Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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AquaChief 09-03-2011 02:56 PM

32w in a 72 gal bow front....let there be more light?
 
Hey everyone,
Not new to aquariums but new to aquascaping with plants. NOW that I've read (:-D) Byron's excellent 4 part series at the top of this section I'm wondering simply if I have enough light. Here's my setup:

Tank:
72 gal bow front tank in a room with tons of ambient outdoor light (none of it direct though)
48" wide x 24" tall x 12 inches deep (18" at the apex of the bow)

Water Parameters: Hard and Alkaline; pH 8.0; temp is typically 77 -79 degrees F

Plants:
4 Amazon swords
1 Straight Vallis
3 Purple Waffle? (Now I'm reading this isn't an aquatic plant afterall)

Fertilizer:
API root tabs (applied as instructed)

Substrate:
inert aquarium gravel (size is approximately between that of a pea and a small bean)

Filtration:
Cannister (Fluval 450) with only mechanical and bio filtration (mature)
flow rate is approximately 350 gal/hr

Light:
One 48" "Reef Sun" 32w T8 flourescent 50/50 combination of 6500K and trichromatic daylight phosphor
and actinic 420 phosphor in the same lamp (written directly from the box).
Fixture is on a 10 hour timer

CO2 diffusion: none

Stocking:
I have a total of about 38" of fish

So, for a low-tech / low-light setup am I still lacking enough light? Any other changes you would suggest? Thanks everyone for any help. After several years of keeping fish, aquatic plants look like a fun and challenging way to expand our aquatic horizons.

Byron 09-04-2011 02:40 PM

That will work. You are at the lower end of the intensity scale, but with low and moderate light requirement plants it should work.

The tube sonds fine too, though I don't know what the intensity may be, but spectrum is good.

Sword plants and Valls will be OK. The "waffle" I think is not aquatic so will likely rot, if it starts to, take it out.

Is this tank set up or being planned? The reason I ask is that the gravel sounds a bit large. It will work, but in my experience with pea gravel the plants did better in a finer gravel. If this is not yet done, changing it now is easier. But again, it will suffice.

Byron.

AquaChief 09-04-2011 04:57 PM

The tank is about 3 1/2 years established now. At the time I had no plans for live plants so I went with the pea gravel as indicated above. I'd really love to switch it out with a substrate that is smaller and much darker (it's very light in color). But I shudder at the the idea (I've never made a major overhaul to an established tank). I'd be worried about the stress it would cause to the fish and plants; not to mention that I would be losing most of my biofilter by getting rid of the old substrate, true?
Thanks Byron!

Byron 09-05-2011 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AquaChief (Post 813079)
The tank is about 3 1/2 years established now. At the time I had no plans for live plants so I went with the pea gravel as indicated above. I'd really love to switch it out with a substrate that is smaller and much darker (it's very light in color). But I shudder at the the idea (I've never made a major overhaul to an established tank). I'd be worried about the stress it would cause to the fish and plants; not to mention that I would be losing most of my biofilter by getting rid of the old substrate, true?
Thanks Byron!

If you like the look of the substrate and the plants are doing fine after 3 years, not an issue. Swords have pretty tough extensive root systems.

Changing substrate can be done, it is work as you say. Only last month I took out the gravel that has been in my 115g for 15 years and replaced it with playsand. My corys are in heaven, and I like the look much better. If you have a spare tank for the fish, it is easy to manage. In March-April my other tanks including a 33g, 70g and 90g were all torn down and rebuilt with new substrates. With live plants the bacteria issue is basically non-existent. It is just a lot of work, esp washing all that substrate.:demented:

AquaChief 09-07-2011 06:40 AM

Back from a long Labor Day weekend of work :-( Thanks Byron, that's really helpful information. Appreciate all you do for this "guppy". :-)


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