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-   -   Desk lamp? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=165658)

aquariumnewb 02-17-2012 12:18 AM

Desk lamp?
 
Hi everybody, I recently purchased a MarineLand 5g tank (which comes with LED lights, which research told me has 16 x .1 watt bulbs). Although I use aquarium gravel substrate, I prefer the look of a heavy-planted tank, so I know I need a high-light aquarium.

I began to shine my desk lamp, which has a 30W bulb (a spiral shaped, screw-in bulb). The light is a strong white color (which, based off my reading online, seems to be a higher temperature color, >8000). So my question is, do you think this bulb provides sufficient light at the spectrum for high-light plants?

Hoppy 02-17-2012 02:42 AM

You can't do a "low tech" tank with high light. High light requires CO2, good fertilizing, very good water circulation in the tank, good surface rippling, etc. A 30 watt CFL bulb is going to be high light on that small tank.

aquariumnewb 02-17-2012 02:50 AM

Is Excel sufficient for CO2 dosing?

Hoppy 02-17-2012 04:31 AM

Excel isn't sufficient with high light, only with low to low medium light.

epiphany 02-17-2012 05:41 AM

Replace that 30w bulb with a 10-13 watt bulb and you'd be a lot better off.

VivaDaWolf 02-17-2012 07:02 AM

Aside from algae, why is it that bad to have so much light like that?

aquariumnewb 02-17-2012 07:23 AM

My goal is to grow an HC carpet, which to my understanding, requires high light. So your thought is that excel doesn't give sufficient carbon for this? Thanks!!

EnigmaticGuppy92 02-17-2012 01:47 PM

i would set up a diy co2 system with the high light

Hoppy 02-17-2012 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaDaWolf (Post 1729646)
Aside from algae, why is it that bad to have so much light like that?

Plant growth rates are driven by light intensity. The more light, the faster the plants grow. But, they can only grow that fast if they have the needed nutrients to build plant tissue, and carbon is the primary building material. Carbon is supplied in adequate amounts for a high light tank only by CO2. But, the more light you have, the higher the concentration of CO2 in the water you need. If there are no fish or shrimp in the tank getting a high enough CO2 concentration isn't a big deal when you have a pressurized CO2 system. Unfortunately, fish and shrimp can only tolerate a limited amount of CO2 in the water, so with high light you are walking a tightrope between having enough CO2 for the plants, but not too much for the fish.

If the plants don't have enough nutrients to grow as fast as the light is driving them to, they will not be healthy plants. And, the less competitive plants may just give up and die. Unhealthy plants and dying plants are prime real estate for algae colonies to grow on. So, bad algae problems are a primary reason why "too much" light is too much.

Another reason is the increased maintenance required to keep a high light tank healthy. First, the rapid plant growth can quickly create a dense mass of plant matter, which stops water circulation in the tank. But, it is water circulation that brings the nutrients, especially CO2, to the plants. Without good circulation many plants will starve. High light means lots of pruning required - when I had high light I had to prune twice a week.

High light also means keeping the tank, the water and the filter as clean as you can, also to avoid encouraging algae to begin growing. And, it means constantly tinkering with the CO2 system to keep a good level of CO2 in the water even with the constantly changing conditions in the tank. It makes a hobby become a job, something some of us soon tire of. It isn't just plants that grow very fast with high light - algae also grow very fast. You have a much shorter "window of time" to correct conditions that lead to algae starting if you have high light, where with lower light you can wait awhile before having to correct those conditions.

The good news is that "high light demanding plants" really demand good CO2 much more than they demand high light. If you limit the light intensity to 40-50 micromols of PAR, and supply CO2 as if you had high light, you can grow virtually all plants, including HC very well, just slower. And, you don't find yourself tied to a planted tank job instead of a planted tank hobby.

radioman 02-19-2012 04:04 AM

Perfect explanation Hoppy.

Mahlady 01-06-2013 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1729951)
Plant growth rates are driven by light intensity. The more light, the faster the plants grow. But, they can only grow that fast if they have the needed nutrients to build plant tissue, and carbon is the primary building material. Carbon is supplied in adequate amounts for a high light tank only by CO2. But, the more light you have, the higher the concentration of CO2 in the water you need. If there are no fish or shrimp in the tank getting a high enough CO2 concentration isn't a big deal when you have a pressurized CO2 system. Unfortunately, fish and shrimp can only tolerate a limited amount of CO2 in the water, so with high light you are walking a tightrope between having enough CO2 for the plants, but not too much for the fish.

If the plants don't have enough nutrients to grow as fast as the light is driving them to, they will not be healthy plants. And, the less competitive plants may just give up and die. Unhealthy plants and dying plants are prime real estate for algae colonies to grow on. So, bad algae problems are a primary reason why "too much" light is too much.

Another reason is the increased maintenance required to keep a high light tank healthy. First, the rapid plant growth can quickly create a dense mass of plant matter, which stops water circulation in the tank. But, it is water circulation that brings the nutrients, especially CO2, to the plants. Without good circulation many plants will starve. High light means lots of pruning required - when I had high light I had to prune twice a week.

High light also means keeping the tank, the water and the filter as clean as you can, also to avoid encouraging algae to begin growing. And, it means constantly tinkering with the CO2 system to keep a good level of CO2 in the water even with the constantly changing conditions in the tank. It makes a hobby become a job, something some of us soon tire of. It isn't just plants that grow very fast with high light - algae also grow very fast. You have a much shorter "window of time" to correct conditions that lead to algae starting if you have high light, where with lower light you can wait awhile before having to correct those conditions.

The good news is that "high light demanding plants" really demand good CO2 much more than they demand high light. If you limit the light intensity to 40-50 micromols of PAR, and supply CO2 as if you had high light, you can grow virtually all plants, including HC very well, just slower. And, you don't find yourself tied to a planted tank job instead of a planted tank hobby.

By far one of the best reads out of about 500 i've read over the past month.
Very nice explanation.
Mahlady

caoder 01-06-2013 12:59 AM

fyi im growing hc that was a rescue from my lfs with only a few leaves without a problem in my 10g with a 13w in a desk lamp


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