Plants Sickly Due to Lack of Light
Due to a storm, my home was without electricity for four days. As a result, some of my plants in my fish tank are looking on the sickly side. Any suggestions??
Some background information: These plants had just arrived in the mail Monday at 2pm. I had them planted by 4pm. We lost power at 7pm for the next four days. So, for the most part, these plants went about 6-7 days without much light.
The Echinodorus angustifolia "Vesuvius" and the Bacopa australis are looking the most sickly right now (sickly means transparent and very limp). Any suggestions, or just wait and see if they 'perk' up?
Power has already been restored. I would have pulled them out as suggested except I needed them in the tank to keep the fish alive. I will hope for the best but I do think the two plants bit the dust.
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I would not increase light, since without balanced nutrients the light will do nothing but encourage algae. And at this point you want the plants to be encouraged, not have to compete with algae.
Light can be minimum 6 hours, and use a liquid fertilizer like Flourish Comprehensive as directed (twice for the first week or two). More light is fine, maybe 8 hours at this point, but I don't know how your nutrients are balanced (carbon from CO2 depends upon the organics and fish load), so less would be best at this pint, since in most "natural" tanks the CO2 can be exhausted by 7-8 hours at which point the algae has the advantage.
The dwarf swords are spotty, and the creeping jenny has recovered nicely. The anacharis is surviving, as is the Althernanthera and the Ludwigia. The Bacopa australis and Echinodorus angustifolia 'Vesuvius' are dead I'm assuming. The water sprite is half dead, and it looks like the stargrass is heading that way too. The Anubis frazeri is looking great!
Tank Before the Power Loss
Detail Pictures in Present Condition
Leave the swords planted, even if existing leaves decay they should recover if the roots are not disturbed. Eight hours light should be OK. And Flourish Comprehensive twice weekly, 3 days apart, the amount indicated on the label.
Do I need more light?
Do I need more light? I am willing to upgrade the entire light fixture on this tank as I really want the plants to work out. I have one single T8 bulb across the tank for 30watts of 6500K light. I'm lighting for 9-10 hours a day with flourish twice a week. I have a 50 gallon tank (48"L x 12"D x 20"H).
The plants just don't seem to be thriving:
I have tiny amounts of water sprite (floating) left,
1 floating anacharis that looks ok
2 substrate anacharis that is 1/4 way translucent and light green
1 anubias frazeri that looks great
3 creeping jenny that are looking good
4 dwarf swords where the whole plants has spotted light yellow leaves
The dead: The went translucent, then wilted, then disintegrated
1 - Echinodorus angustifolia Vesuvius
1 - Ludwigia Glandulosa, Peruensis
2 - Bacopa Australis
1 - Alternanthera reineckii var roseafolia
1 - Stargrass
So, is a new fixture needed or do I just need to stick with creeping jenny and anubias frazeri? I was thinking maybe a t5 system as they are cheaper than the t8 systems it seems. What are good brands of fixtures to get - I've seen good prices on sun lighting and odessa. I'll spend more for a good brand.
Some of those plants that died needed higher lighting then you have. Also some may have been a lack of nutrients ( though I am not sure. Someone like Byron can tell you that) I will say this though.
When You say T5s? Are you talking about T5NO (normal output) or T5HO (high output)?
If you use T5NOs I would just use one as that would be the same as using 1 1/2 T8s ( if I am understanding what I have read) T5HOs would be even brighter. I have 2 T8s over my 55 gallon tank and it is bright now. I couldn't imagine using 3 bulbs or 2 T5NOs. If you go with T5HOs well then you will be moving into a more demanding tank that will require more nutrients which may also require adding Co2. The more intense the lights are the more the plants will need or algae will be a problem.
As far as intensity of lighting goes. T8 then T5NO then you have T5HO. There is also one that is higher now T5 VHO. (Once again if I am remembering this right.)
Yeah, the whole lighting fixture thing is complicated. I really do think I would prefer slightly more light in my aquarium so I can grow a broader range of plants. But i really like the dwarf swords and I want them to look good is my main intent. I don't mind adding a little extra CO2 via a natural yeast system, but I don't really want to get into a pressured system.
I have just been price shopping and not too many places carry double T8 fixtures. They are about $115 from what I have found in stock. Double T5HO's are only $62. Grr, but it's way too much light. They are just not making this easy. Any suggestions for light fixtures?
I would however think hard about doing that. IF the dwarf swords are what you are concerned about then you could go with a dual T8 and get the effects you need without the harsal of Co2 or trying to figure out how to placing the T5HO fixture. It would also give you the ability to grow some different kinds of plants as well. I grow some plants that are in medium lighting area. They do just fine with my lights.
Just a thought if you have one T8 fixture now that is just a single then why not just look at getting another one like that? I know it would be pain having two fixtures but it would work the same and might e cheaper doing it that way.
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