newbie to planted tank
we are cycling our new 28 g bowfront with 7 leopard Danios, 2 mosquito fish and 6 cherry shrimp.
I bought a driftwood planted with an anubias that is doing well. I also bought some random plants at Petsmart before I had done much reading. These are a Ludwigia, some anacharis and a cabomba. We also just added a bunch of foxtail as some floating cover for the fish.
We just upgraded the regular fluorescent light that came with the tank to a pair of T5 lights with a daylight spectrum (one is white and one is pink) and now have a total of 28 W. This little hood cost us $50 whereas the compact fluorescent we asked about was $200. So we've jumped up to 1w/g which still puts us at low light. I could put the original light back on and run both as the new light is very small and compact.
What should I do with the plants. The ludwigia has lost it's reddish leaves at the top and it is starting to look more yellowy. The cabomba seems ok so far.
We've only had the new light on for a couple of days so I guess the first thing is to wait and see if things pick up. Otherwise do I yank these out and toss them and get more low light plants?
Re: newbie to planted tank
I am gaining experience with a "low tech" tank so please keep that in mind with my responses.
Heat can get to be a problem with the output from the ballasts.
If your "hood" is enclosed please monitor for heat.
IMHO I would leave the plant in your tank as it "may turn green" and survive.
The anacharis and a cabomba will probably survive and may even grow.
Two Additional Items:
Your reference to 1w/g implies that you have read the "rule of thumb" of 3w/g.
This is only a very, very rough rule of thumb.
If your tank is shallow 1w/g may be sufficient for your (and my) low tech plants.
Please refer to the ongoing thread concerning Flourish.
Most Ludwigia Sp. (and most stem plants) need more light than 1wpg, and may die. Keep an eye on the base of the stem. If it starts to rot, please remove it from the aquarium.
Anubias, Cryptocoryne, and java ferns will love this light set up.
What is the light output of the original light??? :?:
Ok, first, T5 is just about equal to CF, that is the output is 35% higher than what you think. So you actually have 37.8 watts. Adding the other light will bring that up some. GO HERE and input your tank dimensions to see where you stand with and without the other light. This will help you some.
As for the plants, I don't think the Cabomba nor the foxtail is gonna make it as I have not been able to grow it in 3.3 w/g in 10 gallon tanks. You might have different luck with it in yours so don't just throw it out. If it starts to rot or the lower stems do them make sure to remove it before it can foul the tank. You can trim these plants, all but the anubias as often as oyu need to get them to acclimate and grow, if they are going to. Your ludwgia may grow also but you need to make sure the floaitng plants don't shade too much, with less than 1.5 w/g you need as much getting to the bottom as possible.
Have patience and try different plants. I know they can be a little costly at times but once you find the ones that you can grow with the tank you want to have then they will be very rewarding.
Jones, what is the 3w/g rule, that is a new one to me. Might explain why my tanks work outside some of the other rules I have seen.
This rule of thumb was quoted in many "Raising Aquatic Plants for Dummies" types of literature.
I unfortunately cannot find a reference now.
I only mentioned it because tinymitymo quoted 1w/g in the original post and I anticipated that this quote came from reading the 3w/g rule of thumb.
The discourse in your reference is "1st class" but unfortunately does not allow the input of depth for tank depths greater than 24" (mine is 30")
This discourse should obviously be substituted for the 3w/g rule of thumb.
The cabomba will live at this lighting. It may get a little leggy, but it will live. What is the real name of this foxtail plant?
The wpg rule is only good for tanks 20g to say around 65 gallons. Smaller tanks like Fishes 10 gallon need more light. larger tanks need less light.
3.3 wpg in a 10g is about 1.5 to 2 wpg.
a small list of plants that will grow in low tech tanks:
anubias barteri var. 'nana'
Anubias barteri car. 'coffeefolia'
Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia'
Echinodorus osiris ,
Anubias barteri ',
Egeria densa ,
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis',
Bacopa Caroliniana ,
Nymphaea lotus sp.
and most Mosses
Awesome posts guys and gals. A lot of good things to think about and some prime examples of why you can't really rely on other peoples experiences to simply copy them.
As for the reference does make light of the 24 inch or higher tanks. It says to add 24% for every 4 inches above 24 inches. ;) I had to go back and search it myself because I couldn't remember where it was. It is below the light levels after you input your tank width and length. Could be a better set up device but it works.
It is funny because the chart for a 10 says my light is below moderate but I can grow almost anything. No cround cover not creeping plants but anything else has flourished for me in the one tank. In the other, not even close. Both have the exact same light fixture over them.
Stay patient tinymitymo, things will work out once you get the hang of it and the plants will grow once you find the ones that work for you. Stick with your plants and see how they do, they may just surprise you and you might surprise yourself.
:thankyou: you guys are so helpful! :tanshades:
I added the other light back. It's about 15-18W regular fluorescent bulb. I had to pull out some of the foxtail. I pinched off the brown parts and put the rest back. I have the bunch loosely tied with a thread that then sticks out of the tank so that it stays in one corner rather than roaming around. I'm not sure of the exact type except that I chose the smaller finer plant rather than the larger thicker one. They had hornwort there that they said would make a good floating cover. If the foxtail dies I'll get some of that.
Please keep us posted for my experience.
I had to dump the foxtails as it kept turning brown. I kept pinching bits off but it was almost gone anyway. I replaced it with some hornwart.
I'm thinking my Ludwigia is reviving. It looks like it is less yellow, more green and perhaps even a bit of the red coming back.
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