs that only use 7 watts and give show tank look to plants. But,is the color really that good? Are red tail sharks with deep red tails and that ultra black with white tipped fin?..or are they dark gray? Like that.
     
  2. EdWiser

    EdWiser Member

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    Shop Led Doesn’t have a great spectrum and so algae will be an issue.
     
  3. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    The shop light created lots of brown algae. Yet plants did grow. The 156 LED Yescom,also was very bright...but that was the one that was heaven to various forms of black algae. Brush and even uglier black spots..that I noticed even could grow on plant leaves if you looked close.
    Since removing it,day after day the aquarium looks better. But,in winter here Dec-Jan and maybe Feb? I might need it on the short day lengths,cloudy rainy days. Even in California deep winter can be dark.
    I like fluorescents even if they cost more to run,more to buy. They just do a better job. Nano tanks? Ok,you got me. LED might be the only option.
     
  4. Deanna

    Deanna New Member

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    Nope: doesn't work that way. The wrong LEDs or the wrong fluorescents will create algae problems and direct sunlight is almost begging for algae. Even the right LEDs or the right fluorescents will create algae if the light is too strong without nutrient sufficiency (particularly CO2). I've had many LED's and had no more of an algae problem than I did with my previous fluorescents. It is important to understand PAR and PUR when considering lighting. My guess is that that your LEDs either had poor PAR and PUR values and/or too much intensity if the lights are high quality without the necessary nutrient balance.

    If you want to work with your LEDs and try to resolve the algae problems, it might be better to post a complete description of your setup and water parameters. That way we can all see where problems might exist in order to offer help. Some of the things that would be extremely helpful in providing assistance would be if you could provide as much of the following as possible:

    - Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
    - CO2 setup (if any) and how you measure CO2 levels in the water if you do inject CO2?
    - pH difference between fully de-gassed and fully gassed?
    - Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings?
    - What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
    - Substrate type and how long has it been in place?
    - What is your filter setup?
    - Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
    - Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
    - What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
     
  5. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    Over countless setups over decades and waters of various qualities? I never saw BBA or brown, with Gro Lux fluorescent mixed with warm whites for added lumens. I see quite a few junk algaes with LED. Now,the very best LED's maybe not..but those are in the hundreds of dollars.
    I saw some great four fixture fluorescent lights at Home Depot that had a curved mirror backing. I would strongly consider or recommend plant people try those. Sure they cost more to run,but healthy plants and colors that pop are more of a sure thing if you choose the bulbs right.
     
  6. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    I saw a Tom Barr vid on youtube and his largest plant tank had EIGHT!..count 'em EIGHT, fluorescent bulbs packed shoulder to shoulder in only 2017. So,he passed on the best LED's then,Fluval- ADA,for those.
     
  7. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    The decision to stick with fluorescent, and in Tom Barr’s case is the excellent color rendition. There’s no question that combinations of quality tubes will give you some beautiful color. The only issue is the power and cost to run, heat generated, and the need to replace bulbs. I used crummy CF bulbs in 2013 with my first setup and guess what, BBA galore. I’m also dealing with BBA again apparently and I now have a Twinstar 900S over my aquarium. I underestimated the power of the light and my lack of maintenance generated the problem. The problem with LED’s is the quality and output varies tremendously. And the only data there is that I’ve seen is from individual aquarists testing PAR and PUR. Both are great options, it really comes down to personal preference. But I wouldn’t blame LED for BBA troubles
     
  8. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    I don't remember ever seeing BBA with my original 100 gallon plant tank in the late 80's. 4, 40 watt bulbs..two Gro Lux,one a red "plant light" and a fourth bulb that I Don't remember the brand..but it gave sort of a blue white color..not expensive. It was in the $8 range back then when the gro bulbs were $18-20 each... also a large window giving lots of indirect life helped very much. Moss loved that.

    LED's..I hate the color so many put out. Yellowish and does not show the colors well at all.
    I haven't seen them all let alone tried them,but so far.. I think those who have LED's that show reds and blues very well are hard to find.


    I would just say that BBA wasn't much an issue in the 70-80's and neither was blue green algae as now. the Bluegreen seemed to really start to torment modern aquarists when they replaced perfect aquarium gravel for fine sand. I keep telling them,Amano only used that in the foreground for effect,NOT to grow plants in.
     
    #8 Stan510, Mar 24, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  9. EdWiser

    EdWiser Member

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    The problem with the vast majority of LEDS sold to the freshwater hobby is there is no control on color temperature
    or intensity adjustment.
     
    Stan510 and bshenanagins like this.
  10. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    If your serious about the hobby,then yes,I agree that LED's need to be bought with control of the color. It would be nice if manufacturers made them perfect for the hobby,meaning, knowing that greens and reds and blues need to pop,but they don't. I've seen some ADA and others too of course, that grew plants great and yet..the color and tone wouldn't make me happy for $500 over a 20 or 30 gallon aquarium.
    In fact if I paid that kind of money for a 26" fixture,put on the lights and saw that? I would be sick to my stomach!
     
  11. keval

    keval New Member

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    Aquarium lighting is a subject that interests me greatly. I think some important points have been made in this thread. Regarding BBA, it 'likes' light in the green part of the light spectrum. Getting a bit technical, its peak absorption occurs at a wavelength of 565nm (nanometres). This makes the plants look very green. Many LED lighting products emit a high proportion of their output in the green part of the spectrum. Plants themselves are more interested in the blue (420 - 460nm) and red (630 - 670nm) parts of the spectrum. The spectrum from fluorescent aquarium lighting is generally very different from that of LED lighting. But, in my opinion, what sells aquarium lighting are lights that make the plants vibrant. Nothing wrong with that but it comes at a price - the risk of promoting algae growth. So, in a nutshell, I suspect that many aquarium LED lighting products do indeed encourage BBA (and, perhaps, BGA). But, I don't have the resources to categorically prove this.
     
  12. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    I hear what you're saying Keval. I just go by my decades of keeping and reading ( no watching vids in the 70's-mid 90's!) about others and my new try of LED. But,I've never seen so much BBA UNLESS,I go way back to trying just cool white fluorescent bulbs. I do remember seeing much brown algae with that.
    The BBA explosion seems to go hand in hand with LED...just as sand as a substrate has youtube filled with blue green algae problems. Both seem to be modern problems.
     
  13. keval

    keval New Member

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    Hi Stan510,

    You've lost me there. What is the link between sand and BGA?

    keval
     
  14. Stan510

    Stan510 Member

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    It's a nutrient trap. It's fine texture also allows it to thrive. I've seen it over and over. I've seen it in creeks where there was fine sands..but not where gravels were.
    Even Innes back in the early 20th century warned sand was not good in the aquarium. Amano only used the sands to front his designs..80% of what the plants grew in was his gravels.
    Virtually every book until post 2000 said never use sand. Plants don't like it,only tolerate it and never grow as well in it. I had a flat rock over pure sands in an aquarium for months. I lifted it up one day..and hydrogen sulphur bubbles- big ones!..came floating out. If that had been gravel that never can happen.
     
  15. keval

    keval New Member

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    Hi Stan510,

    OK, now I understand. I rarely use YouTube.

    keval
     
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