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Plants Sickly Due to Lack of Light

This is a discussion on Plants Sickly Due to Lack of Light within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Thanks for the suggestions, its much appreciated. I don't really want to do the whole suspension thing. I guess I just need to pay ...

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Plants Sickly Due to Lack of Light
Old 08-23-2011, 12:51 AM   #11
 
Thanks for the suggestions, its much appreciated. I don't really want to do the whole suspension thing. I guess I just need to pay more for what is really needed and not what is cheap. I will look around at different options. I think I will need to change from the deluxe hood that came with the tank to a glass cover to accommodate a bigger light.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:17 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by EireBelle View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, its much appreciated. I don't really want to do the whole suspension thing. I guess I just need to pay more for what is really needed and not what is cheap. I will look around at different options. I think I will need to change from the deluxe hood that came with the tank to a glass cover to accommodate a bigger light.

I didn't think about the deluxe hoods. I don't have any for my tanks. So yeah you would need a glass top for the tank then a dual fixture if you are going to do T8s. As far as the T5HO ask around first someone might tell you different. These are things that I just heard and never tried so I could be wrong. Though in my honest opinion those would be to much light for what you want.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:03 AM   #13
 
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Responding to the issues in your last posts, one by one.

Plants: those in your "dead" list need considerably more light, except for the Vesuvius sword perhaps, I have no experience with this species; if it is red-leaved as the name would suggest, it is higher light than other (green) swords. And as I may have mentioned previously, stem plants are naturally higher light plants. I avoid them. Except for Brazilian Pennywort which does very well in moderate light. The Anacharis in your other list, the stems that are planted, will likely fail too, again they are stem plants. The swords will likely recover; they frequently take a while, sometimes 2-3 months, to get going in a new environment, and all existing leaves will naturally yellow, it is the plant's nature.

Light: You are in the USA, so I am going to reference some fixtures from Drs. Foster & Smith, a US website. I have never used them so I make no judgement on their reliability, though I have heard they are reliable. I do like the site because they have tons of data on the products they sell and that is useful. They are a good sampling for prices, and the costs you have mentioned don't make sense--T5 is more expensive that T8 for fixtures and tubes (unless perhaps it is a clearance sale or something).

For a 4-foot 55g tank, you have these options:

T8 single tube, Perfecto brand, $51.99 - fixture only, glass cover required.
T8 single tube, All Glass Aquarium brand, $85.99 - this is a full hood in black.
T8 dual tube, Perfecto, &85.59 - fixture only, glass cover required.
T8 dual tube, All Glass Aquarium, $114.99 - fixture only, glass cover required.

The above can be seen here:
Fish & Aquarium Supplies: Fluorescent Fixtures

T5 single tube, Glo brand, $116.99 - fixture only, glass cover required.
This is the only single-tube T5 fixture they carry, data here:
Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures
Interestingly, they also mention T5 being suited to CO2-injected planted tanks and reef tanks, which is what Boredomb and I have been saying. The single-tube T5 HO will work, but nothing more.

For tubes, T8 Life-Glo 2 sells for $17.58, equivalent spectrum T5 HO Life-Glo 2 is $22.49. I only use this one as a sample, T5 HO are more expensive, and tubes need to be replaced every 12-18 months whatever they may be.

Any of the above fixtures will work over your tank. The single T8 will limit you in plants, so I would suggest either a single-tube T5 or a dual T8. Using T8 will provide more options in less expensive tubes (example, Daylight 6500K from hardware stores are much less expensive, a few dollars). Dual T8 will be a tad more light that T5 but this can be offset by floating plants and limiting the duration. I have this over my 4-foot 70g and 90g and with 8 hours of duration it works well.

But, just so you don't mis-understand, some of the stem plants in your list, esp the red leaf ones, will still not do well. But my suggested systems will allow you to have planted tanks that are thriving, similar to those in my aquarium photos under my name on the left. And that ain't bad, in my opinion.

Hope this helps sort it out for you. Feel free to ask questions, I have used all the above brands and types.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-23-2011 at 11:06 AM..
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EireBelle (08-23-2011)
Old 08-23-2011, 11:36 PM   #14
 
Thanks for the suggestions and clarifications, I really appreciate all your efforts Byron and Boredom. I think I will do with a double T8 and new glass cover and see how that does.

Now for more appropriate plants. I'll go take a look on those "low light" plants threads.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:49 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by EireBelle View Post
Thanks for the suggestions and clarifications, I really appreciate all your efforts Byron and Boredom. I think I will do with a double T8 and new glass cover and see how that does.

Now for more appropriate plants. I'll go take a look on those "low light" plants threads.

Thanks again!

Your welcome EireBelle.
Here is a what I have in my 55 gallon tank with dual T8s
Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana), Echinodorus cordifolius var. 'marble queen' "Marble Queen Radican Sword", Echinodorus parviflorus "Rosette Sword",Echinodorus bleheri, Echinodorus schlueteri x barthii "Ozelot Sword", Rotala indica, duckweed.

Rotala indica isn't as colorful at the bottom of the plant as it is towards the top but it still grows good. Mine show no sighs of lacking light other then in the color.
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