10-06-2009, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
The wattage is not a rule, but it is a safe guide that has proven the test of time. But we are talking regular fluorescent light (not T5 HO or compact fluorescent which produce greater intensity at lower wattage so don't fit the mold at all), no CO2, and normal fish loads. Increasing any of these is going to impact the equation. I have obviously found the balance with light for the level of CO2 from my fish and the nutrients I add weekly. Algae is present but not excessively as it would be if I were to increase the light intensity or, somewhat less, increase the duration. The balance is critical, and the light should always be the limiting factor as it is the most easily controlled.
I use regular gravel, wth Nutrafin's Plant-Gro sticks next to the larger Echinodorus (swords) which are heavy feeders. I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium twice weekly (down to once in the 90g currently as the fish load is less and that balance I spoke of is a bit out) and i've noticed some plants reacting to an excess of certain nutrients. In 1996 I set up my 1125g with laterite under the gravel, but saw no difference in lant growth during the following 3 years from the 90g that had identical light, fish load, plants, but no laterite. It may not hurt, but adding nutrients to the water column from a substrate or substrate additive that cannot be removed without tearing down the tank has a risk factor I prefer to avoid. The sticks work fine; I first put in 3 or 4 next to specific swords, and after 3 months the growth of those plants by comparison to the other identical species was remarkable; the plants were 3 times the size (leaves).
You have helped me out in the past ..... and If I knew about the sticks ( that you use )
I would have never have used the laterite substrate..... ( ITS A PAIN )
but thats just me....
I will say this to any one else that asks. When I set up another tank.. ( ANY SIZE ) I
will not use LATERITE OR FLOURITE