How much light is too much?
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How much light is too much?

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How much light is too much?
Old 10-20-2009, 05:01 PM   #1
 
How much light is too much?

With the addition of my new (found the fixtures, bulbs ballasts and all in a skip in perfect working order!!) power compact lighting I'm at 6 watts per gallon (with very nice reflectors too).

Is that terrific overkill?

Assumably I'm going to encounter incredible algae problems sometime in the next 5 minutes?

I'm not looking for high tech planting, but the tank looks awe inspiring with this much light.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:38 PM   #2
 
thats pretty crazy but i wouldnt know. im thinking about buying a single bulb work bench fixture for 14 dollars at wallmart to put me up to 2.4 watts per gallon
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:54 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
Is that terrific overkill?
YES!!!

in my opinion there is no way you'll be able to supply enough co2 to keep it from being a total algae farm!

good find tho fella! :0)

the watts per gallon rule is only a rough guide and i think based on t12 tubes.

2watts per gallon of t5 is a fair amount of light and there really is no reason to go higher.

if you insist on pushing it tho', just as an experiment. you'll need stupid levels of co2 combined with excellent flow/distribution.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
 
I thought that might be the answer.

How much C02 are we talking? Any ideas on how I would manage that?

My flows fine, about 8 times the aquarium an hour being turned over without any dead spots.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
I thought that might be the answer.

How much C02 are we talking? Any ideas on how I would manage that?

My flows fine, about 8 times the aquarium an hour being turned over without any dead spots.

after 5watts per gallon the plants are totally maxed out. adding more light will not increase plant growth any further.

well, co2 is one of the hardest thing to get right in a tank, the higher the light the more critical it becomes.
its pretty hard to quantify how much you'll need, only expensive equipment can give you any more than a rough idea.
some ppl use the ph/kh/co2 table. altho its fundamentally flawed
most use drop checkers to gauge the levels.

i think you'd struggle a lot to manage to get enough in.
if you had no livestock in the tank however it'd be fine just to crank it right up.

something to be aware of also, filter ratings generally will be with no media, pipes etc. realistically they can lose around a third of their flow.

it'd be fun to try it out, just don't buy any expensive plants for the tank! ;0)
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
 
I'm thinking it'd be fun to have a plant only tank and crank everything up to infinity. I have a 15 gallon that isn't doing anything so I might as well (though in that tank the lighting would be up to 7.5 watts per gallon ).

What would be suggested for such a tank in the way of substrate etc?

I'm chuffed with the find, a lot of fun could (and most likely will) be had with them.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
I'm thinking it'd be fun to have a plant only tank and crank everything up to infinity. I have a 15 gallon that isn't doing anything so I might as well (though in that tank the lighting would be up to 7.5 watts per gallon ).

What would be suggested for such a tank in the way of substrate etc?

I'm chuffed with the find, a lot of fun could (and most likely will) be had with them.
have a read up about using akadama. its a clay based bonsai potting substrate.
or even cheaper, certain types of cat litter capped with gravel.

or for slightly more cash look at eco complete

or for mental money check out ADA aquasoil range and oliver knott nature soil.


10x flow would be a good target number from the filter/powerhead.

have a read up on EI (estimated index) but to sum up.
in a max light situation with a tank full of fast growers with non limiting CO2
nutrient uptake wont be more than,
Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm per week
Potassium (K) 30ppm per week
Phosphate (PO4) 3ppm per week
Magnesium (Mg) 10ppm per week
Iron (Fe) 0.5ppm per week

so if you add at least these amounts per week then CO2/flow is all that you have left to worry about.

dry powders can be bought cheaply to mix your own or just add a "complete" off the shelf fert.

a 50% W/C weekly to remove nasties and thats it.

the addition of some flourish excel probably wouldn't go amiss either. :0)

plant heavily from the outset.
increase light over a period of a time............

Last edited by baron von bubba; 10-20-2009 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
 
Thanks a lot for the great info! Will get cracking on this tomorrow.

When you say "increase light over a period of a time............" I assume you mean start at 3/4 watts a gallon and crank it up from there? I don't think I could physically fit much more light on top if you mean to go higher than 7.5 a gallon .
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:22 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
Thanks a lot for the great info! Will get cracking on this tomorrow.

When you say "increase light over a period of a time............" I assume you mean start at 3/4 watts a gallon and crank it up from there? I don't think I could physically fit much more light on top if you mean to go higher than 7.5 a gallon .
yeah i meant start low, give the plants at least a small hope of a chance at least! ;0)

altho 3-4 watts is anything but low. many would struggle to make even this amount work.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by baron von bubba View Post
yeah i meant start low, give the plants at least a small hope of a chance at least! ;0)

altho 3-4 watts is anything but low. many would struggle to make even this amount work.


Thats a point I suppose, things are straying out of perspective slightly with all this lighting available.

I'l start at 2 or 3 then.

Why is more than that amount a bad thing though? Surely they just use as much as they need and then ignore the rest, in a manner of speaking. Like if I was given ten chickens to eat, I would eat half of one and leave the rest..?

Does it just boil down to algae?
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