Indirect sunlight? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-12-2011, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Indirect sunlight?

Being blessed with living in the Mediterranean, the days over here tend to be very sunny, even during winter.
My tank is situated in such a manner that it receives at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight during winter and at least 12 hours of indirect sunlight during summer. This indirect sunlight is luminous enough to comfortably read a book by, if that is any good an indicator.
I would love to replace all of my plastic plants with real ones, so I've introduced a Java Fern. The Java Fern has been in my tank for over a week now, and it is doing fantastically.

I plan on introducing more plants to my 48 gallon aquarium, so I did some research on what I should introduce, depending on the plants' light requirements and their overall aesthetics, and came up with a short list:

- Hornwort
- Java Moss
- Cryptocoryne Wendtii
- Amazon Swords
- The aforementioned Java Fern
- Anubias

Would these plants live comfortably with the aforementioned levels of lighting?
Do they require fertilisers or added CO2?

P.S: Might I also add that the substrate is a fine gravel, almost what you'd call large and grainy sand.
I've also got a nice piece of driftwood established in my tank, which I think would look beautiful when planted with Java Ferns and some Java Moss.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-12-2011, 08:07 PM
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The only issue with using natural sunlight is controlling it. Plants tend to grow toward the light, so they may face the window rather than the front of your tank, unless it faces the window. I would monitor the situation carefully, and so long as you have blinds or some means of lessening/increasing the light you should be OK. Algae will probably be more of an issue, it was for me in my daylight tank.

As for fertilizers, plants need 17 nutrients and they have to come from something in the aquarium. Depending upon the plants, fish load and light, adding a liquid fertilizer will likely be necessary. I would not consider adding CO2 with daylight, as the light intensity needs to be much higher to benefit CO2, and then all the other nutrients need to be increased proportionally. There is a lot of CO2 produced from bacteria and fish in the average healthy aquarium, so balancing the light and other nutrients to work out the balance is all you need to do.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-13-2011, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Byron. I seem to be in luck, since the tank is facing the light source (2 glass panelled doors). Do liquid fertilisers change the chemical composition of the water in any bad way?
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-13-2011, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittlePleco View Post
Thank you, Byron. I seem to be in luck, since the tank is facing the light source (2 glass panelled doors). Do liquid fertilisers change the chemical composition of the water in any bad way?
Adding a fertilizer is adding various mineral nutrients which the plants absolutely require and which are probably not going to all be present in sufficient quantity from other sources (hardness of the water, fish foods, organics). Provided you do not overdose excessively, this is not harmful to plants, fish or invertebrates. The amount of minerals in aquarium liquid fertilizers is very low, and in a low-tech natural system wuch as we are talking about here, once a week is likely going to be sufficient. The more light you have, the more nutrients the plants need; high-tech tanks with mega light and CO2 diffusion usually dose ferts every day in order to balance.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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