Instead of 3X 12000K bulbs, try to mix them with different color temp such as 1X6500K, 1X10000K, pink for colored one etc, etc. giving variety of spectrums will benefit the varity of plants in your tank. (too much light will give you greeny algae around, not enough light will give you brownish algae in your tank in most cases, a simple indicator of your light)
Lighting time at least 8hr-12hr a day depending on your tank with a proper automatic timer will help to do this.
Rough parameters....well most of the tap water contain little bit of CO2, but it will be depleted fast, and very minimal level of Co2 in you tank which cannot be utilized by your plants. If you want them to grow fast and beautiful, you will need CO2 system sooner or later whether it is either DIY or regulated.
google the "drop cheker" for simple colormetirc CO2 level checker.
Fertilizer, you will need them, both liquid and solid form(root tabs) depending upon your plant types. some are getting nutrients from the water, some are getting from the roots. Make sure you get some info for both essential macro and micro nutrients for plants.
Hope this info helps!
I recently setup a 56 Gallon column tank that I plan on heavily planting and heavily stocking with community fish. I honestly don't know squat about plants though so I am really stressing over how long I should leave my lights on and how much light they should get.
- I have 3 24" Truelumen Pro Led 12000k Strips. Rated at 23 Watts....All of them too much? Or not enough? I thought I read once a few years ago that led wattage is not that same as with other lights.
- So lets say I have enough light, how long should I leave them on? So far I have been leaving them on for 8hrs a day. (0nly been up for 4 days) Right now I have a large amazon sword plant, 4 Anubius Nana and several very tall grass looking things that I cant remember the name of. (A friend gave them to me) I will be getting more plants very as well. Still a few weeks from getting fish though.
- What are the rough parameters for CO2? Is it necessary for a heavily planted tank? Keep in mind I plan on having lots of fish in it as well.
- Is fertilization necessary?
I am running a Fluval 305, Aquaclear 70 and Aquatop CF400uv for filtration....even at loss in the rated GPH I'm still turning over 8-10x per hour. Substrate is about 2.5"-4" of CaribSea FloraMax (depths depended on landscaping).
Any and all insight is welcome.