Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Planted tank with a lighting gradient (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/planted-tank-lighting-gradient-59558/)

DKRST 01-10-2011 08:38 PM

Planted tank with a lighting gradient
 
I'm new to the forum - it's a great source of expertise already, thanks folks!

I'm returning to the hobby after a 17-year absence and, wow, the technology has changed. I'm setting up a 55 gallon planted tank with an enriched substrate (2.5-4" depth) and a canister filter. Fish are going to be the initial focus, but I'd like to try my hand at a planted tank. I've set up a lighting gradient across the tank. On one side, I have two 22" T5HO bulbs, the other side has a LED Marineland hood that came with the tank (low light). The concept is to provide fish a lower light refuge area and allow me to grow a variety of high, medium, and low-light plants.

My questions are these:
1) Is this even a workable concept (the light gradient) given the 48" length of the tank? There is certainly a visible gradient along the tank.
2) Will the plants on the lower light side tend to tilt/grow toward the high-light side, no matter what I do?
3) Is the LED light source on the "low" side going to do anything at all for even very low-light plants? My wife and kids like the blue "night-light" feature the LED offers, even though I'm not wild about it.

Any additional comments, or critique, would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
David

aunt kymmie 01-10-2011 09:07 PM

:wave: Welcome to TFK, David. We are glad you found us. Your lighting situation sounds interesting. I'd think that everything would try to "grow to the light" but I'll let the experts answer that question.
What type of fish are you thinking of stocking??

DKRST 01-10-2011 09:16 PM

Thanks for the reply. The plan is to stock with some angels or some pearl gouramis, some corys, and a few species to be selected by the kids. Right now, cycling with some danios, several guppies, and an old male Betta.
The only thing I'll miss in a planted tank is the plecostomus...
David

aunt kymmie 01-10-2011 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DKRST (Post 556383)
Thanks for the reply. The plan is to stock with some angels or some pearl gouramis, some corys, and a few species to be selected by the kids. Right now, cycling with some danios, several guppies, and an old male Betta.
The only thing I'll miss in a planted tank is the plecostomus...
David

No need to miss them! All my tanks are planted and I keep a pleco in each of the larger of my tank "collection". Not all plecos munch plants. I have two Albino Bristle Nose plecos. They are awesome algae eaters and will not harm plants. These are a funky fish the kids are sure to love. My nephews think my plecos are "rad". :-D

DKRST 01-12-2011 08:25 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, I've never had a bristlenose, certainly could be a possibility!


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