Is 37w of T8 over a 29g tall enough??
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
The Dude
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Is 37w of T8 over a 29g tall enough??


I've got 2 bulbs over my 29g tall with potting soil substrate and gravel cap. I've Ludwigia, Rotala, chain swords, and some crypts in there. While it is relatively new (water is still brownish) the plants don't seem to be doing too well.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
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Yea that's probably too little light for all but the crypts. You could try to add a 2x 2litre bottle co2 rig, but the swords rotala and ludwigia really do much better in the mid plus light range. But like I said give diy co2 a shot. It would be cheaper than looking for new lights.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
petroica
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How useful is 2 x 2L of DIY CO2 on a 29g? Would you expect to see a dramatic difference? (I have a low light 29g as well and have been wondering.)
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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The Dude, CO2 is never a bad idea and you should definitely do it. But the main issue is that you are at the bottom of low light range. You'll want to upgrade your lighting, but as soon as you upgrade your lighting you'll want CO2 to prevent algae. And then once you have good lighting and CO2 your plants will want more ferts since they'll be using what is in your water more quickly. If you want to stay in the low tech range that means having shorter photo periods.

Petroica the important thing is to have everything in balance, without knowing the rest of your tanks specs it would be impossible to even guess. You should create a post on the DIY forum with your tanks specs and see what answers you get there.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:27 AM   #5
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i have exactly the same lighting on my 29G tall tank and its been a PITA. OMG i have bored people rigid with my constant complaining lol Check out the state of the tank in my albums, in the beginning of set up. Excpect everything to wilt, melt and pretty much look dreadful. My tank was looking pityful even after 6 weeks. Just about to rip the plants out and forget it (T5ho is not an option on this tank) when I was handed 2 gems of advice that have transformed this tank into a living jungle. 1. CO2 The difference was almost instant. 2) fertz and root tabs.
Hoppy is the man to ask about lights. What he knows and is happy to pass on is invaluable. Not sure about fertz but OVERSTOCKED has brilliant fertz I hear and there are plenty of people who can recommend good ones to you.
Bannik is spot on! I would upgrade to T5ho if I could but my tank is a BEEP BEEP of a tank lol and a bit of a blunder purchase on my part. Id never have a tall tank again..ever!
Being bottom of low light range with the T8 AND on a tall tank to boot, you wont be able to grow HC or any carpet plants and to me that was the biggest disappointment.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannik View Post
The Dude, CO2 is never a bad idea and you should definitely do it. But the main issue is that you are at the bottom of low light range. You'll want to upgrade your lighting, but as soon as you upgrade your lighting you'll want CO2 to prevent algae. And then once you have good lighting and CO2 your plants will want more ferts since they'll be using what is in your water more quickly. If you want to stay in the low tech range that means having shorter photo periods.

Petroica the important thing is to have everything in balance, without knowing the rest of your tanks specs it would be impossible to even guess. You should create a post on the DIY forum with your tanks specs and see what answers you get there.
That is an EXCELLENT post Bannik. Tells exactly what is needed and why. Sometimes people make things so complicated, but that was precise and even a dummy like me (lol) understood. ^5
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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I had 2 bottles of yeast with two 40 watt CFL's and just moss for my old 29 gallon. Had diatoms which never went away but besides that the moss grew fast and not any green algae. I didn't fertilize.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:42 AM   #8
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The plants don't seem to be doing too well. I'm not doing C02 on this tank. I guess I'll ditch one of the T8 fixtures and replace it with a 2 bulb T5NO. I've got two tanks on pressurized CO2, ferts, and medium to high light and I don't want the constant trimming on another tank. Both my 46g and 75g are pressurized tanks. My 20g has 2 T8's and it's beautiful lush and really just have to trim the moss occasionally and plant the new Java Ferns. I guess I'll pick up that 30" T5NO. That with 20w of T8 should get me into good light and the soil substrate will provide plenty of C02 until the plants flourish, then we'll see I guess. Thank you all
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannik View Post
The Dude, CO2 is never a bad idea and you should definitely do it. But the main issue is that you are at the bottom of low light range. You'll want to upgrade your lighting, but as soon as you upgrade your lighting you'll want CO2 to prevent algae. And then once you have good lighting and CO2 your plants will want more ferts since they'll be using what is in your water more quickly. If you want to stay in the low tech range that means having shorter photo periods.

Petroica the important thing is to have everything in balance, without knowing the rest of your tanks specs it would be impossible to even guess. You should create a post on the DIY forum with your tanks specs and see what answers you get there.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with this post. I know this is traditional wisdom in this hobby "you'll have to upgrade your lighting, then you'll need CO2 because algae will take over, then ferts..." but it's somewhat outdated. People with a much better reputation than I have proved time and time again that high quality, beautiful tanks can be kept without complex lighting or CO2. It all depends on what the individual wants, but the way posts like this get made somehow implying that you can't simply strike a nice, low-maintenance balance is misleading. And it sends newbies down a rabbit hole of potential complications.

With the right plants, you can absolutely have a beautiful 29g under 39w of T8 light. It's all about finding what works with what you have/what you want. In this particular case, the OP has a soil substrate with low lighting. There's tons of stuff that will grow in that, including a lot of what he has. The tank is new so the plants will need time to adjust. He has chain swords and crypts, those should do fine. The stems may or may not do great, he'll have to test and see. Some other plants to consider with this set up:

Java Fern
Wisteria
Any type of moss
Amazon/Melon/Ozelot Swords (they'll love the soil)
Cabomba
Pennywort
Dwarf Lily
African Fern
Moneywort
Jungle Vals
Anubias

There's a great sticky in this forum listing more.
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