Originally Posted by southafrica1001
Thank you very much for this information =D. I am wanting to heavily plant it and will be doing so soon . I'm also guessing that I will have some trial and improvement to get this right.
Im not sure about the avaliability of different types of lighting fixtures at my LPS but can leaving lights on for a ceartain amount of time also be helpful (so if the lighting is too strong then it can be left on for a shorter amount of time and vice a versa) or is the intensity of the light the more important factor, I will look on my next trip to the LPS as I have to replace one of my lights anyway and I will be getting the plants then.
I do have a liquid fertiliser and I'm wondering if I should use it or not, or can I see what happens to the plants in the first few weeks/months before deciding if adding extra nutrients is needed? I am guessing that this again will be a bit of trial and improvement to get the right amount?
Thank you once again ^_^
Light has to be of adequate intensity and adequate duration. Having too weak a light to illuminate the tank and leaving it on for 15 hours will not result in good plant growth. Provided the light is not too bright, leaving it on for say 6-8 hours is OK. But the light still has to have what the plants need, blue and red, so full spectrum is the best way to go. As a rough guide, 1-2 watts per gallon of aquarium is adequate. Brighter light will result in algae taking hold.
Fixtures bought in an aquarium store will be either one or two tube fixtures (fluorescent), for smaller tanks (30g and under) one tube will suffice, but for larger tanks I would go for a 2-tube fixture. Then choose a full spectrum tube, and you're set. The wattage is standard (example, 48 inch tubes are 40 watts, 30 inch are 25w, etc).
Most rooted plants benefit from liquid fertilizer, as all of the necessary macro- and micro-nutrients are not found in tap water, and there has to be a balance of these as well, so a good liquid fertilizer added once (or twice if needed) a week is best. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement works well, as does Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement. Make sure it is a complete balanced fertilizer like these; dosing with a few minerals hit and miss is not good as plants need several and in balance.