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Wanted To Start A Planted Tank...

This is a discussion on Wanted To Start A Planted Tank... within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by redchigh Stem plants and plants with small root systems really need liquid ferts... (like flourish comprehensive) Do you think that is ...

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Wanted To Start A Planted Tank...
Old 04-28-2012, 01:55 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
Stem plants and plants with small root systems really need liquid ferts... (like flourish comprehensive)
Do you think that is my main issue then? Liquid ferts would help my growth problem more so than additional/better lighting or reduced hardness?
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:07 PM   #22
 
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I still see a possible problem with the lighting. Now that we've sorted out what it is--and I would be fairly certain it is T8 not T5, but if you look on one end of the tube there will be printing and it should say but regardless we can assume T8--I can tell you why it looks dark. Those tubes are not good light, I have a hood or two from Aqueon with them and they go straight to recycling. Depending how much you want to spend, you can get a good tube in the fish store or a hardware store for considerably less money.

You just measure the tube you have end to end (not including the prongs) and look for that length, or take the present tube with you. Life-Glo by Hagen and Ultra Sun by ZooMed are two good fish store tubes; both have a Kelvin of 6700K. From a hardware store like Home Depot, Lowe's, etc, a "daylight" having a Kelvin of 6500K is what you want; GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make these, though all stores may not have every size. If they do, they will be around 1/3 the cost if not even less.

To the ferts. Flourite enriched substrate will only benefit substrate rooted plants and very minimally at that. Some nutrients must come from the water: ammonium, potassium, CO2, oxygen, hydrogen. Others like iron, copper, manganese and zinc are taken up by roots and leaves. Since Flourite is specifically made not to release nutrients into the water column, according to Seachem, it is essential to add these as a liquid. The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement mentioned previously will be sufficient.

Is this water pillow designed for aquarium water?

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Old 04-28-2012, 05:58 PM   #23
 
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It seems to me that the lighting is the primary culprit here. I say that because I have had the same issues. Insofar as the water hardness is concerned, mixing in some distilled water could help. I don't have a formula as to the proper proportions at my finger tips but, I'll bet Byron has a good idea as to what they might be.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:04 PM   #24
 
Okay, thank you Byron and fish monger, you have been immensely helpful.

I will definitely start dosing ferts and will look into a new tube. I am pumped to hear that you think simply replacing the tube will do the trick. I thought I was going to have to get a new fixture that could house two tubes.

Now I have heard that plants grow better under light tipped towards the lower wavelength end of the spectrum (so more blue). Has this been your experience and would I account for this by getting a 6700K tube instead of a 6500K? Higher temp from higher energy waves? This correlation could be leagues off but I am just curious.

And also I feel that I should apologize to Sly13Cat for totally jacking their thread. Hopefully the info I have needed has been beneficial to you as well.

Last edited by Malakh; 04-28-2012 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:13 PM   #25
 
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The 6500 tube that I bought at The Home Depot has a very blue hue. It's a big change from the pinkish hue that full spectrum or plant tubes have. I have heard that 6500-6700k tubes are good for plant health. The 6500 are available at a much more reasonable price.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:44 PM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakh View Post
Now I have heard that plants grow better under light tipped towards the lower wavelength end of the spectrum (so more blue). Has this been your experience and would I account for this by getting a 6700K tube instead of a 6500K? Higher temp from higher energy waves? This correlation could be leagues off but I am just curious.
Aquatic plants need red and blue light to photosynthesize\e efficiently, though with sufficient intensity they can manage under almost anything. But there is no need to have overly-bright light for this, so providing what the plants can best use is preferable. The tubes that are geared to do this, the so-called aquarium or plant light tubes, tend to be less intense so you lose on that score.

Studies have shown that a mix of light between 5000K and 7000K seem to work best. These tubes are generally more intense (brighter) than the afore-mentioned, they provide the peaks in the red and blue, but also in the green/yellow to render colours accurately and there is no doubt the plants do use that green/yellow light some. The full spectrum/cool white types tend to provide this, as fish monger mentioned. You can go with the more expensive fish store tubes like Life-Glo and ZooMed's UltraSun, at 6700K, or equally good the less expensive "daylight" tubes at 6500K from hardware-type stores. I use both, they are near-identical in colour rendition, and the plants certainly respond well under either.

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The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
fish monger (04-28-2012), Malakh (04-28-2012)
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