To much light? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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To much light?

Ok guys been reading this forum for awhile now and it is a wealth of info. I am not new to planted tanks. Currently i have running 2 Low tech setups ( a 20g low light and a 30 gallon eco/florite low light). I purchased a used 120 gallon reef ready tank setup for salt water. Have had it set with fake plants for ages and want to go planted on it. SO the tank is 4'x2'x2'. It has 7 VHO t12's and one 150 watt MH. The VHO bulbs are 5 10k's and 2 actinics. 48" t12's are 110 watts each. Figure 5x110 is 550 plus 150 for halide .... Seems like a lot of light ... I relize the actinics will really not help plant growth but they ballance the color very well ..... I do not have a Co2 system availably for awhile ..... so am I asking for a algae nightmare? Is it figured diffrent on a 2' deep tank? I have large aggressive fish so the planting will not be supper dense .... a thick ground cover, about 15 jungal vals on one side corner under the halide, 15-20 corkscrew vals a assortment of some nice stem plants perhaps a larger sword ... anyways With out Co2 will this be a disaster??? I will have a plant substrate of some variety in. Any help is much appreciated ... oh and can the Co2 be supplimented with excel ... if so any thoughs on a monthly cost lol ??
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:42 AM
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770 = 150 = 920w total light? Dear God, that's definately too much. I would think that the 150w metal halide with maybe 2 VHOs would be plenty. Also, make sure you keep the 10k bulbs. The generally accepted temperature range for planted tank lights are between 5500k and 10,000k, alas the actinics are useless for plants; they will just grow algae. If you are going for this much lighting, Excel drops will NOT be enough for Co2. You will need to go pressurized on the Co2 as even DIY (yeast/sugar bottles) will not produce enough to make it worthwhile. Have you considered what you're going to do about substrate? I'm guessing that the tank has live sand in it, or is perhaps empty. If you're going for heavily planted, might I suggest a plant substrate like fluorite, onyx, eco complete or ADA aquasoil? You'll be happier with the results. Hope this is helpful.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 03:46 PM
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You have about a 120 gallon tank there, and want to go low tech? That's how I read your post. If that's the case, then limit your light to 200 watts or less. You have large fish, so you have fertilizer factories in the tank, so little if any fertilizing is needed. In fact you will have the best luck if you use a lot of fast growing stem plants that don't need a lot of light, such as ludwigia repens or better yet, hygrophila difformis. Then you can do a no CO2 tank, don't do regular water changes, and the plants should keep the nitrates and phosphates from your fish down to reasonable levels. If you do add CO2, be sure to add it at a constant ppm rate so as not to trigger algae with the fluctuations. If you do add CO2 you can use big weekly water changes to help control the buildup of fertilizer. (Just my idle thoughts)

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