Is this even going to work?
So I am in the process of making a nice new sump for my 72G cichlid tank and I say to my self, Self, maybe it would be cool to put some plants in the sump. The sump is being built out of a 30 gallon tank. I have a glass top for the tank and a single strip florescent fixture (24”, 17W). If I get a decent lamp for the fixture will I get any plants to grow? The sump, of course, will not be exposed to any additional sunlight.
It will work. You just need to pick plants which are suited for the level of light which your system will provide.
+1. It will do more than just "work." Plants in your sump will consume nitrates from your system, provide surfaces for nitrifying bacteria to grow on, and help to oxygenate your water. All of these make your sump even more effective.
Agreed. I'd recommend a high light setup, as you'll be able to grow plants that consume more nutrients. Even algae is good for oxygen/nutrient consumption as long as it doesn't spread to your main tank (you could put a UV sterilizer on the way out).
Since you've already got a fixture, you could retrofit it to save some cash (and it sounds like you're pretty DIY savvy). There's a lot of kits out there. I've never done it myself, but I hear people around here recommend AH supply as lot, it seems to be the cheapest/best one around. You could fit a 55 watt setup in your current light.
Okee Doke! Thank guys! I new I wasn't crazy! I ordered all of my parts so my little project will no go forward. Thanks for the great information. I will be posting my little project to the DIY forum as soon as I can find the cable to my digital camera!
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