Plant light - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Plant light

Ok, so I decided to finally get a plant light for my 20 gallon tall! But now I have some questions. This light looks super different! Like a black light, but lighter. My glofish and some others just light up under it!

Before

Attachment 9594

After

Attachment 9602

Ok... It isn't showing me my pictures... But it's different. Anyone think I should get more plants now? I only add C02 and have the light. I have 2 ottos and a snail for algae. And for the sand substrate I have 3 Cory catfish. And I have a HOB filter, but instead of carbon I use filter floss. And I took away my bubbles. They'll make enough oxygen, right?

The light isn't harmful to any of my fish, right? And how planted should my tank get?

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 01:05 PM
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Can you provide some data on the light? First, is it fluorescent tube, or screw-in bulb? And what are the specs (watts, Kelvin rating, type...all this will be on the package or the end of the tube if fluorescent.

On plants, do you have any live plants now? And what are your water paramters for the tap water, meaning GH (general hardness) and pH? These you can get from the municipal water supply people, probably on their website.

Do you have any plant fertilizer yet?

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 15 Old 06-19-2013, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Can you provide some data on the light? First, is it fluorescent tube, or screw-in bulb? And what are the specs (watts, Kelvin rating, type...all this will be on the package or the end of the tube if fluorescent.

On plants, do you have any live plants now? And what are your water paramters for the tap water, meaning GH (general hardness) and pH? These you can get from the municipal water supply people, probably on their website.

Do you have any plant fertilizer yet?

Byron.
Oh ya. Ok it is fluorescent. 18 inches long. 15 watts. The brand is Aqueon. I'm not sure on kelvin rating.
yes right now I have 4 plant types. I have moneywort, but it's dying off so I'm not sure if Id count it. I've been removing a lot. Then I have um,,, well I'm not sure on the names but, one is a broadleaf type. One is like thick grass but it's also not looking too lush. Then there's a cool looking kind with little leaves all around like a big cylinder sorta. The other two types are red and green.

No, I wasn't really planning on fertilizer...

Well I condition my water, but i do know that in my area we have generally VERY hard water. I leave it for the goldfish but for the plant tank I put some aquarium salt in. And the ph is a little bit on the basic side.


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post #4 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 04:35 PM
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Oh ya. Ok it is fluorescent. 18 inches long. 15 watts. The brand is Aqueon. I'm not sure on kelvin rating.
yes right now I have 4 plant types. I have moneywort, but it's dying off so I'm not sure if Id count it. I've been removing a lot. Then I have um,,, well I'm not sure on the names but, one is a broadleaf type. One is like thick grass but it's also not looking too lush. Then there's a cool looking kind with little leaves all around like a big cylinder sorta. The other two types are red and green.

No, I wasn't really planning on fertilizer...

Well I condition my water, but i do know that in my area we have generally VERY hard water. I leave it for the goldfish but for the plant tank I put some aquarium salt in. And the ph is a little bit on the basic side.
First thing, do not use salt in freshwater tanks. Depending upon how much, this will harm many plants. But moreso, soft water fish (like the Glofish which are a modified zebra danio) are affected by salt.

Second, can you post a photo of the aquarium so I can see these plants?

Third, you will likely need a basic liquid fertilizer, but I may have more when I have seen what they are. I'll explain a bit below.

Fourth on the light, a different tube will be better. I know the Aqueon one, it came with one of my fixtures, and it is not very intense light. It highlights blue and red which is why the fish may look nice, but plants will struggle. Over your 20g, I would suggest a Life-Glo or a ZooMed UltraSun. The latter is a bit less expensive, but otherwise these are much the same.

Now, a brief explanation of plant needs. Plants grow by photosynthesis, and they can only photosynthesize if they have sufficient light intensity and sufficient nutrients to balance. They need 17 nutrients; some of these occur from fish foods, and some in the tap water. For some plants this can be sufficient, but the more fast growing species (like your Moneywort) and any red-leaf plants will not have sufficient without adding them. A complete liquid fertilizer is sufficient for this, I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. You use very little; for a 20g tank, just 1/2 of a teaspoon once a week will be enough. This makes quite a difference. But under the new light is part of this too.

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 #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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First thing, do not use salt in freshwater tanks. Depending upon how much, this will harm many plants. But moreso, soft water fish (like the Glofish which are a modified zebra danio) are affected by salt.

Second, can you post a photo of the aquarium so I can see these plants?

Third, you will likely need a basic liquid fertilizer, but I may have more when I have seen what they are. I'll explain a bit below.

Fourth on the light, a different tube will be better. I know the Aqueon one, it came with one of my fixtures, and it is not very intense light. It highlights blue and red which is why the fish may look nice, but plants will struggle. Over your 20g, I would suggest a Life-Glo or a ZooMed UltraSun. The latter is a bit less expensive, but otherwise these are much the same.

Now, a brief explanation of plant needs. Plants grow by photosynthesis, and they can only photosynthesize if they have sufficient light intensity and sufficient nutrients to balance. They need 17 nutrients; some of these occur from fish foods, and some in the tap water. For some plants this can be sufficient, but the more fast growing species (like your Moneywort) and any red-leaf plants will not have sufficient without adding them. A complete liquid fertilizer is sufficient for this, I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. You use very little; for a 20g tank, just 1/2 of a teaspoon once a week will be enough. This makes quite a difference. But under the new light is part of this too.

Byron.
I only use a little bit of the salt, and I was told to use it specifically because of the glofish, actually. Because they kept dying when I first got them, long ago, and it helped with stress. The new ones seem fine, my water quality is better than it was a long time ago as well.

I am trying to post photos but it won't let me. Ill keep trying...

I have Aqueon plant food that I use weekly but I'm almost out so ill probably think about if I even want more.

So you'd say it's better to take it back? Ill want a fluorescent for sure. Are different brands better? Like top fin? I have a lot of those products.


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post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Vpaw View Post
I only use a little bit of the salt, and I was told to use it specifically because of the glofish, actually. Because they kept dying when I first got them, long ago, and it helped with stress. The new ones seem fine, my water quality is better than it was a long time ago as well.

I am trying to post photos but it won't let me. Ill keep trying...

I have Aqueon plant food that I use weekly but I'm almost out so ill probably think about if I even want more.

So you'd say it's better to take it back? Ill want a fluorescent for sure. Are different brands better? Like top fin? I have a lot of those products.


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The fluorescent tube fixture is fine, so any tube that fits it (the length of the tube, you want an 18-inch, whatever the type) will work but the important aspect is the phosphors that "burn" inside the tube to emit the light. Light is composed of many different colours, wavelengths we call them, and plants have specific needs. But intensity is also critical, as light does not penetrate water as easily as air, so by the time the light gets down to the plants it is much less intense and this has to be compensated for as well. The two types of tube I mentioned are the best for plants and fish colours. I ran experiments with all these tubes over my 29g, which confirmed the theory. Topfin is Petsmart's home brand, and Petsmart carries the Life-Glo (at least the stores in Canada do).

The Aqueon plant food may be less expensive to buy, but not only is it not going to be as good, you will use far more along the way. Flourish Comprehensive is better. Another similar one is Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti.

Don't use the salt any longer, it is not necessary, it will do nothing positive, but it will be detrimental over time.

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 #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 09:06 PM
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That's nice, and I stand by my previous suggestions now that I've seen the plants. And yes, to answer a question in your initial post, more plants. If you can find one, pygmy chain sword would be ideal to spread over the gravel (in time). Floating plants would be good too, once you get the other tube (they will shade the light too much with the present tube). Check our plant profiles.

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 #9 of 15 Old 06-20-2013, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I took the light back and got another one. It's zoo med like you said but instead of ultra sun they said that flora sun was for the plants.


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post #10 of 15 Old 06-20-2013, 04:41 PM
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Ok I took the light back and got another one. It's zoo med like you said but instead of ultra sun they said that flora sun was for the plants.
You might be OK with this, it is certainly better than what you had. But it would be better with the Ultra-Sun, believe me. The people who work in stores mean well, but they are probably going by what they are told or read on the package, and this is not always accurate.

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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