light help please!
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light help please!

This is a discussion on light help please! within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> i saw this light at my LFS and was wondering if it would be good to replace my generic out of the kit light. ...

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Old 10-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
 
light help please!

i saw this light at my LFS and was wondering if it would be good to replace my generic out of the kit light. it was a 50/50 6500K w/ actnic. would that be good for plants?
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:35 PM   #2
 
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the kelven is good but actnic uhm thats more for freshwater. your out of the box light is probobly around 3000k just like any other standard household light. you want to aim for something between 5500 and 6700 kelven and look for really high bllue and red since the plants need those spectrum more blue than red to go through photosenthisis and do what they do. your also going to want atleast 2-3 watts per gallon even for most low light plants to be healthy along with a regular fert dosing schedule. Money
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
 
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I agree (except on the wattage) with MoneyMitch; actinic does not promote good plant growth, it is a saltwater light [I think that's what MM meant when he typed freshwater].

I would not go above 1.5 watts per gallon without CO2 added, which you don't mention. I have about (or less on the 115g and 90g) than 1 watt per gallon of full spectrum 6700K light on my three larger tanks and the plants are thriving as you can see in the photos under My Aquariums. The light must balance the available CO2 and nutrients or algae will proliferate. The light should always be the limiting factor, never CO2 or macro- and micronutrients. Plants cannot use the light if it is in greater supply than the CO2 and nutrients, and this refers to intensity, not duration; duration beyond a certain point is meaningless if the light is not of adequate intensity and again encourages algae.

Byron.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
 
Light light light

Byron

I am so not sure there is an actual rule of thumb on lighting
Given an example I had a 30 gallon tank with a light that had 18 watt
the KV was unknown.... The bulb didnt say and my plants FLURISHED
The plants that are in my 120 gallon came from the 30 gallon
I have read alot of information on planted tanks and the info you stated
is Dead on what I have read..... but I can also say that its not the Rule of
Thumb.


Byron.... do you use LATERITE? or any other substrate to enhance the
growth of your plants?
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teammuir1 View Post
Byron

I am so not sure there is an actual rule of thumb on lighting
Given an example I had a 30 gallon tank with a light that had 18 watt
the KV was unknown.... The bulb didnt say and my plants FLURISHED
The plants that are in my 120 gallon came from the 30 gallon
I have read alot of information on planted tanks and the info you stated
is Dead on what I have read..... but I can also say that its not the Rule of
Thumb.


Byron.... do you use LATERITE? or any other substrate to enhance the
growth of your plants?
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).

Byron.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
 
my specific needs... a ten gallon freshwater tank. just bought CO2 injector like with tablets and am hoping to get java moss, java fern, dwarf hair grass, and mabye hornwort. what is you suggestion?
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
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).

Byron.
Byron
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

Ron
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntin4stiles View Post
my specific needs... a ten gallon freshwater tank. just bought CO2 injector like with tablets and am hoping to get java moss, java fern, dwarf hair grass, and mabye hornwort. what is you suggestion?
Java Moss and Java Fern are low light plants; while CO2 won't hurt (if balanced by light and other nutrients) it isn't necessary to grow these successfully. And others have commented that bright light hinders both (I've not had this problem, but then my tanks have always been lower light because i've never had CO2). Hornwort I believe will grow well in ether setup, though higher light and CO2 should be positive. Dwarf hair grass is the touchy plant, from what others here have written, difficult without high light and CO2/nutrients. As I'm not a CO2 person I'll leave it for those who are to comment.

Byron.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:24 AM   #9
 
Here is a website that will help everyone wanting to grow live plants.
this website gives alot of information on alot of different plants.


Google Image Result for http://naturalaquariums.com/plants/hornwort2.jpg
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teammuir1 View Post
Here is a website that will help everyone wanting to grow live plants.
this website gives alot of information on alot of different plants.


Google Image Result for http://naturalaquariums.com/plants/hornwort2.jpg
Yes, I second this site, it is very informative. Rhonda Wilson (currently the author of the monthly planted tank column in TFH) is a main contributor. A couple of other sites are also good:

The Planted Tank: The Planted Tank - Articles, Forums, Pictures, Links

Aquatic Plant Central: Aquatic Plant Central

Aqua Botanic: Aqua Botanic Aquarium Plants Sales and Library

Byron.

P.S. Just noticed I typed 1125g instead of 115g in a prior post; wish I had a 1125g tank...
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