"Siesta" for lighting to combat algae?

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f8ldzz

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Feb 26, 2005
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I picked up one of those Barron's educational books on aquaria plants, and it mentioned an interesting technique to possibly combat algae.
It talks about how most lighting periods are 10 to 12 hours a day.
It suggests that if you break up the one solid period into two, the small break in the middle could suppress lagae growth.
By diving it into 5 to 6 hours on - 2 hours off - 5 to 6 hours on, plants should not be affects due to their more complex internals, but simple organisms like algae cannot handle the off period and die back.

Should be a simple experiment with the timers...

Anyone actually try this?
 

reiverix

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Sep 4, 2004
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I've read about that technique also. For me though, I think it would be disruptive to the plants internal clock (and mine). Surely the besy way to supress algae is just to keep plants healthy by maintaining a dosing schedule that suits the tank.
 

mrakins

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Apr 15, 2005
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I did this, not to combat algae, but because I like the tank lights to be on when I'm around. And as I was setting the tank up, I had a massive algae outbreak. So, I don't think it'll be an amazing improvement, if one at all.
 

Darkblade48

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Nov 24, 2004
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IMHO, the method described never works, because it causes the plants to "shut down" and stop photosynthesizing when the lights turn off. Then, afterwards, when the lights turn back on after the siesta, the plants have to "start up" again for photosynthesizing. Algae, on the otherhand, can photosynthesize almost immediately after the lights turn on, and will most likely have a head start over the higher plants.
 

plantbrain

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Apr 27, 2001
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This issue seems to come up about once every 3-6months and resoundly does not work if you control things. If you are not monitoring things, then you never know if it was the siesta or something else.............

All it might do that may help is reduce the need for CO2 if you are not adding enough in the first places............

But rather than do a siesta, add enough CO2 and use the CO2 properly. That's the real issue and CO2 related issues are about 95% of all algae related problems on the web.

Aquatic plant hobby books are resoundly wrong about many things, and offer no support for their claims about many things. Don't assume they are correct.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

ZebraPl3co

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Sep 9, 2004
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Tried it for 3 weeks, nope, doesn't work. It does slow the algae from exploding in your tank. But it's far from killing the alage, in fact it doesn't even kill them, it just slow down new ones from growing. The problem is that is affects the plants as well. And since the plants are already weaking by the algae explosion, several of my plants die as a result.
 

Harlock

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Dec 15, 2004
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Once you achieve that zen-like balance in your tank of nutrients, ferts, feeding, lighting and breathing right I notice I can leave my lights on for 12-14 hours per day and still not ahve problems. The easiest mistakes to make are overfeeding and not using (enough) CO2 for my planted tank. YMMV.
 

Biznatch

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Feb 17, 2005
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The whole point of the siesta is because plants are much more advanced than algae and are able to quickly start photosynthesis wile algae takes time to start up (that is the theory anyway). But most of the really nice tanks you see don't do that, they just get the nutrients at the right levels so the plants have unlimited supplies to grow and the algae stops growing. It has been debated why this works even though there is surplus nutrients in the water and no one can come up with a definate answer, but experience shows it works.
 

plantbrain

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No, algae are more "advanced" in an aquatic system.
Name one aquatic plant that is adapted for sexual reproduction entirely under water(there is at least one FYI) ? All algae are.

Algae are far more responsive than plants are to change, they have much higher surface area to volume ratios, they can maximize their uptake enzymes at concentrations far lower than any plant.

They have no problem responding to light as well if not better than plants.
I've never seen any supporting evidence to show that what they claim is true in any way. I do have a lot of supoporting evidence to the contrary........

I've come up with definite answers why algae does not grow when the plants do................
It is strongly correlated wiht the observations in both nature, our tanks and with algae infested tanks, as well as experimental test.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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