Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   Beginner Planted Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/)
-   -   can you help me I suck at keeping plants!!! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/can-you-help-me-i-suck-73628/)

maysick1 06-27-2011 12:23 AM

can you help me I suck at keeping plants!!!
 
Today I bought two plants 2 hornwort, and 2 rotala wallichii wich I heard was hard to keep. My lighting is 2x 24w 10,000k 8 hours a day in a 14 gallon biocube oceanic with diy co2 and flourish comprehensive with a sandy substrate. I suck at keeping plants alive can you give me any tips.

Barbman 06-27-2011 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maysick1 (Post 713522)
Today I bought two plants 2 hornwort, and 2 rotala wallichii wich I heard was hard to keep. My lighting is 2x 24w 10,000k 8 hours a day in a 14 gallon biocube oceanic with diy co2 and flourish comprehensive with a sandy substrate. I suck at keeping plants alive can you give me any tips.

Now you'l know why their considered hard to keep. If you can't keep them going with your set up then who can? What other plants did you have before the hornwort and rotalia?

maysick1 06-27-2011 12:29 PM

Anacharis wich I got rid of, bacopa, and rotala rotundifolia.

sik80 06-27-2011 01:16 PM

your bulbs aren't ideal for plant keeping at 10,000k. Most plants utilise light at around 6500k and will grow best under these conditions

You are also running a lot of light for a tank that size, which might sound like a good thing but sucessful planted tanks require a balance between light and nurients. An excess or deficiency of either light or nutrients will usually result in lack of plant growth or excess algae.

I highly recommend reading the four part stickies at the top of the Aquarium Plants section of the forum, which gives a great guide to all aspects of planted tanks

Mikaila31 06-27-2011 01:26 PM

I agree replace the bulbs with two 13 or 14 watt 6500K bulbs or similar. You have way too much light.

maysick1 06-28-2011 12:49 AM

Im kind of low on cash can i just use one light?

BarbH 06-28-2011 12:55 AM

One option you have for a place to buy bulbs would be a place like Home Depot or Lowes. They will be much cheaper than what you will pay at your local LFS. If I remember correctly Bryon on the forum has mentioned GE bulbs at Home Depot. With a bit of searching in the plant section should be able to find the information.

maysick1 06-28-2011 02:27 AM

Sorry I made a mistake I have 1x 24w 10,000k compact flourecent tube and 1x actinic. What is actinic? should I still lower my lighting?

MyLittlePleco 06-28-2011 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maysick1 (Post 714846)
Sorry I made a mistake I have 1x 24w 10,000k compact flourecent tube and 1x actinic. What is actinic? should I still lower my lighting?

10,000k is going a bit high on the spectrum for plants, but I've had sources claim that plants will do just as well under this lighting. If you want to err on the side of safety, go with a 6,500k bulb.
Actinic lighting is not utilised by plants, but rather by corals.
One 24W bulb over a 12 gallon should be more than enough for most plants.
Another thing which affects successful plant growth is the photoperiod. Make sure that your plants are getting 6-12 hours of light daily, and ensure that they get a few hours of near or total darkness at night.

A few people mentioned that light must be balanced with nutrients, and I don't think there's anything more important than keeping this in mind with planted tanks. You could have a 150W metal halide on your tank with regards to light, but if that isn't matched with the necessary nutrients, you're just wasting electricity. Most fish stores sell fertilisers in liquid form. The fertilisers will have the necessary dosing instructions on the bottle.

Are you keeping fish in this tank? A few fish may be necessary to produce adequate amounts of nitrates and phosphates; these nutrients are necessary for plant growth. But I'm just going to go ahead that you either already have fish in this tank, or are planning on introducing some in the near future.

Also, you're going to want to go with hardy plants, especially being a self-professed and total noobie at keeping plants alive. Rotala Wallichii is considered hard to keep for various reasons.
Hornwort should thrive in your tank. It sure did thrive in mine with minimal lighting.
I would recommend most species of Cryptocoryne, Anubias and Java Fern as beginner plants, although there are literally hundreds of plant species which are considered easy to keep. Do keep in mind that both the Anubias and the Java Fern are painfully slow growers.

Recap: Forget the actinic light even exists, replace your 10,000k bulb with a 6,500k bulb. Dose fertilisers.

Best of luck with your planted aquarium adventure.

Byron 06-28-2011 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maysick1 (Post 714846)
Sorry I made a mistake I have 1x 24w 10,000k compact flourecent tube and 1x actinic. What is actinic? should I still lower my lighting?

Just so we are clear, these are fluorescent tubes, not compact fluorescent screw-in bulbs, correct?

MyLittlePleco answered on the light, I agree. Your one 10000K is fine, with a 6500K daylight to balance with more red [in place of the actinic which is not good]. I have used this combo with success, it creates a "cooler" light which I rather like, but the one tube at 6500K or thereabouts for the essential red will help. I may have more when i know the answer to the above question.

Byron.


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