Adding more light
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
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Adding more light


Currently I have a 29 gallon (so 18 inches tall minus 3 inches of Eco-complete) with a Fishneedit 2X24W T5HO. Growth of all my stem plants has been pretty good to great IMO. I do keep losing leaves from the Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia' in the back corner though. I also learned the hard way that floating wisteria needs trimmed very often since I killed a few plants due to shading.

If I added a T8 bulb to the front of the tank, would that make any difference? For the good? Just thinking hypothetically since I don't know that I want to change anything for sure. More light would be good if it gave me better growth, without moving into needing CO2 (no desire to trim as often as CO2 + a tank full of Hygros would require). Having bought the T5HO lighting only about three-four months ago I also don't want to replace it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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You have plenty of light, but if you float a lot of plants you are reducing the light for the plants below. Right now you have enough light that you will very likely soon run into various algae problems, unless you start using DIY CO2, preferably a two bottle system, changing one bottle every week to maintain a reasonably uniform concentration of CO2. And, for sure you need to be dosing fertilizers per http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944 The plants can only grow if they have the nutrients they need.

You could raise that light so it sits on the feet that come with it. That would drop the light intensity to near the low range, where CO2 isn't as mandatory. Even then, you would be much more successful if you use DIY CO2 - it makes a huge difference, but it does mean you need to dose fertilizers to support the faster growth rate.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Then I'm glad I'm not adding light. The floaters are in the front half of the tank, so not directly under the light. I thin them out weekly as well since I really am getting good growth.

The light was actually a recommendation from you, Hoppy on another thread. I need to dig that up and re-read it, since it's quite possible I misunderstood. The tank is heavily planted with a lot of fast growers, 8 hours of light, PPS Pro dosing regime with NPK, Plantex+B, and Fe. In four months the only algae I've noticed is a small amount of brown diatoms on the front glass, easily removed. So it's either DIY CO2 or raise the light to prevent a possible algae farm? I definitely read that old post wrong then. :/
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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I'm not a fan of PPS dosing schemes. I see no reason to make it that complicated, since it has been demonstrated numerous times that an excess of nutrients does no harm, but definitely eliminates any concern about deficiencies of any nutrients.

The FishNeedIt light doesn't give you high light, but I have noticed that any light more than low light will encourage algae, unless you add CO2 so the plants are able to grow as fast as the light is driving them to grow. Even with low light CO2, even low CO2 from a DIY system, will greatly improve plant growth, which discourages algae from starting. You won't run into the rapid algae growth that high light brings you, but with low medium light I think you will see algae of various forms and have to deal with them. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...23&postcount=4
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:24 AM   #5
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Aww....just when I was starting to think lots of research was begining to make me have a clue. Looks like I'll be reading through that whole dosing thread to try to come up with a new plan and then after that looking into DIY CO2. Using the feet isn't an option, since the light is 6 inches shorter than the tank. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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Should probably start a new thread, but don't want to explain the whole tank again.

New plan using Wet's calculator for a full EI dry dosage twice weekly (Mon/Wed for macros and Tues/Thurs for micros, rest on Fri/Sat, PWC on Sun)

KNO3-9/32 tsp
KH2PO4-1/32 tsp
K2SO4-3/8 tsp
Plantex+B-3/16 tsp
Fe chelate-3/16 tsp

Is K2SO4 ok to use instead of GH booster until I run out or should I just order the booster?

Two 2 liter bottle DIY CO2 with each bottle changed on alternate weeks. 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp yeast per bottle as for the article by depthC. Or do I want less yeast per bottle given there are two bottles?

Light-Just the Fishneedit fixture on the tank. Not raised and not adding even a T8?

Sound any better?
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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That CO2 setup which is what I use, except I add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to each mix, gives about 1 bubble per second. That is probably not too much for a 29 gallon tank even if you have a very good diffusing method, and certainly not too much if you have a fair diffusion method. You don't need more light. If your GH is above 5 degrees, roughly, you may have enough magnesium, so I see no reason not to use up your K2SO4 that way.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #8
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Appreciate the recipe, advice, and the help. It feels good having a plan in place. Not sure how I'm going to diffuse. I have two mini-canister filters on the tank, so with any luck I'll be able to use them over enough method. I have to look into how that's do yet. I'll also be ordering the GH booster then since my tapwater is roughly 3 degrees GH according to the water company. Thank you once again, appreciate the feedback.

Only reason I had asked about light, was that growth was great everywhere in the tank, except the a few of the corners. They might just be more shaded than I had realized.
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