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Old 01-07-2013, 12:40 PM   #16
auban
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bacopa caroliniana turns this color:

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #17
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Auban,

How strong are the actinics that you use compared to the light that is "pretty to the light"? Or maybe you use only actinics? In any case - how strong are then over what size tank?

I ask because 10 years ago I used a single 15W actinic bulb over a 30 gallon tank. It did nothing, absolutely nothing. I am guessing it was too weak.

Also it looks like playing with the light spectrum allows for variations of the leaf colors that we normally would not see. This is a tool really - a way to fine tune colors in an aquascape. Recently I posted about a strange coloration under blue LEDs - part of my Java Moss turned brownish-red. The leaves are not falling apart, so the plant is not rotting. But the color is closer to dark rust than to brown. Under a normal aquarium light (I guess 5000K) the color looks absolutely unique - like a Java Moss the color of a brown crypt. If the moss is indeed not dead but changed colors so radically this would indeed mean that one can use a strong blue light (or specific wavelengths) to play with the plant colors.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post

Also it looks like playing with the light spectrum allows for variations of the leaf colors that we normally would not see. This is a tool really - a way to fine tune colors in an aquascape.
Yesss

<3
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #19
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There is tons of information around spectrum of light and how it affects plant growth. it won't be substantially different for aquatics (since many species grow both in and out of water). The big key is the filtering effect of the water in the tank. Some wavelengths penetrate less well than others, so a light tuned for terrestrial growth may not work as well for aquatic, not because its a bad light, but because the water filters out more or less of some required wavelengths.

To add complexity to this different water with different conditions will filter differently due to clarity, tint, tannins etc...
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:14 PM   #20
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Jonatan,

I meant using exotic wavelengths that are not normally used produces really weird coloration. Not like getting the red leaves redder or someting like that. Just very weird colors you don't normally see.
And because the aquascaping hobby apparently is not an enemy to unnatural looks one can use weird colored plants to create some kind of unseen alien scape.


Rapt,

The grow light that I used yesterday indeed created very ugly shadows around the plants - purplish red, very unnatural and tastless looking.

The absorbtion of wavelengths by the water is a funky topic. Someone just told me that Amano believes that intensity is more important than specific wavelengths. One simple example is "white" light. It has all kinds of wavelengths and not all of them matching the photosynthetic curves perfectly. But if I think a white light will grow plants worst that a jacked up LED with all kinds of wavelengths I think I need a shot of reality. There probably will be a difference. But how big? What is really the point of a light engineered to surpass white light by say 5 or 10 or 20%? In another post I said that this all has to do more with one's ego than anything else. LED is cool right now, you know.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:11 AM   #21
auban
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I use actinics that produce most of their light in the violet and low ultraviolet ranges. it probably actually stunts the plants growth, as most studies involving UV have indicated, but it also typically induces an increase in red pigments. I like to think of it as a plants version of a tan. most flourescent bulbs produce at least a little UV, but some produce mostly UV.

like I said though, i use them because they make the plants turn different colors. one strong UV source is enough for me to see that affect. I haven't tried my blue LED panels on very many plants yet, ill have to play around more with them to see if I can elicit a similar response in other plants.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:47 AM   #22
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Well, as I promised, I just tried the 14W grow LED array by itself over the tank that already has a 30W LED flood light + a 24W T5HO Giesemann Midday:

Observations of the pearling. Percentages are approximate of course:

All 3 lights - 100%
30W LED + 24W T5HO [Total of 54W]- 95
30W LED - 75
14W LED - 0
24W T5HO - 0
14W LED + 24W T5HO [Total of 38W] - 20
14W LED + 30W LED [Total of 44W]- 100

Ok, remember that the 14W grow light illuminates only two small swords the best (right underneath). There is enough light that spreads over the entire bottom of the tank (18"x22") but I do not know how useful it is. The two small swords stop pearling within 30 seconds of leaving only the 14W LED running. They do not pearl with the 24W T5HO by itself either. The go all out when the 30W LED is used either with the 14W or the 24W or both.

Overall I can only say that it looks like no matter if I use the 24W T5HO or the 14W LED when they are used with the 30W LED the pearling is just fine. The pearling is not fine with the 24W T5HO and the 14W LED although they have all the good wavelengths. Not sure if this means that sheer intensity is indeed more important than spectrum or that the 30W LED blue really works or its intensity is doing the trick.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:35 AM   #23
Adam T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post
Jonatan,

I meant using exotic wavelengths that are not normally used produces really weird coloration. Not like getting the red leaves redder or someting like that. Just very weird colors you don't normally see.
And because the aquascaping hobby apparently is not an enemy to unnatural looks one can use weird colored plants to create some kind of unseen alien scape.


Rapt,

The grow light that I used yesterday indeed created very ugly shadows around the plants - purplish red, very unnatural and tastless looking.

The absorbtion of wavelengths by the water is a funky topic. Someone just told me that Amano believes that intensity is more important than specific wavelengths. One simple example is "white" light. It has all kinds of wavelengths and not all of them matching the photosynthetic curves perfectly. But if I think a white light will grow plants worst that a jacked up LED with all kinds of wavelengths I think I need a shot of reality. There probably will be a difference. But how big? What is really the point of a light engineered to surpass white light by say 5 or 10 or 20%? In another post I said that this all has to do more with one's ego than anything else. LED is cool right now, you know.
there very well might not be a huge difference in plant growth with a white light or playing around with other bulbs, but there could be and since the technology is available why not really take some time to look in to it? There are lots of t5 fixtures that are pretty cheap that hold a ton of bulbs. Reefers have been playing with bulb combinations for years so have closet farmers, it seems wierd to me that aquascapers would be so far behind the curve on this. I guess one could argue that its not broken and people can grow beautiful plants with 6,700k so why fix it, but corals grew fine under 10,000k light and it didnt stop people from playing around with light spectrum and reef tanks look a heck of a lot cooler now than they used to imo (and theyre getting better growth).

I'm not saying ditch the midday bulb, but if we can get faster or more compact growth with some ati blue +'s or blue leds and work that in to a moring/dusk cycle why not do it? If we can fine tune how our plants grow by tweaking spectrum its 100% worth it. If that means more compact growth or the ability to induce flowering, that could be really useful to alot to of advanced aquascapers looking for a very specific look for their photos or first timers attempting to grow a dense HC carpet. Maybe we can find a spectrum that causes HC to stay low or spread out faster or causes blyxia to flower all the time, or increases leaf serrations on marshmermaid... Point is that there are so many options out there that let us play with spectrum and intensity like leds such as the radion or sol vega and more traditional technology like t5's that there is just no good reason not too.

We should play with planted tank light sprectum and intensity for the same reason people first climbed mount everest or stuffed pizza crust with cheese... because we can.
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