Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Does my tank have enough light? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/does-my-tank-have-enough-light-71698/)

yodapoolman 05-31-2011 08:08 AM

Does my tank have enough light?
 
Hey all, I was reading through the stickies and other articles using the search feature, but I'm still a little confused. My profile has the plants and light fixture listed. I'm wondering if this is enough light for my 56g column (30" x 18" x 24")? I couldn't get a pic of the light spectrum, but go to Replacement Lamps and hover over the "nutri grow". It says it's in the 6500 range, but I couldn't find anything on the lumens/lux that I was reading about on these forums.

I put some tabs near the vals (which are in the back) just in case. My Java Fern and Moss don't seem to be doing well. The moss is turning brown, but I can't tell if it's algae or not. I'll try to post pics when I can.

So am I ok on lighting or should I add another fixture on top of the tank? I realize I probably can't have too many smaller plants (or can I?), but I've been through a number of light bulbs now: the original when I bought the tank at Petsmart, a blue Marine-glo that was actinic (removed once I started adding plants) and now the Coralife, and want to make sure I get something that's going to work.

Thanks!

Byron 05-31-2011 11:47 AM

One 24-inch tube over a tank of those dimensions is pushing the envelope. Low light plants will likely be OK, but moderate (like Vallisneria) will likely have difficulty. Personally, I would add a second tube if you can, and I would get a dual-tube fixture to do that, it takes up less space than two single tube fixtures. If you can find one that takes 30-inch tubes, even better, but two 24-inch will be OK.

The Coralife is OK. I like the way that site gives the spectrum for each tube, very good. If you do get a dual tube fixture, I would suggest keeping the Nutrigrow and adding a 10,000K Daylight as the second tube.

Java Fern and Java Moss both manage in low light. Moss often browns when introduced to new water but should recover. I find it goes through a down time when it is moved from tank to tank, so give it time to settle. Of course, it could be algae.

Byron.

yodapoolman 06-03-2011 07:54 AM

Thanks for the suggestions Byron. I was reading some of your other good suggestions here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...t-setup-69892/ . I do have a Brazilian Pennywort floating that's struggling to hang on; it hasn't really grown since I put it in there close to a month ago. Because the tank and lighting fixture are "cheapo" Petsmart ones and fairly close to the top of the lid, could this be stunting the growth of the floating plant? I've heard mentioned that watersprite is good too, but my LFS doesn't carry it. I seem to remember seeing people selling plants on this forum? I'll have to check it out more.

Other than that, any suggestions for plants that would do well with my current lighting? Or some that would do well if I added that 10k you suggested? I've read through some on the website, but it's difficult to tell if the light is going to reach them all the way down at the bottom of the column tank (at least until they start growing, I do use an Aqueon liquid fertilizer and planted some tabs).

Thanks!

Byron 06-03-2011 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yodapoolman (Post 691427)
Thanks for the suggestions Byron. I was reading some of your other good suggestions here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...t-setup-69892/ . I do have a Brazilian Pennywort floating that's struggling to hang on; it hasn't really grown since I put it in there close to a month ago. Because the tank and lighting fixture are "cheapo" Petsmart ones and fairly close to the top of the lid, could this be stunting the growth of the floating plant? I've heard mentioned that watersprite is good too, but my LFS doesn't carry it. I seem to remember seeing people selling plants on this forum? I'll have to check it out more.

Other than that, any suggestions for plants that would do well with my current lighting? Or some that would do well if I added that 10k you suggested? I've read through some on the website, but it's difficult to tell if the light is going to reach them all the way down at the bottom of the column tank (at least until they start growing, I do use an Aqueon liquid fertilizer and planted some tabs).

Thanks!

Assuming the light is the Coralife mentioned previously, that should be OK. Pennywort, like many plants, take time to settled when moved to a new environment (water parameters may be different, lighting, nutrient availability, etc). I bought a bunched Pennywort stems a few years ago and it took weeks for it to grow, i though it wouldn't for a while. Then, bang. Now I am chucking out bits every week.

The Aqueon liquid fertilizer is probably good, according to what I can find out about it on their website. But it takes a lot following their instructions. When it is nearly gone, you might want to look for Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. You will use very little, approximately a teaspoon once a week, that's it. Much more economical long-term.

yodapoolman 06-03-2011 02:50 PM

Ya, I've read about Flourish a lot on these forums. I had got the Aqueon just for "something" to help; I'll definitely be picking up some of the good stuff :)

I've read about the watts per gallon and stuff. Will adding that extra light help get the light down to the bottom of my column tank? Almost regretting I got this type of tank, but cost and space requirements are such that I can't help it now.

Rip 06-03-2011 04:01 PM

i notice you are also from Phoenix 8-)

Byron 06-03-2011 04:53 PM

Quote:

I've read about the watts per gallon and stuff. Will adding that extra light help get the light down to the bottom of my column tank?
Watts per gallon is at best only a rough guide, and only useful in certain situations. The deeper the tank, the more intensity of light is needed to penetrate. In your dimensions, is 30 inches the depth?

If you select the correct plants, you will have no trouble. You won't have luck with the grass-type substtrate plants, but pygmy chain sword should manage fine. Two tubes is certainly better than one.

yodapoolman 06-03-2011 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rip (Post 691751)
i notice you are also from Phoenix 8-)

That I am :) North Phoenix area

yodapoolman 06-03-2011 06:09 PM

@Byron: 30" is the length, 24" is the height

Byron 06-03-2011 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yodapoolman (Post 691841)
@Byron: 30" is the length, 24" is the height

Then 2 tubes will be fine, though again not for the high-light plants. My 90g and 115g are each 24 inches deep.


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