Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yodapoolman

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions Byron. I was reading some of your other good suggestions here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-plants/adding-plants-fake-plant-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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions Byron. I was reading some of your other good suggestions here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-plants/adding-plants-fake-plant-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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Byron: 30" is the length, 24" is the height
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
@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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yodapoolman

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
I see you asked for other plants that would do in your setup... These may work with one fixture, but preferably you'll get another one. Low light plants that worked for me are Crypt wendtii, Anubias, and java fern do well under really low light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Out of curiosity Rip, where do you go in Phoenix for fish supplies? I got my plants and the clown pleco from Aquatouch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
@Byron: My LFS has a T5 setup with dual 10 or 12k lamps from TrueLumen T5HO Lamps | Current-USA. Would this new fixture be sufficient for my column tank while not being too bright for the tetras?

Nova Extreme 2xT5HO | Current-USA as another site
I would want to see this myself, and examine the spectrum graphs, before being definite, but from what I can find I would think the Freshwater Lamp combo might work. T5 HO is 1.5 times brighter (intensity) that the same sized T8 tube in the same spectrum/type, so with a dual T5 HO you are equating to 3 T8 tubes. This may not seem like much, but it is; over the same tank it is vastly different.

With floating plants and a dark substrate (nothing white or light toned, as this reflects overhead light making it even worse on the fish) I think this is viable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Out of curiosity Rip, where do you go in Phoenix for fish supplies? I got my plants and the clown pleco from Aquatouch.
i go to Petco and PetSmart. i've went to the Ocean's Floor a few times,located at 19th Ave. and Thomas, but they are terribly overpriced. i live in the west valley, and i don't know of any other good fish/pet stores on this side. if you know of some, i'd love to hear about them though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Byron: I'm afraid I do have light substrate and hardly any floating plants at the moment. So I may just try your earlier advice about either getting a dual hood or adding a hood with a 10k daylight.

Hypothetically, if I had enough floating plants, would the T5 lighting work even with the light substrate? It seems too bright as it is for the Black Widow Tetra (from what I've read on the fish profile). Or if I were to get a dark substrate, I had read that it's better to do partial section changes so as not to disrupt the bacteria? I've seen pics of a black substrate, but I wonder if it'd be too coarse/rough on my cories that dig around in it?

@Rip: I use a Petsmart on 7th Ave and Bell, but there's a nice family-owned LFS called Aquatouch AquaTouch that I've been buying plants from. They're at 32nd St and Cactus (W of the 51). As far as I can tell they keep things in really good shape and have been around for a while. The staff is patient with me and my questions lol. For pricing, it doesn't seem too bad for a mom/pop store. For reference, the clown pleco I got was about $13.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
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.
What's the turn-around on it? It's been about 2 weeks now and the moss is still fairly brown and seems like if I'd untie it, it'd disconnect from the wood.

Also, you mentioned adding a 10,000k Daylight in addition. Will this provide more benefits than just adding another 6500k to what I have currently?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
@Byron: I'm afraid I do have light substrate and hardly any floating plants at the moment. So I may just try your earlier advice about either getting a dual hood or adding a hood with a 10k daylight.

Hypothetically, if I had enough floating plants, would the T5 lighting work even with the light substrate? It seems too bright as it is for the Black Widow Tetra (from what I've read on the fish profile). Or if I were to get a dark substrate, I had read that it's better to do partial section changes so as not to disrupt the bacteria? I've seen pics of a black substrate, but I wonder if it'd be too coarse/rough on my cories that dig around in it?
If it were me, I would consider changing the substrate. However, I don't know what you have now, it may be fine. "Light" is not always bad, but a white substrate is. If the substrate is a sort of buff colour, that can work; some bogwood or rock and plants break it up, then floating plants.

Smooth substrates are essential for bottom fish like corys and loaches. Most (but not all) aquairum fine-grade gravels work, or sand like playsand. Enriched substrates for plants like Flourite are OK, but Eco-complete is sharper and others have advised me not good with bottom fish.

What's the turn-around on it? It's been about 2 weeks now and the moss is still fairly brown and seems like if I'd untie it, it'd disconnect from the wood.
I'ver had it take several weeks to recover.

Also, you mentioned adding a 10,000k Daylight in addition. Will this provide more benefits than just adding another 6500k to what I have currently?
"Benefit" is questionable, it is more the appearance. A higher-kelvin tube generally is "cooler" in colour, and combined with a "full spectrum" can create a nice cool white hue. I personally like that, others may not. I doubt the plants care much, the 6700K is their range if it is a good tube. Mine have done equally well under such a combo and under straight 6700K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Thanks Byron!

Here's a pic of the tank with the single Coralife 6500k. Hopefully it's a decent enough shot of the substrate. I'm mainly looking for lighting that will help plants so if the 10000k mixed with the current 6500k will do that, great! The softer hue will just be a bonus :)
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top