Originally Posted by arscott82
Ok, let me get this straight. I should change my 5000K to a 10000K light and only dose the recommended flourish comp once a week. How about the flourish iron? Is that a no, I was thinking that lack of iron is why some of the leaves turned yellow, but I guess it's just from to much light. I'm going to stay away from the diy co2, in a year or so I plan on saving up for a real system when I get my 40 gallon breeder set up for high tech. This tank is kinda like just a starter tank to get my knowledge of plants.
What I'm trying to get is a tank that is full of plants. Trying to grow them out vs. just going out and buying a whole bunch.
One last thing here. Would a spray bar be better for my canister, right now I just have a swiveled knob at the end? Plus I have my intake right below my outflow hoping that would give me the best current flow. Is that right? And should I have my canister outflow maxed out or restrict it for less flow. It's a eheim 2232 rated for 35 gal tank and gal/h is 106?
I am going to make some comments that some may disagree with, but that's fine.
Light. I would not be quick to change things. In scientific studies, plants grew best (most growth = highest photosynthesis) with light between 6000K and 7000K. Most sources suggest anything between 5000K and 7000K will work fine. The difference is really your (the aquarist's) perception of the colour hue in the tank. The lower the Kelvin number the warmer (more red, less blue) the colour hue, and the higher the K the cooler (more blue, less red). If you want to try different tubes, fine; as long as you have one of two tubes around 6000K-7000K the other can be whatever you like. I happen to prefer a cooler second tube, but from the plants perspective it does not seem to matter much. I have grown plants with that combo (one 6700K and one 10000K or 11000K) and the same plants with one 6700K and one 6500K, equally well. In the end, if everything required by the plants is present, they will grow with almost any light provided it is sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis in balance with the nutrients.
Nutrients. I do not recommend dosing with nitrates. I accept this is possibly necessary in high-tech systems where it is the safest way to increase ammonium to balance everything else. But in natural or low tech systems I am not aware of any value whatsoever. And it is detrimental to the fish. And my first concern is healthy fish, the plants are secondary. There are too many of us with thriving planted tanks having nitrates at zero or up to 5ppm to suggest otherwise.
You mentioned iron. This can be dangerous too. Iron is a micro-nutrient, and the thinking that used to be more prevalent than at present, that iron is needed more, is no longer accepted. It is a balance of 17 nutrients that plants need.
Another recommendation in that previously linked article that I totally disagree with, is no water changes. I know Tom Barr says this, and I know why because he and I exchanged several comments about this; I simply disagree. The fish are first, or should be, if it is a fish tank with plants.
On the filter issue, here again I say go with what the fish need. You have quiet water fish, so the current from the filter should be less rather than more. And in this situation I would use the spray bar, aimed along the end glass at one end so it is directed down to the substrate, and the filter intake at the opposite end of the tank. This allows for a gentle flow throughout the tank. The force of the current can impact plants if it is too strong, but the fish would be impacted first.