Re: Increasing lighting (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 17:19:18 PST
From: spush at saudan_HAC.COM
To: Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com
Cc: Christine_Martens at qmgates_affymax.com
Subject: Re: Increasing lighting

> From: Christine Martens <Christine_Martens at qmgates_affymax.com>
> After plenty of delays I'm just finishing up my new, improved lighting hood 
> and am about to fire it up. I'll be going from a single tube to a four-tube 
> fixture and am wondering whether I'm asking for trouble (read: ALGAE) if I 
> make this jump all at once. Does it make any sense to go from one bulb to two, 
> let the plants "catch up" to the new conditions (and let me figure out how 
> much I'll need to increase CO2 and fertilizer to keep up), then add another 
> bulb and later another? Or should I just go buy a bunch of new plants in an 
> effort to consume the added light to good purposes?

It depends upon your current concentrations of nutrients. Given that you
already have lots of plants growing successfully and using up excess nutrients,
I don't think you're going to get a large algae explosion particularly if
algae is not evident now. If you have some algae in the tank or slightly
green water, or high levels of phosphate, then increasing lighting will
probably cause either a green water bloom or cause the existing algae to
grow bigger. In your case since you're growing Elodea and other fast growers, 
I wouldn't anticipate a lot of extra nutrients. Test kits would be useful...

Particularly for those folks with an old aquarium without significant plants
I would recommend the following. Set up a spare tank or large plastic tub
with your filter and heater and transfer as much water from your tank as it
can hold. Catch all your fish (easier said than done if there's plants in
the tank) and transfer them to the holding tank. Remove all the water from
the old tank and replace it with fresh, clean water from the tap (or the
RO unit or wherever) and bring it to temperature. It helps to have a spare
heater or two so that the whole heating process takes only a few hours (say
6-8 if your tap water is real cold). Condition the water to the same pH
and hardness of your tank water and transfer the fish back.

I follow this procedure when I redo a substrate in a tank. I put all my
plants in the holding tank. You can add aeration too since the plants
probably won't be putting out much oxygen. Light shining on the tank
will help the plants to absorb ammonia but try to limit the time in
this tank.

Steve in Vancouver