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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everyone, I am in need of some input from the vets out there..
I recently ( 10 days) set up my 55 gal tank, and I was already starting to see algae growth, like lime green color and some diatoms. However I knew my tank couldn't be done cycling, but I tested anyway and had my LFS test as well, and go figure, its not. so, I assume it is my lights that is sparking the new growth? but, I have read on here that some people like the lights on, and some people like them off during the cycling process.

My question is, should I leave them on or off?? If I leave them on, and the algae continues to grow, what could I do to combat this?
Thanks
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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On.

Then suck out all the brown alage that forms. It will drastically reduce your phosphate cycle (a thing that can take up to a year to clear up).

Since you have no bioload, you have the oppurtunity to export all the built up nutrients in your Live rock whilst adding none. after your first fish, things become harder.

Oh and welcome to TRT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On.

Then suck out all the brown alage that forms. It will drastically reduce your phosphate cycle (a thing that can take up to a year to clear up).

Since you have no bioload, you have the oppurtunity to export all the built up nutrients in your Live rock whilst adding none. after your first fish, things become harder.

Oh and welcome to TRT!
OK, so then to suck it all out, that would also imply water changes during a cycle right?
 

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I have to disagree.

During the cycle you're trying to grow bacteria. Algae utilize many of the same nutrients as the bacteria you're trying to grow. This creates competition, and can reduce the speed at which the bacteria grow. If you keep the lights off, you do away with this competition, and the bacteria get to use all of the available nutrients.

In a new tank set up there should be very little phosphate to worry about. Unless you're curing LR with the cycle. Very few people do that any more. The little phosphate that is in a new system, is needed by the bacteria.

There's no need for water changes during the cycle either. You need the nutrient levels to climb so they'll fuel the bacterial growth. Changing water reduces nutrients and is counter productive.

Peace
EC
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks EC, not trying to put down Rustl3r, but that just makes more sense to me. I have kept my lights off for the past couple of days anyway just to see what happened, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't stunting the growth of bacteria or anything.
 

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Chasing Stability
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What happens when the lights finally get turned on? I'm guessing the OP gets an algae outbreak. I'm under the thought of knock it all out at once.
 

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I have to disagree.

During the cycle you're trying to grow bacteria. Algae utilize many of the same nutrients as the bacteria you're trying to grow. This creates competition, and can reduce the speed at which the bacteria grow. If you keep the lights off, you do away with this competition, and the bacteria get to use all of the available nutrients.

In a new tank set up there should be very little phosphate to worry about. Unless you're curing LR with the cycle. Very few people do that any more. The little phosphate that is in a new system, is needed by the bacteria.

There's no need for water changes during the cycle either. You need the nutrient levels to climb so they'll fuel the bacterial growth. Changing water reduces nutrients and is counter productive.

Peace
EC
I had read similar theories before and that does make sense, I would prob do it lights off next time. I had lights on throughout my cycle. I was trying to "get the new tank algae blooms out of the way" during the cycle. But your tank has to readjust anytime you add anything anyways so when it is young you will have small algae blooms a few times, as you add livestock, regardless
 

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What happens when the lights finally get turned on? I'm guessing the OP gets an algae outbreak. I'm under the thought of knock it all out at once.
Why would they get an algae bloom? Where are all the nutrients coming from to fuel this algae bloom? Keep things clean and don't stock to fast, and there'll be no bloom.
 

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If the lights were kept on, and the tank did just get overrun with algae, wouldn't the algae eventually starve itself as along as no new nutrients were being added?
Most nuisance algae don't work that way. Algae like hair algae live in colonies. Some members of the colony die, decompose, and fuel the growth of other algae. The colony can live for years with no new nutrients being added. They just keep recycling the old.
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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Thanks EC, not trying to put down Rustl3r, but that just makes more sense to me. I have kept my lights off for the past couple of days anyway just to see what happened, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't stunting the growth of bacteria or anything.
No worries. There are many valid arguments to both. I start with uncured LR in my tanks and I use the barren period as a method to export nutrients stored in the rock.

Another option I've used is to cure in the dark (lights off) and run a phosphate remover (like RowaPhos) to clean up phosphate before it has a chance to grow into alage. Bacteria still get their fair share (at least they did in my situation).
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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Most nuisance algae don't work that way. Algae like hair algae live in colonies. Some members of the colony die, decompose, and fuel the growth of other algae. The colony can live for years with no new nutrients being added. They just keep recycling the old.
This is true. you gotta remove it manually.
 

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Chasing Stability
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Why would they get an algae bloom? Where are all the nutrients coming from to fuel this algae bloom? Keep things clean and don't stock to fast, and there'll be no bloom.
The OP already has some green algae growth. Wouldn't "lights out" kill it, fueling more nutrients for more algae once lights go on? Isn't it the same thing as people doing a blackout period in an effort to combat nuisance algae?
 

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The OP already has some green algae growth. Wouldn't "lights out" kill it, fueling more nutrients for more algae once lights go on? Isn't it the same thing as people doing a blackout period in an effort to combat nuisance algae?
Not really. An established tank has a huge population of bacteria. A young, cycling tank does not. Killing the algae, and leaving the lights off, provides nutrients to the bacteria that the OP is trying to grow. Without nutrients, the bacteria can't grow.

Look at it like this.

You have 50 white cows that you're trying to raise, so you feed the field enough to support the 50 white cows. The problem is that there are also 50 black cows in the field, but you don't really want the black cows. The black cows eat half the food you feed, so how fast are the white cows going to grow? Well, they're not going to grow much at all when they're only receiving half rations. If you remove all the black cows, now how fast with the white cows grow?

In a cycling tank, we want bacteria to grow. Not algae. Remove the algae, the algae can't steal food from the bacteria, and the bacteria grow well.

Peace
EC
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the feedback everybody! I am going to leave the lights out for the remainder of the cycle, and just remove what algae I can find. hopefully what EC said will happen, that by not stocking too much at one time and keeping stuff clean will help a lot. :wavey:
 

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I have to disagree.

During the cycle you're trying to grow bacteria. Algae utilize many of the same nutrients as the bacteria you're trying to grow. This creates competition, and can reduce the speed at which the bacteria grow. If you keep the lights off, you do away with this competition, and the bacteria get to use all of the available nutrients.

In a new tank set up there should be very little phosphate to worry about. Unless you're curing LR with the cycle. Very few people do that any more. The little phosphate that is in a new system, is needed by the bacteria.

There's no need for water changes during the cycle either. You need the nutrient levels to climb so they'll fuel the bacterial growth. Changing water reduces nutrients and is counter productive.

Peace
EC
If you keep your lights off all that beneficial bacteria will die off once the lights are on. ...
 

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I run lights on during cycle, I don’t believe lights out to be an effective way to eliminate unwanted algae or affect the bacteria , I have always ran them during the cycle for as long as I been keeping marine tank. I may run them for a shorter period and now since LEDs, not as intense.
 

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I run lights on during cycle, I don’t believe lights out to be an effective way to eliminate unwanted algae or affect the bacteria , I have always ran them during the cycle for as long as I been keeping marine tank. I may run them for a shorter period and now since LEDs, not as intense.
It's been a decade since I've been in the hobby. Caught a deal on a drilled 120 with a sump lights rock etc...but these LED lights are bright. I used to thing HQI DE were bright..
 

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It's been a decade since I've been in the hobby. Caught a deal on a drilled 120 with a sump lights rock etc...but these LED lights are bright. I used to thing HQI DE were bright..
It’s takes a little bit to dial in LEDs, I also miss MH lighting.
 
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