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[APD] RE: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 16, Issue 26

> In his Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants (2003), Peter Hiscock writes:
> "Plants are able to regulate the rate of photosynthesis relatively
> easily, and quickly respond to changes in light conditions. In other
> words, they do not take long to warm up and start photosynthesizing once
> there is sufficient light. However, algae are not as biologically
> advanced as plants and need a long and relatively uninterrupted period
> of light to function properly. 

"Not biologically advanced"...............I'm not sure what that means. I'd
say for their environment, they are far more advanced.
The algae that bother us are larger algae in general. They are very much
like plants, the green algae are in Plantae kingdom for that matter...

> It is possible to combat algae in the
> aquarium by controlling the intensity and period of lighting in the
> aquarium and creating a 'siesta' period. 

This is because "someone" does not know how to add enough CO2 to a tank.
If you simply reduce the light intensity, this will have the same effect.

So if this helps beat algae, it's because you have CO2 issues, not because
the method works with algae. 
Less light= less CO2 demand.

If this theory is "true" why not throttle the tank on/off several times a
day then?
Tell you what, get a tank full of freshly infested algae of your choice,
then try this.

Add less CO2 than normal(algae will appear) and what the CO2 level during
the on/off peroids.

Plants will be limited by the CO2, but not the algae.

This is a period of darkness
> that interrupts the normal day/night cycle in the aquarium. If the
> aquarium receives 5-6 hours of lighting followed by 2-3 hours of
> darkness and then another 5-6 hours of light, the plants will be
> relatively unaffected and receive enough light throughout the day, but
> algae growth rates will be significantly reduced and may even start to
> die back."

So will less light to begin with.
If you add good CO2, good nutrient levels, you can have 1-10 w/gal, but
1.5-2w/gal works just fine and has less CO2 demand than 5 w/gal.
You can use lighting to help stop the CO2 uptake by plants and allow your
inadequate CO2 system to catch up..........
But the REAL issue is the poor CO2 system and that is why you have the
algae in the first place.

I'd say much more focus on plant growth, which is the goal in aquatic
planted tanks.
This method is very hit or miss, but understanding WHY it works or doesn't
is better than trying a dicy method.
Address the cause, understand WHY a method like this, or antibiotics,
blackouts, bleach/H2O2, adding enough CO2/KNO3 etc works. 
Then focus on the plants.

> Is anyone aware of any empirical or even anecdotal evidence that would
> support this assertion?
> Tim
> Portland, OR

Are you kidding?
Roll the dice for successes and failures.
But I do know CO2 is the player, not the light "siesta" for the reason
algae is not growing.

That part is wrong. 
If they added more CO2 and made sure there was enough, then they'd have
better growth and less algae without the siesta.
The siesta allows the tank's CO2 to build back up.

Lots of light+ no CO2 for plants means=> little growth and great place to
grow if you are algae.
If this method is so effective why would it not be better to blackout the
tank for a day? Then a day/on/off?
Or 2-3x on/off?

Algae are very efficient, more than the plants.
Imagine a large elephant getting up to feed vs a small mouse.

CO2 is 90% of folk's algae issues, 5-8% are NO3, the other 5-2% are
Then there are K+/GH/KH issues but these are often in another area, more
plant growth issues rather than algae.

Tom Barr

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