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Promelas 02-05-2010 04:28 PM

Lighting suggestions for 29g
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Hey all, just signed up for the site, hopefully I can pick your brains from time to time! I set up a 29g aquarium a little over 2 weeks ago now, and I'm still waiting for it to cycle fully. I have 2 C. wedntii, Anubias congensis, some Vallisneria americana, dwarf sagittaria, and 2 mystery plants that I didn't get the name of. I currently have only about 33 watts on the tank and was wondering if I should upgrade to a t-5 setup to get better lighting for the plants. I'd also like to add some ground cover plants as well but I'm not sure what yet. Will the val that I have in there die eventually with my current lighting? One of the 2 plants that I forgot the name of is struggling, and the majority has died and been pruned off. I also have the problem of a hot apartment, and my tank sits at around 78 F; the heater never needs to be on. Will t-5 lighting increase the heat inside the tank as well? I'm just looking for some lighting recommendations so I can have successful plants. Thanks for the help, hopefully that isn't too many questions! Here's a picture of it so far, I have 6 red eyed tetras in it at the moment

Angel079 02-05-2010 04:42 PM


If you'd like to shoot & post individual pic's of the mystery plants I'm sure we can ID them for ya :-D

Uhm 33w on a 29 is plenty for just about any plant as far as wattage.
Is it full spectrum? 5-6500 kelvin rating?

I have less light then you on my tanks and as for ground covers I grow dwarf hairgrass, dwarf baby tears, java moss carpets - Anything pretty much that I can get my hands on.
You'd def not gonna have the Vallis or any other plant die under the named wattage; as long as the light that comes off is full spectrum and the ~6500 kelvin; which resembles daylight and that's what plants need. When yo look at the light itself it should look more blue - tone then yellow (which is what your normal light bulb would be and that's too much red/ yellow for plants they need more blues)
78F for tropical plants is fine, mine all are housed in tanks (that because of the fish) range anywhere from 78-82F and are fine.
Possibly they're dieing off on you because your source water doesn't provide enough nutrition, then a liqui fertilizer such as Flourish would help, dosed 1x week. What doe the plants look like before they die on you? Like turning yellow and then die, that's a clear cut sign for nutrition deficit.
T5 gives of some heat yes, that is correct; but it shouldn't be enough to make your water hotter. Other alternative are energy saving bulbs such as the small tube bulbs from Bright effects or the more common CFL twisted one's (again provided you buy the full spectrum daylight one's; I use the one's from Lowes from Bright effects and they're just about luke warm after running all day).

If you'd like to see some planted tanks of mine for ideas; look to the left here under my name at the tap called "User Aquariums" all my tanks are listed there with more or less up to date pictures :-)

Promelas 02-05-2010 04:53 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the fast response! I figured my lighting would be considered "low" since it's just over 1wpg. I've seen that val would want higher requirements, as would most so that's why I figured I would need much better lighting. Both lights on the tank are both full spectrum, and the ones recommended to me but unfortunately I don't remember the kelvin ratings.
I've also been using Flourish according to the instructions on the bottle, along with a bottom substrate of eco-complete with some gravel on top.

Here's some pics of the 2 plants in question, both have pairs of opposite leaves. The fist pic is of the plant that has been slowly dying off. I've probably lost 3 or 4 stems piece by piece. The leaves yellowed and died, and eventually the same happened in the stems.

Angel079 02-05-2010 05:04 PM

To me they look like 2 diff kinda plants Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri) being the 1st pic and regular (not dwarf) Baby Tears (Hemianthus micranthemoides) in the 2nd pic

No its not :-) I have tanks with less then 0.5 wpg...and really the whole wpg matter is outdated because you can't compare T5, T8, CFL's etc and non of this wpg matter takes Lux & Kelvin into consideration so scrap that idea:-D
You can check on the bulbs (when they're cold so you don't hurt yourself) see if its saying something like Daylight or a name on there with the brand - More likely then not I'll be able to tell you from there what bulbs you have there (I been doing this stuff for a day or two lol)

The eco-complete only helps you on root feeding plants like Swords (which I hadn't seen in your set up) all stem plants, Anubias all that stuff uses liquid ferts.

Now had you always used the ferts and these exact lights on your tank or changed them at some stage and then the leaf's started turning yellow before the fertilization set up?

Promelas 02-05-2010 05:16 PM

Nope the tank is only about 2.5 weeks old, and the lighting, substrate, and flourish has been the same since the begining. I put about half a cap per the instructions on the bottle a day now. One light is a 15W 8,000K Aqueon bulb and the 2nd is a zoo med florasun f17/t8 max plant growth 18W bulb but it doesn't say how many K's it is. Those pics are of 2 different plants, thanks for the ID :) all my plant ID books are for Minnesota so they're no help! At the lighting that I have do you think plants will propagate? Or would I just expect them to be slow growers in general. Thanks for all the info!

Angel079 02-05-2010 06:22 PM

Its not cool, but also not uncommon for a brand new set up to have certain plants that drop leaf's all together and start from 0 again to grow; despite the propper nutritions and lights etc; so don't let that discourage you!! and from what I can see the other plants sure look well there!

I just cross checked my Flourish bottle....I find every day half cap (= 2.5ml) too much; Common is ferts once a week, as per label on the Flourish up to 2x but I'd not do daily. Its the balnace that matters soo too much of something (Co2, Lights, Ferts) or too little either case is not ideal for the planted tank.

The florasun by zoomed is 5,000K with that and your other one in the mix; that's a good light set up for plants.

You're welcome on the plants :-)

Now for growth / propagate that is diff with each plants, now I'm gonna try to go through your list (and please smack me if I forget a plant you have in your tank)

The Crypts are semi slow growing compared to other plants but will dev shoots to their sides that either you an leave there so you get a nice bushy plant or take off and plant elsewhere in your tank once they're big enough.
The Anubis would grow slower then the Crypts and sometimes they do send off side shoots you can replant, sometimes not. That said I'm not 100% sure on your picture there but Anubias pref being attached on the Driftwood or rock rather then buried in the gravel, so you may wanna change that.
The Vallis is like fish tank weed; it'll send off runners that'll start growing and send of more runners and then they grow etc. Either you can let it do its natural thing or you inch off the runners and plant them elsewhere.
Same with the Sagittaria (just at a lil slower pase then the Vallis)

Now the Baby tear & moneywort are both stem plants either you can let them gow & grow or you pinch them of at a certain height; replant the pinched off parts by sticking it back in the gravel and then the "old" pinched part will grow new shoots looking like a Y then.

I think I got them all covered now (I hope)

Promelas 02-05-2010 06:33 PM

Sweet thanks for the info man. Yeah the Anubias is in the gravel at the moment but the rhizome is above. I actually just got that, and the vals today since the store was out when I went originally. I'd like to get it attached to that driftwood ASAP, but I need some dark fishing line to attach it somewhere. Not sure where on the wood though. I checked the flourish that I have, and it's actually the organic carbon type, so I would assume that is in place of CO2 injection. So I should probably pick up the other type of flourish as well huh? The stuff I has says to use a capful for 50g daily, so I've been doing about half that. I can see some new leaves forming on the baby tears, and the crypt looks good now as well after a few initial leaves died. I work with aquatic plants all summer, and am almost done with my fisheries bio degree but this is my first aquarium! I'm catching on pretty quick though :)

Promelas 02-05-2010 06:41 PM

Oh and I found a small egg sack on one of the vallisneria blades, clear membranes with white centers and the whole egg group is probably 1cm. Just curious if I should give whatever it is an opportunity to hatch or pull it out. I guess it's probably snails?

Angel079 02-05-2010 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by Promelas (Post 319924)
Yeah the Anubias is in the gravel at the moment but the rhizome is above

:thumbsup: that works too!

If you ain't got no fishing line...normal sewing thread in black will work too ;-)
You see how your front of the DW hangs over a lil creating this lil hook on the front there....that would be my pers choice :-)

Ohhh you're not having Flourish comprehensive supplement fert...You're having Excel there - Does it say Excel on the bottle?
That would be why you dose daily then; but CO2 in a tank with fish (hoping you'll fully stock it one day) I'd start subsiding once you have all your fish in place; that'll be enough CO2 then.
See if you can get Nutrfin or Flourish Comprehensive ferts; that'll be all the nutrition your plants need right there.

I'm telling you planted tanks are not only nice but they're too easy to keep really!!!! And it helps you on the tank maintenance acting like mini bio-filters on the water if you will (won't eliminate water changes weekly...but sure helps for a good water quality day in & out)

From the coloration & size you're describing...its snails - Which are actually very helpful to keep yur tank clean; so pers I'd let them hatch & grow :-)

Angel079 02-05-2010 06:54 PM

Here's the Flourish I was talking about the whole time

And this is what I believe you have there

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

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