Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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hellcatq 10-26-2012 10:54 PM

Possible lighting mess up
Ok, I have
Banana Plant
Cardinal Plant
Kleiner Bar Sword
Water Sprite
Ludwigia Peruensis
some moss ball
fish-various bottom feeder catfish types
I have them planted with a layer of flourite covered by 2 inches of pool filter sand. I do have flourish liquid.
I just got the plants put in thursday and I ordered a light that should get here on tuesday, The problem being I had thought my tank was a 40 gallon tank for some reason. I have since learned it is a 29 gallon tank Dimensions: 30-3/16"L x 12-1/2"W x 18-3/4"H , but having thought it was a 40 gallon tank I bought this light AquaticLife T5 HO Dual Lamp Light Fixtures 36" 78W Freshwater with (1) 36" 39W 650nm Pink Roseate and (1) 36" 39W 6,000K

So my question is will this lights be ok for this tank or will it be too much or too little? It will be over 2 watts per gallon so was worried I would need to find a source of co2 and more fertilizer than i currently have.

polukoff 10-26-2012 11:36 PM

It will be fine, remember to keeps the lights on around 10 hours a day, do weekly water changes and dose ferts and c02 if you have it. The plants will grow into the high lighted tank and after a few weeks it should acclimate fine with the high light. Water sprite alone will use up all the light/ferts.

BWG 10-27-2012 12:54 AM

I'd say it could be fine, not that it will be for certain. I had the same tank with nearly identical lighting. Packed full of fast growing stem plants and frequent fertilization. It went well for a few months running the light for 8 hours a day. Eventually though I got a small outbreak of BBA. A dual T5HO is too intense to have directly on top of the tank without any CO2, especially for 10 hours IMO. The naturally occurring CO2 in the tank will probably run out long before the photoperiod ends. If you're not planning CO2 in some form, then I'd suggest raising the light. At least four inches, possibly more. You should also look into either EI or PPS PRO dosing regimes so you can dose NPK. Flourish is micro nutrients only. Dosing just that works in a low light tank. You're going to above low light, unless you raise the light a great deal. Short answer then is not really a mess up, just needs some tweaking.

Also, welcome to the forum.

Byron 10-27-2012 03:12 PM

I would agree that this is likely going to be too much light. There are some ways to mange this.

First, I'll point out that T5 HO tubes are about 1.5 times more intense (bright) light than the same size and type (spectrum) of T8 tube. I have one T8 over my 29g, and that is low to moderate light. Some plants manage fine, but some would not. Your two tubes will be equavient to 3 of my T8 tubes, or triple the light.

This means you either have to reduce the light or lessen the duration, and increase nutrient supplementation to create a balance. More light than what the plants can use--and this is solely determined by the available nutrients and the plant species--will almost cerainly cause algae to become troublesome.

If the fixture you are getting allows the tubes to be switched on independantly, you're fine. One T5 HO tube is actually good light over a 29g. I've been trying to find one for mine but they are few and far between. Removing a tube doesn't work (unless they are switched separately), as the other tube won't light unless both tubes are present.

Second option is to limit duration. This can partly work, depending upon the nutrients and plants.

On the nutrients, to blance two T5 HO tubes you wil almost certainly need more than just once or twice a week with Flourish Comprehensive. And CO2 may likely be an isue.

All of this takes a bit of experimenting, since each aquarium is biologically different. What I've mentioned above is in general terms.


hellcatq 10-27-2012 10:53 PM

thanks-one additonal question
Yeah, was not what I wanted, but I geuss I can look into the diy co2. The videos I saw on youtube didn't look too hard or expensive. I had wanted to keep it in the low or moderate range so I didn't have to expend as much effort/monies.

Also had another question occur to me- Will the plants that I have that are stem plants ever make a root sysytem? They really don't hold down into the sand well (unlike the ones that came in a pot). Also does it harm them if the fish knock them loose an they are floating an have to be replanted?

BWG 10-27-2012 11:43 PM

The stems will grow roots, but never to the extent that your sword plant will. It'll be enough to keep them in the substrate, unless your catfish types are large. The wisteria and water sprite you can just leave floating if you wish. That will also help you cut back on the amount of light you have.

I never tried DIY, but I looked into it. I got the suggestion to do a two bottle system changing one of the bottles each week to keep the CO2 levels pretty steady. Any idea how you're going to diffuse it?

hellcatq 10-28-2012 10:34 AM

I'm geussing I will try an air stone, but I dont know that that will be the only thing I try unless it works well.
I will probably add an extra bottle to the two bottle method just as a buffer.

So far all my catfish types are small, and I don't think they will grow large. I did have a commom pleco that I had to move to my secondary that is unplanted. I think it suits him having a place all to himself anyways. I have one emerald cory, albino cory, a spotted cory. They have nibbled on the plants, but mostly leave them alone. I don't know what the other catfish is. He is orange and looks like a regular eating catfish only he is not even an inch long. Most of the time he is under the sand and not visible.

Byron 10-28-2012 02:30 PM

I know I am always saying forget the CO2, but the fact is that it does add a new dimension/level o the biology. Although it shouldn't be necessary, if you really do want CO2 consider a proper diffuser. I believe Mikaila has mentioned this from her experience, rather than messing with DIY. If she sees this thread she my have comments, and she has experience with adding CO2 and not adding it.

On the light fixture, if it is new, you should be able to return it, or exchange it, and to me that would be preferable to the alternative. Onceyou strt addingCO2, you need to dd more of the other nutrients too in order to balance.


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