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Help planting new 35 gal hex with fish scheme

This is a discussion on Help planting new 35 gal hex with fish scheme within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by saulat I was told today that I should have something like 2 or 3 watts per gallon of water, perhaps more ...

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Help planting new 35 gal hex with fish scheme
Old 06-23-2009, 08:56 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by saulat View Post
I was told today that I should have something like 2 or 3 watts per gallon of water, perhaps more since I have a taller hex tank. I don't think I can do a metal halide hanging light and not sure I'd be comfortable with the heat level and kids in the house anyway. A salesperson that seemed very knowledgable and helpful, at a non chain store, told me that coralife used to make some sort of fixture that affixed on the back of that tank and hung over like a desk lamp that would work well for me, a metal halide I believe. He said he has been working at this store for 12 years. He also mentioned some sort of powerstation or something like that that has several lights or leds in it that may work for me. I am mainly worried about the Anacharis and Vallis having enough light and I want a flourishing plant system in my tank. Does anyone have any suggestions preferably not costing a few hundred dollars? I did order some moss, java fern, Anubias pygmy nana, and water wisteria. Also I read the wisteria will not do really well if it lacks light. He also said adding a second light fixture of the same type would not help any.

The current bulb I have is a 14Watt, aqua glo, 15 inch, 30 lux, 18,000k.
The advice you got was not altogether incorrect, but not completely. I would certainly not waste my money on metal halide lighting.

First, you have several low-light plants on your list, namely Anubias, Java Fern, Moss. I personally don't see an issue with these. Anacharis is a stem plant, as is Wisteria, and these generally require more light than rooted plants like swords and crypts or the previously-named species.However, I have grown vallisneria and wisteria under less than 1 watt per gallon; more on this in a moment.

Second, the tube you have is rated at 18,000K which is quite intense light. I'm assuming it is the Hagen Aqua-Glo tube; this series of "xxx-Glo" tubes are in my opinion very good (I use the Life-Glo). I checked the website and the spectrum graph shows this particular tube to be strongest in the red/yellow and then blue. This is just what aquatic plants need (more blue than red actually, but close enough). My only complaint about this tube is the somewhat purplish tint it gives to the aquarium; back in the 1980's I used Grow-lux tubes which did the same, and one gets used to it and it does enhance reds and blues on the fish. And my plants certainly thrived then, with only one 40w tube over a 48-inch 55 gallon tank. So I personally think you're OK with this light.

Blue light penetrates water better than red, which is good since it is blue light that the plants most require. Your low-light plants should grow fine under this light. As for the wisteria, as I mentioned in another thread yesterday, it is described as a moderate to high light plant, but I have grown it very well with 1 watt per gallon. If there are no floating plants to reduce the light penetration, you may find it grows OK, probably slower than it would under more intense light. Low light brings out wider leaves, while higher light causes the leaves to be more thinner and more lacey in appearance. But several sources I've checked all say it will grow under low light.

Byron.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
 
Thanks, exactly what I needed to hear. Is Co2 and fertilizer something I may want to consider to help my plants flourash?
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
 
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Thanks, exactly what I needed to hear. Is Co2 and fertilizer something I may want to consider to help my plants flourash?
In my view, and with your light, tank and plants, absolutely no on the CO2. Plants will grow and be healthy without CO2 [look at my photos]. Liquid fertilizer, yes. Plants require nutrients in balance, and while some of these come from the fish and biological processes in an aquarium and a few (maybe) from the tap water added with the partial water change every week, it is not enough. Fertilizing will prevent the wisteria leaves from yellowing (iron deficiency, but other nutrients as well).

I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement, and several others on this forum have recommended it as well. I've also had good success previously with Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement. Follow the dose recommended on the label, and start once a week (right after the pwc). Observe the plants, and if yellowing leaves appear as on the wisteria, or the vallisneria doesn't look good, do a second weekly dose and see if things improve. I experiemented in both my tanks and have settled on a twice-weekly dose and the plants have responded; twice in th last 5 months I have gone down to once a week just to test, and both times within a week I had yellowing leaves on the swords; after back to twice weekly, new leaves were back to being green. I've obviously found the correct balance between light, CO2 (from the fish) and fertilizer. These tanks have ben running as you see them for 7-8 months.

If CO2 were to be added, the light would be too little to balance, and you would be forced into going with mega light. That's OK if you want the plants to grow faster, flower, etc., but it isn't necessary for healthy thriving plants.

Last edited by Byron; 06-23-2009 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
 
Really should have done this in the beginning but I think I am going to upgrade to a 55 gallon tank lol.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #15
 
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*Sorry, double post*
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:21 PM   #16
 
Hahaha, just pretty well finished setting up the 55 gallon. I'll post a picture at some point along with the specs on the lights and all that stuff too. Found my rubber nose pleco under a rock too, not sure what happened to him.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #17
 
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haha. well thats good. glad to hear its going well. cant wait to see pics!
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:44 AM   #18
 
I'll try to post a pic a little later today. I was wondering if the lights I selected are decent. The bulbs that were in the fixtures were a bit old and one was a reptile light. I bought a 15 watt tropic sun 5500k Tropic Sun light by Zoo Med and a 15 watt Reef sun 50/50 6500k light by Zoo Med. The store only had one of each of these so I got one of each. I would like to have optimum situation for my plants and will probably get the co2 packs and liquid fertilizer soon if my plants require it and my lighting situation can take advantage of it. The reef sun light seems to have less blue light than the tropic sun and am wondering whether I should return that for a tropic sun light when I get the chance. Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #19
 
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I'll try to post a pic a little later today. I was wondering if the lights I selected are decent. The bulbs that were in the fixtures were a bit old and one was a reptile light. I bought a 15 watt tropic sun 5500k Tropic Sun light by Zoo Med and a 15 watt Reef sun 50/50 6500k light by Zoo Med. The store only had one of each of these so I got one of each. I would like to have optimum situation for my plants and will probably get the co2 packs and liquid fertilizer soon if my plants require it and my lighting situation can take advantage of it. The reef sun light seems to have less blue light than the tropic sun and am wondering whether I should return that for a tropic sun light when I get the chance. Thanks for any help.
According to the info on this series of tubes at Doctors Foster & Smith website, the Reef Sun is strongest in the blue, strong in yellow and green, but no red whatsoever. This is not a good plant light, as plants need blue and red.

The Tropic Sun is good, I have one on my 90g. There is also the Flora Sun. I would think the Flora Sun should be similar in light to the Aqua Glo you already have. As you have two tubes, one Tropic and one Flora Sun might create a good light for the plants and viewing. Or use two Tropic Sun as you ask. Or go to the Life-Glo with a Tropic Sun [I tried this and liked it]. I would stay away from tubes intended for marine/reef tanks, they will not be balanced for plant growth and in my view lack a bit of warmth.

This is a 35g hex tank, and you're putting two 15w tubnes over it. I don't think CO2 will do anything. To balance CO2 to make it worthwhile to the plants would require three or four times the light. Not only somwhat impractical, it will be very bright for the fish. With only 1 watt per gallon on my tanks, I sometimes think they are bright, but of course they aren't really--but I can't even imagine 3 or 4 times that amount of light. The fish will go blind, or I would.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:40 PM   #20
 
Oh no, I upgraded to a 55 gallon tank.
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