Three newbie plant questions: Photosynthesis, Lights on all night, Pruning - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-19-2009, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Three newbie plant questions: Photosynthesis, Lights on all night, Pruning

PHOTOSYNTHESIS:
I have kids napping in my aquarium room for 2-3 hours mid-day every day. Which means my tank gets 5ish hours of light in the morning, a 2-3 hour break, and then 5ish hours of light in the evening.

Does this break time in the middle interrupt the photosynthesis process? It was brought up on Angel079's algae crisis thread that algae takes about 4 hours to start photosynthesizing once it is getting light. Is this also true with plants? Is it better to have a good solid 8-10 hours of light rather than breaking it up like this?

LIGHTS ON ALL NIGHT:
I took out my light timer (don't remember why) and one night I forgot to turn the lights off. The next morning, my stem plant had grown visibly taller and had lots of new growth at the base. The other plants were noticeably more dense as well (a bulb and a grassy one).

The question is: how does this impact the "whole" tank? CO2 and O2 levels? Fish health? Would it hurt to leave it on all night once a week to promote new growth?

PRUNING: How do you prune your aquarium plants? I have a bulb (Aponogeton Ulvaceous), a stem plant (some sort of Hygrophylia I think), and one or maybe two varieties of Vallisneria, and one Java fern which as yet needs no pruning. (Here's my tank: New Freshwater Tank - 29 gallon Freshwater fish tank)

Do you take plants out to prune? Use scissors in the tank? Pinch off leaves with fingers?

And when you take them out to prune, how do you replant them? I find that pushing the roots into the gravel sustrate as they try to float up while I bury them feels forceful and harmful on the root system.

Thanks in advance, y'all.

Stephanie's updated tank profiles:
29 gallon 10 gallon

Last edited by stephanieleah; 12-19-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-19-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanieleah View Post
PHOTOSYNTHESIS:
I have kids napping in my aquarium room for 2-3 hours mid-day every day. Which means my tank gets 5ish hours of light in the morning, a 2-3 hour break, and then 5ish hours of light in the evening.

Does this break time in the middle interrupt the photosynthesis process? It was brought up on Angel079's algae crisis thread that algae takes about 4 hours to start photosynthesizing once it is getting light. Is this also true with plants? Is it better to have a good solid 8-10 hours of light rather than breaking it up like this?
Peter Hiscock [Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants] states that a mid-day "siesta" of no aquarium lights for about 2 hours, with lights on for 5-6 hours before and after, will not harm plant photosynthesis but will deter algae. I have never myself done this, but others have and reported success with no perceived detrimental effect to the plants.

Quote:
LIGHTS ON ALL NIGHT:
I took out my light timer (don't remember why) and one night I forgot to turn the lights off. The next morning, my stem plant had grown visibly taller and had lots of new growth at the base. The other plants were noticeably more dense as well (a bulb and a grassy one).

The question is: how does this impact the "whole" tank? CO2 and O2 levels? Fish health? Would it hurt to leave it on all night once a week to promote new growth?
Definitely do not do this. First, it will absolutely stress out the fish. Aquarists have had outbreaks of ich when lights were left on 24 hours, and ich only occurs when fish are stressed by something. Fish are biologically programmed to day and night, night being total darkness for 10 hours. Plants are also so adapted by nature, and while it may take more than a night or two to see the detrimental effect on plants, nutrients are not likely to be sufficient to balance, and this will result in algae out of control. Nature has set all this up, we should not interfere.

Quote:
PRUNING: How do you prune your aquarium plants? I have a bulb (Aponogeton Ulvaceous), a stem plant (some sort of Hygrophylia I think), and one or maybe two varieties of Vallisneria, and one Java fern which as yet needs no pruning. (Here's my tank: New Freshwater Tank - 29 gallon Freshwater fish tank)

Do you take plants out to prune? Use scissors in the tank? Pinch off leaves with fingers?

And when you take them out to prune, how do you replant them? I find that pushing the roots into the gravel sustrate as they try to float up while I bury them feels forceful and harmful on the root system.
If you are pruning to remove yellowing leaves [=dying leaves] which occur on all plants from time to time, just pull the leaf off at the base (at the crown) on rooted plants. If you want to remove "excess" leaves that are still healthy, cut them at the base (I just pull the leaf out and down in a sense, and it breaks off).

On stem plants, pull them up to trim them, then replant the top parts. Stem plants have no root systems comparable to rooted plants to worry about, although some (like Wisteria) do develop quite extensive systems in the substrate.

On rooted plants attached to objects I would just pull the leaf off at the base.

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 4 Old 12-19-2009, 03:21 PM
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I can back up B. idea by first hand experience that siesta does indeed harm the algae (some types) but not the plant!

I'd also not go for the 24hrs light thing...Simply cause its not natural. The siesta method one could argue imitates a rain day in which its so cloudy there is no sun...but no mater where your fish originate from, there's no place they'll have sunlight for 24hrs (and same for the plants). I'd actually go as far as saying over the long run this approach would hurt your plants (needless to say the fish too)

I don't take non my plants out unless I'm rearranging a tank. The Swords and alike get pinched by fingernails near the gravel and anything like Vallis or Ludweiga I also use the nails and then replant if I want or toss them or add to different tank Specially something like the Vallis that has a wel developed root system and runners pretty quickly I'd not wanna put up with the mess to pull all this out, cut 1 leaf and plant everything again...
Thou I recently considered scissors for the "forest" in my 45g to keep it at a even below surface level if I go do this, I will let you know how it works

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post #4 of 4 Old 12-25-2009, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
[hugs] [kisses] these replies have been very helpful. thx x 1,000,000!

sometimes i just don't realize how much i don't know.

Stephanie's updated tank profiles:
29 gallon 10 gallon
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