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Where do I put the light?

This is a discussion on Where do I put the light? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I haven't started fertilizing yet. I read that I should let the plants settle in for a week or two before I start....

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Where do I put the light?
Old 07-19-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
 
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I haven't started fertilizing yet. I read that I should let the plants settle in for a week or two before I start.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:57 PM   #12
 
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I really don't understand all this misinformation which, after reputable botanists and biologists point out its inaccuracies, still gets bandied about. [And the reference to reputable is not meaning my little articles]. Only a month or so ago I read again in TFH about it being impossible to grow plants with less than 2-3 watts per gallon.

Anyway isimek, on your most recent point first, you should fertilize from the day the plants go in the tank. Plants grow by photosynthesis, and to do this they must have light and nutrients (17 in all, some are more critical than others). In a new tank there will be no organic waste, so even fewer available nutrient sources. A good comprehensive fertilizer once or twice a week is advisable. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. I have been using it for nearly two years now, and many others here also use it. Make sure it is exactly this one, as there are several different products in the Flourish line. I would start with twice a week (the dose of Flourish is very small, for a 55g about 3/4 of a teaspoon is a dose, twice a week); with the brighter light you have this will be needed to balance, or algae will proliferate as others mentioned.

Back to the light issue, two T8 tubes over your 55g will be more than adequate. One full spectrum (around 6500K) and one cool white, or two full spectrum, up to you. I have a series of "sticky" articles at the head of this section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" that might interest you for background info, and in Part 4 on lighting I explain the benefits of full spectrum and cool white, also how algae takes advantage, and fertilization is in Part 2. If you want to see the results of that approach, check out the photos of my aquaria under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.

You have a very beautiful aquarium, nice work there.

Byron.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:59 PM   #13
 
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Your tank looks awesome!
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:19 PM   #14
 
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One suggestion I forgot earlier; a background would really make your beautiful plants and fish stand out. Something simple, plain black or dark brown paper. No "scenes" which would compete with your plants. That would add depth as well as bringing out the fish and plants. All that work deserves to be shown off at its best.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #15
 
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I guess I am going to have to pick up some flourish soon then. Thanks to everyone for all the compliments. :) It seems like I have been working on this tank FOREVER. I still can't wait to make improvements. Any suggestions on material I could use for a background? Regular paper would just get all wet, right?
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:53 AM   #16
 
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oh yeah i forgot to tell you sometimes the leaves on the bottom of the plants get yellow and die if the tanks over crowded with plants and the light cant reach the bottom leaves.space the plants properly and the'll grow well.. mine is 1 week and 3 days old and already the cacomba and minature water lillies are flowering and i'm only using a single 40 watt 4 feet day light on a 104 gallon tank without fertalization but i do have a few fish and an old carbon filter to cycle the tank.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isimek View Post
I guess I am going to have to pick up some flourish soon then. Thanks to everyone for all the compliments. :) It seems like I have been working on this tank FOREVER. I still can't wait to make improvements. Any suggestions on material I could use for a background? Regular paper would just get all wet, right?
I bought some black background from the fish store years ago, it is sort of plastic or something. Yes, water does sometimes get down behind the back wall/
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:34 PM   #18
 
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Most LFS sell aqaium backgrounds, some of them have a shiny laminent over them which helps keep it sort dry (atleat mine, I can wipe the water right off)

You can also spray paint the tank (I only recommend doing so when the tank is empty!)

~ Johnny
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