Best lighting for plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Best lighting for plants

I have a 56g tall angelfish tank that has quite a few plants in it. It has Java Fern, Jungle Val, a bunch of Anacharis, a few mystery plants and some water sprite. I was wanting to get some other people's opinions on what's the best lighting to help with plant growth in a deep tank? All my plants are really big actually but my Java Fern and my Jungle Val are not doing so well. I am dosing them with Flourish Excel to help along with Flourish Iron and I have the comprehensive but I haven't used it yet. I know that Jungle Val is a very delicate plant but I was hoping I could get some input on what kind of lighting to use. Right now I believe I'm running a T5 LED day/night light strip but I'm not sure if that's enough to penetrate through all that water. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:29 AM
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for the vals it's important to have some nutrients in the substrate. I would suggest some osmocote plus tabs if you're not already doing that. as for the lighting we need more info. What brand of light, how many bulbs and how far is the light off the substrate. If you don't know the brand post some pics.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:39 AM
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How tall is the tank? LEDs and MH penetrate water very well (much better than PC, T5, and T5HO). You have to take in consideration the PAR and spectrum though.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:48 AM
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Best lighting for plants

Originally Posted by mistahoo View Post
How tall is the tank? LEDs and MH penetrate water very well (much better than PC, T5, and T5HO). You have to take in consideration the PAR and spectrum though.

+1 to that
Personally I like T5 with LED.
You get the best of both worlds. You might have to make adjustments To the length of your photoperiod

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:50 AM
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Vallisneria sp. will virtually grow in the dark. The secret to success with vals is a rich substrate. I have had them thrive in a Walstad style dirt tank with nothing but (very) indirect sunlight from a north-facing window, but I'm sure they well do just as well with root tabs and your current lighting.

It is also worth nothing both vals and java fern appreciate hard water with high carbonate levels.
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