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Tank Balancing - Co-Op Light

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I was sitting admiring my tanks today and started thinking about having a balanced aquarium. I do not run Co2 in my tanks and have grow fairly easy plants (cypts, pogo-octopus, dwarf sag, amazon swords, java moss, and java fern). On my 75, I used to run a hygger planted aquarium light. I'd run it at about 50% brightness for 8 hours a day. 

I has somestag horn algae when I was running this light on that tank. Not a lot, just enough to be a little annoying. I purchased an aquarium co-op 48 inch light in April to upgrade that light. I moved the hygger light to my garage with my two experiment tanks. They are both 10g and I use the one light sitting across the top of both. 

Since putting the coop light on my 75, the algae has gone away and the plants have really taken off. I run it at 40% for 8 hours a day (it is much brighter than the hygger, but a different color spectrum for sure). Everything seems to have balanced out and is thriving since I went to that light. 

On the other hand, I now deal with a little staghorn on the 10g's in the garage now that they have the hygger light. Same issue, it's not much, but it's there. I don't mind it in those tanks as they are grow out, hospital, or experiment tanks depending on what I am doing. 

Not sure if it's coincidence, or if the coop light played a role in the balancing the tank, but there is definitely a difference. 

Anyone else notice algae problems going away after moving to a coop light vs their old light? 

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I dont suspect there is special magic to the co op light, but there is a threshold of light plants need to grow effectively.  You may have been on the edge and the increase in light caused the plants to grow better to outcompete the algae.


You may want to try increasing the Hygger light setting to see if this resolves the algae growth in the 10 gallon tanks…

It may also be possible that light spectrum is having an effect also..

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@ccurtis Knowing how day length and spectrum affects all plants (terrestrial as well as aquarium) and how some aquarium lights have spectrum ranges better for plant growth while others will stimulate algae more, it doesn't surprise me. Well done!

By switching lights and noticing the difference, you have performed your own experiment (knowingly or unknowingly) to eliminate ambient light as the determining factor (assuming the ambient light remained unchanged in both locations both before the light switch and after the light switch). Therefore it is the light, not ambient light or the day length (also assuming no significant changes in fertilization or other water parameters), so it would have to be the difference in spectrum between the two lights.

I believe that Cory has stated on more than one occasion that he did a lot of research when designing the light (having it designed for AOC, if you prefer) including the spectrum he wanted in order to maximize plant health and look more like nature, while minimizing algae issues as much as possible. I am getting ready to set up a 75 gallon tank and I will definitely be getting AOC lights (a 48" for the front 1/2 and a 36" for the back 1/2).  Thanks.

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LEDs age over time.

LEDs do have differences in quality, even the same part number from a different manufacturer.

Ultimately, the "cheap option" has lower quality LEDs and you can see that in the tank itself. Whatever the stray or off wavelengths, the actual way that the light is refracted into the tank is ultimately why you're seeing a difference at all.

One light at 50%, the other at 40% it all doesn't mean much unless we have an idea of the number of LEDs and the quality of each light for how "true" the rendering towards white is. Again, white is all relative, but let's assume as close to sunlight as we can get it.

Question, can you take both lights, set them to 10%, side by side facing up and show the LED layout and the number of LEDs to us in a comparison photo?

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I'd be curious to know if anyone (including @Cory) is able to provide the specs on the actual LED emitters from the two lights. I don't know how to assess or compare specific LEDs, but I do know there are many in use. Assuming all channels/colors/whatever are maxed out, I would suspect that the reason the ACO light is "fixing" the algae problem is less do to with brightness and more to do with the spectrum or color mix. I know the ACOs have more orange/yellow than others, maybe that means less blue (relative to the overall brighness). 

Regardless, glad it's working out for you, and happy to hear a positive story.

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