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DieselPlower

Will aquarium in front of window with zero direct sunlight get algae?

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For the past few days I have been thinking about moving my 125 G in front of a row of three windows that is even wider than the 6' tank. Another recent thread about aquarium in front of window has be considering it even more. That said, I have no desire to deal with green water. Anyone have opinions? First hand experience? The window is on the North wall of my house and the way my house is designed, no direct sunlight comes through the window, ever. I think it would be really cool to come home to a huge lit up tank in the window at night and I have had a few neighbors comment that they know I have a really cool tank inside. Maybe I could show it off a little :)

Edited by DieselPlower

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Another thought about putting the tank in front of the window is whether you want to see the back of your tank from your window outside.  Is the back of your tank something you want to be able to see?  If its covered in HoBs and cords, it might not be the most attractive sight.  Or if you do end up getting, or already having, an algae wall do you want to see that?

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Great points! I had considered the mess of cords and tubes. I have 2 canister filters that I would run up the very corners, so they would be only slightly visible. I'm still considering how to hide the HOB and bubler lines.

Edited by DieselPlower

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Do you have green water in your pond?  That gets even more direct sunlight.

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Do you have green water in your pond?  That gets even more direct sunlight.

No but I have a pump with a low watt UV bulb that is on whenever the pump is running so I can't be sure if I would or not without the bulb.

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Well, I don't have UV and I don't have green water. I also have subtropical sun, which is something totally different from northern sun.  The intensity is incredible.  One of my ponds gets 4-5 hours of full sun at midday.   I can take water out of the pond and let it sit for a few days and it turns bright green.  I can pour this bucket of green water into a small stock tank pond and the water turns green.  The next day it is clear.  

 

Whether or not you have green water depends primarily on the ecosystem that establishes in your pond/tank.  I lucked out and established an ecosystem in which plants, surface growing algae, and the assorted microbes in the filter dominate the green water algae.  There are some pond keeper's experiments that treated cultures of green water with water from assorted ponds.  The water from the ponds which never had green water cleared the green water cultures.  That suggests that something in the ecosystem produces a substance toxic to planktonic algae.  It would be interesting if someone would isolate that hypothetical substance and determined what produced  it.  They could make a fortune selling it.

 

Algae can't grow in complete darkness, but I don't believe that the  light intensity has much to do with green water.  

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Well, I don't have UV and I don't have green water. I also have subtropical sun, which is something totally different from northern sun.  The intensity is incredible.  One of my ponds gets 4-5 hours of full sun at midday.   I can take water out of the pond and let it sit for a few days and it turns bright green.  I can pour this bucket of green water into a small stock tank pond and the water turns green.  The next day it is clear.  

 

Whether or not you have green water depends primarily on the ecosystem that establishes in your pond/tank.  I lucked out and established an ecosystem in which plants, surface growing algae, and the assorted microbes in the filter dominate the green water algae.  There are some pond keeper's experiments that treated cultures of green water with water from assorted ponds.  The water from the ponds which never had green water cleared the green water cultures.  That suggests that something in the ecosystem produces a substance toxic to planktonic algae.  It would be interesting if someone would isolate that hypothetical substance and determined what produced  it.  They could make a fortune selling it.

 

Algae can't grow in complete darkness, but I don't believe that the  light intensity has much to do with green water.  

This exactly.  With the right conditions its totally possible to go *mostly* algae free.  You'll likely still have some in your tank, even with clear water, but it might be so minute it doesn't matter.  Once I discovered "photo inhibition" I honestly found that the more sunlight the better IF you have live plants.  Increased sun + natural co2(I don't supplement Co2) + healthy planted environment = less algae.  The plants will also grow faster and outcompete the algae essentially starving it.  Look up "photoinhibition" and you'll be able to find what time of day is the best time of day for the sun to fall directly on your tank.  I *think* for photoinhibition of algae, direct midday sunlight is best, but don't quote me on that.

 

I have a natural planted tank in 100% direct sunlight and have nice, clear water.  I don't have a mechanical filter or lamp on it and supplement with oxygen (that bubbles through some biomedia) only at the moment (with the occasional dose of prime when adding fresh water.)  My pond outside is also in pretty direct sunlight all day, and the water is crystal clear as well.  The only thing I really had to do there was to increase the oxygen level in the water itself, and add some plants. 

 

I do have to add though, I personally love the natural look, so for me a little algae is totally welcome. 

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No green water in my indirectly window lit tank - stubborn spits of algae can be an issue, yes, but not suspended algae in the water column. That said, I live in a far northern climate and our solar intensity is low even in the middle of summer, so your mileage may vary.

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I know about weird sun levels :) I'm at 58 degrees north but I do have green water which I think is related to low ph and minimal water treatment plus 20 hours of sun. Pretty much everyone here struggles with green water to some extent.

 

 Haley in Alberta (55 degrees) never had green water in her window tank but had high ph water and no doubt a more intensive water treatment system.

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Thanks everyone. Just looking for some good news before moving this heavy thing...

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My planted 60 gallon is in front of a window with a window shade.  I have no problems.  I open the shade in the winter time.  I pull down the heat/sun blocking drapes in the summer time and turn off the heater.  Plants like it.

Edited by Hidr

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I know about weird sun levels :) I'm at 58 degrees north but I do have green water which I think is related to low ph and minimal water treatment plus 20 hours of sun. Pretty much everyone here struggles with green water to some extent.

 

 Haley in Alberta (55 degrees) never had green water in her window tank but had high ph water and no doubt a more intensive water treatment system.

I've never considered my place on the globe by latitude, so I had to look it up after your post :D

61.3 degrees north here. Learn something new everyday!

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DP is probably done with this :)  But I'm fascinated by latitude.  We used to live at 62 and I am amazed in the difference in day lengths here.

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DP is probably done with this :)  But I'm fascinated by latitude.  We used to live at 62 and I am amazed in the difference in day lengths here.

 

I am still reading the posts and taking everyone's info into consideration. Anyone with a large tank knows it is a real pain to move and i don't not want to move it, have regrets, and have to move it back. I also need to get help from a neighbor or friend so it's not something I can do spur of the moment....

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DP is probably done with this :)  But I'm fascinated by latitude.  We used to live at 62 and I am amazed in the difference in day lengths here.

 

I am still reading the posts and taking everyone's info into consideration. Anyone with a large tank knows it is a real pain to move and i don't not want to move it, have regrets, and have to move it back. I also need to get help from a neighbor or friend so it's not something I can do spur of the moment....

Ain't that the truth! It's quite the production to move anything, let alone something that is delicate enough to twist, buckle, or crack with imprecise handling (like an acrylic or glass aquarium). I've been spending more than a fair bit of time thinking and rethinking my own custom tank because once it's fabricated there is no going back, and I still haven't fohnd a good spot for it where it won't be in the way.

Gratefully I dont have to co opt neighbors to move anything, though! Keep us posted as to what you decide in terms of placement. But I doubt the window will be a huge difference, especially if the sun isn't blazing through it.

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