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MKSII 01-06-2008 01:29 AM

What plants? / Need different light bulbs?
I have a 210 gl tank (73 x 25 x 35) and for lighting, have the Orbit 24 hour 4 - 96 watt light. 2 are the daylight, but 2 are actinic bulbs. Heck - here is a link cause I suck at explanations.

What plants can I have with the current lighting? Need to change bulbs?

smaug 01-06-2008 05:47 PM

hi there,Im new here but Ill presume to answer your question.Essentially you have just under 200 watts of usable lighting for plants,the actinics do nothing.With that,you can have low lighting plants such as java ferns and moss,anubias,crypts and maybe some jungle vals.If you replace your actinics with daylight bulbs you will have just under 400 watt ,with that you can have pretty much everything except very light hungy plants like stem plants[cabomba,ludwigia,rotala ]and the like.Go with the 6700/10000k dual daylights to replace your actinics.Good luck.

MKSII 01-06-2008 08:28 PM

Thanks. Actually, I may almost be content with low light ones :lol: Are Temple plants low light? And what about any swords?[/u]

herefishy 01-06-2008 09:06 PM

Ok, let's start with the basics. Lighting is a hard to understand subject. The first great misinformation is wattage per gallon. Wattage is a measure of power consumption. You turn on a 40w light and it takes 40w of electricity to make it glow. It may be dim (incandescent lighting) or it may be bright(efficient lighting such as fluorescent lighting). We will pass on that discussion for now.

Actinic lighting is basically for saltwater set ups. They are very intense lights. Very hot. They do not, necessarily, provide the proper spectrum to promote plant growth. I, personally, favor T5 flourescent bulbs on my plant tanks. The bulbs are small and even a rather small fixture may hold 2-4 bulbs per. The one thing to watch here is the proper spectrum. Use bulbs that have the spectral diffusion for plants. These are sometimes marketed as Gro-lux, Plant-Vital, and others depending on the manufacturer.

Temple plants are not a submergent plant. At least the true Temple Plant is not. They are actually a bog plant that likes to have wet feet. They can handle being submerged for a time, but will eventually "drown". Swords are a great plant. They are relatively easy to keep, not real demanding. They do, however require pruning from time to time. This is done by removing dead or damaged leaves and can be done during weekly water changes. Most plants can be designated as medium light plants. These are the most available in the local fish stores(lfs). I would recommend that you start with these as some of the other truly low light and high light plants can be touchy.

Good luck.

MKSII 01-06-2008 10:05 PM

I do understand some, and have decent lighting for my 75 gl. I am actually very content with low light, slower growing plants. Trying to clean the inside of the 210 aq. is a PITA, so less work the better. I do not want to have to get a snorkel LOL.

If anyone has some suggestions for tall and/or thicker background plants, that would be great. I have dealt with anubius and java ferns, and can make those work for mid to foreground. Crypts shouldn't be a problem either.

fish_4_all 01-06-2008 11:45 PM

Low light plants should thrive under that lighting. The actual wattage is closer to 250, wattageX1.35 for power compact flourescents. Specturm should be good as long as you have good bulbs and most of those fixture come with them so shouldn't be a worry there. Just check them to make sure the Kelvin rating is at least 5500, likely they are 6500.

As for plants, Valisnaria should grow in that lighting although might suffer on the bottom, some species better than others. Any amazon sword, Red Rubin or Red Melon would make a huge centerpiece. If place toward the back, the back leaves may lay up the back of the tank with some training and the front will lay down a little more. Aponogeton might work, needs a little more light. Ambulia for sure, Limnophila sessiliflora.
Crinum natans
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Cryptocoryne retrospiralis
Hygrophila polysperma
Ceratopteris thalictroides
All require medium low to low light.

Don't be afraid to try some medium light plants. Even though there may not be enough lumens/ nor wattage the actinics may offeset this. You never know until you try. I can grow a lot of plants I shouldn't be bale to and some I should be able to so don't be afraid to experiment., is info on the "temple" plant. As HF said, a true Temple is a bog plant but this one is a true aquatic so it might work but it is supposed to need a lot of light.

herefishy 01-06-2008 11:57 PM

Giant val, Amazon swords, hygrophila, ozelot swords, anachris and elodea(if you anchor them down), red rubin swords, red and green myrio, rangerii swords, Italian and contortion val are some plants that can be planted as background plants.

I have a 210g blackwater tank that is heavily planted with vals, swords, najas, crypts and anubias. Lots of wood. Looks pretty nice. I also use moonlights for night lighting. Even if I say so myself, as it begins to fill in it is starting to look very impressive. it has taken almost nine months to get here as the plants were rather small when I started.

MKSII 01-07-2008 01:14 AM

That set-up sounds awesome!!!! Do you have any pics? Roughly how many plants are in your tank?

I have the lunar lights on this one. And yeah, the whole thing of "growing in". I know it will look awesome, but until then.

herefishy 01-07-2008 01:23 AM

No pics, yet. Lighting in the fishroom is less than ideal, even using a flash. With over 350+ tanks, room is at a premium and space is almost nil. I can't get in a position to shoot pics without glare taking out 80% of the picture. Will be moving all of it this summer. Then, all will be able to see the place. What are doing, say around the middle of June? lol

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