Lighting, floating plants, and a glass cover
Hello, I have been searching the threads so forgive me that I could not find the answers I am looking for. I have a 75 gallon (4 ft long) freshwater aquarium and was sold a Coralife fixture with one 10000k bulb and one actinic blue. I have plants (cobomba, java fern, bacopa, amazon swords, crypts). Now I am realizing that the lighting may not be right. Should I change the blue bulb for a 6500k? And can you put floating plants under a glass cover? It seems I have seen pictures of them under hoods, but have read that they should be in open topped tanks (not an option for me; I have two large cats that like to "fish"). I would love to cut the light a bit with some floating plants, and I think they look nice. I should mention I have an Eheim canister filter so there is some movement across the length of the tank.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Hi - I have always used a split glass top on my tank with no problems-although I raise the light reflectors up a bit with acrylic strips for better air circulation under them insuring that there is no heat build up. As to the Lights- I have only used T5s for the last 3 years , and I did not like the Actinic Blue choice that was offered to me too, so I would follow your idea to replace it. Good luck.
You will definitely need to change the Actinic bulb. As its not the right color spectrum for freshwater plants. The 10000k bulb is pushing it as well. Best to have bulbs in the 5000-7000k range. 6500k being about the best. As fir floating plants under a glass canopy. They will do fine. I had my 55 gallon tank setup like that expect I had 48" T8s. I aslo have cats but they are too lazy to go fishing. They just like to lay on top of my tanks for the warmth. I had Wisteria floating at one time then Brazilian Pennywort another time. I also had Duckweed once. They all managed just fine like that. Also had a Eheim 2213 classic canister filter with a little surface movement. So no worries the floating plants will do fine as long as the surface movement isn't to great. Then you find them all on one side of the tank. LoL
Plants that grow "up" off the surface like water lettuce don't like super high humidity, but horizontal plants like duckweed should be okay.
Alternatively, many stem plants can be left to reach the surface and grow horizontally (like cabomba), or stems can simply be left floating (my hygrophila difformis did well floating).
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