Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info

Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info

This is a discussion on Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> So ive been itching to post about this and hopefully will be able to have some healthy clean FUN discussion with you all about ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Splashing Tetra
Splashing Tetra
Neon Tetra
Neon Tetra
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info
Old 10-19-2009, 02:23 AM   #1
 
MoneyMitch's Avatar
 
Arrow Extensive photosenthis/Lighting questions and info

So ive been itching to post about this and hopefully will be able to have some healthy clean FUN discussion with you all about this.

Now onto the meat of my thread,

So plants require light to go through the photosynthesis process obviously. so quote me if im wrong here photosynthesis takes place in organelles called chloroplasts. The chloroplast is enclosed by a membrane. This membrane is composed of a phospholipid inner membrane, a phospholipid outer membrane, and an inter membrane space between them. Within the membrane is an aqueous fluid called the stroma. The stroma contains stacks (grana) of thylakoids, which are the site of photosynthesis.The thylakoids are flattened disks, bounded by a membrane with a lumen or thylakoid space within it. The site of photosynthesis is the thylakoid membrane, which contains integral and peripheral membrane protein complexes, including the pigments that absorb light energy, which form the photosystems.

included in the pigments that are mainly involved in the photosenthisis process are chlorphil a and chlorophil b. now while chlorophil a and b are more suited to absorb in the blue and red wavelemgths they are also aviliable to use oter wavelengths aswell such as green and yellow which the human eye perdominatly use. so in turn this means that the plants can use ANY color of the wavelength chart includeing green and yellow and will grow just the same as a plant under a blue and red wavelength.

Which brings me to my next question, now what would be considerd a HIGH tech setup and a LOW tech setup is it just having c02 and crazy lighting? ok so i have a 55 gallon tank that i would someday like to be a underwater jungle. but however BEFORE i knew about all this breath taking in and out of photosenthisis i thoght the only way to achive something like that would to spend HUNDREDS into a lighting system and those "Desighner 40.00 floro tubes" with the correct kelven rating. but it turns out that plants just need the right amount of wattage and intensity along with the correct levels of c02 and fert to grow properly.

So home depot sells a 4 lightt8 floro fixture that already has reflectors fits t8 bubls and is 48inches long and is less than 40$ and comes with x4 40 watt floros already. so would this in turn turn my 55 gallon into a HIGH tech setup with having over 160 watts of light over it along with a regular fert dosing schedule or would i have to incororate a c02 system?


sorry for such the wall of text but im really excited about my new found knowledge and am more than ready to make the leap into harcpre planted aquariums if it can be done as cheaply as i think it can.

You guys are awsome,
Money
MoneyMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Plants grow by using photosynthesis to obtain energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, provided the nutrient supply and other environmental factors are present. The glucose (sugars) produced by photosynthesis is converted into energy to grow. The photosynthetic pigments (usually chlorophyll) produced by the plant absorb mainly blue and red light, as you mentioned. Plants photosynthesize at the fastest rate possible, and this is limited by the factor in least supply. Which is why the balance between light and nutrients (which includes CO2) is so important.

Fluorescent tubes intended for optimum plant growth (by the manufacturer, I am not making any statement that they do or don't achieve this) tend to be strong in the blue and red colours of the spectrum in the belief that this light will be readily used by the plants in balance with the available CO2 and other nutrients. Such a light combination casts a purplish hue over the aquarium. Adding green light, which many believe is reflected by plants (and is why the leaves appear green to our eyes), balances the blue and red in appearance.

Many authors believe plants will grow fine under regular light, whether full spectrum, cool white, warm white, vitalite, or whatever. To say as you and they have that plants can grow under any light spectrum is only tenable if there is sufficient blue and red light in that spectrum to balance the available CO2 and remaining 16 nutrients that plants require. One caution here is that while the plants will continue to absorb mainly blue and red, algae is not so particular. Green Algae also uses blue and red, but many algae types have accessory photosynthetic pigments that allow them to better use the full light spectrum. Many red and blue-green algae readily adapt to changes in the light spectrum. Aquatic plants do not have these pigments, so algae here has a slight advantage. And this can be problematical when the light is not in balance with the nutrients.

To your question: low tech and high tech are terms that have become common during the last decade or so to differentiate between planted tanks that are, for lack of better words, basic or natural in concept as opposed to those receiving considerably more input by the aquarist through equipment. And within this generalization there are many gradients, probably more on the low-tech side. Most authors consider the implementation of some form of CO2 system to be required to be high tech, so that is often the "divide" so to speak. With the addition of CO2 supplementation, the other factors mentioned above, namely light and nutrients (and environmental factors) have to be increased in porportion. Without the addition of added CO2, the light and nutrients can be less in quantity to balance. Always remembering that the plants will photosynthesize up to the factor in least supply.

"Jungle" can mean different things to different people. I have had members comment that my aquaria are jungles, and they want fewer plants. Other members have much more densely planted aquaria. Only you can decide what "look" you want, and then recognize what is required to achieve that look and proceed accordingly. My approach, which is only one approach, is to interfere as little as possible with the processes at work in the aquarium. Those processes are exactly the same, in either low tech or high tech; the difference between the two or within either is due to the amount and level of the aquarists' involvement in influencing or directing those processes. And I also believe that the less the aquarist intervenes, the more natural will be the system, and the more stable will be the biological equilibrium. This is not to imply that in a high tech environment such stability is unattainable; obviously it is attainable, but with a certain increased level of risk. The more you interfere, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong.

It reminds me of something Chief Seattle of one of the Pacific Northwest First Nations once said: "Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it; and whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." Adjusting this to apply to the aquarium, we can say that the aquarium is a natural biological system of fish, plants, invertebrates and bacteria, with interconnected processes that we may or may not fully comprehend; but any interference in that system will have consequences for the entire system. The fewer the consequences, the less chance of trouble.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
So ive been itching to post about this and hopefully will be able to have some healthy clean FUN discussion with you all about this.

Now onto the meat of my thread,

So plants require light to go through the photosynthesis process obviously. so quote me if im wrong here photosynthesis takes place in organelles called chloroplasts. The chloroplast is enclosed by a membrane. This membrane is composed of a phospholipid inner membrane, a phospholipid outer membrane, and an inter membrane space between them. Within the membrane is an aqueous fluid called the stroma. The stroma contains stacks (grana) of thylakoids, which are the site of photosynthesis.The thylakoids are flattened disks, bounded by a membrane with a lumen or thylakoid space within it. The site of photosynthesis is the thylakoid membrane, which contains integral and peripheral membrane protein complexes, including the pigments that absorb light energy, which form the photosystems.

included in the pigments that are mainly involved in the photosenthisis process are chlorphil a and chlorophil b. now while chlorophil a and b are more suited to absorb in the blue and red wavelemgths they are also aviliable to use oter wavelengths aswell such as green and yellow which the human eye perdominatly use. so in turn this means that the plants can use ANY color of the wavelength chart includeing green and yellow and will grow just the same as a plant under a blue and red wavelength.

Which brings me to my next question, now what would be considerd a HIGH tech setup and a LOW tech setup is it just having c02 and crazy lighting? ok so i have a 55 gallon tank that i would someday like to be a underwater jungle. but however BEFORE i knew about all this breath taking in and out of photosenthisis i thoght the only way to achive something like that would to spend HUNDREDS into a lighting system and those "Desighner 40.00 floro tubes" with the correct kelven rating. but it turns out that plants just need the right amount of wattage and intensity along with the correct levels of c02 and fert to grow properly.

So home depot sells a 4 lightt8 floro fixture that already has reflectors fits t8 bubls and is 48inches long and is less than 40$ and comes with x4 40 watt floros already. so would this in turn turn my 55 gallon into a HIGH tech setup with having over 160 watts of light over it along with a regular fert dosing schedule or would i have to incororate a c02 system?


sorry for such the wall of text but im really excited about my new found knowledge and am more than ready to make the leap into harcpre planted aquariums if it can be done as cheaply as i think it can.

You guys are awsome,
Money
LOL. I need to stop going to cell bio lecture...... I understood everything you said.... I did the chlorophyll A& B experiment in gen. chem lab last year..... I've probably still got the raw data of the % absorbance across the spectrum.

For the most part you are right. Specific # of WPG, ferts, and maybe CO2 = plants. Kelvin rating is somewhat important as well as lumen if you want to get even more technical. In my world it doesn't matter if the bulb says aquarium, plant, growth on it. I've actually found these lights to be less suited for plants IMO. I hunt for Kelvin rating, never had any issues growing plants using bulbs from 6500K-9325K. Thing is alot of the bulbs they sell at home depot and other stores tend to rate really low, 2,700K to 5,500K is what normal house bulbs tend to range. I've tried these and had poor results growing plants. Good plant bulbs do exist at these stores though, you just really have to look. Kelvin rating is usually hidden on the package and/or printed on the base of the bulb. It may take a couple diff store to find the best bulb.

As far as the fixture you mentioned, that wattage is high. You would NEED pressurized co2 IMO w/ those levels. My 55gal has 110watts w/ P- CO2 and grows a jungle. With that fixture though you can just run 2-3 bulbs and have enough light. You may want to try to bend the reflectors too, if they cast light on the floor around the tank.
Mikaila31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
 
MoneyMitch's Avatar
 
great info guys thank you,

Byron you mentioned that the chlorophyll in plants react "better" to the blue and red colors and that algae can adapt faster/better to what ever spectrum they are presented with and plants cannont adapt/change what spectrum they can use. So in turn plants that have blue and red spertrums aviliable to them will grow "better" than plants without high amounts of blue and red? would this mean that the plant growth would be less/worse than a plant with the blue/red spectrums? now lets say i did go with this massive 4 bulb fixture and just got regular plain old 40watt tubes to fit in it. my plants (Can) use the light they are presented with but i run the risk of algea forming? there were some other threads on here reguarding planted tanks and algea and something along the linbe of if you have enough plants algea will have a harder time to form if it forms at all in heavy planted tanks.
MoneyMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2009, 06:50 AM   #5
 
Algae will not bloom as a result of Kelvin rating. The Kelvin rating is largely an irrelevance in terms of plant growth, due to plants` ability to adapt to changing light.

Lumens have nothing to do with plant growth. They are how we perceive light intensity, not plants.
Galvanize is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
great info guys thank you,

Byron you mentioned that the chlorophyll in plants react "better" to the blue and red colors and that algae can adapt faster/better to what ever spectrum they are presented with and plants cannont adapt/change what spectrum they can use. So in turn plants that have blue and red spertrums aviliable to them will grow "better" than plants without high amounts of blue and red? would this mean that the plant growth would be less/worse than a plant with the blue/red spectrums? now lets say i did go with this massive 4 bulb fixture and just got regular plain old 40watt tubes to fit in it. my plants (Can) use the light they are presented with but i run the risk of algea forming? there were some other threads on here reguarding planted tanks and algea and something along the linbe of if you have enough plants algea will have a harder time to form if it forms at all in heavy planted tanks.
Plants only use blue and red light; they reflect green completely which is why the leaves appear "green" to our eyes. As long as blue and red is available in whatever light is over the aquarium, they will use it and grow; the other colours of light will be useless to the plants. It therefore is logical to provide the type of light they can best use, rather than flooding the aquarium with too much light when most of it is useless to plants. And aquatic rooted plants really do not need as much light as some think. After all, many of them come from densely overgrown streams, bogs under the shade of trees, and there are often floating plants providing further shade. The main exception are the stem plants which in their habitat grow fast toward the surface and then cover it to obtain the most light.

now lets say i did go with this massive 4 bulb fixture and just got regular plain old 40watt tubes to fit in it. my plants (Can) use the light they are presented with but i run the risk of algea forming?

If we are still talking of your 55g 4-foot tank, four tubes is overkill and waste, and yes, you will have algae. One watt per gallon is totally adequate for all but the highest light-requiring plants.

there were some other threads on here reguarding planted tanks and algea and something along the linbe of if you have enough plants algea will have a harder time to form if it forms at all in heavy planted tanks.[/quote]

Yes, it is a known fact that in well-planted and healthy aquaria algae is never a problem unless something occurs to upset the biological balance. There is always algae present, it is natural; but in a planted tank the algae will not be a problem, but just a natural part of the ecology of the aquarium.

B.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
 
MoneyMitch's Avatar
 
thanks for the respone b glad to see you back!!!

anyways, back to the thread. You say plants cannot use any light other than red and blue. I have seen numerous charts graphs and other forum threads stating that plants CAN use all colors of the spec and will grow just the same as a plant under high blue and red spectrum. Also that plants i forget the what the part is called but it can adapt to what light the plant is presented with and thus will use any light spectrum. Is this true just for certain plants?
MoneyMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
thanks for the respone b glad to see you back!!!

anyways, back to the thread. You say plants cannot use any light other than red and blue. I have seen numerous charts graphs and other forum threads stating that plants CAN use all colors of the spec and will grow just the same as a plant under high blue and red spectrum. Also that plants i forget the what the part is called but it can adapt to what light the plant is presented with and thus will use any light spectrum. Is this true just for certain plants?
I think you are confusing Kelvin rating and wavelength together. Kelvin rating can very quite a bit, but does not refer to a lights wavelength spectrum. If you try to grow a plant under a green light, say 540nm(nanometers) it will not grow as well as a plant under red or blue light or 450nm and 650nm. This is because the chlorophyll A and B best absorb those parts of the light spectrum. Plants appear green because they transmit green light, it bounces off them and this is what we see(as someone else mentioned). A kelvin scale and wavelength scale look similar but mean very different things. Below are some links.

chlorophyll absorb. spectrum

Color spec. vs. D* kelvin
some other link

I hope that makes sense...... lol. I'm really tired... not sure how good those links are, I just skimmed them.......

Last edited by Mikaila31; 10-25-2009 at 12:10 AM..
Mikaila31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2009, 10:35 AM   #9
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
thanks for the respone b glad to see you back!!!

anyways, back to the thread. You say plants cannot use any light other than red and blue. I have seen numerous charts graphs and other forum threads stating that plants CAN use all colors of the spec and will grow just the same as a plant under high blue and red spectrum. Also that plants i forget the what the part is called but it can adapt to what light the plant is presented with and thus will use any light spectrum. Is this true just for certain plants?
Mikaila31 has answered you, and the three links are well worth viewing. It is getting a bit tedious to keep repeating the obvious, but...plants most use and therefore need light that is high in blue and then red; they reflect most if not all green light. The first link in M's post has a chart showing this exactly.

Second, algae will make use of any light not used by the plants. Light strong in the red-orange-green area (most of the old type of incadescent bulbs were this colour) and weak in the blue will not result in good plant growth because the needed blue light is missing. It is no surprise that blue light best penetrates water. Keeping algae under control is easy--if you provide plants with what they need. Here is a direct citation from a good article that is linked below the quote:

Plants capture light by means of pigments, which absorb light of different colors, depending on the pigment in question (Figure 1). All plants have Chlorophyll-A, many have Chlorophyll-B while only few have Chlorophyll-C. The three chlorophylls have very different absorption spectra, i.e., they absorb light of different colors and thus, they may complement each other in the process of light harvesting. Carotenoids is a group of pigments that can absorb blue-green light where chlorophylls are inefficient (carotenes are orange as we know them from carrots where they donít play any role in the light absorption). Not all higher plants have carotenoids, whereas most algae do and thus, algae may become a nuisance if the light source over the aquarium contains too much green and yellow-green light. In that case, this additional light only benefits the algae.

Tropica

Full spectrum light with a colour temperature rating around 6500K is the closest to mid-day sun which has a rating around 5500K. Anything around these numbers will work best.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
 
MoneyMitch's Avatar
 
Thank you guys so much again, now i dont mean to beat a dead horse here but tom barr stated that you can use what you want over your plants and growth would be the same for plants under red/blue compared to household.

Check this link out tom barr comments on i think the last page.

http://www.barrreport.com/general-pl...bs-plants.html
MoneyMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lighting questions Ocarius Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 38 01-24-2009 03:16 AM
lighting questions beetlebz Freshwater Aquarium Equipment 3 08-18-2008 03:41 PM
Lighting questions mikedelo Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 1 08-05-2008 01:05 AM
lighting questions devong Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 15 06-01-2008 10:17 PM
Lighting info overlaod bugaboo Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 1 06-09-2007 09:02 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 AM.