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Split lighting periods

As a confirmed lurker on this list I would like to thank all the folks here,
and many of the folks on alt.aquaria.freshwater.plants for convincing me to
start a planted tank. So far I have not had any algae problems but its still
early (55 gallon cycled with too many fish for 4 months, recently added a
dozen assorted "hard to kill" plants, to the mix with fewer fish, God rest
the ones that went before).

Now for my question; I spend about 12 hours away from the house each day
(got to pay for my hobbies!) I searched the archives and found references
about split lighting periods. It appeared that the best results occurred
with a short period in the AM (1 hour) followed by a10 or 11 hour period in
the afternoon and evening. This split was initiated for the convenience of
the viewer it appeared to have the happy by-product of lowering the algae
presence. Does anyone have additional experience with this method? I too
would like to check the tank before work at the ungodly hour of 0530 to
0630, and I want the plants to be happy and in view until bedtime.

Finally, I'm using DIY C02 through an airstone. With a KH of 140 mg/L do you
think it necessary to remove the CO2 during the over-night period? It
appeared that the pH dropped by .2 last night which was the first time I was
brave enough to try leaving it bubbling during the dark period. Thanks in

P.S. I have a 7" common Pl*co in excellent health, that is a little too
rambunctious for  the new plants. He goes free to a good home if you are in
the Houston, Texas area. Reply via email if interested.


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cboehl at nnn_ghg.net