another question about lighting for plants
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another question about lighting for plants

This is a discussion on another question about lighting for plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Some plants require high lighting or rather it says, "recommended." My question is, will a "high light recommended" plant still survive in a medium ...

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another question about lighting for plants
Old 08-02-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
 
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another question about lighting for plants

Some plants require high lighting or rather it says, "recommended." My question is, will a "high light recommended" plant still survive in a medium light tank if you just leave the light on longer? Will leaving the light on for longer times make up for the intensity of the light? Yes, I truly am that unsure when it comes to growing aquatic plants.

I am thinking of adding this to my tank http://www.sweetaquatics.com/index.p...5c794ced248de4 and possibly removing the Rotala that isn't doing well. I don't know if I should bother because of the light but the Rotala is sort of yellowing and from my understanding, that is usually from too much light? Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Just a reminder I have a 60 gallon tank with 2 18 inch 6700K lights over it. They are on for around 12 hours a day but have been on for up to 14 hours when my schedule changes unexpectedly.

Also, any other suggestions for plants that will be very full, get at least 20-25 inches tall and stay really thick. If you can suggest anything like that, that will have a red color, that would be amazing.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
 
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with those tubes i think thats high lighting lol i give my tank 8 hours of light and i off the filter when i do on the lights to let it build up co2 for the plants.if you fish start gasping a normal air stone will help.try cutting down the lights or re homing it to a shadier area if you think thats causing the plant to yellow. not sure intensity can be replaced by longer hours but i think it just lets the plants make less food then normal but for a longer time =)
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:17 AM   #3
 
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btw are the lights full spectrum? tropical hornswort will grow p to 45" i think i have the red on top type.very beautiful and filling too.plus the have flowers =)
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
 
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That is very pretty Kitten_Penang. I don't have an open tank, mine is covered so I am not sure that would work for me. Something to check into though. I bet the Gourami would appreciate the cover from those large leaves. At least that is what the Bio on the Gourami says. It also says the Tiger Barbs might be a problem and they are not. It says they like top plants and the only fish in my whole tank to not hang out in the top plants at all thus far are My Rainbow shark and my Blue Gourami. Go figure... I got a weird, non typical fish. lol

Do you think I need more Root tabs for my Rotala?
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:55 AM   #5
 
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wouldn't be sure.brton seems to be the expert here.but a little extra plant food never hurted a plant before. if it's getting to much light re-home it to a darker area an add the root tablet to see whether the lighting is a problem as some plants grow better in low light. 1 read that theres different groups.half submerged,floating, high level,medium level and low level plants.all of them depend on different light conditions and yet can be housed in a same tank.cool huh =)
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
 
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What T are the bulbs that you have (T12, T8, T5, T5HO ECT)? Rotala sp. and Alternanthera sp. both fall under the "high light" catigory and believe that you will not be able to grow them properly with out a decent amout of light. Low amounts of light on for a long period of time is just asking for algae.
Regards,
RP
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inga View Post
Some plants require high lighting or rather it says, "recommended." My question is, will a "high light recommended" plant still survive in a medium light tank if you just leave the light on longer? Will leaving the light on for longer times make up for the intensity of the light? Yes, I truly am that unsure when it comes to growing aquatic plants.

I am thinking of adding this to my tank http://www.sweetaquatics.com/index.p...5c794ced248de4 and possibly removing the Rotala that isn't doing well. I don't know if I should bother because of the light but the Rotala is sort of yellowing and from my understanding, that is usually from too much light? Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Just a reminder I have a 60 gallon tank with 2 18 inch 6700K lights over it. They are on for around 12 hours a day but have been on for up to 14 hours when my schedule changes unexpectedly.

Also, any other suggestions for plants that will be very full, get at least 20-25 inches tall and stay really thick. If you can suggest anything like that, that will have a red color, that would be amazing.
Some plants that are recommended for high light can survive (but won't grow as quickly/lushly) lower lighting conditions. Leaving the lights on longer is just an invite to algae. It's more about the intensity of the bulb. I don't have personal experience with the species you linked to, but it is my understanding that a lot of the "red" plants will grow green unless under very high lighting, so it might be a species like that.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:41 AM   #8
 
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A few issues in this thread on which I'd like to comment.

First, I do not recommend turning off a filter in any aquarium. I only do this when performing water changes, so it is maybe 20 minutes at the most. The bacteria in the filter media need oxygen to live, and they obtain oxygen from the water passing through the media. When this stops, the bacteria will start to die off after a couple hours. Then when the filter is on again, this dead bacteria enters the tank. Not good. Which is why after a power outage of a few hours or longer, you should always rinse out the canister filter before the power comes back on.

Second issue, the duration of light should be consistent each day. Plants and fish are affected by the duration of light and dark. A timer available in hardware stores for table lamps works well; the light should come on when there is light in the room, and go off when there is light in the room--this to avoid startling and stressing the fish. But the light duratio should be the same each day. I suggest 10-12 hours max; sometimes if algae is an issue, reducing the duration by an hour or two hours works.

Now to the plant issues. Low, medium and high light plants is a very subjective rating and not always reliable. As I have proven and written of many times, plants require considerably less light than many would have you believe. However, there is still difference from plant to plant, and just as there are plants like crypts, Anubias, java fern, moss that manage fine with fairly little light, there are those that need more. Red leaf plants do need more light than green. To explain why needs some background on light.

Plants primarily use red and blue light in photosynthesis. They appear green because they reflect green light, since they do not require it. So red leaf plants are reflecting red light, and since they need red light, they need more of it because they are reflecting much of it.

You can try the Alternathera reinckii, it may or may not last. But before you consider increasing the light intensity to provide more for it, remember that doing so creates a totally new "balance" between light and nutrients. In other words, more light will require more nutrients in balance, or algae will be everywhere in the light. This is not something I recommend unless you are prepared for the consequences.

As for intensity and duration, plants require adequate light and this means intensity and duration. Increasing one without the other achieves nothing--except more algae. And the nutrients have to balance intensity and duration, or the plants can't use it anyway.

You mentioned substrate tabs for Rotala; this won't be of much help. Stem plants assimilate nutrients via the roots and also the leaves. Substrate nutrients have little impact on stem plants; a liquid fert like Flourish Comprehensive will achieve better results.

Last comment, not all plants will grow in the same aquarium together. In nature, there is usually only one or two species of plant in any given section of stream. Only in our aquaria do we combine so many different species of plants. The fact that they all usually grow well together is an amazing bit of nature. But some plants produce chemicals that can affect other plants, this is a defense mechanism called allelopathy. This is a science in itself, and I only mention it.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-03-2010 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
As for intensity and duration, plants require adequate light and this means intensity and duration. Increasing one without the other achieves nothing--except more algae. And the nutrients have to balance intensity and duration, or the plants can't use it anyway.

You mentioned substrate tabs for Rotala; this won't be of much help. Stem plants assimilate nutrients via the roots and also the leaves. Substrate nutrients have little impact on stem plants; a liquid fert like Flourish Comprehensive will achieve better results.

Last comment, not all plants will grow in the same aquarium together. In nature, there is usually only one or two species of plant in any given section of stream. Only in our aquaria do we combine so many different species of plants. The fact that they all usually grow well together is an amazing bit of nature. But some plants produce chemicals that can affect other plants, this is a defense mechanism called allelopathy. This is a science in itself, and I only mention it.

Byron.
Maybe this is what is going on. My other plants might very well be waging war on my Rotala. The other plants that I have are Anachris, Cabomba, Amazon Sword, Java Fern, Pennywort, (also not doing well), Hygrophilia and Narrow leaf. The last 2 seem to be bouncing back after a rough start.

I have been adding the Flourish Comprehensive 2 times a week and I have no algae in the tank, that I can see. I did add Root tabs to the Amazon Sword as it has been mentioned on here that they are heavy feeders. Those seem to be doing very well.

My Ludwigia is not Red so I am guessing the light is not enough for that. I can't get higher Watt bulbs for this set up that are only 18 inches long so I am stuck with what I have. If things do not turn around in awhile I might just re-think the plants that I have and stick with more of the ones that are doing so well.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
 
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I can't say one way or the other on the allelopathy, I just mentioned it more as info that we can't always have every plant together for various reasons.

I think your idea of trying something and then giving it time and if it doesn't work try something else is sensible. Here again, a close parallel to gardening. When I moved to my present house 10 years ago I started building a garden in the back. I worked on it bed by bed. Some of the plants I put in the first year didn't make it, so the second year I tried them again. After a few years, I learned what will and won't do well, or even live, in my back garden given the amount of sun/shade. Rather than trying to force nature to my way of thinking--which won't work anyway--I accepted that this works, that doesn't. And now I have a quite beautiful semi-shade garden. Everything works because it is compatible.

Same with aquarium plants. You have established a specific balance between light and nutrients; plants that do well with that particular balance will grow; those that need more of this or that, won't. Try something else.

But, having said that, make sure you give plants a chance. When I got my first spindly bunch of Pennywort I planted it and it took weeks before it grew at all, then it was very slow; but after I think it was 3-4 months, it grew like a weed and has continued to do so. Except, periodically, it seems to stop. Most plants do this; I suspect it is simply a period of vegetative rest. Don't rush things.
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