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Fish suffocating at night, without air-stone.

This is a discussion on Fish suffocating at night, without air-stone. within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Kro Lemme see, lemme see... So, a T5 puts out, roughly, 1.5x the light that a T12 or T8 does, yes? ...

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Fish suffocating at night, without air-stone.
Old 07-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
 
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Lemme see, lemme see... So, a T5 puts out, roughly, 1.5x the light that a T12 or T8 does, yes? So a 24 watt T5 puts out about 36 watts worth of light? So two of mine would be putting out 72 watts worth and if I started up the other pair, that would be 144 watts, yes? Now, it seems fairly obvious to me that 144 watts of light, over a 29g tank is quite a lot and, considering my plants, unneeded. Which I suspected, anyway. I've only really had on 2 of the T5s since I received it in the mail. (About 4-5 days ago.)

That being said, shouldn't 72 watts be okay in my tank? That's only a little more than 2 watts per gallon, yes? Isn't that pretty much moderate lighting? Forgive my ignorance. Like I mentioned before, I'm very new to live aquatic plants and the lighting has been something that's had me a bit confused, no matter how much I read.

As for the Plecos... This discussion has gotten me very interested in grabbing a pleco for my tank... I've loved plecos ever since my first tank, when I was about 13. I DID have it in my head that I wouldn't be able to keep even a smaller one happy (Like the bushynose) without a more robust current, however. I'm going to sniff around a bit and see if I can't find a pleco that I like that's small enough and is okay with gentle water movement.
We still talk a lot about "watts per gallon" but in reality this is rather useless. Same as the "inch of fish per gallon" idea, it may work in certain situations but is so fraught with inaccuracy it is best forgotten.

Watts is nothing more than the measurement of energy used by the tube (or bulb) to emit the light. Taking as an example only T8 (regular) rubes: a 48-inch 40 watt tube that is 6700K full spectrum can emit 380 lumens of light (lumens is basically the measurement of intensity, lux is the lumens per square metre or something, doesn't matter). The same size and wattage tube in one of those so-called "plant" lights may emit 180 lumens or slightly more. This light brightness or intensity is half or less than the full spectrum. To us it appears less because it is not as bright. But more importantly the plants do not have sufficient intensity of l;ight to carry out photosynthesis.

So not the watts, but the lumens is what you should compare. When I tried a T5 HO dual tube fixture last July, I found that the T5 HO Life-Glo 2 tube emits some 480 lumens of intensity, compared to the T8 Life-Glo 2 at 370 lumens. Or something similar; I may have the numbers wrong, going from memory--I do remember the T5 was just over 100 lumens more. The T8 is 40 watts, the T5 is 54 watts. But this is only the amount of energy each tube uses to emit the light. ZooMed make tubes that are comparable to Hagen's "-Glo" series but use less energy so the wattage is lower; the ZooMed Ultra Sun is 32 or 36 watts compared to Life-Glo's 40 watts, but the light intensity is near identical. The ZooMed tube simply uses energy more efficiently to produce the same intensity of light. I have both tubes.

So back to your question of two tubes. In my opinion, this is too much light (intensity) for both fish and plants. Remember, I had the dual T5 HO in Life-Glo 2 on my 115g tank for a week, and I had the dual T8 Life-Glo 2 on the (smaller) 90g beside it. There was no question, the light on the 115g--a longer tank with more "space" to absorb the light--was considerably brighter and reflected off the gravel which would be very disconcerting to the poor fish. Much as it was to my eyes. I jokingly said my fish would be asking me for sunglasses.

Then there is the nutrient issue. Plants can only photosynthesize if the light is adequate (intensity and duration) and the nutrients are all available. As soon as one of these is missing, photosynthesis will slow or stop completely. If it is a nutrient that is missing, the light continues but the plants no longer use it so algae does. Algae in a planted tank only occurs when there is too much light, period. And the first nutrient to be used up is often carbon, CO2. And as Tom Barr and Diana Walstad have both shown, in most moderately-stocked aquaria the CO2 is basically used up by mid-afternoon. This is why siesta periods work; the darkness mid-day allows the CO2 to replenish. However, as Mr. Barr points out, this is not necessary if you balance the light to begin with, and starting with the least amount of light necessary and supplying nutrients in balance is the way to go. In Takashi Amano's beautiful high-tech tanks he adds CO2 and mega-light [I believe there is a real issue with the health of those fish in that light, but that's another topic] and has to dose copious amounts of liquid fertilizers every day just to balance, or algae would proliferate with all that light. You will note he has a lot of algae-eating fish and shrimp, and for good reason.

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Old 07-16-2010, 10:54 PM   #12
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Well, at your recommendation, I removed one of the bulbs and am now running just 1.

How do I know if it's enough?
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:57 AM   #13
 
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The plants will tell you. Provided you balance the light with adequate nutrients of course.

On nutrients, you need a comprehensive balanced fertilizer. I can't remember, did we discuss this previously?
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:31 PM   #14
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The plants will tell you. Provided you balance the light with adequate nutrients of course.

On nutrients, you need a comprehensive balanced fertilizer. I can't remember, did we discuss this previously?
I don't remember, either. I don't believe so.

At any rate, I use SeaChem's "Flourish." I've used Nutrafin Plant Food, in the past, but just picked up a bottle of Flourish a few days ago, after I ran out of Nutrafin's.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:59 PM   #15
 
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I don't remember, either. I don't believe so.

At any rate, I use SeaChem's "Flourish." I've used Nutrafin Plant Food, in the past, but just picked up a bottle of Flourish a few days ago, after I ran out of Nutrafin's.
From personal experience I highly recommend Flourish Comprehensive [I'm assuming you got the Comprehensive, they make several products in the Flourish line]. Nutrafin's "Plant-Gro" I have suggested elsewhere is probably OK, but I have not personally tried it. With Flourish do so incredible a job in my tanks, I am loathe to experiment with something else.

With the single tube now, try Flourish once a week. No point in twice weekly if they don't need it, the less in the tank the better all round. I use my swords as guides. If I do once a week, within 1-2 weeks I see yellowing leaves; at twice a week I'm fine. So you can see that even with my "minimal" light [80 watts over a 115g five-foot tank] I still need to use good nutrients to balance.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:23 PM   #16
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I'll absolutely try that. Thank you, Byron.

So, like I mentioned before, I have a good bit of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in my tap water. Do you (or anyone else, for that matter) have any experience with Kordon's "AmQuel+" and "NovAqua+?"

They claim that AmQuel+ removes Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Chlorine and Chloramine. The NovAqua+ removes heavy metals, adds electrolytes and helps the fishes slime coat.

I used both of these treatments in 10g of my tap water, the other day, aerated it and "aged" it for about 12-18 hours and did a water change, this morning. Tested the water before, and after the treatments, and they removed all of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in my tap water... At least, according to APIs Freshwater test kits. As far as I'm concerned, those chemicals are the answer to my problem.

Thoughts?

P.S. Do you have any experience as to whether motion effects the growth of floating plants, such as Water Sprite? Mine are constantly circling in the tank, because of the gentle current in there. There were planted, when I bought them, and I immediately had them floating, when I got home. They're adding on new growth (wider, more spaced out leaves than they seem to have previously had), the old leaves seems to be "wilting" and they're producing "hairy" roots at the joints in the leaves. I assume this is good and desirable, yes?

Thanks again, Byron.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #17
 
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I'll absolutely try that. Thank you, Byron.

So, like I mentioned before, I have a good bit of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in my tap water. Do you (or anyone else, for that matter) have any experience with Kordon's "AmQuel+" and "NovAqua+?"

They claim that AmQuel+ removes Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Chlorine and Chloramine. The NovAqua+ removes heavy metals, adds electrolytes and helps the fishes slime coat.

I used both of these treatments in 10g of my tap water, the other day, aerated it and "aged" it for about 12-18 hours and did a water change, this morning. Tested the water before, and after the treatments, and they removed all of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in my tap water... At least, according to APIs Freshwater test kits. As far as I'm concerned, those chemicals are the answer to my problem.

Thoughts?

P.S. Do you have any experience as to whether motion effects the growth of floating plants, such as Water Sprite? Mine are constantly circling in the tank, because of the gentle current in there. There were planted, when I bought them, and I immediately had them floating, when I got home. They're adding on new growth (wider, more spaced out leaves than they seem to have previously had), the old leaves seems to be "wilting" and they're producing "hairy" roots at the joints in the leaves. I assume this is good and desirable, yes?

Thanks again, Byron.
Last item first. Excellent. That is a lovely plant, I can't recommend it enough as the best floating plant. it is touchy though, I have had it go mushy moving from one tank to another, but it bounces back. It does not like temp changes either (I mean permanent ones, not warm days). As they spread across the tank, the circling will stop.

I've used Kordon's NovAqua for 15 years, just the regular, not the newer "plus". My jug that I bought back around ten years ago I think is just running out now. I can't get it locally, so I am trying another product. I only have chlorine to worry about, no chloramine, ammonia, nitrite or nitrate; so I don't want something like Prime that might interfere with my tank biology. The plants handle all these things, I prefer to let them get on with it.

But in your case, yes, a conditioner that detoxifies what is in the tap water is needed to avoid overloading the system with ammonia. While I couldn't do the water preparation bit with all my tanks (I change half of each every week, that's probably 140+ gallons of water. Fortunately I don't have to. If you can continue what you're doing now, great.

On the AmQuel, I doubt the claim "removes." More likely its detoxifying it, similar to Prime, by changing ammonia to ammonium, and binding nitrite and nitrate somehow [too involved for my level of chemistry]. I wonder if leaving the water sit has some bearing? Odd your tests don't detect ammonia for instance.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:04 PM   #18
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I was skeptical, as well... But API's Ammo-Lock and TetraAqua's AmmoniaDetox both claim they "neutralize" or "detoxify" ammonia, and it'll still read on my tests.

AmQuel+ claims that it "removes" it... And my tests show that they don't seem to be lying, which I'm thankful for.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:25 PM   #19
 
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I was skeptical, as well... But API's Ammo-Lock and TetraAqua's AmmoniaDetox both claim they "neutralize" or "detoxify" ammonia, and it'll still read on my tests.

AmQuel+ claims that it "removes" it... And my tests show that they don't seem to be lying, which I'm thankful for.
Yes, that is interesting. I personally would not use that. I would wonder what it might be doing to the biology of the aquarium, thinking of the plants. They use most of the ammonia from the fish, and I would not want some chemical interfering in that natural process. May be nothing, I just don't know.

I had a related issue with conditioners that detoxify heavy metals and liquid fertilizers. It just occurred to me one day that these products would be working at cross-purposes, so I emailed Seachem and asked. They confirmed that Prime would detoxify the metal nutrients (iron, copper, zinc, manganese) in Flourish when used together, and they suggested 24 hours (48 to be certain they said) between the water change with Prime and any application of Flourish.

I don't like messing with nature.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #20
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Well, my testing of the aquarium water is still showing a tiny bit of ammonia (about .25 ppm) and about 30ppm nitrate. (I've already got more water prepped for a water change tomorrow morning.)

I don't think it's affecting the ammonia and other chemicals in the tank, since I'm waiting a day before I do the change.

I don't intend to EVER add this stuff directly to the tank.
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