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Old 06-21-2012, 05:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
I completely disagree

You could not have picked a better light the PAR38 LED flood for this shape tank.

What you need to know is that light comes down with a 'cone' type effect. the center will get more light that the outer ring. If your plant all the same plants on the edges they will get the same amount of light and have the same growth pattern. Any plants directly under will get more intense light.
Just did a H20 change today and noticed my ferns right under my light seem to be "burning." Forgot to take a pic, but the leaves seems to be dying, turning black. Java fern on the outer perimeters seem to be doing fine, but definately not as vibrant and healthy as when I first got them. I might have to adjust the light height (as it currently sits 3 inches off water level.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:35 AM   #17
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What hasn't been asked in this thread is, what is the chemistry of the water coming out of the tap, used to change the tank water?

Most municipalities will have a in depth chemistry make up of their tap water for the asking if they're anywhere near honest. I know our previous city did so, you could get a monthly report on dissolved gasses, solids, minerals, trace elements, and possible bad chemicals.

Since we're on a well system our water is a lot more stable because of no chlorine, and seasonal CO2 because of heavy rainfall adding, but the chemistry is less friendly to plants so I have to add trace and iron supplement.

Folks whose tanks are doing great with little input other than frequent water changes are probably benefiting from the chemistry of the water straight from the tap.
I've got to look into this. I just do 50% H2O change weekly, with nothing added. My ferns may just look worse because of emersed to submersed transition, but I have not done any scientific tests to find out. I'm just not that advanced. Anyone on the island of Oahu care to chime in?
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:44 AM   #18
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You should be fine as it is, no ferts need if your fish load is high enough, plus the water changes should be every other month or you will have problems.

when you go high light, CO2, daily ferts, this is when you need weekly water changes.
Problems with weekly water changes? Can you elaborate. Is it becaue I would be disrupting beenficial bacteria or something? I do it mainly to clean the sand bottom of all the unsightly fish poop.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:17 AM   #19
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@ dogfish: so all my emersed form leaves are going to die? Or does the leaf form structure change somehow? Does this mean I need to rescape everything from scratch, from the baby ferns that are developing on my leaves now?
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #20
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As the emessed leaves die new submersed leaves sprout on the rhizome. The die off is not as dramatic as crypt melt.

What I do is remove the baby ferns when they are about 1" long with a few roots,. I superglue (gel) them to the driftwood to thicken up the planting and/or start a new area. I've doubled my Java Fern in 5mos. like this.

MyTWO bulbs are 14" from the top of the tank and mine are dimmable. I run 10hr days as the lowest level. I usually do a 2hr full power peak when I'm home to change the dimmer control. I sometimes do a short light day also.

Keep in mind that while our plants are Tropical, they do not always get full Sun 12hrs a day. The Sun moves across the sky, trees block it, there are cloudy days, there are storms.

So yes, make some height adjustments with your lighting. Give the Java a change to adapt...it will. To me the greatest thing about Java Fern us the fact it grows slow. I don't care to mirvo manage my Aquarium.

BTW - I do weekly water changes and add a tiny bit of Mircos (1 drop per 2gl)I didn't get the memo on NOT doing that for a low light/non-CO2 tank
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #21
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Java fern will grow under any conditions you like but if you want it really big, green and bushy it will need tender loving care that includes co2.
It may take a long time to get big, green, and bushy without co2, but co2 is not essential. I've got a lovely clump of it in my 20 long, with no ferts or co2, and only the stock lighting. It took over a year to get to its current state, but it got there.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:22 PM   #22
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BTW - I do weekly water changes and add a tiny bit of Mircos (1 drop per 2gl)I didn't get the memo on NOT doing that for a low light/non-CO2 tank
I believe the conventional wisdom is that weekly water changes (especially large weekly water changes) in a low light, non-co2 tank leads to algae. Something about fluctuating co2 levels from the tap water, I believe. However, this has not been true for me. I typically do large weekly water changes on all my tanks, low-tech and high-tech, and they all seem to do well with this. My experience may not be typical, however.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:02 PM   #23
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I've been growing java fern without CO2 for about 25 years. CO2 is not essential, we all know that. But like I said if you want it to grow big and green and bushy it will need tlc and co2 to look its best.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:09 AM   #24
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Glad to hear responses from experienced planted tank owners.

Day one of planting:



Couple months after, some dying and browning of leaves, a few baby ferns sprouting at tips of older leaves. Weekly 50% water change, no co2 or fertz:





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Old 07-10-2012, 12:24 AM   #25
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That does look like a good light selection for the tank!

Curious though, could experimenting with a lens under the LED manipulate the light distribution as desired?

Places that grind eye glass lenses often have a box of rejects that were simply cut the wrong shape for the frame and would likely have a range of prescriptions to try that will not fit well under the light. Polycarbonate (most) lenses can easily be shaped with a wet grinding wheel if you mark the center and axis before you begin.

Maybe an uncut lens is a better choice?
Stock lenses are really cheap. If you find the prescription that you really like under your light, anti glare/reflection coatings are worth every penny. Not all coatings are equal, if you chose to get one, price is a good indicator of value or just get a hard to order Nikon lens.

That looks like a great tank/light/plant combo to try this with!

I like to set vertical driftwood on top of the roots and let it take to the wood naturally.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAKE View Post
That does look like a good light selection for the tank!

Curious though, could experimenting with a lens under the LED manipulate the light distribution as desired?

Places that grind eye glass lenses often have a box of rejects that were simply cut the wrong shape for the frame and would likely have a range of prescriptions to try that will not fit well under the light. Polycarbonate (most) lenses can easily be shaped with a wet grinding wheel if you mark the center and axis before you begin.

Maybe an uncut lens is a better choice?
Stock lenses are really cheap. If you find the prescription that you really like under your light, anti glare/reflection coatings are worth every penny. Not all coatings are equal, if you chose to get one, price is a good indicator of value or just get a hard to order Nikon lens.

That looks like a great tank/light/plant combo to try this with!

I like to set vertical driftwood on top of the roots and let it take to the wood naturally.
Don't think I will be doing the lens experiment anytime soon. Sound cool tho...
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #27
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Hard to see in this pic but got a few yellow lab frys. Didn't plan on raising them so it'll be a miracle if they survive. Fish continue to hide. Reading up on "dither" fish to help with the shyness. Gonna add some neon tetras to this tank tommorow and see if I can coax my cichlids to hang out more rather than hiding in the rocks all the time.

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #28
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Thanks for asking this question. I'm curious about this too. I read that java ferns should are best planted directly on a rock or wood. I recently planted one in my tank, but planted it right in my dirt. Is that bad for the fern? Should I relocate it?

Sorry, OP, don't mean to hijack your thread, I just thought it was a related question. I love the look of your tank by the way! The different levels and use of rocks and sand are great. Makes me wish I would have used some sand in my scape.
I would just like to point out that java fern is fine planted in the substrate as long as you don't bury the rhizome. Most people just tie it to wood or rock as it will take hold on those objects. java fern and other plants that take hold like java moss and anubius are great in tanks with inert or even no substrate.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:25 PM   #29
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Yellow labs and neons are the best combination of fish to keep together, you should definitely read up on their compatibility. As for the java ferns they do require nutrients even in a low tech setup. I read you do 50% weekly water changes but you're not adding any ferts. Usually with low tech setups the opposite is better - adding an all-inclusive fert (may once a week) along with less water changes to keep the CO2 levels consistent. Sounds like your fern may be starving for a carbon source, or a lack of other nutrients, or all the above. The lighting is good though.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:55 AM   #30
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After doing some research, added some leopard danios as "dither" fish. Worked like a charm. I immediately saw more out and about play from my cichlids. My yellows got big quick. Beautiful fish. Java looks okay but definitely thined out cause of dying leaves. Still some new growth.... could be better but shouldn't expect much without CO2 or fertilizer regimen.

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