I'm trying to get started with aquarium plants-have no good input but these forums. I am finally ready to invest in t-5 systems so I don't replace plants every six weeks. I would be satisfied keeping hornwort, guppy grass,maybe duckweed,watersprite,amazon swords-suchlike. I saw a t-5 unit on ebay for about $70.. as low as I see. $95 to $250 is more like what most are? For two different set-ups.. 1)30 gallon long and 2) a55 gallon tank Do just duals suffice with one 6500lumens plus the off shaded tube?
With the named plant species, I would not do T5. A T8 unit or even LED would suffice, though the latter being newer are much more expensive.
The tank size is not mentioned, so a single-tube T8 with the tube full length of the tank might suffice, or more likely a dual tube. If you tell us the tank size (gallons and length) I can narrow this down.
The problem with any T5 is they only take T5 tubes, and that means HO or VHO as NO are hard to find (they are comparable to T8 anyway). This provides more light than you want unless you are going hi-tech with CO2 and daily nutrient dosing.
New lights are not going to help you. I grow all of those plants mentioned just fine with stock lighting. Are you fertilizing your plants?
What do you keep the water temperature at?
Starting from scratch
Hello, byron.. Okay, try to keep simple. I just bought two used "30 gallon longs". No filters,lights, anything. I do have afixture that I can use that right now is not in use because it seemed so bright in a 40 gallon breeder. It has an Aqueon fluorescent- 8000K Full Spectrum daylight tube.Ah, okay-it is rated a T-8 (24 inch). So, then -am I set with one of them? I know I'm being a little cut and dry. Thank you,-Jim Oh, Ladayen .. I have fertilizer on hand, been a little afraid of overuse. I can keep better log and upgrade schedule. My water is 80 to 82 degrees most time in summer. Slightly hard water and about 7.5 ph. Tell me about ferts, too.
A basic complete liquid fert is Seachem 's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. Either are fine, they are much the same thing.
Make sure it says comprehensive if you're going to try that product. Twice in the last month I've ordered in Flourish comprehensive and received excel, which is a carbon supplement not trace elements.
The tanks are 36 inches long by12 jnches deep. They are 17 inches tall. I have Flourish comprehensive and Flourish Excel along with Flourish Iron. Someone told me hornwort needs a lot of iron.They also told me to get a test kit for iron that I haven't found. Java moss and some amazon swords are the only plants I have have kept successfully. AndWatersprite if I keep the lights on practically all the time.
@Byron: Byron, the LED lights they have now will provide sufficient "growing light" compared to the regular "old" growing bulbs?? Also I'm going to post some pics of the 55G from about 6 months ago or so to show results!
A good "daylight" tube like the Life-Glo or ZooMed Ultra Sun or Coralife 50/50, or if you can find them, the much less expensive daylights made by GE, Phillips and Sylvania that have 6500K rating.
On the nutrients, Flourish Comp once or twice a week should be sufficient. The GH of your tap water is important, if it is not very soft (say, above 6 dGH) you will not need additional hard minerals beyond what is in Flourish Comp.
The Iron i would not mess with, there is sufficient in Flourish Comp and overdosing iron can cause problems, it is a heavy metal and thus toxic. The Excel i do not recommend, as I have posted elsewhere lately it is a very toxic chemical that will outright kill some plants, and if overdosed will kill fish and bacteria.
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