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Uv lights effectiveness /diatoms

jlo718

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hello I am considering getting a uv light. I am having some diatoms appear and hair algae in my established 29 gallon. How effective are uv lights and are there any better options?
 

Byron

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UV will do nothing significant to reduce algae except with unicellular algae that causes green water. The other algae is on surfaces and the UV does not touch them. A few spores might get zonked passing through the UV sterilizer but no where near enough to actually stop the algae.

Diatoms is one algae, hair algae is another. First question, are you certain the "diatoms" is actually diatoms? Others have initially referred to black brush algae as diatoms because BBA can be brown to black, to gray to dark green...and it is actually a red algae to begin with. Photos would help us. And if the "diatoms" easily come off with your fingertip, it is likely to be diatoms. BBA is very difficult to remove.
 
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jlo718

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They are on the glass and easily removed. Thats why I was thinking uv after I clean it off to kill it. And yes I also have some string algae coming in on my baby tear carpet. I recently used equilibrium to add some hardness to my tank it was very soft. Maybe thats the cause? Also dosing flourish 1 or 2 times weekly, trace 1 or 2 times a week, and excel daily.Any tips are appreciated
 

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OK. The algae on the glass looks green in the photo, so this is common algae. The algae choking the plants in the second photo is a problm algae as I call all of these, whatever it may be. Which doesn't really matter, because there is one cause for problem algae and one way to resolve it. And that is the balance between light and nutrients.

When you have live plants, you need to find the balance involving light intensity, light duration, and nutrient availability. The light has to be intense enough to drive photosynthesis, and each species of plant has a somewhat different intensity level requirement. The light must also be the correct spectrum; red and blue drive photosynthesis, of which red is the more important, and adding green to this mix improves the plants' response. We can deal with spectrum fairly easily...either light with 5000K to 7000K (K being Kelvin, the colour temperature of light) or a high CRI (colour rendering index). Most of us select light around 6500K. The duration this light is on (assuming the intensity and spectrum are within range for the plants) can be tweaked, but one thing to keep inmind is that duration does not and cannot make up for weak intensity. If the light intensity is adequate, and the spectrum too, then "problem" algae may be thwarted by reducing the photoperiod. But nutrients also have to be considered.

Plants can only photosynthesize if the required nutrients are available, plus obviously the light issue. They will photosynthesize "full out" until something is no longer sufficient, then photosynthesis will slow and that is when algae takes advantage.

I have had problem algae caused by too much light, too little light, too much fertilizer, and too little fertilizer. Remember that nutrients occur from the fish being fed, from water changes, and from specific plant additives. The latter must always be balanced in proportion to each other as well, since too much of some nutrients can cause algae to increase.
 
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jlo718

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I see would telling you the lighting I use help?I use a beams work and basic nicrew lights.I currently only run them for 6 hours maybe longer is needed to find that balance.
 
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jlo718

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Beamworks Beamswork DA 6500K 0.50W Series LED Pent Aquarium Light Freshwater Plant Discus and the nicrew is the classic led
 
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jlo718

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^^ exact lighting i use simultaneously for 6 hours daily
 

Metalhead88

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That nicrew classic is a green algea making machine. It's so bright. I got a dimmer and turned it to 60% brightness and everything is wonderful now. Plants grow very well.
 
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jlo718

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Really? The beamswork is way brighter to the eye. Should i only use 1?
 

Byron

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I suggest you (jlo718) follow Metalhead88's suggestion. People with direct experience of "x" lighting are better than my guessing.
 

Byron

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When one is attempting to correct the balance, it is advisable to make one change, then wait a few weeks and observe the reaction of plants and/or the problem algae. If the plants show no sign of weakening, the change probably didn't harm them. And if the algae does not increase, probably solved the problem. Algae now there willnot disappear, the goal is to stop it from increasing by re-setting the balance.
 
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jlo718

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Okay thanks guys , I'll buy a dimmer and see what happens. The beamswork is loads lighter should i dim this as well?
 

Metalhead88

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Wait hold on, I actually have the nicrew classic planted. It may be a little different than what you have. Mine is the length of the tank and was too bright out of the box.

What's the length of the tank and each light?
 
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jlo718

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Tank is around 30 inches in length i believe.Beamswork is 30 inches in length,nicrew classic 28 inches. And yes i believe they are different because I considered the nicrew i have low light and the beamswork medium light
 

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