Possibly in need of more/better lighting?
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:19 PM   #1
Broke
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Possibly in need of more/better lighting?


So I recently setup a 20L to try the whole high tech setup, I really like these long shallow tanks and was looking to get a 33L but figured I would get my feet wet with this. Anyway went out and purchased everything I assumed I needed, have an eheim 2213, the appropriate heater, paintball cannister with paintball regulator, drop checker and bubble counter. Lastly I thought I'll take my jump into LEDs, I've never had one but have read and seen great results from them, so I wanted a fairly nice one for this setup. After lots of reading reviews and journals here I decided to go with the finnex brand, I've always liked the looks of these fixtures and have wanted the planted+ for a while now. So that's what I went with for lighting, but after roughly 2 weeks with this fixture I am not too happy with the results. Most plants seem to just barely be surviving, and some have straight melted away. I'm mostly looking to get this dwarf hair grass to carpet as that's something I've liked for a while and now have the opportunity.

So my question is, at roughly 12" from the substrate placed in the center of my tank I am supposedly sitting at roughly 61 par, according to Lowe's par data of this model and depth. Will another fixture accompanied by this help me in my dilemma? Or should I ditch it and get something more powerful?

I am on mobile now so if there is any information needed to help with my query please let me know and I will respond when I see it. Once I get to a computer I will attempt to post a few pictures.

Also I am using fluorite as my substrate with root tabs, I'm researching EI dosing and looking to get into it sooner than later. The afromentioned plant that almost completely melted away under the planted+ fixture was downoi, and my tiger lotus has exploded from it, so I'm getting mixed results.

Your help is greatly appreciated TPT, and thank you for reading.

tl;dr - have finnex planted+ doesn't seem to be enough light to even keep wisteria alive, add another or new fixture altogether?
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to TPT!

Your problem is NOT not having enough light, the problem is too MUCH light without enough nutrients for the plants. Light basically controls how quickly plants grow. With high light levels but not enough nutrients to properly go through photosynthesis, the plants become nutrient deficient and increasingly unhealthy. Algae starts cropping up take advantage of the high light levels, and feeds off the dying plant matter to make things that much worse.

I'd recommend backing way up on your light levels (raise your fixture at least 6-12" up off the tank) until you figure out EI or some other balanced fert dosing regimen.

You may also need to keep trimming down your lotus to make sure it's not shading any of the other plants.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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I agree with Lauralee.

Also with hair grass to get it to spread better it's best to trim it close to the substrate. This promotes growth and spreading.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:14 PM   #4
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Also the reason for the difference in growth is that the lily is still living off the bulb
as well as becoming able to gather nutrients from the water...and also is getting some from the tabs as it gets better roots. So it has more nutrient sources if there are any in the water or not.
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Old Yesterday, 03:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Welcome to TPT!

Your problem is NOT not having enough light, the problem is too MUCH light without enough nutrients for the plants. Light basically controls how quickly plants grow. With high light levels but not enough nutrients to properly go through photosynthesis, the plants become nutrient deficient and increasingly unhealthy. Algae starts cropping up take advantage of the high light levels, and feeds off the dying plant matter to make things that much worse.

I'd recommend backing way up on your light levels (raise your fixture at least 6-12" up off the tank) until you figure out EI or some other balanced fert dosing regimen.

You may also need to keep trimming down your lotus to make sure it's not shading any of the other plants.
First I would like to thank you for your hospitality and welcoming, I have been a lurker for some time now trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible and decided to finally put some of it to the test with this higher lighting and pressurized co2 setup, so I really do appreciate your advice (and others who responded) about my problem. So your recommendation would to be go ahead and begin dosing micro and macro nutrients (EI?) as I am lacking? I don't wish to bother with seachem products, do you have any recommendations?
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Old Yesterday, 03:48 AM   #6
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Yep, if you don't want to lower the light levels then you need to get dosing ferts ASAP.

Dry ferts are usually the cheapest option by a long shot. Spend some time reading through the stickies in the Fertilization and Water Parameters forum, and then that would be a good place to post any specific questions.
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Old Yesterday, 10:22 AM   #7
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Do you have your CO2 setup yet and running? Are you achieving green on your drop checker? Setting up CO2 for the first time takes a while to get it adjusted optimally. I would work on getting that tweaked. Once you achieve the green level, slowly tweak a tad higher and just watch your fish in doing this. Most shoot for a pale green or a green that looks like it is slowly changing to yellow. It also helps to put your CO2 and light on separate timers and have your CO2 come on at least one hour before your light. This is something you will need to find what is best for your setup as well. Smaller tanks may not need this so much, but it is common practice. Usually you can stop CO2 about 1hr before the light goes out as well.

Dry ferts are definitely what you need and would get going ASAP.

If you want to slow down your tiger lotus, just trim the leaves down to the base. When mine gets active it can shoot a runner to the surface in less than two days on a 125g tank. If I let it happen for one, another will sprout out and attempt a few days later. If I trim those down to the base runners sprouting out stop and in general the plant grows slower and generally stays low. I have too much surface movement for them to stay on the surface and don't like how they block light.
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Old Yesterday, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
Do you have your CO2 setup yet and running? Are you achieving green on your drop checker? Setting up CO2 for the first time takes a while to get it adjusted optimally. I would work on getting that tweaked. Once you achieve the green level, slowly tweak a tad higher and just watch your fish in doing this. Most shoot for a pale green or a green that looks like it is slowly changing to yellow. It also helps to put your CO2 and light on separate timers and have your CO2 come on at least one hour before your light. This is something you will need to find what is best for your setup as well. Smaller tanks may not need this so much, but it is common practice. Usually you can stop CO2 about 1hr before the light goes out as well.

Dry ferts are definitely what you need and would get going ASAP.

If you want to slow down your tiger lotus, just trim the leaves down to the base. When mine gets active it can shoot a runner to the surface in less than two days on a 125g tank. If I let it happen for one, another will sprout out and attempt a few days later. If I trim those down to the base runners sprouting out stop and in general the plant grows slower and generally stays low. I have too much surface movement for them to stay on the surface and don't like how they block light.
Thank you for your response, I do have my whole co2 setup already and running on this tank. Everything was setup up the same day besides my filter because an older one I had broke shortly after starting up. My drop checker stays a constant lighter green (as I'm told, I have a little bit harder time seeing greens and red shades), but I have my co2 setup to turn on an hour before lights to fully saturate the water, and my lights turn off 30 minutes after the co2, in hopes to use up the last little bit of co2 in the reactor. I did forget to mention I am using an inline reactor to diffuse the co2 for this tank. I'm currently running roughly about 2 bubbles per second through my drop checker, closer to 5 bubbles in 2 seconds, but this has been my set rate since I setup everything as I haven't wished to mess around with co2 levels.

I am looking into getting some ferts and have them by this time next week, like I previously said I don't care to waste my money on seachem products, so I believe taking a gander at the selling section is in store.
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