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Old 03-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
lifeaquatic
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Upgrade or replace T5s on 10g?


Hi,

I'm posting here for the first time for some advice on lighting my betta lifespace 35.

The tank is ~ 37cm x 28cm x 37cm in a 'deep' configuration. It comes with a waterproof light enclosure sitting directly on the water surface with 2 8w T5 lights (1 gro-lux, one factory fitted "white") and a mirror-finish reflector.

From what I've read this gives me 'low light' at very best...I have some Cryptocoryne Wendtii 'green', Staurogyne repens and Pogostemon helferi. The plants are growing (very slowly) in ADA Amazonian aquasoil with CO2 via a Flora-gro Co2 nano 50 (http://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/Whatsnewinfo.aspx?id=149). KH and GH are essentially zero, pH is around 6.2 and I dose daily with micronutrients, iron and NPK.

I'm trying to decide whether to:

1) simply squeeze another t5 in
2) make up a T5 size LED array to slot in between the current tubes
3) replace the tubes with a DIY LED or perhaps this http://illuminarium-inc.com/content/trident-series or an ecoxotic stunner strip? (if I can find a supplier/shipper to the UK)

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Last edited by lifeaquatic; 03-21-2011 at 10:59 PM.. Reason: Swap to US volumes
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:01 AM   #3
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Sounds like you are doing fine with the setup you currently have. More lighting generally means more problems.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
More lighting generally means more problems.
More light does not always lead to problems if you have a stable tank, and if you adjust your fert and CO2 levels accordingly. More light over your tank, along with lean KNO3 dosing, can bring out incredible colors in a lot of plants if you know what you're doing.

But back to the OP's question-- what are your reasons for wanting to up your lighting?


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Old 03-26-2011, 03:09 AM   #5
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I will say I like the ecoxitc stunner strips. But if you have the time/know how DIY LEDs are prob more cost effective
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:13 AM   #6
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My experience with stunner strips has led me to believe that they're not very good for growing plants. (shrug)
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzFishKid View Post
More light does not always lead to problems if you have a stable tank, and if you adjust your fert and CO2 levels accordingly. More light over your tank, along with lean KNO3 dosing, can bring out incredible colors in a lot of plants if you know what you're doing.

But back to the OP's question-- what are your reasons for wanting to up your lighting?


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Lean kno3?

You sure about that?
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Lean kno3?

You sure about that?
In my experience yes... At least with reds, especially rotala macrandra 'japan red'.


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Old 03-26-2011, 05:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
Lean kno3?

You sure about that?
Yeah, I've read that from a number of people. The interesting thing is that it's a nutrient deficiency that brings out the more striking reds in some plants. I don't think I'd call it a "healthy" tank in that case, though.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for the views!

@AzFishKid - I've had the tank for around 2 months now, but haven't had much growth of plants.

Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations but none of the P. helferi are much bigger than when I put them in, the S. repens has some growth, but isn't really spreading and the C. wendtii is growing (3 extra leaves per plant), but leaves develop brown edges after a couple of weeks (leaves currently 1 inch long max)

I swapped out the 'white' tube yesterday for an 8W powerglow (the other bulb is actually an aqua-glo), in the hope the spectrum change might help, but it does look a bit pink/blue for my liking.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:42 PM   #11
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Perhaps the plants are rooting and will start growing better in a bit.

Is it the new Crypt leaves that are brown around the edges? Old leaves generally do poorly in a new tank and don't live long.

My S. repens has been in this tank for maybe 6 months. Was uprooted and replanted a month ago and just this past week perked up again.

Zero KH and GH is not a good thing. Plants need the calcium and magnesium in GH. The carbonate in KH helps with the CO2 I think.

My tank water tested at more than 40 whatever the unit is nitrate. I stopped dosing nitrate and the plants are showing color. They are not lacking nitrate, it is just low enough the plants show color is all.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:51 PM   #12
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Thanks @Kathyy - crypt leaves are going brown after a few weeks from new.

I'm water-changing around 20% per week with RO. Will try half-and-half with tap next time.
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